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Old 07-16-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
Unknown Guy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
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First big trip.

So I just returned home from our first big trip. Was only gonna be about 1200 miles round trip. Planned on leaving Mi and going to Gettysburg then spend some time in Lancaster county with family. We had planned to depart about 5 pm on Tuesday the 7th. Got on the road about 6:30, topped off fuel at Costco. Headed south to Ohio, had planned to run the turnpike all the way. Had also thought ahead and ordered the EZ-pass transponder from Delaware (no annual or monthly fees). So I was concerned about it working right, get onto the Ohio turnpike and everything works fine. Start getting into rain, no problem, I spent a few extra bucks for the GoodYear wiper blades. Well about 111 miles in the passengers side wiper stopped working, had fell half way down the windshield. Pull into first available rest area and find a find a loose nut. Get it tighten and back in business. Keep heading east and within the next 40 miles the drivers side wiper blade starts falling apart. Pull into next rest area and get the rubber of the blade reinsert back into its track. Made a couple wraps of electrical tape around both ends to keep rubber secure (this does absolutely nothing to improve function of wiper blades).

So far my little tool kit has kept me going. Another 50 miles down the road and KABOOM!!!! While I have never head a tire blow I was pretty certain that's what happened. Slow down and pull off at emergency pull off. Call the roadside assistance through State Farm. After sitting for over an hour an Ohio State Trooper pulls up. He contacted the company that runs calls on the turnpike. Another hour goes by before they show up. The guy that pulls up looks at the motor home then looks at me and says "they told me it was a camper with a flat tire, they should have said it was a bus!" Either way he didn't have the right size impact sockets, nor did he have a jack big enough. Well while waiting for his coworker we got the spare lowered and used my jack to lift it. Was able to remove a few lugs with my shallow well socket. After yet another hour another truck shows up and he has the heavy equipment. Finally get the tire swapped. Would have been about $225 for repair but the State Farm assistance gave Interstate towing a credit card # to cover it.

After about a 4 hour delay I'm back on the road. Head to Youngstown exit to pull off and rest up. Getting off in Youngstown decide to find a tire place for morning. Find a location and set the GPS. Driving down a 4 lane road with center turn lane coming down a slight hill at about 40mph and the motor dies!!! I ,an aged to get pulled into a parking lot and stopped. Check gauges and nothing seems out of the ordinary. Hit the starter and motor turns but will not start. Decided to wait till morning to bother calling roadside assistance. Slept horribly with stress of the situation and traffic noise. Drift in and out of sleep till about 7 am. Wake up and decide to see if the coach will start. Wife took the dogs out and fed them and I hope into the drivers seat. Motor fires right up. Head off to tire shop. Tire shop didn't have the size I needed. Figure I may as well try and get the engine figured out before going to much further.

2000 Gulf Stream Conquest, first MH (bought 8/14)
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:22 PM   #2
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Wow! Look at all the stories you have to tell around the campfire !

Sorry to hear about flat tire and engine trouble all in the same day 😡😂. But is sounds
Like you are keeping a good attitude about it all!

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Old 07-16-2015, 07:34 PM   #3
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Ohh my, nothing like the stress of getting broken in quickly!
It won't always be that stressful so hang in there. On bad days it can give you doubts, just take it easy until all the bugs are out.
Glad there were no complications from the blow out.

And I learn everyday why people have tow cars. They come in handy.
I also have been reminded many times when reading these stories how important it is to have emergency kits, with extra lights, flashing caution cones, etc.
Dances with wolves
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:54 PM   #4
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Ok so now we are into Wednesday morning. There is a Cat repair shop next door to the tire shop. Drive over there and while pulling in motor shuts down, throw into neutral and restarts with out a problem. Walk into Cat and tell them what's going on. They were not able to help cause they didn't have the "right computer set up". They do however give me a # for a Chevy dealer. Call them and they do not work on the larger trucks. They give me a # for Performance Chevy in New Waterford Oh. Turns out they are about 45 minutes away and I don't trust driving that far with the motor issues. After spending another hour calling around we elide to chance it. Get to New Waterford without any issue. Pull in and service guy walks out "It'll be $100 just to hook the computer up to it". Not like I have much of a choice. Computer shows no error codes. Now what to do? They basically say there's nothing they can really do, may have been a wet electrical component or a loose wire, "just keep driving it till it breaks". Well while waiting I found that Pittsburgh tire has the same tires I have on the drivers side rear so I'll just head that way.

I meander the back roads from New Waterford towards Pittsburgh. As I'm getting onto I79 in the Mars area the motor dies again. Not much room to get over but i did the best I could.

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I again call roadside assistance. Guy ask me "where do you want it towed?" Obviously I have no idea. I explain what I'm driving and he looks up my GPS coordinates and says "there's a Mazda dealer about 4 miles away". I reiterate that I am driving a large motorhome think about a bus! "Oh, well there's a Honda dealer about 4 1/2 miles away" is his response. So I tell him, you find a tow truck, I'll find where to tow it too. Off this this site for the Workhorse dealer look up. The dealer it pulls up is about 20 miles away. Call them up to confirm and when I tell the guy where I'm at he says take it to Baierl Truck in Wexford. I call them and Kevin tells me to bring it on in. Trouble came in trying to find a tow company. The one company RA put me in contact with couldn't help. My front wheel gross is rated for 5500#'s and we had 4 people. He said his rig could only lift about 4000# and he didn't have seating for 4. After making a few more phone calls and coming up with nothing (another 4 hours had gone by) I decide to try starting it again. GPS has me about 5.5 miles from Baierl. It hit the key and the motor fires right up. Hammer down to get to Baierl. Pull in safely. Talk to Kevin and explain what had happened. I was wondering if maybe the tire blowing may have kicked up some debris in the fuel tank and clogged the fuel filter.

