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The big summer trip and $$$$$

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The big summer trip and $$$$$

Unread postby jemek on Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:23 pm

Well...it looks like I might actually be getting home this week. The well planned out big trip...has cost lots more then planned. Drained the emergency fund..the first week.

We left Bellingham on June 19th, arrived at my mom's in Boise in the 20th. Headed out to Bryce Canyon on the 21st.
Made it to Springville, UT for an overnight....got up early the next morning heading to Bryce. We stopped to fuel up at the Texaco/Flying J in Beaver, UT...noticed that the tire on one side was bulging. So there was the first....new tires for the trailer and we went ahead and replaced all 4...as they were the original tires and we were only about 1000 miles into a 3000 mile plus trip.

Made it to Bryce, Zion, Coral Pink Sand dunes...and then to the family reunion in Pinetop, AZ and even the Grand Canyon.
Everything was going great until June 30th as we headed into Las Vegas, the truck started to overheat. We had to pullover and sit for a bit, then we managed to get to Nellis AFB Camp ground. Where we let it sit for a good hour and stayed cool in the lobby area.

Went back out to start it up and heard a sound we should not be hearing. It seems that the harness that holds the wires for the electronic clutch fan had come loose and the wire were cut by the fan, also the cause of the overheating..and we thought it was being in the stop and go traffic in 108 degree temps.

We spent an extra day in Vegas getting the wire unit spliced. So we could make it back home. We left Vegas on an mid afternoon a day late. Got as far as Cedar City, UT and when we checked on things...it seems that even though they spliced it, they left too much slack and once again it was cut by the fan. We pulled into the KOA. DH and I manage to splice and duct tape the heck out the thing so it would not get caught. We just didn't run the AC at all.

Made to Boise taking it slow and easy. Arrived on July 3rd. Spent the weekend with my extended family.
Had to fly DH and the older kids home, as he had to be back to work and the older kids had camps to get ready for.

I am here in Boise waiting on the truck to be repaired. The part was back ordered and should arrive today. So hopefully by Wed...I will be heading back home with the trailer. I have our younger dd with us and my mom will join me for the drive home.

If all goes as planned we will be home sometime on Thur, after 29 days of being out. That is 10 days over the planned days.
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Re: The big summer trip and $$$$$

Unread postby Zinger on Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:42 pm

sounds like your all set for next years big trip!!
Have a good one
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Re: The big summer trip and $$$$$

Unread postby catmom on Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:07 pm

Boy, I hear ya! We just got back from a trip that we expected would take 2 weeks, and instead kept us away almost 3. First, we spent a week at our niece's wedding in southern Indiana - used our trailer for our "hotel" to free up my MIL's home for other family members who needed a place to stay. Then we added some "just us" vacation by heading down to the Kentucky Horse Park for 4 nights. When we arrived there, one of our wheels sure looked funny - no wonder: the hubcap and grease cap were both gone, and grease splattered all over the wheel. Not being the mechanical type, we had no idea this was really, really serious, so we spent part of a day visiting 2 large RV dealers in Lexington, looking for a replacement grease cap. No dice; they didn't have the part we needed in stock. Probably a good thing - we greased up the wheel as much as we could but the day we left the CG, we got 5 miles when we realized something was quite wrong. Our bad wheel hub was smoking! Managed to limp into a rest area a mile up the road, and called our Good Sam ERS. They sent out a mobile mechanic who got under and looked at it, took off the wheel and told us to follow him to his shop, another 3-4 miles away. I was REALLY nervous about the trailer having all that weight on just one tire on that side, but he said just to go slow and not worry about it.

He kept the trailer at his shop the next few days (and kept it plugged in, so the fridge could run) while he removed the axle to see what needed to be done. Sadly, we couldn't stay in the trailer, so we had to pack up & go to a cheesy motel for 3 days. (At least it had good Wifi.) In the end, we got a new wheel hub and spindle, but the axle itself was ok. The wheel bearing had seized - probably what blew off the hub & grease caps to begin with - and we were lucky that worse damage wasn't done. Still a huge hit to the trip budget!!

We got home today, stopping every 50-100 miles on the way home to feel all the grease caps (none seemed to be especially hot). Called our dealer and made an appointment for next week to get all the wheel bearings inspected (and of course repacked). (Note: it's been about 5500 miles since we last had the wheel bearings inspected, and was about 4000 miles at the time the bearing gave out. We have Al-Ko axles. Any comments on this situation? Just wondered if there's a known problem with that brand.)

