Stuck in Las Cruces – Still

To recap: Yesterday as we turned off on Exit 135 into Las Cruces, NM, my engine sputtered a few times and then quit. We were just cresting the top of a hill that precedes a long sweeping curve down into Las Cruces. Although it was fun steering the coach without power steering, we were able to coast a little over 3 miles before being stopped by a red light. At that point I was able to pull off onto a side street that had a wide shoulder that kept us out of traffic.

Thinking that I might be out of diesel, I unhooked the toad, grabbed my 5 gallon can from the bay, and drove right down road to a Fina station, and by making two trips, got 10 gallons of diesel into the tank.

I then spent the next 30 minutes running through the re-prime procedure, but with no luck. So it was on the phone to CoachNet. They made some calls, and then told me they’d  have a wrecker out in about 45 minutes who would tow us to the repair lot. Though being Sunday, no one would be there until Monday morning. And after telling me it would be 45 minutes, the wrecker showed up in only 30 minutes. Great service from CoachNet.

Well, after a somewhat fitful night sleeping in the lot outside Rush Truck Center here in Las Cruces, I checked in with the shop when they opened at 8am. I was still under the assumption that I might be out of diesel, despite the fact that my Silverleaf computer dashboard said I still had 35 gallons in my tank, plus the 10 gallons I had added.

After getting my data, a tech showed up about an hour later and tried to get the engine started. By pre-filling the Lift Pump Filter, and using a small amount of ether, the engine started up after about 10 seconds of cranking.


The engine ran about 3 minutes and then quit.


Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

A second attempt did exactly the same thing.


The tech then started checking some things, and pulling the engine oil dipstick, discovered coolant in the oil.


Not Good.

Next step was for them to tow the rig into their shop lot using a forklift. The facility manager Clayton said it could be something as simple as a water pump or cooler gasket, (BUCKS) but it could also be blown head gasket or a warped head. (BIG BUCKS).

But it could also be a cracked block. (REALLY, REALLY BIG BUCKS)


Clayton said he wanted to let the Cummins rep look at it first, hopefully later in the afternoon. Since we couldn’t stay in the rig, Jan and I packed us and our two cats off to a nearby La Quinta (They take pets).

After lunch and a nice nap in the room, we drove over to the shop about 4:30 to check in. Unfortunately the Cummins guy still hadn’t shown up, so we’ll have to wait ‘til tomorrow to find out what’s what.

Stay tuned.


Thought for the Day:

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. – Mark Twain



8 Responses

  1. I really hope it is something minor. La Quinta is a pretty nice place. Hope the cats like it. Oh, do you know the English translation of La Quinta? It means: “next to Denny’s”

  2. Keeping our fingers crossed for a cheap fix for you.

  3. Ruh.Ruh is right. So sorry to hear about your Cummins problems. We had the same happen to our Cummins in out truck. We were stuck in Sacramento at Christmas one year. Not fun either. It was #3 for us, covered under warranty.

    Don’t forget for great Italian try Lorenzos in Old Mesilla. NOT the one on University …diferent
    Cook. University Drive does have a nice cigar shop run by a young man from Scotland, I think. It’s fun hearing him describe the various brands of cigars with his accent.

  4. So sorry to hear of your engine troubles! Hope things get resolved quickly and it’s not the BIG BUCKS option!

  5. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? 😦

  6. I find that motels are more challenging than they were before full timing. I no longer know how to pack for short stays. 🙂

  7. Actually we ate at that Lorenzo’s Sunday night. You’re right. It was really good.

  8. I know what you mean. We keep having to go back to the rig to get things we need. I’ve been working on a checklist for next time.

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