There’s always room for one more…
We are on the move again. We spent the night in Fort Stockton and saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. The next morning we headed out early with nothing but road and open road in front of us not knowing exactly where we were going. An hour and a half out I noticed a ABS COMM FAILURE warning on the systems computer followed by TRANS COMM FAILURE warning. Then the Coup de grace – ENGINE COMM FAILURE. We lost all power doing 70mph in a 22,000 pound tin box! I managed to get over to the side of the highway and out of harms way. There we sat looking at each other. What happened? Not in those exact words but you get the idea. After several minutes of just sitting there doing nothing, I tried to restart the engine. The gages, there are many, were jumping back and forth kind of saying pick me, pick me. Nothing, no turn over, no nothing. Luckily I took out special insurance for RVs and called Coach-Net. I called them and they asked if we were safe (yes) and where we were. Where am I? I’m in the middle of the F-ing desert with nothing but open spaces as far as the eye can see and I’m damn lucky I have a cell signal because over the next ridge there isn’t any. After a lively discussion that was being recorded for quality assurance, we figured out where we were. I was told then that there would be a tow truck out in 2 to 4 hours. What? You’re kidding, right? I have a life! The clock is ticking. It’s the forth quarter and no time outs. After venting, the operator said they would do their best to get someone out ASAP. Yeah, right.
So now what? Good question. I decided to fire up the hot spot and get on line and ask on a reliable RV network web site if anyone had experienced this type of problem before. It didn’t take long before I started getting recommendations from a number of people. Everyone thought it was probably the alternator not supplying power to the electrical system. Two people recommended wedging something up under the battery booster control button drawing power from the house batteries and by-passing the alternator altogether. We had been sitting there for about four hours and had not even seen a highway patrol car or anything.
Coach Net called and said a tow truck was on its way and they were about 120 miles away en route. Okay, what in the hell can I wedge up under this booster thing and see if I can start this bad boy? I took a thick piece of cardboard and folded it over and proceeded to jam it under the booster control button. I then turned on the ignition and KABOOM! The engine started and came to life as if nothing had happened.
There is a lot more to the story but I’ll summarize it to give you an idea as to the end results and perhaps fill in the details at a later time. The nearest Cummins dealer was 170 miles away. We spent two days in their parking lot. I had a complete service done and they spent 12 hours trouble shooting to find the problem. It turned out to be a loose wire in the ignition system cable. All is well and we are once again happy campers on the road of life – the end.