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, $2.39 a gallon. I don’t think I’ve ever put diesel fuel in at a cheaper price. A great feeling.
Finished fueling and I started up the Journey ready to go. And Murphy struck. That no good *&$^#@*~^%!!!
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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