Tim & Jans Tow Truck Saga

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Tim & Jan

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Mar 3, 2005
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175
This during our trip across Newfoundland.

Saturday 7/9, Got gas, then stopped at tourist center 1/4 mile down the road. Picked up information, returned to motorhome and it started OK, put it in gear and the engine dies after about 3 feet.  After trying to restart several times called Workhorse Roadside Assistance, when they, after making sure that we were in a safe place, transferred me to a service rep. After listening to my tale he had me check four fuses and all looked OK. I asked if he thought that my just filling the tank may be involved and he said no, it seems to be an electrical problem. The rep transferred me back to Roadside Assistance who would arrange for us to be towed. After giving them our location at about one hour west of St. John?s Newfoundland on TC1, they started searching for a tow company. After about a half-hour, they called to say that the only company they could find, that had a big enough truck, was about 200 miles west and if they used that company we would be towed to the mainland, probably New Brunswick. I said that with all the semis up here that there has to be a tow company in St. John?s, the largest city in Newfound land. Got a call back in about a half-hour and they found Avalon Towing, but now couldn?t find a campground to tow us to. I told them that we had reservations in a campground 15 miles away in nearby Greens Harbour, one of the places they called, and then they were able to take us there. Roadside Assistance would have to wait until Monday to try and find a place to tow us to for service.

Monday 7/11, The closest Workhorse authorized dealer is about 1000 mile away, but Roadside Assistance was able to reach an agreement with Hickman General Motors in St. John?s, who have a truck division. Arrangements are made for tow truck to return, pick us up and deliver us to truck dealer in St. John's, about 60 miles away. Arrive at service and they turn the ignition and motorhome starts right up. That's bad news, now the COMPUTER cannot diagnose the problem. We stayed in their lot overnight and restarted the engine more than twenty times and it started each time. Roadside Assistance told the dealer that if  it keeps starting OK that they would only pay for one hour of time.

Tuesday 7/12 Next morning it started and we had the dealer replace the fuel filter, just in case. We moved a couple of miles away to Pippy Park campground where we had reservations for 3 days. Arrived and stopped to register. Started up to drive to our site...motorhome dies in about 500 feet, however it restarts and we got settled into our site. Called service guys, arranged to drive back over on Thursday to have them take another look. Called Roadside Assistance to let them know what happened and talked to a service rep that was a real jerk and offered no help, even after we explained that we are now getting real concerned for our safety, not just being inconvenienced since the motorhome just dies without warning while driving. Called Roadside Assistance back, got an understanding person and he got authorization for us to return to Hickman.

Thursday 7/14 We have 8:00 AM appointment, motorhome starts right up and we head over to the dealer. As we make the turn onto one of the busiest roads in town it dies!  Fortunately it was 4 lanes so we only blocked one complete lane in the middle of rush hour.  We lost track of the number of people that stopped to see if we needed assistance, drivers, walkers, bikers, everyone. They tell us that corner has the most accidents in town.  Again called service, they send their guys to us with equipment to check out computer. It took them awhile since they had truck trouble on the way to see us.  Finally they found the problem to be the fuel pump which is located inside the gas tank. Two hours later the tow truck arrived to take us to the dealer a few miles away. They removed the tank while we were still hooked up to the tow truck, remember we have a full tank since we have been towed all over the country,  and then got towed to the tow company lot. When they dropped the tank, they found that the plug-in connector at the pump had started to burn up. Seems like the only fuel pump is in Chicago and will take a few days. Avalon towing placed us in a spot where they provided electric and allowed us to tie into their internet connection. They wanted to put a barbecue out here for us, we said NO we expect to be out touring.

One more tow back to Hickman should be the last of our saga. This is the short version of the story. We probably will be here until at least Monday, but now we know what the problem is. Life is a trip!!  We'll plan some drives for the next few days and then see what happens when the new pump is installed.

We will try to start another topic regarding the old Monaco gas pusher Avalon Towing is converting to a front engine diesel MH.

 

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Ned

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So the fuel pump connect inside the fuel tank was burning up?  Wow, that could be a real disaster.  Glad to hear they found it in time.

