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Lake Cowichan view from our dock.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Broken down just outside of Creston BC

Ray and I pulled out of Nelson about 10 am yesterday, in the rain. We had to wait for the pile of gravel to be smoothed out that the campground people dumped in front of us the day before. The rain pretty much quit after about an hour on the road as we went way up over the Kootenay Pass, summit at 1781 metres (5843 feet). We cruised down the mountain into Creston and stopped at the A & W for lunch as they had a large parking lot adjacent to it. Back on the road we headed out of Creston, about 10 km and Oh Oh!!!!! Ray lost power, a bunch of warning lights came on so we pulled over as quickly as we could off the highway. We looked back and it looked like smoke coming out of the back of the coach. Ray ran out with the fire extinguisher, I grabbed my purse and Ray's wallet and the dog and we all ran outside. It turned out to be steam, not smoke coming from the radiator. We've had no trouble with this coach going up and down mountains in the 3 1/2 years we have owned it and we had it completely checked out before coming home in the states so ?????

The people of Creston are very friendly. We had a man and his wife stop and ask us if we wanted to drive just a short ways (about 1000 feet) to their house and park to let it cool down off the highway. We followed them and they fed us coffee. Russ and Maxine Romano even offered for us to stay in their driveway if we could not continue. Notice the jug for water for us. They also have a house in Yuma so we will look them up next winter. Hard to believe he just had his 80th birthday!

Ray called Freightliner in Cranbrook for some advice as to what to do. They told us to try refilling the radiator and see what happens and come to them in Cranbrook for a flush and more coolant to be added. We filled up the radiator reservoir and started the coach ... no lights so we started back down the highway. We only made it about another 2 km, if that, and the same thing happened so we pulled off the highway again. Ray phoned Freightliner again and he said we would need a tow, but they had no one available. Thank God for BCAA RV Service. BCAA had someone there to tow us within an hour. While we waited, 2 more people stopped making sure we were okay. Ray and I had to unload part of the car into the coach so there would be room for Freya. By this time it was 4 pm by the time the tow truck arrived. Of course we were barely off the highway and the speed limit was 100 km. Not the safest place to be! It took the guy over an hour to hook us up. Apparently you have to drop the driveshaft to be able to tow it. He was a little "stout" and could barely get under the coach. Lots of "blue air" was coming out from under the coach. He complained there were 18 bolts to undo.... turned out there were 4.  However these would not budge so he had to call another guy who was smaller and to bring a torch to heat up the nuts to get them off. Chris also had to cage the brakes as we had left and when Ray disengaged the Parking Break the wheels didn't release. What a mess. He told us to go to Cranbrook ahead of him as he would be a couple of hours behind us and we were 90 km from Cranbrook.  Most of the time this was going on I made Ray sit in the car reclined as our day just got extremely long.

Poor Kastle

We drove into Cranbrook and found out where the Brew Pub was, called The Heid Out, and then gave Freya a walk in the park. Back to the pub so we could have dinner where the food was excellent and the beer even better ... at least something turned out okay today. Ray and I had the special which was 8 oz Prime Rib ... Yummm. We did notice some plates of Fish and Chips go by that were huge ... maybe next time.

After we left the pub, Ray called the tow truck and Chris said he had just arrived at Freightliner and was unhooking so we hurried over to meet up with him. Fortunately damage was minimal from towing ... bracket from the generator exhaust was broken and the front fiberglass bottom edge was scraped a little. 

Cranbrook is on Mountain time so it was 9pm (8pm Pacific time ) before the coach was ready to open up for the night. Ray went directly to bed while I set up a little.

Saturday afternoon, Curtis, our mechanic, came over and put the drive shaft back, unhooked the broken fan belts so it would not try to turn and uncaged the brakes so we could move to another spot in their lot off the road for the rest of our time here. 

Before we moved to the new spot, he diagnosed our breakdown and it turned out that the housing the air compressor for the air conditioner fell cracked and fell onto the engine and trashed the fan belts, hence the overheating. Bottom line 2 major problems, one that they can fix easily with parts available and one that requires parts from Tiffin they think. We will either be on the road Tuesday afternoon or could be a week??? I think most of this will be covered by our extended warranty. If getting parts and repairs take longer than Tuesday we will have to arrange for a pump out as we came here expecting to dump in Cranbrook with both black and grey tanks over half full. Note to self dump every time before leaving no matter what. We may have to go to the aquatic center for showers but unfortunately the pool is closed for maintenance until July 1st so no hot tub for Ray.

I had to cancel reservations at the RV Park here in Cranbrook and took a big hit cancelling our proposed 2 night stay at the Kikomen Creek Provincial Park on Lake Kookanusa. Boy provincial parks really nail you, first with reservation fees ($6 per night) and then if you cancel less than 7 days before the reservation date they take 1 night plus the reservation fee for 2 nights $12 so for an $82 original charge for 2 nights we only got $35 back. We had hoped to stay there for 2 nights to check out 3 forest service sites to see if we could get in for a couple of weeks. At least it is not costing us anything to stay here at Freightliner but the view kind of sucks.

Taking up the tile floor cutout in the bathroom to access the motor sure was a pain in the ...... but Curtis carefully worked it and managed to get it out. The first time we had seen our motor from that vantage and I think the first time it had ever been opened since we purchased the coach. 

 Camp Freightliner

So that is what is under the floor!

Before lunch since we had some time, so Ray and I took the short drive up to Jim Smith Provincial Park 4 km from downtown Cranbrook. This old homesteader house with it's cold storage built into a small hill was on the road to the lake.

Note that the ramp to the far left is under water from the recent rains.

The campsite had several sites that would fit us but little sunshine. There also was very poor access to the lake from the park side so not somewhere we would go.

So making lemonade out of lemons, dep we have several things planned to see while we are here, stay tuned for pictures. Again, thank goodness for BCAA which will be getting at least a 6 hour charge at $180/hr  for the tow into Cranbrook (90km) and extended warranty because I think this is going to be very expensive.

1 comment:

  1. Those unexpected breakdowns are never fun but just part of the lifestyle.
    Safe travels!