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On the road shop horror stories


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If you are ready my thread on what parts to carry, it sounds like the days of the Wild West are alive and well when it comes to repairs on the road. 
 

Let me hear your stories, and don’t hold back on $$$$ and time lost.

I’ve read a lot of threads on $5k Capps pumps. 

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I'll start, not that bad but we broke down due to a clogged fuel filter. Coasted into a loves truck stop that had a sevice bay. Which was completely useless. Had to unload the car and drive to a napa 30 minutes away to get the right filter which in turn was not the clogged filter. Was my racor 300 200 prefilter. All in all we spent the night at a truck stop and then made it home. 1 day about $70

... so far

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Never had to do a repair on the road. Grateful about this, but always try to preempt trouble!

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12 minutes ago, Rick A said:

Never had to do a repair on the road. Grateful about this, but always try to preempt trouble!

That’s where I’m at. Tearing most of it apart so that I know what it’s all about and that I know what’s been fixed and/or replaced. 

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Posted (edited)

After living Full-Time in the coach for 14+ years plus 7 of those we were constantly traveling around the US & Canada, I have had my share of roadside emergencies. That's why my VERY first road travel recommendation is to have Coach-Net in your back pocket. My coach and 30 foot trailer have been towed three different times, one in Oregon, once in Northern British Columbia and once in Virginia. Of those three the most expensive tow was while sitting on the Cassier highway coming from Alaska in the middle of nowhere with no mobile signal. Had to drive the car back north 40 miles to get to a satellite phone to call in for ERS. Nearest recovery truck shop that could handle my coach & trailer was over 200 miles away. They arrived around 3 pm, had everything ready to go by 6 pm and arrived at the truck repair shop by 11 pm. I ask the driver what I would have had to pay for that tow and it was over $7000 but all that I gave them was my signature and a VERY big thank you.

I've had bad fuel in Yukon, blown trailer tires in Canada & Kentucky, blown engine coolant lines in Oregon and Virginia, car jump start in California, broken coolant filter valves thanks to Speedco in LA and NV which Cummins repaired two times. Numerous other services performed all over the country. That's why I gave my second most important thing to carry is a credit card. Rebuilt alternators in Anchorage and Adirondacks, new dash AC compressor, drier, low pressure valve replaced while in Florida and so much more. I also made a post about having my exhaust manifold replaced which Cummins in Orlando wanted over $5000 but found this awesome shop in Orlando just down the road from Josam's that did it for less then $1500.

However, even though the coach looks like it's been through a war zone I always keep it mechanically sound and ready to travel.

This winter I want to add the FASS Fuel pump to alleviate having to replace the CAPS fuel system possibly.

Edited by Dr4Film
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5 minutes ago, Dr4Film said:

After living Full-Time in the coach for 14+ years plus 7 of those we were constantly traveling around the US & Canada, I have had my share of roadside emergencies. That's why my VERY first road travel recommendation is to have Coach-Net in your back pocket. My coach and 30 foot trailer have been towed three different times, one in Oregon, once in Northern British Columbia and once in Virginia. Of those three the most expensive tow was while sitting on the Cassier highway coming from Alaska in the middle of nowhere with no mobile signal. Had to drive the car back north 40 miles to get to a satellite phone to call in for ERS. Nearest recovery truck shop that could handle my coach & trailer was over 200 miles away. They arrived around 3 pm, had everything ready to go by 6 pm and arrived at the truck repair shop by 11 pm. I ask the driver what I would have had to pay for that tow and it was over $7000 but all that I gave them was my signature and a VERY big thank you.

I've had bad fuel in Yukon, blown trailer tires in Canada & Kentucky, blown engine coolant lines in Oregon and Virginia, car jump start in California, broken coolant filter valves thanks to Speedco in LA and NV which Cummins repaired two times. Numerous other services performed all over the country. That's why I gave my second most important thing to carry is a credit card. Rebuilt alternators in Anchorage and Adirondacks, new dash AC compressor, drier, low pressure valve replaced while in Florida and so much more. I also made a post about having my exhaust manifold replaced which Cummins in Orlando wanted over $5000 but found this awesome shop in Orlando just down the road from Josam's that did it for less then $1500.

However, even though the coach looks like it's been through a war zone I always keep it mechanically sound and ready to travel.

This winter I want to add the FASS Fuel pump to alleviate having to replace the CAPS fuel system possibly.

One of my first mods, the FASS. 

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I guess I'm not alone but I've never broke down on the road. But I suppose I have an unfair advantage being a retired mechanic. The worst on the road repair I've ever had to make was a u-joint in my pick-up truck when we had a trailer. With over 100,000 miles of RVing, none of my rigs have ever been in a shop. We are blessed though, it could happen some day.

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44 minutes ago, Tom Wallis said:

I guess I'm not alone but I've never broke down on the road. But I suppose I have an unfair advantage being a retired mechanic. The worst on the road repair I've ever had to make was a u-joint in my pick-up truck when we had a trailer. With over 100,000 miles of RVing, none of my rigs have ever been in a shop. We are blessed though, it could happen some day.

Awesome! It pays to have a working knowledge, though I feel most who own coaches are ahead of the game or learn fast about how things work 

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Posted (edited)

Got back to Montana from Canada and next morning could no go over 45 mph. Changed both fuel filters on the 400 ISL/caps engine and filled up… no difference. Made it to a CG in Columbia Falls and Cummins could get to me in 2 weeks… found a big truck repair 5 miles away that could fit me in. Liked the mechanic and we decided to replace the lift pump because of low pressure. Cummins had the lift pump and said I didn’t have to replace the base will all the fuel lines… not true.

Test drove Friday afternoon and same problem. Over the weekend I Googled the code:

1 …change fuel filters…done. 

2…check for air in the fuel. $10 of fittings and clear plastic tubing, air in the fuel could be seen. Started at the tank trying to tighten the main fuel line before taking off. Pulled dip tube looking  for a hole even though the tank was full. Put back in and replaced the hose, not as tight as when I took it off. Checked for air and there was none. Test drove and problem solved. 
Monday went back to truck place to finish paying and parked away from the shop. Mechanic said “I knew you’d fix it, what was it?” Air in the fuel at the fitting at the tank. He said in the fall this was not unusual but not in the summer. The fuel tank coming out of Canada was almost empty so the fuel was very hot. The next morning it was in the low 40s….a 100 degree change. Never had this problem again.

I now know changing the lift pump was a dumb thing to do, as it only runs for 30 seconds to help in starting the engine. Sorry, but I would include adding a FASS pump in the same category.  

Edited by Ivylog
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Trying to guess at what you will need is simply impossible. Plan your trip so IF you break down, you are not obligated to be somewhere else or it's something that can be cancelled. That way two things can happen... First, buy the part you need since you won't have to guess what it is. (Do your shopping on the web and they will ship it or bring it to you.) Second, have an RV tech (maybe back home) on speed dial and they might be able to order for you. Then just set there and wait for the part. I also recommend getting some emergency road service coverage. (I use Coachnet - I do NOT sell it)

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