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Old 11-15-2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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Trailer made it but the truck didn't

For those of you who know my wife Susan (Alumatube) and myself you're aware that we're in the process of moving from Arkansas to Kentucky. Susan is actually living in Kentucky now and I'm shuttling between California, Arkansas and Kentucky.

Anyway I was planning on making the trip from AR to KY pulling our 1974 31' Excella trailer with our 1988 Ford F250 4x4 diesel pickup. I was somewhat concerned about the trailer in that we had gutted it several years ago in preperation for making it into a 2 car transporter for our Triumph race cars. Due to other issues I have yet to get the time to finish the trailer so its just been an empty hulk sitting on our property. I decided since it had to make the trip to KY I might as well load it up with misc items from our shop. Needless to say I had it loaded down pretty good .

I headed out a week ago last Wednesday about 5 am for KY. I was driving about 55 mph and the trip was going well. Everything was going great until about 20 miles west of Nashville on I-40 when I hear this "zinging" sound. Whatever it was it spun up real loud, lasted for a few seconds and went away. I immediately slowed down and since I was right at exit 188 I opted to exit and check things out. As I was slowing down the sound came again and I thought possibly it was the A/C compressor clutch giving up. I turned the A/C off and the sound didn't come back even as I accelerated from the stop light heading to the Flying J station. Filled up the tanks, checked things over and couldn't see anything obviously wrong. So I headed back out on to I-40 and started climbing the long grade.

Well about 2/3s the way up the 1st grade the zinging sound came back only this time louder and longer and I started feeling some learching and grinding coming from the transmission area. I just made it to the top and off onto the shoulder when it felt like the truck was just coasting. Pressing on the gas pedal didn't give me any forward motion . Oddly enough after sitting there for a few minutes with the engine idling I tried moving forward again and it did. So I eased it a little farther off the shoulder and away from all those trucks flying by.

We have RV Road Help and I placed a call to them (after calling Susan of course!) and they dispatched a tow truck to come and get me. After about an hour the tow truck arrived and the first attempt was to tow both the truck and trailer as a unit but that didn't work because it dropped my hitch to low. So we unhooked the trailer and he towed the truck to the next exit and dropped it at the Petro station. I reminded him that he needed a 2-5/16" ball for the Airstream and he rummaged around and came up with the correct ball. I noticed that it didn't have the nut but didn't say anything at that time (stupid me!). So we get back to the trailer, he backs up and starts looking for the nut. Guess what, he couldn't find it . So we get back in the tow truck and he heads back to the Petro station. Unfortunately on the way there as he was exiting the clutch cable on the tow truck broke and so he had to limp to the Petro station in 2nd gear. So here we are in a broken down tow truck sitting next to a broken down tow vehicle with the trailer still sitting out on I-40 . So he called in a second wrecker to tow our trailer AND his tow truck.

During all this time Susan is looking on Craig's list and other online sources and finds a 1992 Ford F350 crew cab diesel dually pickup for sale about 35 miles from where I'm parked. So I call the sellers and discuss the truck with them and Susan and I decide its to good a deal to pass up. So I manage to convice the tow truck (the second one) driver to tow me and the Airstream trailer to Springfield KY so I can meet with the sellers in the morning.

So I end up staying in Springfield for the night and the sellers stop by in the morning to pick me up to go check out the truck. Turns out it was a very nice truck, 147,000 miles on it and it runs and drives great. So we make the deal and I head off with a new tow vehicle pulling the Airstream to Kentucky.

But wait, there's more .


To be continued............

Brad
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:57 PM   #2
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Brad,
Sorry to hear about your troubles. If you are anywhere near Bowling Green and if there is anything I can do to help, let me know. I have plenty of room for you to park if you need it. I'll PM you my cell number.

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Old 11-16-2008, 12:01 AM   #3
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I'd never thought of solving the a truck breakdown problem like that.

Great story. Can't wait for the next installment.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:35 AM   #4
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Brad:

We're very sorry to hear of your misadventures on the way to Kentucky and hope the rest of the story turns out much better. Can't wait to hear it--give Susan our best--it may even make a great travel book some day.

Gary and Nancy
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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OK Paul Harvey, don't keep in suspence too long. Great ending to the story. Wish I had that kinda luck!

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Old 11-16-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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Part 2.....

For those of you wondering why we bought a different truck rather than fixing the F250 its because I had a very limited window of time to make the trip from AR to KY. I'm currently working on a temporary assignment in Pasadena CA and getting time away from there is not easy. Also everyone I talked to hinted that it would be several days or more before the truck could be repaired with no hint as to cost other than since it was an Automatic transmission it would be expensive. So.....we opted for a replacement.