You site looks very satellite friendly :)
 

Lorna

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Mar 7, 2005
Posts
1,181
Hi Tim and Jan

Up to now your trip sounded really good but sorry to hear about the problem you are having now. ?Thank goodness you didn't have a fire. ?Certainly hope the rest of your trip goes well. ?Looking forward to the next writting of your trip.
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
Sorry to hear you are experiencing difficulties.  Sounds like they have found the anomaly and can fix it for you.  Glad no serious damage occurred.  Have enjoyed your travel reports.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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25,259
Location
Davison Michigan
Well, there is good news, and I suspect better news

The good news: They found the problem

The better news: It is very likely under warranty

So, give it a day or three and you will be on the road again


Where I work we have a simular problem... Strangely if I'd have had the MH there Tues morning I coudl have fixed it, But I did not

The problem is they moved the fuel tank at the request of the fire inspector (don't know why, it's not gas) and at the new site the pump has to be battery operated... Well the battery clips overheat....

The reaosn is a bad crimp connection

I have a professional factory grade crimper in my MH (Ok,So it's for the Power Pole system I use for12vcd power,but you drop off the special modification and it is a first class crimper)

This thing works with up to 40 amp cables.. Works good too Best crimp connections I"ve ever made
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
Glad they found the problem and you were no more than moderately inconvenienced.  Sounds like Avalon & Hickman really went out of the way to help you out. Even Workhorse seemed to be quite helpful, which if certainly what we would hope to hear but sadly is not always the case. 

I've been forwarding your forum posts to Linda DeMars because they don't visit the forum very often.  We just spent three days with them up at Moosehead Lake, in northern Maine.  Now we are back in Camden, Me and they are home in CT.
 

Tim & Jan

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Mar 3, 2005
Posts
175
John,

It is under warranty and we will just keep siteseeing til it's ready.
 

Tim & Jan

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Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
175
Ned & Lorna,

The connector is outside of the tank, but if there were fumes when it was trying to run the pump it could maybe be a problem, although the rubber boot is pretty tight. We were also concerned that the engine would die going up or down some serious hill.

The site was open enough, but haven't had any signal since coming into Newfoundland.
 

Ken & Sheila

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Mar 5, 2005
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3,840
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S Dakota
Tim & Jan,

I really glad the found the problem.

We been towed several times with the Imperial. Both time a broken hydraulic line. No big deal except the second time was in Chicken Alaska.

The Imperial had a problem of occasionally dying on the way from Florida to Arizona in late 1997. Died once in Florida on an exit ramp, then in Texas (somewhere). Then as we exited the freeway in NM. Finally on our last day driving to QZ I wired the fuel value/gate "open" and ran to QZ without shutting down.

Spartan had me replace a solenoid, but a test trip proved that not to be the answer. Finally I was poking around the engine an found the terminals on the alternator were severely corroded. I so pulled the alternator and drove it to Phoenix to be rebuilt. The alternator failed to 2 years prior also. I found the the coolant filter valve was just above the alternator and was leaking. Antifreeze with air is very corrosive to cooper.

Aren't motorhomes fun! Sheila and I have been in some great repair shops over the years!

ken
 

Tim & Jan

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Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
175
Gary,

We were really lucky as to where we were located when the engine quit those three times.

Can't say enough good things about Avalon Towing and Hickman Motors. As to Workhorse, Roadside Assistance, overall did a great job and showed concern for our safety. I wish that Workhorse would have waived their one hour maximum diagnostic time, considering that we were in the best place possible in Newfoundland. Water over the bridge!

Thanks for the forwarding to Paul and Linda.
 

Tim & Jan

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Mar 3, 2005
Posts
175
Ken,

We hope to not set any record for the number of repair shops visits!
 

DonJordan

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Jan 29, 2005
Posts
353
Tim And Jan,

Sorry to hear of your problems but glad that the problem has been found and taken care of.  At least you were in a great sight seeing location for your  enforced lay-over.  Hope the rest of your trip is uneventful.  See you in AZ.
 

Tim & Jan

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
175
Our fuel pump came in at noon Monday and, after getting towed to the dealer, were finished up by 4:00 and off traveling again. We will skip a couple of planned stops and head towards Gros Morne.
 

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