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First MDT long haul...


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So we're on the road for a month. Started at home base in Salt Lake with plans to hit Hwy 101 in the north western US, taking it down through Oregon. We're half way through the adventure ( I chose the word 'adventure' carefully)... here's the recap.

- Day one, end of hour one. Blew a trailer tire. 2 hr delay for roadside service and a dent to the wallet. My bad on this one. Tire was the last of the 2003 dated tires. All of them have de-laminated internally.

 

- Still day one, now 6 hrs down the road, outside Boise, Id., the inside drives side, truck tire blows. Violently. Only 500 miles on the recap. The 'come-appart' bends the diamond plate decking up nearly an inch, rips out all the tail light wiring on the left side, totally blows out the LED tail lights from their fixtures. Rips off the paint on the tail end of the bed, and twists up the mud flap and mount into a crumpled mess. Somehow it didn't damage the trailer. But the electrical to the trailer, is now not working. Spent the night at the truck stop. AAA came out and pulled the blown tire and we limped into Boise to have Les Schwab put a new tire on and file a damage claim... which seems to be going through their process just fine. We'll know more on that when we get back home.

 

- Day two hunkered down in KOA in Boise, I pulled the rear decking plate and temp fixed the wiring to the trailer and the brake/turn signals. Oh, rock hit to the front windshield has now spawned a crack that runs right though the drivers side.

 

- Day 3... long run to a town just west of Winnanachi, Wa. Lots of hours of 40+ mph head and side winds along the Columbia River and bad, uneven roads. At the destination, found that the motorcycle in the garage (we have a toy hauler) had broken lose from the tie down straps and fallen against the wall, punching holes in the interior walls. Trashed the left fairing paint job.

 

- Day 5... Outside Seattle, Wa., roll the motorcycle out for a day ride. Hour and a half into the ride, we have a young deer jump in front of us. Kept the bike upright, but both the front end of the bike and the young deer are now out of action. Picked up the fairing and other parts strewn down the road and managed to get things re arranged so we could drive the bike the 30 miles back to the trailer. The motorcycling part of our vacation plans are now done.

 

There's been a few more small things but it was, for a time, seeming like Washington didn't want us there. After years of RVing, we have never had such a string of bad events. Maybe they were saving up for one trip.

 

Other than the tire blown on the truck, the truck has been flawless. Need more power for the hills. The exhaust brake isn't as good as a real engine brake but it has been helpful. We did add 400+ lbs of lead behind the axel and that has helped. Adding more when we get back. Really need an air-ride type hitch but it was not in the budget right now.

 

The exhaust dumps under the truck. Need to change that to dump out the passengers side so it won't coat the rear of the truck and the trailer with diesel dust.

 

Next stop, for a week, Lincoln City, Or.

 

On the road, trying to keep the shinny side up...

 

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WOW, sorry to hear of all the bad luck. When it rains it pours as they say. The important thing is you all are ok and healthy. My budget has been pushed to the limit also but yesterday I ordered a TST tire monitoring system. They are expensive but were having a fathers day sale. I have had tires blow before and cause much damage so I figured the investment in the monitoring system would save me untold thousands in the long run. Just one saved blown tire will cover the cost of the system. Bad luck seems to find me and then want to chase me for a while also. Hope you can enjoy the rest of your vacation and much better luck to you in the coming days!

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Just watch how much power you make by adding fuel, the IH engines with aluminum topped pistons are not very tolerant of higher EGTs. Swapping pistons is an expensive option, repairs after you blow a hole in one are even more expensive.

 

I have talked to a few folks that went to propane injection on the aluminum IH engines and were quite happy with that.

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Tires are bad things. A lot of power in that air. Thanx for reminding me that I have a couple of bad sensors that need to be changed out.

 

As Stan mentioned, with the bigger trucks, you need to be a bit more proactive on the maintenance side of things, they go bad and expensive quickly. There is just a lot of power there, and the stuff, engine, tranny's, diff's, tires are correspondingly pricy also.

 

Glad there was no serious damage and you the wife and others are not hurt.

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  • 1 month later...

Wow! when it rains it really pours! I can relate, we spent a week in Wilcox AZ waiting to fix a blown turbo on the MH. One week in a motel with 2 big dogs and an increasingly angry wife was not that much fun. but it reminds me of what a friend once said to me, "nothing goes wrong if you stay home and sit on the couch". So go out and enjoy the bad times as well as the good.

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  • 3 months later...

When I got my 4400 back from the body builder; he had extended the weedburner towards the rear of the tuck stopping it just ahead of the axle and left the turn out facing down towards the road surface. After one particularly long uphill pull in NM. I had cause to lift an inspection plate in the deck to verify bottom of levelling valve rod was still attached to it's axle mount and darn near burnt my arm off on the brake canister!

 

That turn down got changed to a turn out really quick and it got extended to dump outboard of the body. I obsessed over the diaphragm in that canister having been baked and had the cannister changed out just to be on the safe side.

 

Your truck and all who service her under there will thank you greatly for an exhaust directed out from under.

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WOW, sorry to hear of all the bad luck. When it rains it pours as they say. The important thing is you all are ok and healthy. My budget has been pushed to the limit also but yesterday I ordered a TST tire monitoring system. They are expensive but were having a fathers day sale. I have had tires blow before and cause much damage so I figured the investment in the monitoring system would save me untold thousands in the long run. Just one saved blown tire will cover the cost of the system. Bad luck seems to find me and then want to chase me for a while also. Hope you can enjoy the rest of your vacation and much better luck to you in the coming days!

Unfortunately a TPM system won't always save you from a blow out. If a tire begins to disintegrate internally it may well blow out well before a monitoring system can signal a problem. Their real value is in indicating a loss of pressure thru a moderately slow leak so that you can pull over before a catastrophic tire failure.

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