Day 5 - NC to MT

IMG_3296We woke up this morning hoping to get on the road early to avoid some of the predicted wind. By 8:00 we had eaten breakfast, drained the holding tanks, disconnected the water, put Moxie in the car and started the truck so it could warm up. It was brutally cold and the wind was blowing about thirty-five miles per hour. Unhooking things had been very uncomfortable because of the wind and temperature.

The only thing left to do was pull in the slideouts and unhook the electric. Mary went out to unhook the electric and I was going to pull in the slideouts. Pulling in the slideouts means pushing a button that says, "IN". I pushed the button and nothing happened - there was no sound, no movement, no nothing. I got out the manual - it provided no help. I called Lippert (the maker of the hydraulic systems that moves the slideouts). The fellow I spoke with tried to help me, but I could not find the things he was asking me to find. He suggested calling for roadside assistance and have the tech that came out call Lippert for help.

I called Good Sam Roadside Assistance. They assured me they would find someone to come out. Good Sam is generally very quick with providing assistance. After 30 minutes I had not heard from Good Sam so I called them. They were still working on finding a tech - neither RV place in town provides mobile service. I was assured that they would continue to try to find help and call me back. An hour later, Good Sam called back and said they could not find anyone to come out today. They found someone willing to come out tomorrow at 10:00. Begrudgingly I said, "ok." Mary and I are both getting frustrated with the number and magnitude of the problems we are having with the Cedar Creek - now it appeared like we were going to be spending an extra day in Gillette, WY.

Our RV park neighbor, Gary, said he would look at it. I called Lippert and gave the phone to Gary. Gary is a mechanic. Evidently Gary found Lippert to be no more helpful than I did because he was not on the phone but for a second before starting to do his own thing. With in a few minutes he had the slides ready to be pulled in. He showed me what wasn't working and how we could make it work with a pair of insulated pliers. Once that was done, he was not pleased with something that was attached to the batteries so he and I went to an auto parts store to get what he thought needed to go on the batteries. After doing that he headed back to his RV to work on his project.

Mary and I quickly decided to head to Billings - a larger town with more options for getting the RV repaired. I was not real excited about using pliers to hold two pieces of metal together so the slides could move in and out even if the pliers were insulated. Our plan was that I would call Good Sam and cancel the service guy for tomorrow and then call Cedar Creek and see if there was an RV repair place that we could go to in Billings later today and have the slideouts repaired. Meanwhile, Mary was going to start driving to Billings. When I called Cedar Creek customer service. The person I talked to said that 90% of the time what I was describing was caused by a tripped mini-breaker. He told me he would email a photo of the location of the mini breakers that I needed to push to fix the problem.

I called Mary and asked her stop at the next rest area so I could check to see if the mini breakers were tripped. Using the photo you see here, I managed to find the mini breakers (they are circled in yellow in the photo). Two of the three breakers were tripped. After pushing the breakers we tested the slideouts and they worked perfectly. What we thought was another thing wrong with the RV was just owner ignorance. Once we knew what to do we were able to fix the problem.

Knowing that the problem was solved, we got back on the road and fought wind gusts all the way from Gillette, WY to Billings, MT. Along the way we saw hundreds of antelope grazing in fields along the road. The scenery along the route including the snow capped Bighorn Mountains was beautiful.

In Billings, we hooked the RV up to electric so we would have heat tonight, but decided not to hook up anything else so that it will be easy to unhook tomorrow. Billings is cold but not as cold as Gillette. Moxie and I went for a walk to the Yellowstone River this afternoon. Even though it is cold, Moxie had to swim two different times. Mary and I went out to dinner this evening.

All in all, what we thought was starting out to be a bad day turned into a day with some nice surprises. The photos below capture Mary and Moxie's expressions when I told them that we could not get anyone out to repair the slideouts until tomorrow at 10:00 and would be spending the day in Gillette, WY - both were very excited.