We were driving from Limon, Colorado to Fort Collins and had taken some back roads partly because there was an expensive toll road coming up we wanted to avoid and partly because we’d been driving exclusively on Interstate 70 since Missouri.
We got to Fort Lupton and got an error message on the motor home’s dashboard display that basically said stop the engine immediately. I found a spot to pull over and the engine stopped before I could stop it. We were blocking a business’s driveway and after a couple of minutes of sitting I was able to start the engine back up and limp into the back of their property. I called Freightliner and they thought it was a coolant level problem. I had some coolant and added it to the reservoir and we waited a half hour before we started the engine again.
Everything seemed okay so we pulled back out on the road only to find that the top speed we were able to reach was only 30 MPH. I pulled over again as soon as there was an open spot and then looked up the closest Freightliner facility, which was Transwest in Brighton, Colorado. I thought we could limp over there since it didn’t seem that far on Google maps (Google maps lied!). We continued down the road but our top speed kept dropping until we were down to about 5 MPH. Fortunately we were right next to a park with a large parking lot and we pulled in there and made arrangements for the motor home to be towed.
It took a couple of hour before the tow truck arrived, and a half hour of work for the driver to get our motor home attached.
It was an involved process that included him having to remove the drive shaft, lift and lower the front of the motor home a couple times to get the right adapters in place, remove the rear rock guard and put on some directional signals on the rear.
We then drove to the Transwest facility which turned out to be closer to 12 miles away, where the driver then spent another half hour unhooking us.
We spent Thursday night in the parking lot, and the next day they re-attached the drive shaft (it needed to be torqued so the tow truck driver couldn’t do it) and we backed up in front one the repair bays. On Friday they identified what appeared to be the main problem and that was our Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) had failed. They ordered a new one, but we had to wait over the weekend, until a new one was delivered on Monday. Fortunately they let us live in our motor home over the weekend and it turned out to be the longest period we’ve dry-camped in it. They replaced the DPF on Monday and it looked like we were good to go, but as we started to drive away again our max speed dropped to 30 MPH, so we returned.
They came out and ran diagnostics again and found that the pressure sensor for the DPF had failed, and they replaced it on the spot. I again tried to leave, but still found our top speed limited to 30 MPH and returned again. This time there was nothing in the computer diagnostics and it wasn’t until we tried revving the engine with the brake on that one of the techs noticed what was wrong. There is an air intake tube that runs to a vent near the top of the motor home. The air intake tube had fallen down and the end was being blocked and starving the engine of air. They re-attached the tube and strapped it in place so it wouldn’t fall down again and finally, we had speed back and were able to leave.
Fortunately on Saturday we were able to drive to Berthoud to visit our friends, Tom and Kathy, who were the reason we were in the area to begin with. On Sunday, Tom and Kathy drove to us and took us on a tour of the region. So despite the problems we had with our motor home, we were still able to have a good time.