We left our campsite in Trenton GA & have a destination planned for Arizona. We are going to buy a Thousand Trails yearly membership since we will be also heading to the West coast. We can stay for free at their RV parks, so it’s definitely worth the membership price.
We used RV Trip Wizard to plan our trip. It’s a cool website/program because of the extensive filters & campground reviews along our route. Justin loves reading the reviews, they help & sometimes they are kinda funny. We planned every stop, but are ok if things do not go exactly as planned. If we have learned anything in these past three months of being full time in our Motorhome, it’s that expectations & control over things are unrealistic & stress inducing.
At the beginning of our journey we’ve learned to get good rest & start out with a positive perspective. Yes, we are hopeful that nothing goes wrong. Still, it’s not just blind optimism, it’s the positive thinking & mind set that helps us enjoy our trips.
At the end of our last attempt to head towards AZ two weeks ago, we had an unusual vibration/shaking over our tag axle & a loss of acceleration when depressing the gas pedal. We pulled over & called a mobile RV tech service. They thought it was our fuel filter. I guess some gas stations sell bad fuel. After that was replaced we got back on the road. The acceleration was better, however, about 5 miles down the road we heard a very loud banging/scraping sound in the back. The RV shook a bit & we thought maybe we had lost a tire completely.
Luckily, we had room to pull over in a long right hand turn lane off the HWY in Rome GA. Called the RV mobile tech back & they came out. Justin could already see that our drive shaft was broken.
AAA had a very hard time getting us towed. We waited 6 hrs, then a tow truck arrived without the right equipment. They pulled off the driveshaft & left. We waited another 4-6 hrs and another tow company came out. This time they tried to attach to our welded generator bars…that are at the rear of the generator slide bracket and are L shaped. Then attempted to lift the front end. We heard a large crash & Justin came over and said, “You’re not gonna believe this, he broke off our generator bracket & we have to call another tow company.”
This is after loading the dogs into the jeep for the second time, thinking we were on our way. It got very late & around 2:30 am, The assigned AAA dispatch company called & said the guy who was helping us had to go home to care for his little one. They said in Georgia every business closes after 5 pm, so they were having trouble. They promised to call us soon with further info.
I fell asleep, but Justin ended up staying awake. At 7:30 am the next day we were told a truck was coming from Florida??? Said he would be there in 4 hrs which turned into 7 hrs. AAA dispatch called again & said it would be another 24 hrs. Crazy!!! Very unhappy to say the least.
At 2:30pm we called a tow truck company and paid out of pocket, they were there in under an hour. They towed us to a repair shop. They let us stay in their lot which was well lit & gated with surveillance.
It was memorial day weekend, so we stayed in the lot for four days. It was HOT! Almost 90 if not higher. We ran our generator for two and a half days straight. Then on the 3rd day it stopped running. We kept cool with fans and put out the awnings. There was a guy on hand who looked at it & said our thermostat was stuck. So, had to order that part the following day.
We thought maybe we were low on fuel because if the gas gets to 1/4 tank it automatically cuts off the generator. That’s the way our motorhome is made, that way we don’t burn all of our driving fuel. We paid $100 for 20 gallons of fuel. It wasn’t the gas.
Our black tank was totally full on the 4th day & we were hangin in there, but delirious. Luckily it was only a like 3/4 of a day without AC.
The driveshaft was fixed & we moved to a really nice KOA about 35 min away. We had set our gps to avoid Highways from our last trip to Manatee springs state park in FL & had forgotten to change it back. This was not a good thing.
Our gps sent us on a crazy route! First it sent us on a road which had a 12 ft tunnel, so we re-routed and turned off. This also proved to be a nightmare. It sent us up the steepest, tiniest, curvy residential road i’ve ever seen. Tree branches were hitting us, the road seemed to be getting smaller n smaller & more curvy.
Finally after getting back down to a main road & pulling over to collect ourselves; we realized the gps setting error. We felt stupid but relieved to just get back on the main hwy to the KOA. It took almost two hours to get there because of the unplanned detour because we hit rush hour.
Ugh…I had to put ice in a bowl with water and a rag to cool down the dogs just to make sure they were ok. I just felt bad for them that it was so hot. I even put a damp rag on our cat’s neck for a second. She didn’t mind, which surprised me. The KOA was a welcome oasis to say the least. Full hook ups, pool, & a fenced in doggy play yard.
While there, we had our first campfire & we drove to Chattanooga TN & toured around with the top down in the jeep. It was really fun.
The repair shop came out to install our new thermostat & then told us we needed a new radiator. We just had our generator serviced at a certified Onan service center before we left two months ago in FL. They said there were a couple of tubes rubbing up against it, maybe the faulty tow truck had just thrown it all out of whack.
They said it would be $1000.00 for a new one or 200 for them to fix plus labor & we would have to drive it back to their lot again with no AC, no thanks! So, we found a highly rated radiator repair service tech & he came out to our campsite & fixed it.
AAA didn’t get back to us on our damage claim for our generator bracket. So, the front generator door was barely hanging on & needed welding. We contacted the owner of the tow company who broke it & he happily paid a welder to fix it. Thing is, now upon further investigation, the generator hydraulic control box bar is twisted as well. So now the generator needs more repair before we head to AZ.
The owner of the tow company is letting us stay in his lot overnight because otherwise we have to drive another 90 miles to a different Onan service center
& we may have to wait up to two weeks for an appointment. We found a certfied mobile Onan repair place to come out in the morning.
While we are here we are having our brakes checked because on the way to AZ on hwy 40 we will reach 7000 feet. It’s safe, truckers drive it etc., but there are grades & brakes are a good thing. Also, our dash AC is blowing hot air lol. Omg! So, having that checked as well tomorrow.
One fine day we will be on our way again. It’s been three weeks of this.
We are parked in a wrecker lot over night. The generator was surging a bit, so wanna make sure it’s all good before a long trip.
I’m reminded that it could be worse looking at all of these totaled cars n trucks. Again, we have learned to keep our plans open for unexpected repairs like this. So tonight we shall put out the slides, chill & watch direct tv 😎.
Sometimes I like to remember that everything happens for a reason. Like maybe if we had left on time we might have run into a tornado in Oklahoma or something.
Justin is playing with the dogs & there’s a grassy area to walk them outside in the junk yard. Junk yards are pretty cool, I should get the DSLR camera out & take some cool photos before the sun goes down.
The saga continues…