Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Winnebago: It Was All Downhill. Chapter 3

Having replaced the out-of-round tire, and solved the problem of the Schraeder valve, we thought we had taken care of any lurking problems. We planned a trip with two of Wick's brothers and their wives to Colorado, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone.

The first few days were delightful. The weather was good, for the most part, and we always enjoy our trips with Wick's brothers. Other than a rainstorm the night we were in Amarillo, parked on the Wal-mart parking lot, the first few days were uneventful.

As we left Estes Park, we were enjoying the sunny day, and the breathtaking views on the mountain roads winding through the high peaks. Suddenly, the dash instruments went out.

We were barreling down a mountain road with no instruments.

Wick couldn't even tell if the engine was running, or if he had brakes. Winnebagos have air brakes, and if they are not working, maneuvering on a steep mountain road can be deadly. Wick radioed to his brothers, explaining the situation; since they were ahead of us, we were hoping they could find a safe place for us to pull over.

Finally, a wide, fairly flat area on the side of the road promised a safe place to coast to a stop.

My sisters-in-law and I stood on the side of the road, half-crying with relief, while the guys tried to locate the source of the problem.

The trouble-shooting ran into a couple of hours, still with no resolution. We decided to drive on to our next stop, driving slowly, hoping for the best.

We were many miles from a service center, and having an RV towed through the Rocky Mountains is strictly a last resort. We made it to the next campground, where the guys kept searching for the problem.

Finally, after four days, Wick was able to find the problem and repair it. A wire had shorted out in the engine compartment.

Our confidence in the Winnebago was dwindling. When we bought this "industry standard", with the "best service record in the industry", we did not anticipate being put in danger of crashing down a mountainside.

Fortunately, our next breakdown, just six months later, was at least in a safer place.

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