"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Friday, November 27, 2009

chug, chug, chug $$$$

I was up early Friday morning trying to get the furnace to work. I'll tell you what, our furnace has more bugs than a stray dog has fleas!! The good news is it's not the same problem as before because the little light was flashing a new code. The bad news is now we have a new problem with it! I got it running again by switching over to a new tank. At least the coffee was brewed by the time I got the furnace work done. Rudee made us breakfast after our showers and we got busy packing up. We pulled out and turned North onto I-75 to head towards Indiana.

Traffic was light and we were looking forward to making good time. My trucker buddy Niles called me on my cell phone about 30 minutes after we left and while we were talking the trucks engine started missing. I thought maybe the Jake brake was messing up and shut it off and it seemed to run a little better until I started going up the next grade and it started missing out again. Rudee called me on the radio and said there was white smoke coming from the exhaust . Oh oh, this can't be good. I went ahead and pulled over. Niles gave me some things to check and told me to call him back. I checked what I could and other than the radiator being just slightly low, all looked good. I called Niles back and he had talked to Freightliner who told him it could be the fuel filter clogged. This made sense since it only missed out when under a load and felt like it was starving for fuel. Niles was hopeful it was the filter instead of something internal in the engine. Rudee called our insurance company for road side service. They hooked us up with a towing company who gave us a a couple of names of roadside service providers who work on big trucks. I called one who said he was available and had the filters we would need (there are 2 of them). He said he would be there in 45 minutes. Darrell showed up right on time and quickly got to work on the truck. He replaced both filters and primed the engine then had me start it back up. Our insurance company told us we would have to pay for Darrell's fees and then submit the receipt for payment so Rudee wrote him a check and we'll keep our fingers crossed for a refund.
Darrell followed us for a couple of miles to make sure all was well before turning off. The truck seemed to be running like normal so it appears that problem was solved. Moral to this story is to make sure I carry fuel filters in the future so I don't have to pay big $$ again to have them replaced on the side of the road again. They are not difficult to replace but you have to have the parts and the right tools to do the job both of which I will add to the tool box before taking another trip.

Traffic had picked up after our 2 hour delay. I guess all the people were out getting those "black Friday" deals at all the stores. We stopped for lunch North of Atlanta at a rest park. I was little nervous heading over the 6% grade at Mont Eagle Tennessee because of our earlier engine troubles but the truck did great. We breezed through Nashville and stopped for the night at Bluegrass RV Park in Franklin, Kentucky. This is the same park we stayed at on our first night out on the way down to Florida two weeks ago. The temperatures are supposed to be below freezing so I filled the on board water tank instead of hooking to the campgrounds hydrant. I didn't want to risk the pipes/hose freezing up so we will just run off our pump for this stop. Rudee fired up the furnace and it's working just fine so far, keep your fingers crossed!!

We have about 300 miles left to drive tomorrow and should be able to be set up back at our site at the KOA before dark but you never know. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Once your back home in the KOA, what's your setup to prevent water hose/piping from freezing? Thanks, Bob

  2. Bob,

    We purchased a Pirit electric hose that has a built in heating element that comes on when the temp gets down to below 40*. http://www.pirithose.com/

    As for the interior pipes, our "basement area is heated from the furnace. I keep a remote thermometer under there that I can moniter from the inside and the temp is usually about 15*-20* cooler than on the inside of the coach and is sufficient to keep our pipes from freezing.