And now "The rest of the story".......(Jim we can blame that line on you )

For the most part the rest of the trip to KY was uneventful with the exception of the squealing that was constantly with me once I hooked up the Airstream and headed off. The squealing wasn't there when I did the test drive with the truck alone but with the trailer hooked up the squealing would come and go. I stopped several times to try and find the source and the closest I could figure was the rear dually tires were the wrong size and they were rubbing where the tires meet the road. The good news is I made it to our new home late Thursday night with no further problems. I arrived about 24 hours later than originally planned, not to bad considering all that happened.

I got to spend one day at our new home and then had to return to AR. I used that day to buy new rear tires. The previous owner had installed the wrong sized tires and once I replaced them the squealing went away. The other thing I found that I corrected on the spot was the moisture sensor on the fuel filter was disconnected at the filter so I reconnected it.

The friend that volunteered to pickup our F250 near Nashville also had a 24' enclosed trailer that I borrowed to assist in our move. The plan was for me to take the 24' enclosed trailer back to AR and fill it up for a return trip at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

So I headed out around 5:30 am Saturday morning. The trip started out just fine however as I made the turn from KY 461 on to KY 80 and started to accelerate up the hill all of a sudden the truck lost a lot of power and I noticed the moisture in fuel light was on . (Turns out Susan noticed the light come on a couple of times Friday night when we were driving around in the truck. She mentioned it but I totally forgot about it by the time we got back to the house.) I continued on for a short distance to the next gas station which fortunately was at the bottom of a long hill.

When I was transferring everything from the F250 to the F350 one of the things I grabbed was the spare fuel filter which just happened to be the same one as used on the F350. It took me about 25 minutes to get the old filter off and the new filter back on. I didn't have any diesel to put into the new filter before installation so I had to crank for a while to get the engine to restart, but it did YEAH! So back on the road I go.

By this time the wind is starting to pick up and I'm now driving into a fairly decent head wind. One of the running jokes between Susan and myself is no matter which way we're headed we always seem to be driving into a head wind . The good news the new truck is running well and I'm cruising at a comfortable 55 mph.

Everything was going great until I was about 40 miles east of Memphis. There I was cruising along in the right land and I look in my rear view mirror and see a line of about six unmarked patrol cars start to pass me slowly in the left lane. As the last one started to pass me he got up even with the cab of the truck and then all of a sudden started slowing back down. He paced me for a while and I could see he was looking for my license plate (which I didn't have since it was a new truck). He then slows down even farther and pulls in behind me. Things stay that way for a couple of miles and then his lights come one. DRATS, just what I needed, a session with the state patrol.

So we all pull over (all six of the unmarked cars pull over, some in front of me and some behind). The trooper walks up to the truck and asks me if I knew I didn't have a license plate. I said yes and asked him if he had time for a long story........

What it amounted to was I had just gotten stopped by the Violent Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force. Oh joy, here I am in a new to me truck, a borrowed trailer with Florida plates and only a copy of the title from the previous owners and a copy of our insurance forms faxed to us by the insurance agent. Keep in mind my drivers license is from Arkansas, the address we put on the title is in Kentucky and the trailer is from Florida. Let the fun begin .

He asked me what I had in the trailer and I said "nuthin" at which time he had this sort of surprised look on his face. He then asked for consent to search the truck and trailer. I agreed and signed the appropriate search waver. At this time I started praying that the previous owners had lead a clean life and didn't leave any drug paraphernalia in the truck and that my friend with the trailer never hauled any drugs in it! They did an extremely thorough job of inspecting both the truck and trailer and surprise surprise, didn't find anything . During the search process at least three of the officers individually stopped by and asked me all sorts of "inncocent" questions. There was a definte pattern to their questions and I'm sure they each compared stories to see if my story changed.

I must have passed that test because after about 45 minutes they finally said I was free to go. They did warn me that it was possible I could be stopped again by another patrolman down the road because of not having a license plate.

Fortunately the only negative thing that happened the rest of the trip is the head wind kept getting stronger and I could sit and watch the needle on the fuel gauge move toward empty. I could definitely tell the difference in towing the Airstream trailer compared to the 24' square enclosed trailer. Even empty the 24' square trailer was harder to pull.

I'm hoping my return trip(s) during the Thansgiving holiday are a lot less eventful.

Hope I didn't bore you with all this .

