Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It Was a Hard Day

We got packed up and ready to head over to Clearwater to finish getting the lights and supplemental braking system fixed.

Tony, the mechanic was out getting some parts.  We didn’t want to head out until we knew for sure he would be there.  He called and discussed the issues we were having.  Prior to that phone call he was getting the information second hand.  I was glad that he called because information tends to get mixed up when you use a third person.

We got there about noon.

It was a pretty drive over the Courtney Campbell Causeway which goes across the bay into Clearwater.

courtney campbell causeway 

We knew it was lunch time, but they were going to look at the truck and hold off on their lunch.  We told them to go ahead and go, we’d wait.   We wanted their full attention and preferred them well fed.  Smile

They had already checked the truck and said every thing checked out okay.

While they were gone,  we hooked the truck up to the motorhome.  It appeared to us that air was coming from the motorhome to the truck so we felt the problem was the truck.  Al called customer service at Air Force One.  He told him how to check a few things.   At that point he was in agreement.  By this time, Tony, who is the Shop Manager and previous head mechanic, was working with us along with another guy (can’t remember his name)

We really like Tony.  He knows his stuff, is professional and very nice.   Tony ended up talking to the guy at Air Force One, who was giving him things to check.   If was finally determined that the problem was with the computer box for the break-a-way.  It was telling the truck that it had become disconnected from the motorhome.  It was doing it’s job by applying the brakes.  This part was working fine the last time we towed, which was June 20th.   It could have become damaged when they removed the system.  Or it could just have been a fluke.   They replaced the part and then still had another problem.  That turned out to be the wire wasn’t making good contact…a mistake on their part.   It happens…

Then they started working on the lights.  We had no left turn signal or brake lights on the left side of the truck when it was attached to the motorhome.  They checked those out and everything appeared to be fine on the truck.  Finally after quite a bit of checking and trial and error, they determined that the little computer module on the motorhome that has something to do with controlling the lights.  It is there to protect the circuit in case of some sort of a short.  It was bad.   We agreed to replace it.   They wouldn’t charge us labor, just the $150 for the part.

During all this, we had the generator running, and I was getting in and out turning on the turn signals, lights, and pumping the brakes.  I must have gotten in and out of the motorhome a hundred times….or at least it felt like that.

After they got the module replaced it worked fine for about a minute, then we had nothing.  No lights or signals at all.   It turns out we blew a fuse.  We replaced the fuse but the signal was weak.   The fuse may have blown before the module replacement….it all got very confusing to me.  

At some point they decided the blue coiled cable that gives us power from the motor home to the truck was corroded.  It had been left plugged into the coach.  We could see it had some corrosion.  They cleaned it out the best they could but it still wasn’t working right.  Then they replaced the both ends. 

Somewhere along the line we ended up with the turn signals and brake lights working unless we turned on the head lights.  When the headlights were on we had no right turn signal.  

They fiddled with some other connections in the engine compartment.   By this time, I mostly stayed in the coach waiting for them to tell me to turn the signals off and on.  Most of that time was spent listening to the constant dinging from the engine telling me I had the key on.  It was driving me crazy.  I was getting tired.  I had a bad head ache and I was worried about how we were able to get “home.”  

The good news is that we got absolutely no rain, thunder or lightning there all day.  They were able to keep working and they never stopped until about 4:45 when it started to storm.  The problem wasn’t fixed and they didn’t know what else to do.  We quickly wrapped everything up before the lightning started.  They put the truck into a service bay, and we decided to bring the coach back to our place in Wesley Chapel.   Tony was going to call Lazy Days this morning to see if he could get some guidance.   I still feel confidant that he knows what he is doing, and we know that electronics can be tricky to diagnose.   The problem with the lights not working was on the end of the motorhome.

Our next problem was now it was 5:30, rush hour traffic and we had to drive home in a bad storm.

I pulled up my weather app on my Droid and saw that we would be heading into a very ugly looking storm as we crossed the bridge.  By the time I saw that, we were already on our way with no way to pull off.  I was a bit nervous, but it never got windy and actually didn’t rain that hard.

The trip across the bridge was sure different from this morning, huh?

courtney campbell causeway

Traffic wasn’t too bad until we got on the Tampa side.  Al freaked out when he saw what awaited him.

This is our approach to the Veterans Expressway.  It was bumper to bumper for miles and miles.

rush hour traffic

We did get to watch a few planes coming in for landing at Tampa International.



We got back to the campground, pulled into a pull through sight since it was raining.  We decided to go ahead and set up normally.  It was driving me crazy having the slides in.  As soon as we got the slides out, I thought to myself…Oh it’s good to be home.   Then I started to think…I’ve been home all day, why did just putting the slides out make me feel like I was home?  

We made pizza for dinner (vegan style) and were in bed early.  We were both exhausted.  It was a hard day.

This morning, we’re back to Clearwater for part three.   Wish us luck.


  1. I'm so sorry you are having all these problems. It's so stressful for the both of you. It's stressful reading about it! (Sparky gets really empathetic stress when anybody has problems with their rig or tow.) Each day we get up and say, "Wonder how things went yesterday?" I hope it gets resolved soon and you can head some place really beautiful with perfect weather so you can unwind and relax.

  2. Gah! Good Luck.
    At least Tony and the gang are willing to sort it out, whatever it takes. When you're not starting from scratch, it can get complicated.
    Anyway, at least you were sitting on the highway at the end of the day looking at those airplanes, and not the other way around. Flying in a storm like that can get ugly.

  3. Sorry about the problems. A lot of moving parts and 3 separate systems mean many variations that need to work together. Sometime simple things get overlooked. My setup has to have a diode converter to make the toad lights work properly with the Bounder lights. That little bugger has gone bad 2 times since I've been towing and it makes the lights do strange things as you mention. Just be sure its not something simple like that. Even though it wasn't touched in this process. Good Luck!

  4. Boy if you guys didn't have bad luck you wouldn't have any luck at all. Hang in there!!

  5. Oh my word. I was so hoping it would all be straightened out yesterday. I'm glad you have Tony working on it for you and that you feel good about his abilities. My nerves would have been shot. And I feel the same way, I'm home when the slides go out.

  6. What a frustrating day that must have been. Diagnosing electronics issues is no fun that's for sure, it just seems to be an endless process of replace, replace, replace.

    Great photo of that plane coming in for a landing.

  7. That's a shame it has taken this long and you still have not gotten all the problems fixed.

    I was hoping that it was going to be resolved and I'd be seeing a picture of you dancing for joy on the roof of your motorhome.

  8. What can be said? "This too shall pass!" It will get fixed!

  9. Boy I'm sorry to hear about this. Another drive over there. I sure hope the 3rd time's the charm! I'm beginning to be very glad we have a tow dolly, it was comparatively cheap and whatever vehicle we have, we just drive it up there, strap it on and go.

    Somehow I can't see you dancing on the roof! LOL A Happy Dance in the coach maybe!

  10. You felt like you were home because you got back safe, sound & out of all the chaos! Big difference on the bridge on morning vs evening. Weather wise & traffic wise. Are you in the path of the upcoming storm? I hope not!

  11. Sounds like a movie script! Good luck.

  12. This will be the new definition for the project from hell:(

  13. Hang in there. If the folks in Clearwater can't get it solved, you might just take it to Lazydays.
    They have so much experience they might be able to sort it out more quickly


Please feel free to leave comments. We love to read them! To contact me directly you can send e-mail to