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Old 04-13-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
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Sunday afternoon problems!

I can't believe the only time I have a problem with our Dutch Star is on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of nowhere! But, once again (the third time) Newmar came through! And, this time I can add Spartan to the list of great customer service providers! We wee in the Mojave Desert heading north from 29 Palms into the Mojave National Preserve. I get a Stop Engine light and start losing power as we approach I40. Luckily, we did have cell service and I was able to talk to a real person at Newmar who takes the emergency # phone home with him on the weekend. Since I have a chassis problem he can't help me but he does make several phone calls and I get a call from Charlie, the weekend tech at Spartan in a short amount of time. He tells me how to extract the computer code which diagnoses the problem. I am low on coolant, according to the code. Low on coolant in the Mojave Desert is not a good thing. Long story short, I had been watching the temperature and we were not getting hot so it was most likely the sensor. Charlie had me pour in some distilled water I had on board and then disconnect the sensor wires. It would have been a long haul to go the 70 miles into Needles, CA. With a Stop Engine light because the computer won't let the engine run full capacity with a Stop Engine light. By disconnecting the sensor, I got a Check Engine light which does not slow the engine down and we made it into Needles without a problem watching the temperature gauge all the way. Charlie even told me how to make the annoying noise go away so we didn't have to listen to it for 70 miles. Overnighted in Needles and found a really good, customer service oriented place to drain the coolant and give the Dutch Star an oil change and service it was ready for. If you ever need service on your coach in Needles, CA. go to Great West Truck, Inc. we were out of there by noon headed back for a great week in the Mojave National Preserve. The problem was a bad sensor but all is good now.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:23 AM   #2
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So you know " Murphy " too.
As long as you didn't have to buy fuel in Needles, it's good to know there is a place there that will do good work.
Pass through twice a year with the coach, so I'll keep the shop name on file.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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Murphy is a best bud of mine. And, I don't have a refueling station in Needles to recommend! Or California for that matter! Thanks to my 150 gallon tank, I didn't buy fuel for the coach in California this year.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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To my knowledge, Needles IS the most expensive place in Calif. to buy fuel, 21 miles east and you save at least a dollar a gal. Or even 2 miles toward Bullhead City for an 80c savings , and they wonder why the town is dying.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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Most low coolant sensors are two wire sensors. If it fails you can snap a scotch lock on the two wires and continue on your way. Water standing over the sensor makes the ground. When they fail they don't "see" continuity. The scotch lock gives the wire continuity.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuhly View Post
Most low coolant sensors are two wire sensors. If it fails you can snap a scotch lock on the two wires and continue on your way. Water standing over the sensor makes the ground. When they fail they don't "see" continuity. The scotch lock gives the wire continuity.
At the risk of sounding dumb, I have never heard the term "Scotch Lock".
What is it in layman's terms?
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:55 PM   #7
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" Scotch Lock " is wire connector which allows you to connect and add on wire to an existing wire. What it does is connect two wires to the same circuit. The blue ones are for 16 gauge wire and the yellow ones are for 10 gauge wire. Tom
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:51 PM   #8
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Scotch Lock , may have been a brand name to start, I've seen them listed under the name Butt connectors too. Red ,Blue , Yellow and Brown for wire sizes , faster on the assembly line than a proper soldered splice. Prone to failure because they are not water proof and can cut wire and give poor connection over time ; don't you just love the " quick fix".
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:55 PM   #9
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Our coach has a three wire coolant level sensor so I had to put up with the check engine light till I got a new sensor shipped to me.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:23 AM   #10
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Just to put things in perspective: We're at a campground in Columbus GA, 2 sites down from us is a couple who came in on the back of a tow truck yesterday.


He told me they spent 2 days in a rest area with a mobile mechanic trying to fix an engine problem.

Then to add insult to injury, the tow truck driver dropped the coach. He hit a bridge expansion joint which pull the coach off the frame lift and dropped the nose/genny down onto the lift. It smashed the genny slide, which holds the lower part of the nose cone with the headlights. Broke the fiberglass part in 2, smashed the genny busting it's radiator and who knows what else it. He also ground the exhaust tip because he lifted it to high.

Their story has been an interesting one.

SO, above all, remember it can always get worse.




P.S. Good Sam dispatched the tow company, the coach owner is E-mailing them some photos.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:13 AM   #11
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Have Cummings disable all your stop engine lites if you get them to hook the computer to it. They had trouble back in '06 with the new coolants and came up with a ECM update to take care of it. I had it disabled but still got the check engine. Updated and never touched the original sensor and haven't had on in 3 years. It's a warrantable update, which means it should be no charge.

If it gets low I get the light, but I'm not stuck out.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:14 AM   #12
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Newmar has an emerency phone number?
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:54 AM   #13
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You just call the normal number for Newmar and it will direct you to an emergency phone and a real, live, smart, caring person in no time at all. At least that has been my experience three times now. Smart business in my opinion. Newmar has me hooked! No need for me to ever deal with a less customer oriented company.
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