Part 1 of 2 Parts
What started out as a Mini vacation to take the motor home and get away for a few days turned into a mis-adventure, “is that a word ?” instead of a nice relaxing vacation. I wanted to get away in our motor home and take a small trip to visit Friends and Family in Idaho about 400 miles one way. I guess I was in a hurry to get started and jumped the gun a day early. The plan was to leave on a Tuesday or Wednesday Morning, But I left at 2:30 In the afternoon heat on Monday. About 5 miles from home a car passed me and pointed to the right so I stopped and checked the front tires on the motor home because it was pulling hard to the right. Hmm no low tires. I checked the Steer Safe which is installed on the motor home looking to see if something was bent. I could see nothing wrong. I continued on and about 75 miles along the way another car pulled along side and pointed to the rear of the motor home and waved me to pull over. I pulled over and inspected all of the tires this time including those on the Toad (Jeep Liberty). I then discovered in my haste to get started that I must not have turned the Ignition key far enough to unlock the steering wheel. the wheels were cocked on the Jeep and the steering wheel was locked. Brand new tires ruined on the front of the Jeep. I guess that when I went around the first corner the wheels turned and the steering locked. I checked before I left home to make sure the steering wheel was unlocked, but like I said I must not have turned the key far enough and when I went around the first corner the steering wheel locked. Well I double checked and unlocked the steering wheel and we continued on our way. Boy what a improvement with the motor home steering. It stopped pulling to the right. Smooth sailing Now, Ha Ha, no such luck.
The Temperature was in the high 90’s and 10 more miles down the road the dash air conditioner quit working, blowing hot air. Put it on vent and at 65 MPH got some relief. We stopped and had lunch at a truck stop along the way. We started out after lunch and then more problems. The motor home was acting sluggish pulling some very steep grades and would backfire some times, but on the level it seemed to be OK, that is until we were approaching Twin Falls Idaho. I was down to 40 mph and backfiring. I took the first off ramp into Twin Falls Id at the junction of I-84 and Hwy 93, trying to make it to the Flying J truck stop. Pulling a slight grade on the off ramp, The motor home quit and would not start. I managed to get far enough over so I was not blocking traffic. I called Good Sam ERS (Emergency Road Service) we won’t leave home with out it. Told them that I was stalled and needed a Tow Truck to take motor home to the Ford Garage. They dispatched a wrecker and he came in about 40 minutes and towed up to the ford garage. We unhooked the Jeep and drove across the Street to a Motel 8 Where we spent the night. About 11:00 that night I sat up in Bed and told my dear wife I know what happened The motor home was starving for gas “its Vapor Lock” I said. I bet it will start right up in the Morning. The next Morning I got up and went to the Ford Garage were the motor home was parked. Sure enough it started right up. I told the service manager that I wanted a estimate of what it would cost to fix the problem. He acted like he really did not want to work on it. He said he would have a mechanic look at it and give me a estimate in a couple of hours. I went back to the Motel and about an hour later, they called and said it would cost $1600 to $2000 to replace the fuel pump. I told them I would be over to pick it up.
We went right over and hooked the Jeep Up and headed out. Motor home running fine, but still no Dash AC. So I ran the Generator and the Coach Air conditioners. No long grades to climb and level road the rest of the way. It was hot out, but the engine did not Vapor Lock. We made it to our destination with no further problems. The next day we went into Boise Idaho to do some shopping and see about tires for the front of the Jeep. It was my lucky day. My wife got the papers out of the glove box and discovered that I had bought the tire insurance when I got them. No questions asked and they replaced both front tires in an hour. no cost to me. Saved me over $180 for tires. I then started looking at motor homes thinking about trading up. But that is another story.