Monday morning came and it was time to move from our Carthage, NC location north to the Raleigh Fairgrounds for a weeklong stay. SO we went through our normal moving day routine… breakfast and coffee followed by the necessary litany of things to be tied down and secured for the travel day. After all was secured we pulled in the slides and retracted the levelers and were ready to go…. or were we?
I noticed the check engine light seemed to stay on but thought that as the motorhome warmed up a bit it would go out. So I backed out of our site and attached our CRV to our roadmaster hitch. I fired up the motorhome once more and the check engine remained on as did the shut engine off light… SIGHHHHHH! Looks like we are in for a delay. A call to the Help Freightliner 1-800 line confirmed my worries… we were going to have to get Abbey towed into a dealer who could diagnose the failed engine code which only read “01”.
We have always depended on our insurance coverage with roadside assistance to take care of any of our roadside issues… that is until we had the the tire issue when we were in South Carolina. It was then and there that I decided a little additional coverage wouldn’t hurt and we signed up for a year of Roadside Coverage with Good Sam’s. Serendipity at its best… A call to Good Sam’s roadside assistance and we were assured that a tow truck would be at our location in about two hours. Remember we are down a very narrow dirt road in the boonies of NC.
Well the two hour wait turned into a 4.5 hour wait as the tow truck driver became lost and couldn’t find the park. Can you believe that this day and age that a tow truck driver doesn’t have a GPS???? Well this one didn’t but he lifted our front wheels up and detached our drive shaft (required for towing a FRED) and we were off for a 50 mile jaunt to H&H Trucking in Hope Mills, NC just south of Fayetteville, NC.\
It was a little sketchy getting down the dirt road but this driver was a trooper and did an excellent job of avoiding any unnecessary damage to Abbey as she followed in tow. But then what does the driver do? Turn out the wrong direction of course… SO we passed him and had him follow us to the road where we knew a good spot to turn around this 75 foot long unit! Once we were on the black top and pointed the right direction we both breathed a sigh of relief.
Following your motorhome down the road while it is being towed is a bit disconcerting especially when you are watching your driver get the tires over the white line into oncoming traffic or very, very close to the edge of the road and the grass along the side… Sigh… After what seemed to be an eternity we arrived at the freightliner shop around 6:30 some 7 hours after we first made our call to Good Sam’s. Probably longer than it should have taken but not Good Sam’s fault.
H&H is open till midnight but they didn’t think they would be able to check out Abbey’s fault code till the morning so fortunately for us we were only an hour’s drive from our daughter’s apartment. We stayed at her place where we hoped we didn’t impose too much on her roomies and planned to return to H&H that next morning. A call to H&H around 10:30 yielded little info as they hadn’t gotten to Abbey yet. A later call yielded unwanted information as the only thing they knew was that it was a coolant issue and that all five gallons of it were gone! Where could it have gone? We just had it pressure checked and topped off at Gaffney, SC! Hmmmm, it makes one wonder if someone dropped the ball there and didn’t top it off don't you think???
Anyway H&H said they needed more time to check it out. They pressurized the coolant system and found no leaks, they removed the EGR and verified that it functioned properly, check the oil and transmission for any unwanted water in the system. The conclusion after 4.5 hours of shop labor… they have no idea where the coolant went and they felt pretty sure there is no leak in our system. . So after the drive down to Hope Mills to pay the bill and take Abbey to Raleigh we are certainly hopeful the coolant doesn’t “disappear” again!
H&H did remove the mandatory $90 initial shop fee and took off 1.5 hours of labor since they were unable to solve this dilemma however they did warn us to be vigilant and watch our coolant levels closely. The big lesson learned from this experience for us was, when getting our annual maintenance, even at a highly respected facility, we will ALWAYS check all our fluid levels before leaving. We still don’t know what really happened and can only hope it doesn’t happen again…
So for now we are settled into our site at the Raleigh Fairgrounds and at least we didn’t lose any coolant on the trip up here…