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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guess We Really Weren’t Supposed To Go

We’ve been looking forward to our mini “vacation” to Florida in the Journey.  We’ve been planning on chucking our South Dakota mail service and “moving” to the Sunshine State.  After all the extreme cold weather we’ve been having, this was going to be a welcome change, even if for only about 10 days.

I’ve been waiting for a break in the weather and this morning we got it.  60 degrees was perfect for me to take care of the outside tasks to get the Journey ready.  Number one job was to change the oil in the generator, we do tend to use it pretty heavily when we’re traveling so fresh oil and filter meant we’d be good for another 150 hours of run time.

I got it done, and even had time to take the old oil and filter to the nearby recycling center.  Scratch that off the list.

Since we’ve been sitting since last September at the COE, I knew it was very important to check the tire pressures.  Every tire was down about 10 psi from where I like it, so I dragged out my air hose and filler attachment.  The Journey has an air manifold I can hook the hose into and with running the engine I have a source of compressed air to fill the tires.

I topped off each tire to the proper pressure and wrestled the air hose back into its storage space.  It’s pretty stiff on the warmest days, with all the recent cold weather, it was quite a battle.

The Journey purred like a kitten, I had put the engine block heater on two days ago.  Diesels like to be warm.  We got everything stowed away, dumped tanks, pulled in the slides and raised the levelers.  I even remembered the correct procedure to hook up our Honda Element Toad!

Off we went, hitting the road felt absolutely great.  I headed to a nearby fuel stop where I topped off the fuel tank, $2.39 a gallon.  I don’t think I’ve ever put diesel fuel in at a cheaper price.  A great feeling.

Finished fueling and I started up the Journey ready to go.  And Murphy struck.  That no good *&$^#@*~^%!!!

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I got an alarm ringing and a red symbol on my dash.  Looking down I saw the top air pressure gauge was reading zero when it should have been reading the same as the bottom gauge.  Was is this so important?

Because the Journey has air brakes.

Ok, now into the trouble shooting mode.  I know the air compressor was working, and the air brake system filter (which I replaced every three years) was good, because I had air pressure to the bottom gauge.

I shut off the engine and pulled the drain cords on the three air tanks, all released air and no water drained out, so I knew air pressure was getting into the tanks to work the brakes.  Next I checked the wiring to the tank’s pressure sensors, and disconnected and reconnected the wires.  No luck, the gauge still read zero and the alarm still was ringing.  I have most likely a defective pressure sensor or gauge.  Neither are in my spare parts locker.

Marti and I debated what to do.  The reason we wanted to go to Florida now was to change our address and renew the Journey and Element’s registrations in Florida. 

Since there was the correct amount of air in all the tanks and the brakes worked properly, we could have just driven down and back with the alarm ringing.  Nope, not a good idea, I’d go nuts with the noise.

We could go to a local Freightliner shop and see if they could squeeze us in, or head to the Freightliner RV Service Center in Gaffney, SC and wait in their parking lot until they could take us in.  Neither choice sounded good.

We decided to put it off until next year.  We returned to the COE campground instead.  I’ll be making an appointment with the Freightliner Service Center in Gaffney, SC to get the air pressure problem fixed as well as the yearly maintenance done at the same time.  Mid April looks like a good time to get it done.

It could have been worse, the Journey could have traveled back on the end of a tow truck’s hook, so we’re thankful it wasn’t required. 

I guess we really weren’t supposed to go.  It’s wonderful to be Semper Gumby (Always Flexible).

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Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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22 comments:

  1. Look at the bright side. At least you got to fill up at $2.39 a gallon!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  2. We found that the longer the MH sat between trips, the more "off the wall" problems came up when we started traveling again. That's why we got rid of the MH when we stopped traveling full-time.

    Trailers seem to be able to sit longer between trips without major problems.

    Jim

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  3. So sorry to hear of your latest problem. Keep smiling and looking ahead!

    Selene

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  4. Sorry you won't be joining us at Crestview Condos this year but we'll keep the light on for you! :)

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  5. Bummer! But you sure have a great attitude about it all. And you're right... it could have been a big bummer.

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  6. When you get here to the Crestview Condos, we're on the 4th floor. But why are you waiting an entire year and having to renew your moved mail address? Won't that mean you have to change your address twice with everywhere? Come on down in your car, it's only a hop skip and a jump.

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    Replies
    1. We thought about that, too, but another reason we wanted to take the MH was to get a fogged up window fixed at a place in Hudson, FL. Since the vehicle's registration was due to run out at the end of this month, we figured we had to renew online in SD now.

      We have a cruise set for the end of April out of Port Canaveral and we plan to take the MH with us and get the window fixed then. We can still make the mail switch then when we have no time crunch.

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  7. That doesn't sound good. We went to the Murphy's Law Irish Pub today. If we had known he was out causing you trouble, we might have asked to speak to him about it.

    Sorry to hear about the latest adventure. We only like the good ones.

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  8. Been out of the loop for a week or so. Sorry about your troubles. Hope Murphy leaves me alone when I try to blow this Popsicle stand the first of April.

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  9. Hmmm sounds like you were not meant to go... perhaps Fate intervened and prevented some tragedy. Ya never know?

    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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  10. I like how Karen thinks..things happen for a reason :) Glad that at least you didn't lose your brakes.

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  11. What a great attitude! Look on the bright side.....you have a full tank of fuel at a record price and you are safe and sound. God is good!

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  12. That is the way an Rv lifestyle is good luck with the fix.
    Our coach has never sat for more than 2 weeks six 2006 and pretty well no problems.
    Right now has been sitting in sub zero temperatures all by itself for probably 3 months or longer, will be a miracle if all goes well when we hit the road.

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  13. I have an air hose to air my tires with connected into my air system. If this is your setup, is it possible you left the release valve open after filling your tires?

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    Replies
    1. Good thought, but no, I did check that valve.

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  14. Sorry about your speed bump. You could just change the mail service now and the registrations later.

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  15. I'm sure this little detour in the road will work out. They always do.

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  16. We had a similar experience in our 2003 Itasca Horizon in 2013 heading down a steep grade in eastern Tennessee. Both gauges went to zero and the alarm went off. Talk about about adrenaline! We called Freightliner as soon as we could get to the side of the highway and were assured that if the yellow brake knob did not pop out we still had air pressure. We continued on driving with the buzzer sounding. Annoying to the max. That evening we found a link on iRV2/forums that explained the fix. Turns out the solder joints in the VDU (vehicle data unit) were faulty and just happened to pick that moment to go. We did the repair ourselves and were back on the road the next day. We have never had another problem. So if you go to iRV2/forums you can find the fix. If you feel comfortable and handy with a soldering pen, you can repair it yourself and still make Florida.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jeff, I went and read up about the VDU. My chassis, a 2007, has a different kind of unit, Freightliner made a change around 2005.

      But I do appreciate your comment, it was spot on if I had an older chassis. :c)

      Delete
  17. Well dang... that really stinks:o(( All of us Crestview Condo Owners were so excited to think a real celebrity was moving into our community. I guess now we will have to wait for a year to see our property values increase!! Hope you get the Journey fixed and can make the move when the time is right.

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  18. I’m sorry to hear about the delay of your trip to the Sunshine State. But you should be thankful that this mishaps didn’t happen while on you’re on the road, which will be more inconvenient. Well, there’s always a next time. Good luck, and drive safely!

    Liza Pilon @ Prairie City RV

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