Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tough Decisions

Monday Gary got up and ran over to the lab to get blood drawn then complained to me about the jeep wanting to turn into Panera's driveway on the trip home. I had been getting the coach ready for her big scary trip to Freightliner tomorrow, but asked him if we did go for breakfast, he needed to come with me for my bone scan and mammogram. He agreed so off we went. We needed a few things at Walmart, then headed home. We continued to work around home until we were packed up and ready to go. We set the alarm for 6:30 and hit the hay.

Needless to say, whenever the alarm is set we a) don't sleep well and b) wake up before the alarm goes off. Yep, that's what happened. We were so worried about Bella.

We really thought we would be able to make it to Freightliner in Tampa but Gary was worried about her dying on the road. But we were ready to leave, had the jeep hooked up, and fired up the engine. Ohhh, lots of gray smoke and noise. We shut her down. What now? Call the man, of course. We use CoachNet as our roadside emergency service, and they sent out a 40' wrecker within the hour. At 10.30 Tony showed up, tried her engine, but thought it might be a sensor that could possibly shut down at any time. Then the bad news. He had the wrong truck. We have independent suspension, so we needed a 'bus bar'. The bar that secured the front wheels to cross bars. We had to wait until 1 pm but these guys treated Bella like she was theirs.

We finally got moving about 1:30 and arrived at Tampa Truck Center around 3 pm. Larry was the guy that works on RVs and usually leaves at 3, but he hung in there until he could give us a diagnosis. Since we didn't have a check engine light, there was no 'code' to determine the problem. Larry started her up after Kevin unhitched her from the tow truck, and she was fine!! They hooked up the diagnostic laptop to her, but couldn't find a thing. The thought was bad gas or water or something had worked itself out. They charged us an hour labor, and we drove out and 20 minutes later pulled into LazyDays for an overnight stay. We planned to get up to Clermont on Wednesday for our inside service. She drove absolutely fine...

Wednesday we woke up and took advantage of a free breakfast then got back to hitch her up. Well, she didn't want to start, but finally got going OK. One minute after getting onto Rte 4, a check engine light appeared. Yikes. But then it went off. And stayed off. In hindsight we probably should have turned right back around, but kept going thinking she had coughed up the 'hairball'. But just past the second toll booth, the light came on again. Quick call to TTC who told us to pull over and they'd send a tow truck. We remembered to ask for one with bus bars.

Mike finally got there and towed us all the way back to Tampa. We needed to stay in a nearby hotel where we worried about how much it was going to cost, but we didn't need to wait long. The code was revealed, and it was an expensive little piece called a fuel pump. Bummer. The next morning, we got another call with more bad was going to cost a little more for injectors that they had to ship from Illinois. Being the shipping nightmare time of year, we weren't sure we would be in our coach for days. But these guys cared as we explained this was our home, and put a rush on everything and worked overtime. We stayed overnight at my daughter's and waited to hear if the shipment came in. Our wish was granted, they had her ready at 5pm, but we decided to wait until Saturday morning instead of battling last-day-before-the-holiday rush hour traffic.

We spent another night at Michelle's and got up this morning to pick her up. She purred like a kitten. A very expensive kitten.

As far as Gary's appointments at Moffit, the doctors want him to stay in the area to try some new treatments and possibly a clinical trial. Moffit is the second best cancer treatment/research center in the nation, so we didn't hesitate. This has changed our plans of traveling out west this winter. Huge bummer. But we are doing what we need to do right now, and that's how things work out. Maybe it's part of the silver lining we were looking for? Time will tell.

One day I will get the pictures of us being towed by our trucks on the blog, and maybe some others when we can get our computer to cooperate.

Meanwhile, we are with family after all this Christmas holiday, surrounded with lots of children so it promises to be a blessing. Gary and I wish all of you a wonderful Holiday Season and a happy and safe New Year.


  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both!!!

  2. Merry Christmas Peggy and Gary...and our wish for a wonderful 2012 to you both!!! Glad to see all is ok with Bella now and you are with family....