They felt the fuel filter/fuel pump was the best place to start. Fuel filter was soon due for replacement but was not the problem. Also the fuel pump was working fine. They decided to drive it around in the parking lot. After 45 minutes was still running strong. Baierl offered to let us spent the night in their lot. We decided to let the motorhome run until it shut off. Then if it took 2 hours before shutting down I would start it back up 2 hours before they got there in the morning so it would shut down again about the time they showed up. After 45 minutes of driving and another 2 hours of idling nothing happened. Just kept on running. Decided against wasting anymore gas. Shut down and plugged in to spend the night.

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2000 Gulf Stream Conquest, first MH (bought 8/14)
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:16 PM   #5
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Now onto Thursday morning. Essentially we are no further ahead. Techs come in and we review where we are. After they had a night to sleep on it they felt the two most likely suspects were an ignition control module and a crank sensor. I figured for the $150 in parts lets just get it done. Baierl was also nice enough to have a porter give me a ride to Pittsburgh tire to pick up two more tires. They also installed the two new tires too (spin balanced). About noon on Thursday we were again cleared for take-off.

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But before I proceed any further I just need to reiterate just how great the guys at Baierl Truck were.

1 They pulled the coach in and started working on it with in 15 minutes of us getting there. They were ready sooner than we were.

2 service techs actually listened to what I said was happening and reviewed the possible causes

3 They allowed us to "camp" overnight in their lot. They provided a 20 amp electrical hook up. They offered to run a water line and to leave their BBQ grill outside for us to use.

4 They gave us a ride to Pittsburgh tire to get 2 new tires

5 One of the employees offered the kids ice cream sandwiches when we pulled up (Schwan's) then again before we left

6 Another employee ran out Thursday morning and got us a gift card for Burger King!

7 After we had left we went up the street to Burger King, get a call from Baierl, apparently my wife had left her cell prom in the waiting room. They sent an employee up to Burger King with her cell phone.

8 All the employees were tolerant of our dogs (all 4 of them)

9 Unlike the other shop Baierl did not take advantage of our situation and I felt they were fair with their billing.

I would not hesitate to return to Baierl Truck if I'm ever in the area again.

From Baierl we were 40 miles closer to our destination than we were from home. We made the decision to keep heading for Ephrata Pa and if we break down again to turn around and head for home.

2000 Gulf Stream Conquest, first MH (bought 8/14)
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:37 PM   #6
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We headed east on the turnpike into heavy winds and rain and tornado warnings. Oh I might add that Napa was across the street from Burger King so I got some new wiper blades too. We made it back to Ephrata without any more break downs. Set up camp I'm my parents drive way.

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Pop had his Honda fueled up and ready for us to use. My nephew had stopped by on Friday to visit. He brought us a gift, ok he stopped on his motorcycle to make a phone call and found it. I quickly installed it on the motorhome.

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Thankfully we were there on Friday to enjoy a trip to The Green Dragon. There's always a few stops we need to make there. Zerbe's chips and of course some fresh hot soft pretzels

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Had a great time with family. Picked up some Yuengling, Birch Beer, Martins pretzels from the factory in Akron. Ate a dozen ears of corn myself. Had some Stromboli and a cheese steak. Loaded up on TasteyKakes and Country Maid donuts. Can't forget Martins potato rolls, Old Bay chips and shoe fly pie, It's safe to say I was probably overweight on the return trip. Both the coach and me.

The dogs enjoyed it too.

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I'm ready to do it again. DW, not so much.

2000 Gulf Stream Conquest, first MH (bought 8/14)
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:50 PM   #7
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Oh and on a side note. Ran the generator during driving for the roof air. Topped off the fuel 3 different times. The return trip from filling up in Reamstown to the third rest stop in OH was running just over 9 MPG's. That was with all the PA hills on the turnpike and was running in the middle of the PCI of the Semi's. Passed about as many as passed be. Ran within 5 Mph of the posted speed limits. Lowest was about 7.8 MPG's other fillip had me at 8.6 mpg.

2000 Gulf Stream Conquest, first MH (bought 8/14)
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:32 AM   #8
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Great ending to an adventurous trip.

One suggestion: Consider purchasing an Emergency Road Service specifically for RVs. There are two well known & used by RVers, Good Sam ERS & CoachNet ERS. I have had & have used both. Of these two choices, I recommend CoachNet over GS. Cost about $100 per year.

May all of your future RV trips be mechanically uneventful.

Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottie)
2013 Newmar Canyon Star 3911
2005 Dodge Grand Caravan Toad
Jim & Shirley & Abbie (Scottish Terrier)
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:56 PM   #9
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I don't have any other major trips planned this year. I figured would give State Farms RSA a try since it was included. Next year my MIL wants to make a big trip out west. I will sign up for Coach net before that trip.

I am planning on replacing the remaining 2 front tires. Other than that I hope I have all the bugs worked out of it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:52 PM   #10
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Whew! That was an interesting read. Glad your trip ended well. May I suggest you send a review for Baeirl on rvservicereviews. We have had such a hard time finding someone decent in our area to work on our coach. A review just might help someone in that area.
Gene, Gayle, & Oliver
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Unknown Guy View Post
I'm ready to do it again. DW, not so much.
Glad it all worked out for you, and hopefully it will get better.
Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
.......2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 07-19-2015, 07:47 AM   #12
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Wow....quite the trip, but I guess it was a huge learning experience. I am so impressed that you made the best of it, not easy to do!

Lynn & Andy Dudish
2005 Winnebago Adventurer
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