Well kinda. We were heading out for niece Sara’s wedding back in Chicago. Only an hour or so gone, still in Tennessee. The Alt Fail light came on, and the dash started going ding ding ding… ding ding ding…

This happens sometimes on a sunny day since I put the solar on, I ignored it.

A few miles later, dash lights up like a Christmas tree. “Overheat” and “Stop Engine NOW” and lots of dinging. We’re just passing an overpass with on and off ramps, and I head right, coming to rest on the shoulder of the on ramp. Carol’s confused and wondering why I just pulled off the highway so quickly. I just said “something’s broke.”

About that time it started raining.

Rain or not we couldn’t just sit there. I suspected we lost the serpentine belt, and went out in the rain and crawled under the back of the bus to confirm. Yup, lots of empty pulleys. At least it was fairly dry under there.

Back inside, I get on the phone with Coachnet. I tell them its the belt and we’ll need a mobile mechanic and they tell me they’ll get someone out. With time to kill, I got on the net and started doing some research. To identify the proper belt, I needed (and didn’t have) the engine serial number. Cummins could tell me from the vin, but that call went to voicemail. I called a shop that had worked on her some years ago, and they were able to look up the serial number. With that, google knew the belt part number!

I called coachnet back with the good news, only to find out they have yet to find a mobile mechanic!
Not at all happy with this, I got back on the computer, and in less than 30 minutes found a shop in Knoxville that could send someone out right away. They verified the belt part # from my info and said they would bring it. Called Coachnet back, and they called the shop and arranged to pay for the service call.

While waiting, I pulled out the closet doors and got the trapdoor off so we could access the deisel engine through the bedroom floor.

The techs got there, and with one on each side under the coach and me on top, we got the new belt around the pulleys in about 15 minutes. If ever there was a reason to get a side radiator DP, this is it. Settling up was somewhat painful. Coachnet or no coachnet, me knowing what part I needed or not, this ended up costing me four hours and FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS.
I guess it’s way better than getting towed on a friday afternoon and having to boondock in a shop parking lot until Monday. Oddly, we got no pictures of the bus on the shoulder of the highway with cars and trucks screaming by. No pictures of that big red Cummins diesel through the bedroom floor. Not even a pic of my legs sticking out from under the bus in the rain. I guess we were too busy dealing with actual reality?

Back on the road again.

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  1. Roger

    Disaster? Sounds like you, Coachnet and the mechanics handled the situation very professionally and quickly with no damage done. I was thinking, oh no! A major wreck or health issue! Glad to hear you’re both ok and back on the road.

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