Friday, October 19, 2012

Off to Mexico, Oct 17th, 18th, 19th, or ????

The plan, such as it was, was to leave home the day after I got my last per-travel shot, so we were going to leave the morning of the 17th. The evening before, I wanted to back the motorhome around and attach the Jeep. All was fine as I backed the RV out of the driveway, blocking the street. I pushed the shift button for drive and EVERYTHING died. The engine stopped and I had no lights, gauges, or anything that ran off the chassis batteries. Before we could get in any more trouble, I got Helen and the Jeep and a tow chain, and with the Jeep in 4 Low, we got the RV back in the driveway.

Nothing I did could restore powerand I called the Freightliner Help Line. Jon told me that it sounded like the 130 amp breaker, though that breaker usually resets automaticly. OK, something to check in the morning. Of course it was impossible to sleep, so at about 2:00 AM, I was out in the motorhome taking panels apart to access the breaker. It was not to be found and I went back to bed.

Later, I called Freightliner again and Glenn told me what to look for and where it could be. I’m not nearly as bright as I was at one time and I couldn’t be certain what I was looking for. I drove up to COMO RV to see what such a breaker would look like. I was shown the only one they had which was a 50 amp breaker. OK, back to my cave under the motorhome where I WAS able to see the breaker. There was still no power to the ignition, lights, etc. SO if the breaker was at fault, there would be 12 volts on one terminal and nothing on the other. Well, there was 12+ volts on BOTH sides of the breaker.

Back to Freightliner where I got Joe. He had some ideas about a  “stud” that passes through the firewall or the floor. I could not find it. However, I did find a place that should have had power in the front fuse/breaker panel. Odd, too, was that there was chassis power to a solenoid on the other side of the panel. I ran a jumper between the two and the engine started and ran fine. Since both of these places were supposed to come from the same “power post” I figured that it wouldn’t matter how the power got to where it had to go, so I bought a new cable and ran it from the solenoid to the other side of the breaker panel. SUCCESS!!! HURRAH!!! I moved the motorhome further up the driveway and we finished loading it up.

Now it was time to back it around again to attach the Jeep. It started right up, all the gauges were in the proper operating range and I shifted into reverse. IT DIED AGAIN!!! No power to anything chassis related. I got my probe light and opened the front panel again. I had chassis power to everyplace on the panel. How could that be???

I went back inside and turned the key and I had dash gauges. I started the engine and it started instantly. I DID NOT shift. I turned on the headlights and EVERYTHING DIED again. I called Glenn again at Freightliner and he was fresh out of ideas, suggesting that I have the rig towed to Ocala Freightliner. Out of the question! I called Ocala Freightliner to see if they had road service and the answer was a definite “NO”, but…they recommend the road service across the street.

Now I’m sitting here waiting for our serviceman to arrive. He is expected within the hour, and I really hope he finds the problem because I have passed my wits end a while back.


  1. Frustrating, to be sure!

    Looking forward to your blog updates. We won't be far behind you, but of course we'll be in our little car.

    Say hi to Helen!

  2. AS an old Navy Aviation Electrician, I know how frustrating spark chasing can be.Sounds like you were on the right track though.That firewall pass through you mentioned could be all corroded up inside. Hope it's fixed right away. Keep us informed. Sam & Donna...

  3. sure hope the repair is done quickly and then you can all get on your way!!!