S T R E S S

The title for this post will probably be more obvious by the time I get to the end.

First, the good stuff. Service work at Freightliner was finished by early afternoon so we headed toward warmer weather confident that the coach is in good shape. In fact the alignment was off a bit and there is an improvement in handling albeit a slight one. We managed to make pretty good time but decided to stop north of Atlanta at Carolina Landing Thousand Trails. It’s located on Lake Hartwell which is on the SC / GA line. Traffic was heavy and we thought that mid morning would be a better time to tackle I285 traffic around the west side of Atlanta. Everything went as planned and though traffic was heavy, it wasn’t too bad. It was windy and for those who don’t drive motor homes, this translates into stressful driving. By the time we got to Montgomery AL I was feeling a bit tired and decided to stop for a rest in the parking lot of Sam’s Club. At the top of the exit ramp there was a traffic light and naturally it was red. Here’s where the fun begins. I was sitting at the light when the engine stopped. It wouldn’t start. This is a busy road and there’s lots of traffic. I’m blocking one of the two right turn lanes. It wasn’t long before the police arrived to inform me that I had to move it or they would. After a little conversation (negotiation) he agreed that he’d put out cones to divert the traffic for a while. I called Freightliner for help. They have excellent telephone help 24/7 and told me that the symptoms I described sounded like the engine’s Electronic Control Module wasn’t getting power. With their help, I found the in line fuse they suspected was the problem buried in a bundle of wires the size of your wrist. Not only was the fuse bad, the fuse holder was melted. The cop drove me to Auto Zone where I bought a new in line fuse holder . Back at the MH I cut out the old fuse holder, spliced in the new one and it still wouldn’t start. After pondering the situation for about ten minutes with Carolyn and the Cop breathing down my neck, I decided to get out the multimeter and verify the circuit. Would you believe the new fuse that I put in was bad. Replaced the fuse and voila! The engine starts. Drove across the street to the Sam’s Parking lot for a much needed rest. Like I told Carolyn, “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere”. During all of this, there were calls to road side assistance, the shop of the mobile mechanic they recommended and numerous interruptions by the cop saying his boss was insisting that we get Shamu off the roadway. Needless to say, stress levels were high.

By now it was late afternoon and Montgomery’s rush hour was beginning. We decided to spend the night and try for a fresh start on Wednesday hoping for a better day.

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