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Old 03-21-2015, 05:07 PM   #1
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1990 25' Excella
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Tale of Woe & Long Tow

Have I ever mentioned my dislike for electronics in modern vehicles? I don't even like electric windows (what's so hsrd about turning a window crank?). Love the old Porsches where everything is analog and easily fixed when it fails.

Begin the tale of woe...

We retrieved Miss Nellie, our '90 25' Excella from her winter-long stay in the Sheep Barn, as clean as when she was dropped off in November. I de-winterized, pleased that everything was working properly, and we got things set up for our two week trip through the California Wine Country. We're pretty excited because we have four overnight stays at different vineyards (through the great Harvest Hosts program).

We're cruising along in our 2006 MB ML500 about 95 miles south of home when I notice that the RPMs are at 2400 - they're normally at 1800 at 55mph. It appeared to me that we were stuck in 5th gear. I pulled over, turned off the motor - and more importantly the computers - hoping that a restart (reboot) would correct things. Started out and now there is no shifting, we are stuck in 2nd gear, cleverly referred to as "limp mode" by MB. Evidently it's to enable you to get home when your electronic gremlins decide to do their thing.

Well, pretty tough to limp 95 miles pulling a trailer on a busy highway. But I was able to pull off onto a large level gravel area used by the highway department. We were somewhere between the sticks and the boonies - but we had cell phone coverage! Fortunately I had added trailer towing to our AAA coverage a while back (at negligible cost). Called them, they picked up the trailer, hauled it back to Bend and deposited it in front of our house.

Also fortunately, our TV had been worked on by MB two days before and had gotten a clean bill of health, so they paid to have it towed back to the dealership in Bend, ending our vacation with a 2-hour ride in a tow truck.

So I'm taking advantage if the downtime to apply the bi-annual coat of Liquid Glass. Writing this while I take a break.

Moral of the story? Avoid modern electronics - tow with a '56 Ford pick-up. I probably won't go that far, but I will never be without towing insurance.

Cheers,
John
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:38 PM   #2
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My TV doesn't have any electronics. In fact, if I park it on a hill and roll it to start it it doesn't even need a battery.

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Old 03-21-2015, 05:47 PM   #3
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That's my kind of TV! Need to get used to limp mode though.

Cheers,
John
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:48 PM   #4
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Not my favorite vacation photo...
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:21 PM   #5
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, glad you r safe though.
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:31 PM   #6
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, glad you r safe though.
Thank you sbb. I was very pleased that I didn't have to park on the side of the highway.

John
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:09 PM   #7
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Hope you don't get stuck with A huge repair bill.

Kelvin
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Old 03-21-2015, 08:28 PM   #8
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Hope you don't get stuck with A huge repair bill.

Kelvin
Carry a reserve for that. It's been a very dependable rig and a great tow vehicle and I'm fortunate to have an honest MB dealer here in Bend. Their Service Manager is confident the computer will reveal all as the CEL is on. We shall see.

John
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:31 PM   #9
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Sorry for the sucky end to a potentially nice trip.

I agree 100% with the comment about computers and all the gadgetry. I've been rejuvenating a 1981 Ford Bronco for just that very reason...... crank windows (although I really wish the rear window had an outside crank..), manual locks, non fuel injected, halogen (cheap) headlights, a mechanical linkage for putting into 4x4, etc. We LOVE it! Our most modern vehicle is our 1995 Ford F250 7.3L PowerStroke. Another beauty of a vehicle with REALLY low miles, for that type of truck..... only 107,000.
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