Sunday, October 04, 2015

Beautiful day

Yes, it's a beautiful day here in southeastern Ohio. The rain has moved out taking the really cold temps with it. Today promises to be sunny and much warmer than the last two days. And . . . . here we sit. . .for the fourth day in a row.

Phaeton Place is sick. Over the past week, we have had three occurrences of temporarily losing power. . . I'm talking like 1/2 - 1 second in duration. While the engine and all systems are running, the dash module will flash, then go out, taking everything including the engine with it. Then the ABS light flashes on, then off, then everything comes back on including the engine. Always have to restart the radio. Gremlins for sure. It happens when she is running. The first time we were idling, about to pull out of the campsite in Warsaw. We drove on to New Castle, Indiana, with no other problems. But upon leaving NC and heading to Ohio, we had it happen twice on the road. . . always when we were running, but slowing, not out on the highway. When we pulled into our campsite in Gallipolis, Ohio, I turned her off as per usual and went in to register for one night. When we got back out, Terry turned the key and she was totally dead. . . . dead. . . dead. . . dead. Terry went out to the back and turned the battery disconnect on/off several times. We got her started back up and pulled into a campsite.

No idea what the problem is and as is always the case, once she's running again, no one is able to do much troubleshooting. If she's not acting up, there's nothing to check. But I'm thinking now that as we are poised to start the run through the West Virginia mountains, I am not ready to tackle the 7%, 5 mile downhill grade with two 90 degree turns with an engine that shuts off intermittently. Call me chicken. . . but that's the way it is.

The next morning we were getting ready to leave and she was up and running. We were checking the lights and when we got to the headlights, as I turned them on, everything including the engine shuts down completely. She would not restart. Me thinks. . . I am NOT supposed to go down that mountain. . . PERIOD! Terry starts troublshooting and calling Freightliner, Tiffin, etc., anyone who could offer help. He did all kinds of troubleshooting with techs on one end of the phone and him on the other trying to narrow down the problem. One thing we have discovered is that Tiffin (and all motorhome manufacturers) will re-route electronics from their original location on the chassis in order to accommodate what they want to accomplish. So Freightliner wonders why wires are here, there, or not here or not there when they think that is where they should be. We have had one diesel mechanic out here who has checked all the electronics and replaced a cable end on the firewall that was suspect. He has power through from the batteries to the ignition, but turning the ignition gets you nothing. However, using the auxiliary start button, we can start the engine. So the ignition switch is good. He has recommended a tow. Which we would do, but alas. . . the jacks are down. Can't tow with the jacks down and can't get them up without starting the engine. Oh, yeah, there is a manual way of lifting them, but unforunately, where we are, we are setting very low to the ground which would prohibit getting anything underneath to aid in raising the jacks.

So when the mechanic left, Terry starts working his magic again. Remember, he has talked with EVERYONE and tries to methodically sort through all the scenarios that could happen. He finally gets the engine to restart by plugging in an ignition fuse into the spot labeled as such. It works! Turning on the lights the engine stays lit! The problem????? There has NEVER IN TEN YEARS BEEN A FUSE IN THAT SPOT! Which means that Tiffin has rerouted the ignition system to be powered elsewhere. Will keeping a fuse in that location work? For how long? Will something else happen going down the road? We need answers. It does appear we will be able to get the jacks up. . . .keeping our fingers crossed. Probably still looking at a tow.

Yesterday we visited another heavy equipment dealer in Jackson, Ohio, who works on RV's. He was recommended by the mechanic who came out. So we went there even though they were supposed to be closed on Saturday. Turns out they were open and Terry had a nice chat with the service guy. He talked about the modifications that manufacturers do and that he did have a guy who was very good with the motorhomes. And he said, you won't have to get towed up here. His "homework" for Terry was to talk with Tiffin first thing on Monday and get as much info as he can on those modifications for the ignition system and then he will send his guy out to us to help. I must say that the two places we have worked with here have been very helpful, very nice, and very willing to do what they can to steer us in the right direction.

So. . . we sit. At least we have full hookups at this campground. . . for $20/night. Whoo hoo!. All coach systems are working, so I am doing laundry, crocheting, etc. May get out the sewing machine today. Tomorrow Terry will call Tiffin and try to get some help, then touch back with Osborne's if we need more help.

All our fall appointments are done. . . we are being delayed getting to the kids, but they will be there when we can roll. Bummer, but we are safe and working through this as we can.

On a positive note, we had some visitors in the field down below the campground last evening. . .

If you're in the area, stop in and we'll chat!

Till next time. . .


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