Stuff Happens!! Sunday & Monday—August 12-13,2012

Unfortunately, we are NOT writing about the wonderful four days we had camping with the kids and promise to get back to the fun stuff ASAP.  First, we need to deal with our BAD LUCK:o((

Sunday – August 12, 2012
We left Falls Lake about 10am today to head back to Huntington Beach State Park.  We had plans to stay at Huntington for 4 days and check in with Nancy's Mom before heading to Clinton, SC for a charity bicycle ride. Our plans have been changed!!

We headed down I-40 from Raleigh towards I-95 south.  It was a beautiful day and we were just taking our time.

This photo is for Gin and Syl;o))
Can't see this without thinking of you!! LOL

A couple hours of leisurely Sunday morning travel came to an abrupt end at 11:30am when a semi-truck lost a tire tread in front of us on I95.  Nancy was driving ahead of me in the Tahoe and just nicked the tire. I took the full brunt of it under the motorhome.  The impact of the tire severed the coolant line to the DEF system and broke a radiator connection.  The message center on the dashboard immediately started flashing orange with the words “Low Coolant!” In less than 15 seconds, a red light appeared and displayed “Engine Stopped!!”  Yes, the engine had stopped and I was in the left lane of traffic on I95!!!!

It was all I could do to muscle the steering wheel and get to the right shoulder of the Interstate.  It was a very scary feeling. I know I am getting older, but I do believe I reacted quickly and safely to get Baby from the passing lane to the shoulder without causing an accident. WHY were we in the passing lane you might ask?!?!  We had just past a flashing warning sign to move to the left as the right lane was closed ahead.  Anyone that knows us well, knows that we really try to avoid interstates when we can.  If we have to travel them, we are NEVER in the passing lane!!!

Safely to the shoulder

Not a Happy Camper ;o((

After a major blood pressure spike and the realization that Nancy and I were OK, I started making phone calls for help.  Here we were sitting on the side of one of the busiest interstates on the East Coast at the busiest vacation travel time knowing Baby can’t even start;o((

Our view from the Motorhome!!

I called Coach-net first, they said they were going to call freightliner and would be making arrangements for a tow.  Freightliner called us and said it was not a warranty issue.  Next, Coach-net called us back and said they would tow us to the closest truck service center at our expense since it wasn’t a mechanical failure but it was a “Road Hazard.” They suggested we call our insurance company.  If a stopped engine is NOT a mechanical problem, I am hard pressed to know what is?!?! Now mind you, this took over an hour already and we were no closer to getting help:o((

At this point, I realized I made a big mistake by telling them about the tire.  If I had just said the coolant light and engine light came on and we were stopped on the highway, it would have been a mechanical problem and we would have been towed.  Just thought I would share that with everyone. Perhaps it’s not always best to give too much detail;o((

I played ‘phone tag’, ‘wait and hold’, as well as ‘we’ll get back to you’ with GMAC.  I was not in the mood for playing these games but did manage to keep my cool. Finally we arranged to be towed to Spring Valley RV Park in Hope Mills, NC about 2 miles from a Freightliner Service Center. About 3 1/2 hours later a tow truck arrived and after about an hour of prep, we were being towed. 

The Green Giant

Almost ready to roll

The tow service, Wayne Lee Towing, did a great job, paying attention to every detail as to not damage our motorhome any more!!

Off we go!!!

Our new home

Here comes Baby

Just about there!!

We finally were unhooked at the campground by 6:30PM. The campground owner volunteered to show us where the Freightliner Dealer was located so we could drive there first thing in the morning.  On our way back, we stopped to pick up Subway for dinner.  After that, we got a shower and called it a day!!!

Yep, we are the only ones in the campground;o))

Monday – August 13, 2012
Today, I drove the Tahoe over to the Freightliner Service Center at 7am and met the foreman of the center.

H & H Freightliner Service Center

After several trips with a couple of techs back to the campground, they were able to determine what needs to be fixed and replaced.  That’s the good news!!  The bad news – they don’t have the parts.  Some of the parts are Freightliner and some are Cummins.  They are going to order all the parts for overnight AM delivery.  With any luck, they will arrived early Tuesday.  Then they will temporarily fix the motorhome so it can be driven 2 miles to their shop.  Then the radiator system needs to be flushed, new antifreeze added and then they pressurize the system to make sure everything is A-OK!!  In addition they are going to check the torque on the drive shaft as it had to be disconnected and re-connected by the towing company. My hope is that we will be fixed sometime Tuesday afternoon…we’ll see. 

As for the insurance company, they trip over themselves to get you to buy a policy and then make it extremely difficult to get “real, live” help when you need it.  Finally late this afternoon, we got a call from the GMAC adjuster.  He said everything that we did was fine and they would take it from here with the service center.  So we can only wait and see what tomorrow brings.


  1. Oh, Baby!! What a mess! Glad you are both OK. I hate retreads. A truck blew one today in front of us but it was further away so we could avoid it. Hope things go well with the repair and insurance company. I know you have CoachNet on speed dial by now.

    Syl and Gin

    PS-Thanks for the pic of the exit sign leading to our old house. :-) How do you pronounce the name of that town again? :-)

  2. Wow, Baby has taken hits above and below. Can't believe how much damage those road "alligators" can do.

    Stick to your guns with GMAC, they have to cover it under comprehesive. Hope that the parts come in as ordered and you get back on the road quickly.

  3. I think retreads should be illegal for just this very reason. I am so sorry. Poor Baby. Poor you guys.

    But as always, you are handling it with a great attitude and good humor! A role model for folks like me for sure. I think my patience is going down as my age goes up!

    Here's hoping you are happily in Huntington Beach tomorrow night at this time and Baby is back to her perfect self.

  4. Oh, baby! Glad you guys are ok. "Gators" can be dangerous..those kind!

  5. Oh cr*p! What a day! So glad you both are ok. I have always thought retreads should be outlawed and now, I really do! Sure hope everything works out tomorrow. Good luck and please keep us posted!

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your bad luck, thankfully you weren't injured

    As a former insurance adjuster, maybe I can explain why it's not a mechanical issue. The "proximate cause" of the damage was your hitting the tire tread, not just something mechanically going wrong with the rig.

    If you had neglected to mention it to Coach Net or Freightliner, more than likely they would have been able to see it was caused by something hitting it, and it would just have delayed your repairs. It's never better to hide something from your insurance company. :)

    Depending on the circumstances of your hitting the tire tread, it will either be covered under your comprehensive, or your collision coverage. At USAA were I worked our guideline was if the object was moving it was comprehensive, if it was laying in the road it was collision. Your deductible will apply and if it is deemed to be a collision it could cause a rate increase.

    The tow bill will also be covered under the motor home policy, so be sure to send them the receipt.

    I hope the repairs will be done quickly so you can be on your way.

  7. OMG - so glad you both are okay. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, doncha know? Whew- these make good campfire storeis but enough, already! :-)

  8. Oh, Nancy and Bill, how horrible!! Hope all goes well with the repairs and insurance. Thanks to Karen and Al for their informative comment -- good info to be aware of. Hope you are back on the road ASAP.

  9. We know what a sick feeling that is as it just happened to us. Luckily we didn't have the damage you did, just a basement full of coolant. Hope you get back on the road soon.

  10. Oh no -- we're so sorry this happened! Glad to know you're both okay and no injuries. Hope Baby is quickly repaired and all goes smoothly with your insurance company.