Wow spending four nights in Lockhart and indulging in exquisitely smoked Texas BBQ was almost too much. I am sure we both gained a few pounds but it was worth it. As morning broke on the day we were to leave we lingered to do one last walk up the steep hill to enjoy the greenery in Lockhart State Park and then returned to pack up the RV for our day’s travels.
The day started out splendidly but would soon take a turn for the worse. Shortly after leaving we stopped at a mechanic shop that we had scoped out a few days earlier and discovered it was large enough for our RV to pull in for our annual inspection. Since we are registered in Texas we have a short grace period once we enter the state to have our inspection. We passed with flying colors and paid our $7.00 and we were good to go.
All was going well until about ten miles down the road when we heard a very loud banging, clanging sound. We both looked at each other and thought that our passenger side bay door opened and we lost our compressor out of the bay. The loud sound alarmed us but we were on highway 20, a small two lane road with no shoulders and nowhere to pull off.
About 3/4 mile further up the road we found a driveway we could pull over on and check out the RV. First we noticed the bay housing the air compressor was closed so the compressor had not fallen out. Then we saw there was a chink of fiberglass ripped off the rim of our passenger side wheel well. A further inspection the wheel well exposed that we almost lost the passenger side fender as the two screws holding in in place on its trailing edge had been ripped out.
Also our passenger side wheel lost its decorative cover plate and several of the lug covers were dented and one was even missing. Further exploration revealed that we had some wiring ripped apart up under the passenger side wheel well as well. Since we now had no clue what had happened we unhitched the car to go back down to the scene of the crime to see what the hell happened!!!
We surmised that we must have run over a piece of metal and threw it up in the wheel well even though neither one of us saw anything on the road. Less than a mile down the road I thought we were in about the place it all occurred and we noticed some wiring lying in the road. This was about a five foot piece of wiring harness that apparently had ripped out from up underneath our RV!!! We couldn’t find anything else in the road so still had no clue as to what must have actually happened.
In shock we returned to the RV, reattached the CRV and headed on down the road after we decided nothing was damaged enough to cause us any need for worry about our safety. Sharon noticed as we were driving down the road the passenger side fender was flapping in the wind. Worried that it might rip off I pulled over and added a few rubber washers to the ripped out screws hoping to prevent it from flapping in the wind anymore.
Well I had to pull over two more times as each attempt to secure it failed. Finally I pulled out the drill and drilled in two new holes and screwed it back together. A permanent fix! We at last pulled into our park in College Station after our 110 mile drive ended up taking 4.5 hours!
After we set up I began communicating with Freightliner and learned enough to begin the planning to fix the wiring. I went to a few places in town to buy connectors as well as new plugs for the lights. While repairing the parking light plug I put my hand up on some of the carriage framing and felt a sharp piece of metal. After comparing the driver's side to the passenger side I finally figured out what happened to us on the road! A large piece of angle iron framing had a bad weld or two so it fell out while we were traveling on the rough road on highway 20!
Feeling relieved we solved what happened now we had to contact Freightliner and Tiffin to see what we needed to do. After communication with Freightliner they stated that the framing was an add on by Tiffin. I contacted Tiffin who agreed and we were still within the 10 year warranty which covers weld failures and framing malfunctions so it looks like we will be going to Red Bay this summer! Oh boy!!!!
I will, however, fix as much of the electrical wiring issues as I can before leaving here. So my first repair purchases were some assorted heat shrink tubing, a heat gun and some electrical screw on connectors. Hopefully I can at least get my headlights and side camera to work!
Anyhow we are actually relieved it happened before coming to our former home town for our month-long stay where we can take the necessary time to plan. Unfortunately we now we have to change our summer plans to include a stay at Red Bay for repairs… Oh well, such is life!
NOTE: We are currently in our former home town, College Station until May 7th. My plan is to replace our flooring while we are here thus I am not blogging as frequent;y…