Why does it happen on the weekend?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Things were going so well....I had vacillated between Payson, Campe Verde, Wickenburg and Congress - two campgrounds and two boondocking. Since the boondocking outside Wickenburg was at a higher altitude, that was where I finally decided to head.

I took US 60 - gorgeous route but glad my Brake Buddy was working. No photos...I was too busy driving. Around 1:30 about 20 miles north of Sun City, I pulled over for some lunch. Did a walk around, all looked good. Headed on to Wickenburg, about another 20 miles. I needed to get gas before heading to the boonies so I pulled into a Shell station on the south side of town.

As I walked to the back of the rig to be sure the hose would reach, I noticed a trail of reddish fluid under the RV. I followed it back to the front...first thought was transmission fluid because of the color, second thought was oil because I had an oil change done in Tucson and thought maybe the filter was loose (that's about as mechanical as I get). I checked the oil...the engine was warm enough I had to put on a glove. It was a quart low...I often have to add a quart now and then between oil changes.

As I finished pumping the gas and walked back to the front, the gentleman in the truck on the other side was peering underneath. There was now a large puddle under the engine and he thought it was transmission fluid. So I proceeded to check that...nothing showed. His son came out and he looked as well....said he thought it was probably either the front seal or the pump. Both would require the transmission to be pulled. Sigh....

I went in and told the manager that I needed to park on the side until the tow truck came. She said that was fine. Another gentleman came along and helped me put in two quarts of transmission fluid so I could pull it around the building and park it out of the way without seizing something.

I had called Coach-Net and after getting all the pertinent information she asked I wanted to hold for the technician or have them call back. Since my cell phone battery was getting low, I chose having them call back. Within 10 minutes he called and we went through all the particulars. Since it was Saturday afternoon he wasn't sure if he would be able to get someone to tow me to a place where I could stay in the RV. I told him I had no problem dry camping here until Monday morning.

He had to find the closest service spot and call me back. In less than 5 minutes he did just that...the closest service spot would be the Ford dealer in Glendale and they wouldn't allow me to stay in the motorhome over the weekend. So he will contact them Monday and call me to let me know who will come and when they will arrive.

In the meantime, I'm safe and comfortable...boy am I ever glad I have solar! My )2 Cool 12 volt fan is working wonderfully in combination with my fantastic fan, the car is unhooked and ready for any excursions, I have plenty of water, my tanks are all but empty, I have EVDO Internet & cell access...life is good.

Tomorrow is supposed to be over 90, that's the only downside (well, other than a BIG hit to my pocketbook). But I do have a full gas tank so I can run the generator for a couple of the worst hours. There is a nice park in town just behind the Bashas' Grocery store. I'll hit McDonald's for a breakfast splurge, take my coffee and a book and enjoy the park for a few hours. Other than that, I'll just try to not spend too much money...but I will see what Bashas' has to offer.

Monday will bring a new adventure...getting the Lily Pad towed. I have posted in the Escapee forum for anything I need to be aware of....any tips or gotchas to watch out for. At least it didn't happen while I was boondocking in the middle of no where with no cell phone access! LOL!!

Till next time - keep on rollin',


  1. Sorry about your leaky fluid problem. My first thought was antifreeze, but I'm about as mechanical as you. Wikenburg is a fun town, and a SKP park is not too far away in Congress.

    I'm not too far from Glendale, so if you need a place to stay, or whatever, give a shout.

  2. Breakdowns are a big worry of mine when off on trips and trannys are one of the most expensive things to fix in a vehicle. Let's hope all it needs is a new seal.

  3. You may just have a transmission line leaking. There are 2 of them that take fluid from your transmission up to the radiator, to be cooled, and return the cooled fluid back to the trans.

    These lines have been known to crack and also some of them have a short section of rubber hose that gets brittle with time, and can crack and leak.

    Good luck,


  4. You've certainly had your share of problems over the last few weeks. Hope this one turns out to be an easy one.

  5. After a ton of email troubleshooting with a friend (thank you, Ray!!), I got two other friends (Mike & Pat, thank you!) to drive my car & follow me to North Ranch SKP park in Congress. It appears to be holding fluid so there is a possibility it was just overheated, maybe slightly overfilled and just overflowed.

    I will be calling a recommended place in Congress in the morning to see if they can take a look at it for me. Just wanted to update everyone!

  6. Darn, we just missed you. We just left North Ranch a couple of days back. We headed up to Moab to meet up with Howard and Linda (RV-Dreams). Now we are on our way to Las Vegas for a couple of weeks. I hope your mechanical problems work out ok for you. We had a break down in Vernal UT a couple days back, but were lucky enough to find a mechanic who knew how to repair a J1939 com cable. Anyway, I hope we get a chance to run into you one of these days.

    -- jc&bev


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