Anyway, the joys of RVing - you never know (literally) what might be around that next corner! :o
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Re: The big summer trip and $$$$$

Unread postby skipnchar on Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:23 pm

It's always a bummer when a trip is interrupted by mechanical problems. It makes you realize just how much you depend on your normal support system. Sounds like you did get a nice part of the trip in and you've got new tires on the trailer so it's not a total loss. It's THOSE type of trips that sometimes are remembered the best (but not as being the best trips). Good luck / skip
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Re: The big summer trip and $$$$$

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:07 pm

Yeah, unexpected problems always stink, but it seems to be part of RV'ing. Given the age of my TV I almost always expect to have at least one issue on each big trip and just take it in stride.

Last summer it was an alternator and exhaust manifold gasket, but given it was a 7000 mile trip I couldn't complain too much - the repairs were less then one payment on a new truck.

This summer our "big" trip was half the length (to the east coast instead of the west) and the only real problem was loosing our trailer brakes at one point. Thankfully no mountains out east so eventually I found a spot where I could diagnose and work on it and it just turned out to be a failed splice in our truck-side cord. A visit to the dollar store (electrical tape, nylon zip ties, and of course some other totally unnecessary stuff that always seems to end up following you out of a dollar store) and we were all fixed up and rolling again. We also had a flat on our pup trailer that required a rim/tire replacement (better then trying to fix the vintage early 80's tubed tire) and we were on our way again.
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Re: The big summer trip and $$$$$

Unread postby Frank Henn on Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:29 pm

As I previously stated here, my first real RV was a 1966 Minnie Winnie that was 18 foot long, and powered by a Ford 300. I bought this thing If I remember right in 1979 or 1980. Son was 5 and the daughter was 2. This unit had no AC. At the time we were living in Lancaster Pa and were planning a trip out west to see My folks and DW parents. We left bright and early in the AM and stopped for fuel in the first area in Ohio. I got out to relight the refrig after fueling, as I was lighting it I heard a clunk and the unit went from park into reverse. I ran around it an was climbing aboard when it hit a parked 18 wheeler trailer. No damage to it but a small hoe in the MH. drove into Indiana and spent the night in a camp ground, got up the next morning and the battery was dead jumped it off, and proceeded on our way. We got to Wilmette Ill and parked it in parents drive way. spent a few days visiting friends and resting. Finally left to go up to WIsc to see DW parents. Got two miles down the road, and the MH filled with smoke. Had it towed to a Ford dealer, and found that the entire wiring harness up front had burned up Three days later . 385.00 dollars for labor and $7.25 for parts we were once more on our way. Got up to Wisc, and visited her folks for a couple of days, left the farm got to the farm road and the unit died. A farmer came by and sent the Ford dealership out, one new Alternator, and one new Voltage regulator we were on our way. Spent that night near Nebraska, got up the next Am and the Battery was dead. New Battery time. Got going, and just before Denver Colorado had a tire blow out, two new tire later we were on the way. Visited a friend in Denver, and left for Ouray the 3rd of July. Got to Fairplay Temp was in the 100 degree range, and the MH just stopped pulling. Sat beside the road for about an hour and a delievery man came by. He was making a delievery about a hlf our from where we were. He said if we were still there when he cam back he would give my a ride into town. after a little while I tried it and it went into gear. Went on into Beuna Vista Found a Ford Garage could not look at for five days. I checked the Trans fluid, found it two quarts low. replace it. told everyone hold on, If we could get to the top of Moinarch Pass we could all most coast to Ouray. Would you know it it did not miss a beat from there until we pulled into my parents Driveway. Stopped pulling as I backed in. I pulled the Trans out in the drive way pulled it apart and spent four days getting parts and and reassembling the unit. Started back home, and everything ran perfect for the next three days. Pushed it that last day, got off the PA turnpike, and the Headlights went out 2 oclock in the Am. Just turned on the four ways, and follow a truck into Lancaster. The next morning DW got up and said she was never going to step foot in another camper. I kept it for another six months trying to convience her that all was OK now. She never got in it even to clean it out for the new owners. She never did get in another RV she passed on to the lord in 2001. It was a trip from Hxxx but it was one I can never forget. Thus this is the reason for the Fifth wheel. If I have major trouble with either unit I can trade it in and be on my way. Like I said Robin Williams was a piker :lol: :lol: :roll: :roll:
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Re: The big summer trip and $$$$$

Unread postby catmom on Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:14 pm

Wow, Frank - quite a story! And one heck of a vacation!!
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