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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

First Road Trip of 2015–Continued!!

Following up on the previous post, when we left the Cummins shop in Odessa, I was pretty confident that the rest of the trip would be uneventful with regards to the Bus engine problems. 

Wrong again!!  When I worked, I was a solid pessimist!  It always worked for me and I was never disappointed.   I should not have been optimistic about this trip.  At 4:30pm, we got the warning that the DPF needed to be regenerated.  It looks like this………


…….. and of course, it comes complete with an alarm!!

I kept driving, and called the Cummins shop in Odessa.  The service manager told me that it was OK, and that the engine computer was just getting synced with the work that was done.  He said that he had discussed it with his Technicians, and as long was we did not get the ‘check engine’ light, we were OK.

Of course, they closed at 5:00pm, and about 6:00pm, we also began getting ‘check engine’ lights!!  I stopped and checked the oil and coolant in the engine, and restarted the engine and continued westward.   We drove until 11:00pm, and covered a little over 600 miles and stopped for the night just short of Tucson, AZ. 

On Friday morning, I called the Odessa service manager, and told him that I had the ‘flame thrower’ light (the term that I gave it), as well as the ‘check engine’ light and alarm.  We agreed that is was too far to turn around, and I told him that I was going to the Cummins shop in Phoenix.  I also asked him to get his Facility Manager to call the Facility Manager at Phoenix, and set it up that when I pulled in, that a Service Writer and a Technician come right out and read the engine codes on my engine computer.  My thoughts were that they would have the failure information and history of my repairs for a week while we continued on to Quartzsite and did our annual thing!!

The Odessa Facility Manager called back and said it was all set up, and that I should ask for “JERRY”!   Wow, he did it, but I was now pessimistic that all would work like I thought!

Three hours later, we arrived at the Phoenix Cummins shop, and I found “GERRY”.  He had his best Tech, Steve, standing by and ready to go!!!  First I gave them an overview of all the problems to date, and then we went to the Bus and read the codes.  Gerry assured me that I would leave his facility with the Bus ‘really’ fixed!!!   Yeah…. Right!!

After about a 45 minute visit, we left the information with them, and Gerry set us up with an appointment for Monday, 26Jan, (about 10 days from then), and we headed the 100 miles to Quartzsite with alarms and lights! 

I felt good about Gerry’s confidence and attitude, but you know the old saying, “burn me once shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me”……… but after 8 or 9 times, DAMN!!

We went on to our campground (yeah, we are getting too old to do a week without hookups), and got set up.  We were two days late, so we had to pay for two days that we did not get to use, but I needed to keep the site.

We enjoyed our 10 days in Quartzsite with good friends enjoying their company and viewing all the exhibits and vendors for RV products.  It was nice living in the Bus with hookups, but the thought was ever present in my mind, that while it was nice to live in, it was becoming CRAP to travel in!!!!

While in Quartzsite, we visited the “Desert Bar” in the middle of nowhere for a Sunday lunch and had several evening snack times, and viewed some great sunsets.  Here are some pictures……….

The Desert Bar:


Quartzsite Camp:



Ron and Kathy Woods, who came from our Texas Bluebonnet Allegro club in Texas were initiated into The Trailer Trash Society at Quartzsite.


We also saw a neat ATV parked nearby. 


and some sunsets:


The black dots in the pictures are strings of balloons from the RV show across the street.

The rest of our group left on Wednesday and headed to their various next stops.  We extended in the campground until Sunday morning, and took Friday to drive the car to Yuma.  We crossed into Mexico at Los Algodones, spent a couple of hundred dollars to spur the economy by getting the grandkids a couple of items, and buying a purse for Patsy and a shoulder holster for my gun.  We then met friends, Chuck and Lorraine at the flea market, and then had a late lunch with them.

We left Quartzsite on Sunday to be at the Phoenix Cummins shop when they opened up on Monday at 6:00am.  Here is a couple of pictures of our Electrical hook-up site at Cummins……


If you look at the sky, you will see one of the blimps that circled the stadium in Phoenix all week before the ‘Super Bowl’ football game.

Our Phoenix stay will be covered in the next post.

1 comment:

Mike Mills said...

Well, I wish we had been at home when you came through Fort Worth, Richard. We would have enjoyed seeing you and Patsy. I'm surprised by your Cummins having acted up; I suppose even the best powerplants are not infallible. I have had better luck than expected with my Cat. So far, it has been bulletproof, but I know it's just a matter of time. I know what good care you give to your rig, so that's about all anyone can do and then just hope for the best. BTW, we're planning to get to Quartzsite next year. Maybe we'll see y'all.