Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not the Wall Mart we were planning on

It was a rainy drizzly day and I put in some hours with the non-profit company that I do some part-time work for. It is a great situation. While I was working most of the morning, Pam did the wash at the free laundry at the campground.Meanwhile, Ed was doing what he does best...We wanted to be at a Wall Mart near Kelly's place in Dallas for the night, so we headed out just before 1:00 PM. It was raining on and off. I used my duct-taped wiper a couple of times and was pleased that it held up.The replacement was sent from the factory and is waiting at Kelly's. We were making good time. First we stopped and filled up with diesel. Later, stopped in Waco at a truck stop and got our propane tanks filled since they were getting a little low. Then we moved on down the road.

Everything was fine until...the engine started chugging...and I was losing RPMs...and speed!
I was able to pull over along a tight section of the highway before the engine shut down!
Yikes! This is not good...

I called the Tiffin factory and left a message.
Next (at 3:45PM) I called CoachNet (sort of like AAA for RVs). They said it would take a while to find a wrecker and send one out.

So we waited and watched some TV and read and posted updates to our status on Twitter...
Marlin at Tiffin called back and said we needed to call Freightliner. I called them but it was past business hours so I will followup tomorrow with them. CoachNet indicated that we were going to be towed to Duncan Freightliner in Waco.

Marlin said I should request a reference number from Freightliner. He also gave me his personal number and told me to call him and let him know if he could help. Tiffin is the best! They couldn't send a tow truck-- but the gave me some help and a phone number and they care. At this point in the day I was glad for that.

Happiness (at 5:52 PM)is seeing one of those big boys back up along the side of the road for you! The driver was nice and helpful. He asked what kind of suspension we had. I explained to him (as I had done with CoachNet on the phone) that we have independent front wheel suspension. He was concerned and took a look underneath the front of the rig and confirmed his hunch.

Bad news for us --- he said he was afraid he was going to mess up the tie rods? or something, because his tow truck would likely damage the square tubular something underneath our RV. He couldn't tow us.Sadness is watching what you thought was the solution pulling away and leaving us...

So we called CoachNet again (at 6:03PM) and started the whole process over. CoachNet said they would find someone else. We knew it was going to be a while, so Pam fixed dinner. Right now a couple of frozen dinners (pasta and Mexican) tasted pretty good.Later, I tried starting the engine since it had been a couple of hours. It worked! We decided to slowly move about 3/4 mile down the road to the first exit and pull off the highway into a small truck stop.
At 6:47PM I called CoachNet to let them know where we were. This place was better, but there were no RVs at the truck stop and lots of noise and lots of trucks.
At 7:53PM CoachNet called us back and said they could not find a tow truck tonight but that someone would be here by 10:00 AM tomorrow. So we made plans for the night.

We saw a Wall Mart across the highway and checked it out. It was a much better option so went back and got the Roadrunner and drove over there. We called CoachNet to update our location.

We went inside for some retail therapy (as Pam calls it) and bought some bread and milk and diet Dr Pepper. Then we went back to the Roadrunner and read some more before we turned in.

And with that we will see what the new day brings. Another day in the life of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks for following.


  1. I wish you the best! It is unnerving to be broken down. So glad you were able to inch your way to a Wal-Mart. Take Care!!

  2. Hi guys! I haven't commented in awhile, but hope that everything gets taken care of for you.
    Randy, you may already be aware of this, but the wiper problem seems to happen to many folks with the Tiffin. Go over to the Tiffin forum and do a search.
    Be safe!

  3. I sure hope it's a quick and easy fix, Randy, and that you get back on the road soon. You seem to be handling it quite well though - and Pam too. Keep us posted, o.k.

  4. Hi guys, I sure hope that it is a minor fix for you... I know how frustrating all this can be. Hopefully you are already back on the road.

    Have fun & Travel safe!

  5. Hi guys,
    So sorry to hear about the break down. We hope you can get things fixed and back on the road ASAP. Hang in there.
    We are also sorry we were unable to make the rally. Don't know if you know or not but Mike's mom had some heart issues and we had to fly to Nashville to take of her. We are now back at Hagerman (Denison, Tx.) but hope to meet you guys one day on the road somewhere. I am sure you all had tons of fun.

    Mike and Gerri (happytrails)