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