Thursday, October 28, 2010

Grounded! We need a Belt!

We left Julie's in good time this morning and as we were settling in on the road, the engine coughed, dropped speed and the "Protect Engine" warning came on.    The engine temperature was max'd out.

We backed off  on the pedal, and looked for a place to pull off.   We did a brief tour of the outside and saw no leakage from the radiator and noted that we had plenty of coolant yet.  Back in the rig, we called Freightliner service for advice. they wanted to  know if the belt was on.   They also told me that I only had one serpentine belt.  We went looking and found the belt, somewhat shredded, coiled up on the front of the engine.

So it was time to call the Emergency road service, which really handled it well.  The first question was "Are you safe or do you feel threatened?"   If I was stranded in the middle  of a  freeway, the question would have been right on target!.   But we were parked along the highway at the end of a Garden shop nursery drive and off of the highway.

There were the usual questions of where are you at, our service people need to talk with you first; and finally, we'll get a tow truck out to you.   It took about an hour, but he showed up with the biggest wrecker on the road.  I've seen these babies before and it was well equipped.

The operator was a bit younger than us "old timers" like to see, but I have to admit, he knew exactly what he needed to do and did it in a very safe manner.   So shortly, he was trucking it down the road, with us following him in our Honda.

The Freightliner dealer was only 20 miles away.   Of course he didn't have a belt on hand and before he ordered one, he wanted to see if anything else was needed.  He slipped under the coach and shortly, you could hear his "Oh, Oh".   Besides the belt, the hub for the fan was shot, as it had lots of play.   We were lucky that it didn't take out the radiator.

So here we  sit.  All of the parts will be in at 9 AM and we'll move the coach around so that if it is more than a day's job, we can still spend the night in it.  I hate to think what the bill will be at a hundred bucks an hour.  It will set the check book back a dollar or two.   But it could have been worse.

If push comes to shove, we can pack up our stuff and go back to daughter's house for the weekend.  We'll cross that bridge later.  Otherwise, we're going to see what Atlantic City is like.   Sandy has already said that we're going to  the library so she can have free high speed  internet.

So today was a bit of a setback, but we'll manage.     In our 16 years of RVing, this is the first time we've really had a show stopper problem.  

Tomorrow is a new day!



  1. glad you came through that safely! pfc

  2. I hope things go well, now you have something to talk about at the Quartzsite Winnebago gathering. 8-) We had our belt replaced while getting the yearly service at Cummins Northwest in Spokane, Wa. I recently saw this on irv2 and thought you might be interested. Have a good trip!