Total Miles: 541
Total Time: 16 hours 20 minutes
With the exception of it being a little loud and lights, it was a pleasant stay in the Costco parking lot. We were on the road by 5am with sights set on home. We were going to take the 101 to the Richmond Bridge to the 580 and on to the 5 for the boring with quicker drive home. The fog was pretty heavy and still a little dark so we couldnít see the San Francisco sky line. We will have to take a separate trip up there so my wife and kids can see it.
Both my dads motorhome and my truck have large fuel tanks. He can hold 80 gallons and I can hold 96. We stopped off at the Joeís Travel Plaza off the 5 in Wesley, CA to make our final fuel stop. Itís nice not to have to fuel up ever 200-250 miles. It allows up to get some miles in. I fueled up and pulled forward to wait for my dad to finish up. After waiting a while, I walked back to the pump and his motorhome home wouldnít start! Huh? It was just running for hours. Itís ran this entire trip fine. It just wouldnít fire over. We tried everything. All electrical was working, no check engine light, nothing. We both started to think it might be the starter. We began calling mobile diesel mechanics but with it being the Sunday before July 4th, we werenít getting much luck. The ones we got a hold of, wouldnít respond but said that if we hit the start with a hammer, it might fix itself and start up. We must have tried this 40 times to no avail. Time for good old AAA and a really big wrecker to haul it off someplace.
AAA was having a hard time getting a hold of a tow company with a big enough truck. We originally wanted it put on a flatbed lowboy trailer in order to prevent having to disconnect the driveshaft. They eventually got a hold of Save Tow in Dublin to come down with a wrecker. It took him about an hour and a half to get there. While waiting for the tow, AAA got a hold of a diesel tractor repair shop that was open on a Sunday in French Camp, CA which was about 25 miles north of us. Great! Tow it there, get the starter replaced/fixed and be on our way before the end of the business day.
It took the wrecker another hour and a half or so to hook up. No complaints from us. That is a check/double check/triple check kind of job. Itís amazing what those hydraulic lifts can do. That motorhome isnít light and it moved it with such ease. Hereís a picture of it all loaded up and ready to move.
My dad was pulling an enclosed trailer. You know, the same one that blew a tire yesterday. The tow driver said we couldnít leave it hooked up to the motorhome so I had to figure out what to do with it. The travel center was ok with us leaving it there for a few days but we didnít feel comfortable with that. I ended up dropping my 5th wheel at the truck stop, pulling the enclosed the 25 miles to French Camp and then Iíll go back and get my 5th wheel. That way, we can keep an eye on everything and the only thing left will be my 5th wheel for about an hour.
We get to the diesel mechanic around 4 hours after it left us stranded. Already a long day and we were supposed to make it home. The service guy says he can diagnose it in about an hour or two but wonít be able to wrench on it until Tuesday. Great! The tech asks my dad to show him what was wrong and the sound it makes and Iíll be damned, it freakin starts. Shuts it off and starts again! What the hell? We must have turned this thing over 40+ times. Are you kidding me? The service guys says he can have the driveshaft reconnected in about 2 hours and weíll be on our way.
The rest of the drive home went without a hitch. I pulled in to our driveway at 9:20pm after spending over 16 hours traveling. Far more than I like to do in one day. Sure a lot of that was sitting around and waiting but it was still traveling. Unloaded the essentials out of the trailer and weíll tackle the unloading and cleaning tomorrow.
Iíll have a trip conclusion post with plenty more pictures coming up soon.
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