Brad
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:24 PM   #7
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Sounds like it would have been time for a stiff drink, once you got everything parked.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:09 PM   #8
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I do not want to ever ever travel with you, the excitement would kill me! Glad all is well. zz
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:24 PM   #9
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Hey Brad,

Glad everything ended up alright. The cops must have been profiling you since you look like a shady character transporting drugs j/k:P

This explains why I couldn't reach Susan the other day....she was busy with all this other stuff going on!

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Old 11-16-2008, 02:35 PM   #10
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Sounds like a typical Tennessee howdy to me. OY!
Hope your next trip through our state is less exciting.

/Lois
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:35 PM   #11
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I do not want to ever ever travel with you, the excitement would kill me! Glad all is well. zz


Can't say as I blame you .
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:41 PM   #12
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Hey Brad,

Glad everything ended up alright. The cops must have been profiling you since you look like a shady character transporting drugs j/k:P

This explains why I couldn't reach Susan the other day....she was busy with all this other stuff going on!
The trailer with Florida plates and no plate on my truck sure made a tempting target for them. I couldn't tell if they were disappointed or pleased that I was clean.

As my dad used to say, Susan is busier than a one legged man in an @ss kicking contest. Since I'm in CA she's having to deal with just about everything involved with the move.

Brad
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:45 PM   #13
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Sounds like a typical Tennessee howdy to me. OY!
I will say this about the Task force members, they were all exceedingly polite and took great pains to let me know what was happening.

Quote:
Hope your next trip through our state is less exciting.

/Lois
ME TOO

Brad
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:20 PM   #14
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I like Susan's solution to the truck issues.... buy another! So, what happened to the old truck... did you sell it for a good price? How'd the MH move go.. or is that for later too.

Your stop reminds me of the pullover I got in S. Dakota for doing 56 mph in a 55 (actually, 55.5 per my GPS). Got the full sit next to a police dog treatment too! Sent me on my way when (surprise!) there was nothing to be found.

Best of luck!
Marc
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:25 PM   #15
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Well Brad, in today's world you fit right in...

Truck broke? Don't fix it .....replace it!

It's the American thing to do.

Everyone should go out right now and help bail out the auto industry and buy a new truck, or car.

Be patriotic! Buy American!
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:18 PM   #16
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Wow What an adventure
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:55 PM   #17
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the rear dually tires were ....rubbing where the tires meet the road.
I think that's supposed to happen.

You had quite an adventure! I hope the remaining legs are less exciting.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:31 PM   #18
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Well Brad, in today's world you fit right in...

Truck broke? Don't fix it .....replace it!

It's the American thing to do.

Everyone should go out right now and help bail out the auto industry and buy a new truck, or car.

Be patriotic! Buy American!

Heck yeah!

When it comes down to cost of transmission repair/replacement + hotel/food for Brad & dog during the time the truck is on the shop + lost time for Brad away from work = or is more than the cost of buying a 1992 truck at a great deal, we'll DEFINITELY buy the truck!

It worked out so well for us - it is a better truck than the old one, we get the old one back to sell, and now we can handle a gooseneck trailer when we couldn't before. Brad was not out of work a single day and only lost one day out of his extremely busy schedule. I was frantic with worrying how we would be able to do everything we needed to do with him out of commission for a week, and this dropped right into our laps. Plus, now we can haul some stuff with this one we would not have been able to with the other one, so that saved us money from having to hire someone to haul that stuff.

All in all, a great deal.

And yes, we bought American. It might be sixteen years old, but it's still American, and so is the retired couple we bought it from.

Susan
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:53 PM   #19
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I like Susan's solution to the truck issues.... buy another! So, what happened to the old truck... did you sell it for a good price? How'd the MH move go.. or is that for later too.
Marc, the old truck is now sitting out beside our barn. A friend of mine made the round trip from Richmond and retrieved it for us. I'm keeping my eyes open for a transmission and should one show up at a reasonable price we'll grab it. Until then the truck is going to get a much deserved rest, or you could say its been put out to pasture .

Quote:
Your stop reminds me of the pullover I got in S. Dakota for doing 56 mph in a 55 (actually, 55.5 per my GPS). Got the full sit next to a police dog treatment too! Sent me on my way when (surprise!) there was nothing to be found.
Wow, 1 mph over and getting stopped is really grasping at straws. Good thing you weren't doing 2 over, who knows when you would have gotten out of jail .

Brad
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:24 AM   #20
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Whew! I am worn out just reading about your adventures...glad everything is OK and we sure are going to miss you here in Arkansas!

Kentucky is a much better place with Brad and Susan in it!

G
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