Finally, the day came! We hit the road and the wheels actually rolled with no flat spots. An 8:45 am departure, it would have been a little sooner but we had to say goodbye to some of our friends at the campground.
In no time we were headed west towards Atlanta, GA and then planned to head Northwest. But a speed bump came along.
Marti asked me if I smelled something funny. I knew I was wearing shoes, I had recently showered and even had put on deodorant when I dressed this morning. I said “No”.
Marti said that she smelled something burning. I didn’t smell anything, no wait, I did smell something burning. Spying a dumptruck pulled off to the side of the road, I said it must be the source of the smell.
Except the smell didn’t go away. Marti had to investigate, so she started from the front seat of the Journey to the back bedroom. She said there was a bad burning smell from the bedroom.
I knew it couldn’t be my dirty socks because I had done the laundry, so I found a rest area and pulled over.
Sure enough, there was a burning smell coming from under the bed.
Uh oh. In the compartment under the bed resides the battery charger/inverter. I had read that many Winnebago owners have had this component fail.
There is a cooling fan on top of the unit and it is vented up into the bedroom, under the bed. There is a vent hole there. And the fan was blowing a hot, burning smell up into the vent hole.
I did some experiments to see if this was going to stop our trip, I ran the generator, slight smell. I touched the unit, warm but not hot. I ran the inverter. Bad smell! I shut off the invertor and opened our Fantastic Fan and set it on High. Soon the burning smell dissipated.
I turned off the charger part of the unit too and we kept going. Then we started talking about how can we get this fixed.
For one, we didn’t want to go back and cancel our trip. We decided it was best to push on. Since the Journey’s diesel engine does charge both the chassis and house batteries when running, we were not going to be disabled and stuck. We can run the generator and still use all the 120V devices, the TV, some lights, the A/C, etc.
So we ran down different plans. One was I could get another unit from the Lichtsinn Motors where I buy my parts, have it overnighted to my son Ryan’s house and install it myself. Not a good idea. The part is expensive, around a thousand dollars. I have an extended warranty and the company would not pay me to fix it myself.
Next was do an Internet search for a Camping World near Ryan’s house and see if we could stop on the way. That way we could use the extended warranty. Nope, the nearest one is 150 miles away in the wrong direction.
Then the idea came up to head up to the Winnebago factory service center, about 400 miles North of Ryan’s house. That would mess up our visit unless I dropped Marti off to stay with the granddaughters and visit while I drove up, got the work done and came back. Maybe.
Then we Googled around and found a Winnebago dealer in St. Louis. Of course, being a Saturday, and late in the afternoon, it was closed when we called.
So we’re pressing on and will get settled in the closest campground (25 minutes) by Ryan’s and attack the problem on Monday.
What are we going to do? We’ll tell you when we figure it all out. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, we’ve stopped for the night in Kentucky after a short PDD driving day, only 550 miles. The Flying J was a welcome sight indeed.
I parked and did a walk around, checking the Journey over and I found something really odd on one of the basement compartment doors.
A closer look.
Don’t know where we picked up this hitchhiker, but he sure hung on tight. It took a bit of a struggle to get him off and safely on the Flying J’s lawn. After hanging with us for who knows how long, I wanted him to be safe.
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