We went from an activity level of 90 miles an hour parking RV’s, setting up rooms, helping Miss Terry Russell with the Western Gypsy Journal Gathering in Yuma, and participating in 4 seminars on Geocaching, GSAK, and Smart Phones to almost nothing to do. Am I complaining? Maybe. I personally thrive on being busy, but appreciate the rest.
We went to a wonderful church service at the little Friends Church in North Holtville, joined them in a delicious potluck, and even placed a Geocache at the corner of the property. It is called “Friendly Power, GC3EF1A” as there is power where the cache is found and spiritual ‘power’ within. We then visited with Luke Rinehimer and went to dinner with Cool Judy and Luke. We headed back to Southern Mesa RV and spent the rest of the evening reading our Kindles.
The next morning we started to our first stop, Tucson, then on to New Mexico, Texas and parts along the Gulf Coast. Then the unexpected happened.
Monday morning we left Southern Mesa RV park south of Yuma and the RV was running just fine. I was on the internet planning where to park in Tucson when pulling a hill out of Welton, Tom noticed a puff of smoke when he passed a slow moving older RV. He mentioned it, but was not alarmed, as all gauges were normal and the RV was running just fine. About every mile or so, a couple of puffs of black smoke then occasionally a bigger puff of smoke. Still the RV was running just fine. We had signed up for the Good Sam Extended Warranty at the Gypsy Gathering Rally, so I gave the Customer Service a call. No alarm, he just said to be sure to have any work approved before repairs were started. I called Cummins in Avondale, west of Phoenix, and they also were not alarmed, just thought we should have a look at it. As we approached Gila Bend about 30 miles out the black smoke stopped. We still stopped for the night in Gila Bend, AZ, as that is a good place to head up to Cummins if we decided to. I posted our predicament on Facebook and Nick Russell called, then Greg White called. These are our friends that we had just spent about 2 weeks with setting up for the rally. Greg thought it might be a fuel injector problem and so did Tom. Greg suggested getting a fuel additive for cleaning the injectors and we did and added it that evening.
Tuesday morning we started up, no black smoke, smooth running RV, and continued our trip to Tucson planning on canceling our trip to Cummins. Well, about 20 miles east of Gila Bend we started to see that black smoke again. This time it was accompanied with a kind of hiccup as if we were going over a rough road. Tom looked for a place to make a U-Turn across the highway and we turned around. Fortunately, no traffic and headed up to Cummins in Avondale.
We parked at Camp Cummins with 50 amp hookup and looked for a FedEx to mail the computer I had been working on for granddaughter, Jamie. We did a bunch of errands, Costco, Home Depot, and ate lunch at Quiznos since we had a coupon for buy one get one free. The lobster/seafood was pretty good and then we went to Dairy Queen for their buy one get one for $1.
Fast forward to today, Cummins diagnosed a bad actuator on the turbocharger, the Good Sam guy came out to look at the repairs, and then Good Sam denied the claim saying it was a pre-existing condition. Wrong! We have talked to the technician who said that actuators just fail and the way to tell they have failed it look at the symptoms: black smoke and balking. Those were our only symptoms. Other symptoms such as low power, Poor Acceleration or poor response, engine misfire, engine speed surge, or engine speed unstable indicate failure. We had none of those symptoms, however, if we waited long enough I guess they could appear. We think this was a case of the actuator just starting to fail. Our only symptoms were the black smoke that started Monday and a couple of hiccups on Tuesday.
Our agents, Chris and Charles Yust, will be advocating for us, but in the meantime we are having it fixed tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. We will be paying the entire bill and hope that the Yusts and Good Sam will come through for us. We will be praying for God’s Will in this and His Attitude as well. I must admit I am a little discouraged and hurt that our word is not believed. So unfortunate that other dishonest people who take advantage of the system spoil it for others.
So that’s about all the news, good and bad, for now. We are grateful that our breakdown is not like the one our friend Kurt Simon had, 41 days down, a shattered turbo that tore up the engine heads and valves, a tow truck that tore up the pan on their RV and then to make matters worse, a cracked windshield on the way home. We will be On the Road Again soon and Caching Places That We’ve Never Been.