(Ken) May 20, 2013. Hello again, everybody! Jodi and I have been extremely busy over the last six weeks, and are now settled in until September. However, this leaves us with a lot of catching up to do! So, what better place to start than where we left off!?
If I recall correctly, we just completed an informative week at the RVSEF Conference in Colorado Springs and decided to spend one more night at the Air Force Academy prior to making our journey to Cheyenne, Wyoming to see family.
We were on the road early Sunday morning because we very anxious to see our grandchildren. The weather was warm and clear but the wind was blowing hard from over the Rocky Mountains. A constant side wind attempting to make our motorhome part of the landscape. This made the drive interesting, especially at the higher elevations.
All was going smooth (other than the wind) until we approached Denver. Whether this is constant in Denver for a Sunday morning or there was some special occasion, traffic slowed to a crawl. No worries though, it gave us extra time to enjoy the views when we were on higher ground!
Once past Denver, it was a nice leisurely drive to the north. Even the Fort Collins area as flowing well. One medium hill to climb and a slow grade right past the Wyoming border and into Cheyenne.
If life was all roses, however, it would get boring real fast. Ever been to a dirt track race and listened to the cars without a muffler? Just as Jodi and I approached the top of our last uphill run – boom! In an instant we were the stock car making a wonderful racket on the highway.
Pulling off at the next exit ramp, in the middle of nowhere; I crawled under the rig and found the exhaust pipe was completely separated from the exhaust manifold on the driver’s side. Either the pipe had broken or the bolts had broken, and the exhaust pipe was resting the frame!
Being only 20 miles from F.E. Warren Air Force Base we decided to drive extremely slow to the base rather than wait hours for roadside assistance to come to us on a Sunday afternoon.
The acceleration wasn’t too awfully bad, but decelerating was very embarrassing! Nothing like a 13 ton motorhome slowing behind a compact car sounding like a stock car coming into the pits!
Red faced and all, we made it into the Family Camp. We had had enough of the rig for one day, so we set up quickly and set off to see the kids and grand babies; I would look at the engine in the morning, when it was nice and cool!
Knowing I was going to have routine maintenance done in Cheyenne anyway, the next morning I crawled back under and took a real good look. Fearing the worse (having to drive downtown in a race car sounding motorhome) I found that all three nuts had come off of the exhaust manifold bolts! The bolts were not broken, and the gasket bracket was not broken!
A quick phone call to the nearest Chevrolet dealership,a six-mile round trip drive and $3.75 later I was back in business. I checked the nuts, grabbed lock washers, my socket and ratchet and in 15 minutes we were ready to roll on down the highway in silence again!
Anyone who has ever owned a boat or an RV will tell you, that is not the cost of any repair! Especially one that could have been extremely costly even if one bolt was stripped or broken or the bracket had broken. So, we are considering ourselves very lucky with this fix.
We will let you know how the “routine” maintenance went, so until next time…………..Cheers.