A Move And A Leak

 Posted by at 12:05 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 272011

Yesterday morning we were up early and getting ready to hit the road. We had a short drive, less than 50 miles back to the Escapees Sumter Oaks campground, but since the Thousand Trails is so busy this time of year, and there are so many people wanting to get into the few 50 amp sites, I knew there’d be people waiting for our site.

We left the Thousand Trails about 10:30 and had an easy run to Sumter Oaks. A couple of miles from the campground, we were sitting at a light on U.S. Highway 27, and I told Miss Terry I thought I smelled radiator coolant. There was a truck next to us, and Terry said she thought it may be coming from it. At the next light, the same truck was beside us, and we smelled it again. Since we have a diesel pusher, with the engine and radiator in the rear, we weren’t sure if it was a problem with our coach. But I watched the engine temperature on my Silverleaf all the way to our destination. It stayed between 181 and 184 degrees all the way, which is the normal range for our Winnebago. A few miles from the campground, I noticed that the lower edge of my windshield was starting to fog up, and I told Terry I was sure we had a problem, I just wasn’t sure how bad of a problem it was.

When we pulled into the campground, I shut the engine down while we went inside to register. When we came back out, there was a small puddle of coolant under the front end of the motorhome. The first site we chose was nice, but there was a big live oak tree next to it, and once we were backed in, our rooftop satellite TV dish would not lock onto a signal. I like my TV and wasn’t willing to go a week without it, so we moved to another site, where we could easily get a signal. Once we were parked and leveled out, it was time to check out the leak.

Our Onan diesel generator pulls out of the front of the motorhome on a slide, and the top of it was covered in antifreeze. All you have to do is open the hood of a vehicle in an RV park, and you’ll have guys swarming around you quicker than flies around an outhouse, and this time was no exception. A couple of fellows stopped to see what kind of trouble I was getting into, and we all decided among us that the problem was the heater core. Telephone calls to my two technical experts, Ron Speidel and Greg White, confirmed what I had suspected all along. Ron said he had the same problem last year. So the bad news is, we’re looking at a repair bill that will probably run upwards of $800. The good news is that there is a Cummins Coach Care RV repair facility just 45 miles north of us in Ocala. The other good news is that, if need be, I can bypass the heater core by connecting the inlet and outlet heater hoses together, and drive it anywhere I need to go.

Before I close, I want to share an excellent book I just finished reading, Redfield Farm, by Judith Redline Coopey. As an American history buff, the story of how the Underground Railroad helped runaway slaves escape to freedom first caught my attention. Then I was drawn into the lives of Ann Redfield and her brother Jesse, Quakers who were deeply involved in the effort to help slaves escape. It’s a wonderfully written story, rich in historical detail, and by the time I got to the last page, I was so involved in the book that I felt like I knew Ann, Jesse, and all of the characters in the book personally, and I didn’t want it to end. This is a great book! You won’t regret reading it.

Thought For The Day – Chocolate is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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Nick Russell

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  5 Responses to “A Move And A Leak”

  1. Hate to say it but we had the same problem with our heater core a few years ago.
    While going to Maine for a summer workamping job we fuled up in New Jersey and saw our leak. At that time we loosened the radiator cap and drove to a campground in New Hampshire where we bought apiecee of hose and bypassed the heater core. While in Maine we removed it and took it to a a repair shop. We than replaced it and drove about 1700 miles till it leaked again. I wasn’tsurprisedd as it looked like a shoddy job and if I had the equipment I could of done a better job. The second time it leaked we were in Va. and just loosened the cap and drove to Pa. where we had it repaired correctly, that was about 5000 miles ago and no leaks. First bad repair job was about $70.00 the second good repair job was $100.00. As for the removal and instillation I did all of that, notreallyy that bad of a job as I could stand up in the front of our MH to get at it.

  2. My grandfather a Quaker told me that when he was a kid the family knew that people were in their barn but it was never talked about. They were a regular stop on the underground railroad.

  3. It would be intyeresting to me as an Evangelical Friend ( Quaker) how many of your readers are or have a Friends backgound. In the great plains states we were big into education qnd started many schools for all races.

  4. Posted this on the wrong day 🙂
    You may want to have one of your technical buddies check to see if the heater core failure was caused by electrolysis, a process of chemical changes in the
    cooling system, by the passage of an electrical current through the engine coolant. If this is the problem, you will just keep replacing heater cores. I have just exhausted my technical knowledge

  5. We’re sorry to hear about the heater core leaking. Our Journey is a 2002. We have had to replace the heater core twice. Maybe it’s a Winnebago problem.
    Larry wants to know how to check for the problem of electrolysis?

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