The Weekend that didn’t End

Beautiful sunset at Portman Marina

What was supposed to be a weekend trip to go to a Clemson Football Game and celebrate our nephew’s 2nd birthday turned in to a much longer stay than we anticipated.

Where to begin…

There has been a shifting issue when starting from a dead stop once the engine is warm since we purchased our Bounder.  We had the issue looked at a couple of times and were finally able to get it diagnosed by an awesome shop.  That was a huge step!  However, it was diagnosed in Charleston, SC as Hurricane Florence was approaching so the shop didn’t have time to fix it.  We really wanted it fixed before heading to the mountains since the issue has caused us to completely stall out a few times.  We left Charleston ahead of Hurricane Florence and decided to get the issue resolved in our next destination.

Well, RV service centers are in higher demand than we thought!  We called about 50 places and finally found someone that would look at it near where we would be with Austin’s family.  Well, he couldn’t fix it after all.  This prompted another 50 calls with no luck.  We researched the issue a ton (TSB 2-11-3) and read through several forums outlining where other RV owners were able to fix it themselves and decided to give it a go.  Mind you – we have no clue what we are doing when it comes to engine repair or mechanical issues, but we felt like we had no other options.  We were able to fix the problem (re-ran the ground wire out of the PCM to a new ground to reduce the electrical noise) and were set to go the next morning.

Of course the PCM is super difficult to access

We started the engine up to head to our mountaintop campground we were really excited about.  The engine revved up then proceeded to stall out immediately AND give us a new error code (P0102 – the mass air flow sensor).  This prompted another million phone calls to RV service centers and garages and no one could help us!  It was a very stressful day trying to find someone to look at the engine knowing we weren’t going to be able to go to the mountains after all.  We are very very fortunate that this happened at Austin’s parents house and we were in a safe location.  We got the name of someone that works out of his house that sounded promising.  He was going to come that Monday, but he didn’t make it and said Tuesday morning at 10.  That turned into 4pm.  Which turned into Wednesday.  Which prompted several more calls (including one to cancel our mountaintop campground reservation).  It seems so crazy that it is so hard to find someone to work on the RV.

Someone please help us!

One of the most frustrating things with the situation was that we figured it was a simple fix!  It seemed the new ground was working – maybe we simply jostled or pulled or something while trying to fix our PCM grounding issue.  However, again – we are not engine mechanics and we couldn’t find one that would look at it!

We gave up on the initial guy and found someone that would come look at it Wednesday at 6:30.  It’s hard to believe, but yes – he didn’t show.  He rescheduled for Thursday morning at 9am which came and went with no mechanic.  At 11:45 a white truck showed up and I have never been happier to see a mechanic!  He ran some diagnostic tests, but he couldn’t find any issues.  He left to go talk to the guys at the shop about it. We were happy someone was finally helping us, but slightly discouraged he left and we still didn’t have a solution.  At 3:30 we still had not heard anything so we got in touch with the shop and they asked if we could bring it in.  The shop was only a 10 minute drive so we decided to go for it.  We arrived and the manager looked at it and hooked our engine up to a fancy computer system and he read the codes.  He too was scratching his head trying to identify the issue.  He kept going through things and we told him that none of these issues were happening before we messed with the PCM grounding so we just knew they had to be related.

Woohoo! Someone finally was able to look at the engine

At one point he was reaching around under the pedals messing with wires and reconnected a couple of them.  Wouldn’t you know that the engine light went off immediately and the engine started running great.  All of this time and we just had a wire unplugged.  I knew it!

We were so excited to get back on the road.  We immediately packed up and headed to North Carolina!  We loved the unexpected visit with Austin’s parents, but did not love feeling so incredibly helpless when we didn’t know what was going on with the engine.  So happy to report that we are back on the road!

Back on the road – headed to North Carolina

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