Thursday, June 25, 2015

Have You Been To Three Forks, MT?

Yesterday morning we left Missoula, MT and continued our leisurely drive east on I-90.  It is a beautiful drive and we purred along in the motor home enjoying the scenery.  The long and steep mountain pass east of Butte, MT posed no problems for the motorhome and we cruised over it easily.  Then we got to the long long 6% down hill grade and managed it fine passing the Continental Divide at 6800ft.

Gerry was on the phone making reservations for that evening and also reservations at the Red Lodge KOA for 4 days later this week.  We managed to snag the last available spots at both campgrounds and that was a load off my mind.

I was thinking about how well the motor home was running and didn't want to jinx it by telling Gerry how I felt about it.  The last time I did that we wound up in La Mesa, AZ for a repair.  I didn't want to go through that again.  After La Mesa we went to the Cummins dealer and had an oil change, main belt changed and a few other items.  Remember the belt change.

We were cruising up a small pass about 17 miles west of Three Forks, MT when I heard a very loud bang and some other noise coming from the rear of the motor home.  We were on a steep curvy part of the road and I knew it wasn't a blown tire so I stopped a little ways down the road.  An inspection of the rear of the motor home was next and coolant fluid was pouring out of the overflow hose.  Not good!!  I checked around and saw an universal joint attached to a rod and at about the same time noticed we didn't have a fan belt.  (Not the belt above).  Oh Oh!!!  

A call was placed to our Good Sam Emergency Road Service and they had a tow truck out there within an hour.  Luckily he was just down the highway about 15-16 miles.  He checked out the problem and asked if I could drive it to his repair shop since the water pump was still working.  I managed to make it within 2 miles of the shop and had to stop and let the engine cool down for 30-40 minutes.  Then it was on to his shop where we spent the night.  

The damage might not be as bad as originally thought if he can get the metal rod reattached and install new fan belts.  It's 11am now and we are waiting for the fan belts to arrive.  Then he can try and put the fan drive assembly back together and see if it works.  Hopefully the problem came about as a result of a broken fan belt and not the drive assembly.  I'm wondering if when the main belt above was replaced the tech didn't reattach the fan belt tight enough and it came off and caused the rod to come out of it's assembly.

Since Tiffin RV closes down for a week starting Friday at 4:30pm, we need to have the repair finished in time to order a part if we need to.  Otherwise we will be here in Three Forks, MT for a week or two.  It's going to be a close call.

If we have to wait it out, then we will stay at a local RV park and go sightseeing around the area.  We are about 65 miles south of Helena, MT  and 120 miles north of Yellowstone Nat's Park.  There are also some geocaches in the area that are waiting for me.

Oh, Gerry called and cancelled our reservations and the KOA even waived the no-refund fee for us.  Nice to see them do that since we called them 3 hrs after making the reservation.  They are busy so someone else will take the spot quickly.

We were worn out after all that excitement and went into the town of Three Forks for dinner at the Iron Horse Cafe.  I had a buffalo burger which was fine and Gerry had a French dip sandwich that was just OK since it was a little overcooked.  The town looks like your typical small western town with a 3-4 block long main street.  Most of the buildings were occupied and it was a pleasant town.

That was our day on the road, how was yours?  

We did receive a message yesterday that our friends Linda & Sherwin made the drive from Maine to Tucson where they have bought a house.  They sold their Maine home and have decided to live in Tucson full time.  I think the gold prospecting fever got to Sherwin and he wants to find that one huge nugget.  LOL   Enjoy your new home and we may see you this winter.  

1 comment:

  1. Not the place you want to have to spend a week. A day or two is doable. But if you are stuck - check out the ringing rocks. It is really an amazing experience. We also went to the ones in Pennsylvania. We also enjoyed the Buffalo Jump. Hope you get on the road shortly.