About Us

Chris and Dennis are traveling around the country seeing the sights and occasionally volunteering at select locations. We avoid the interstate as much as we can and tend to stop for squirrels and shiny objects.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Adversity or Opportunity

: a difficult situation or condition : misfortune or tragedy

Yep, that about sums it up. Just before Thanksgiving Day we took the motorhome to a local dealer to top off the propane tank and as we were getting ready to leave, I got a “check engine” light on the dashboard. No other information, just that silly icon and the words. I wasn't too worried, the rig was purring nicely and nothing seemed amiss so we returned to the campground for the holiday.

The following Saturday we managed to get the rig into a local diesel shop to find out what the problem actually was and from the code determined it was a DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) heater line problem. Once again, since the rig was running smoothly with no problems and our cold spell had passed with no threats of freezing in the forecast we proceeded to Cape Blanco. Mistake, should have stayed in Coos Bay.

50 miles later, on the way in from the highway to the campground, the rig began losing power and wouldn't go faster than 50 mph. Even I got the hint there was something wrong, terribly wrong and I needed to park it quick. There are no real turn arounds before the campground so the safest, most secure place to park was actually in our assigned space (we also had cell service at the site – amazing!)

A call to Freightliner with a walk thru over the phone with a mechanic to check diagnostics (didn't know it had that feature) confirmed a DEF problem. There were additional errors which told them there was no way the rig was going to make it to a service facility; it was going to need to be towed.

Sure, no problem, simply send a tow truck, hookup and head on down the road. Nope, not going to happen. The tow truck was close to 45ft long and like all campgrounds, space was tight. We decided I would drive to the highway (5 miles) and we would hookup there. Oh, and the closest facility was a mere 190 miles away in Coburg, Oregon.

So, Wednesday morning we disconnected, started up, and then LIMPED on out to the highway at a screaming 5 mph. It was almost an hour before we met the tow truck and another 2 hours to be on our way with Chris and I following in our Jeep.

Now, why such a long story? You know the old saw about lemons and lemonade? Well, adversity is like that. Yes, we had to make a long trip following behind our home as it was being towed. BUT, without this little episode we probably would not have seen so many elk alongside the road.

Nor would we have managed to get over Cabelas for their wonderful in-store fudge.
The a boot scraper was a nice bonus as well.

The folks at Pacific Truck Centers were super friendly and completed the repairs (a silly loose wire in a connector) Thursday evening so we were all set for a Friday return and what a fantastic return it was! We got up in blustery rain and stayed in blustery rain until we hit Reedsport. There, the wind calmed down a bit and the sun came out; just in time for a breakfast stop at Leona's. An old 60/70's style diner and if you haven't had the country potatoes there, you really haven't had them.

An hour later we were back "home" near the beach in sunshine and a wonderful breeze.

So, a stressful few days filled with adversity. Or, was it simply a small glitch allowing for a very nice opportunity. I prefer to think the latter.

Kudos to Pacific Truck Center in Coburg. They understood very well they were working on our home, not just an RV. Also two thumbs up to Big John Towing out of Eugene. They drove the nearly four hours to meet us, then another four to get us to Coburg. A long fourteen hour day when you include the hookup and disconnect. John and Mike remained cheerful, professional and most important; patient.