Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Experience is a teacher: day 3

A former Chrysler mechanic was called out of retirement to work on the rig. It turns out the alternator was fine, there were two loose wires and the ground wire was bouncing on the engine, causing the problems. I had run the generator while I drove and the house batteries were fully charged. The starter battery was down to five volts.

At 1:30, both the mechanic and the man who runs the repair facility showed me the work they had done. New wiring was installed, a new regulator was installed and I was told to start the engine. It clicked but didn't turn over. I was reminded that the starter battery had almost been depleted and I was assured within 10 minutes, it would be fully charged. The head of the repair facility looked me in the eye and said, "I know. I guarantee it will be fine or I wouldn't let you drive it."

As you can imagine, I was very apprehensive about getting on the road again. We started the engine with the magic starter button and I saw the alternator gauge begin to move toward the middle. Another deep breath and we headed for Redmond.

We arrived at the fairgrounds at 3 and found the registration area. Andrea went inside with the paperwork while I sat in the RV with the engine running. No shutting off the engine until I knew exactly where we were going to be parked. She came out and said since I was a day late arriving, no one knew where I was supposed to go and suggested I try the exhibitor registration (since we were working in a booth).

I pulled into the exhibitor registration area and left the engine running. I tried to explain who I am and what I was doing there, begging for a 30 amp spot instead of dry camping. Finally, Bob Livingston (the same man who wrote the RV repair manual) was called, he found me on the seminar instructors list and I told him about the problems we had. I pleaded for an electrical hookup, pointed to the idling RV and told him I was afraid to shut off the engine. He said, "Follow me. I'll take care of you."

He climbed in a golf cart and we followed him into a brand-new RV park that was being set up next to the fairgrounds. He directed me into a back-in site with full hookups. Wow! Our 10.5-hour trip had taken 48 hours but we arrived safely.

I turned off the engine.


  1. Bless you, I can't imagine the frustration you are feeling. I wish you still had Wendy. I think this should be a lesson to the rest of us. At least with our own rig, we know how it was cared for. I hope you get a new MH soon. Hoping you will be in Pennsylvania next year. Lindad and "Eliza" my Jamboree

  2. I think you will soon have all the bugs worked out of this one. You know you are really learning a LOT about how RV engines and systems work, and passing it along to all of us. That is a nice silver lining. Plus, your RV is still the cutest thing going. Good luck and keep on trucking!