Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chapter 69...Getting The Motorhome Off The Mountain Fiasco

Off Grid...Chapter 69

This is the day I have been dreading. Mike wants to move the motorhome over to our other property so we can work on it and possibly put it up for sale. It will be much easier to show it and test drive from that property.

Ok, here we go. Mike thinks he will be fine driving it down our driveway. He is more concerned about our tight turn and the trees in our right-of-way. I am worried about the top of our hill. The mh is like a huge 40 foot box and it is the biggest thing that has ever been driven up top. Mike starts the mh and lets the air bags fill. While we are waiting I make sure everything is secure inside the mh.

Mike is ready. He starts driving and gets the mh maneuvered through the top gate. Now he is headed down the driveway.

I look up from the camera and my heart stops. The whole back corner of the mh is tilted and leaning off the edge of our driveway. It looks like Mike and the mh are going to roll down our hill. OMG. I go running down to see what happened. As I get closer it looks even worse. Now I am really freaking out for Mike. I open the door and Mike calmly tells me it stalled which means he lost the power steering. While he was trying to re start it he couldn't turn it because of the steering and now the back tire is off the road. Mike is now stuck inside the mh and it won't start and it is really leaning down hill. At this point I really panic and even start to cry a little, which is so unlike me. I yell at Mike that we should call Jimmy or someone, anyone. He tells me that won't help because no one can get past us on our road to help us. Oh great now what. Mike tells me to stop panicking, after all he is the one in the driver's seat. Yeah sure. Mike is my world and my best friend and all I can picture is Mike rolling down the hill with the mh. Finally he gets it started. He tells me he is going to try and go forward and get back on the road but I have to keep him out of the ditch. It's a slow nerve wracking go but he makes it back onto the road. Yeah. He tells me it wasn't as bad as I thought. "the back wheels are dual and only one was off the road." Oh gee that makes me feel so much better. All I can say is Thank God Mike doesn't panicky. If it had been me driving I don't think I would still be here. I am so relieved Mike is back on the road and he is ok.

Here is where the HM stalled.

And where he is off the road. Pictures don't do it justice but trust me it was very scary.

I get into the jeep and follow Mike to the bottom. Now our next dilemma will be getting out of our tight right of way. I follow Mike all the way to our front gate at the bottom. He stops so that I can open the gate and the mh stalls again. This time it won't restart.

Here we are stuck at the gate and no one get get in or out.

Mike is more stressed about this than he was on the hill. I said "who cares?" this we can fix, I hope, and there is no danger to us. I ask Mike if he knows what is wrong and why is Mr. Coach stalling. He says it sounds like the m=h isn't getting enough gas. Ok, so what do we need to do? Mike says we have to go back up top and load up with tools. Thankfully the Jeep was behind the mh.

Once before we had trouble with stalling and we had to take it in to be serviced. Thankfully Mike watched the whole procedure so now he can do the work himself. It's also a good thing he watched because the mechanic made a mistake and Mike even asked him specifically if he checked for leaks. The mechanic said everything was fine. We started it up in the parking lot and sure enough we had a gas leak.

We get all the tools together and bring them inside the motorhome. Our diesel engine is in the back and to do this job you have to access it from the bedroom. Mike unscrews the bolts over the engine cover and pulls it off. Next he slowly starts taking things apart.

He finds the lift pump screen and cleans it out. It had a lot of debris so hopefully this will fix the problem. Mike tries to start Mr. Coach and we get nothing. I ask if it could be the fuel filter. He says "let's go replace it". Thankfully we keep spare parts around. We go outside to the back of the mh. Mike unscrews the filter and there's no gas in it. There is supposed to be. So we put a new filter on and go back inside to try again. Mike tries again to start it with no luck. He tells me to start it while he checks the lift pump. The pump doesn't seem to be working which means it isn't feeding any fuel to our filter. I ask if we can manually add some diesel to the filter. Mike says we have no choice but now we have to get some diesel and we don't have a can around. Off we go back up to the top to siphon some diesel out of the tractor. We get the diesel and head back down to the front gate. We add the diesel to the filter and the coach starts. Woo hoo. Now it is getting late and we are concerned about leaving the property and getting stuck and blocking people. We decide to make the move tomorrow. At least it will be an easier day. Now Mike just has to back the motorhome back up our driveway and park by the barn. No problem, lol.

Mike gets it parked at the barn.

Once it is parked Mike does a recheck on the engine to make sure we don't have any stalling problems tomorrow. He finds a loose connection on the lift pump and as simple as that seems Mike thinks that might have been our problem the whole time. He fixes the connection and starts it up and keeps the mh running. All seems to be good. Mike wants to take no chances tomorrow so he calls Jimmy and asks if he can come over in the morning for back up. Just in case we can't make it out of the right of way. Jimmy says he'll meet us in the morning.

Ah, now we go up for a well deserved break from a very stressful day so far. I never want to repeat another day like that again. After our break we go up top to see what else we can do. Now that the mh is gone it looks like we have so much room. Mike wants to get it all cleaned up so we can have grass. Woo hoo. First he wants to bring our extra piece of culvert down to the barn.

Chaining the culvert to the tractor.

Bringing it down to the barn.

I hop onto the tractor with Mike and we bring the culvert down to the barn and unload it. On our way back up Mike says "do you think we can move that dead tree to the fire pile?" Sure let's do it. He pulls us close and I hook one end of the chain to the tractor bucket and wrap the other end around the dead tree. Then Mike lifts it.

Mike drags it to the fire pile.

We go back and hook up one more dead tree.

We have so many downed trees on our property and eventually we will have to hike in the woods and cut a lot of them up. That will be plenty enough for any future fire wood. Right now we just want to clean up the road driveway area a little at a time.

We go back up top and Mike does a little raking and seeding in the back yard where the motorhome was.

As we are looking down the hill we notice the cows heading to the motorhome. Uh oh. We don't "think" they will mess with it but who knows? That bull can do a lot of damage without even trying to. Mike and I get a few t-posts and some leftover electric fence wire and go down to block the motorhome off for the night.

Mike puts in some t-posts

Our temporary fence for the night.

Whew. We are done for the day and it has been one heck of a day. Tomorrow has to be so much better.

Yay, it's a new day and Jimmy is bringing the dozer in case we get stuck then he can pull us. It looks like it is going to pour son hopefully we can get this done quickly. Mike and I head down to meet Jimmy at the barn. It starts to rain while we are taking the temporary fence down. Oh well, we won't melt. Next I go back to the Jeep to drive it out to the main road. As I get closer to the Jeep I hear a hissing. Uh oh, not again!! Sure enough the Jeep has a flat tire. Mike comes over and we change it together. We are getting really good at changing tires. Finally I can move it out of the way. I get out to the road and it starts pouring. By the time I make it back to the barn I am soaked. Both Jimmy and Mike are nice and dry inside the barn. I asked why didn't they move the mh onto the gravel. They were waiting for a break in the rain. I hope there's a break. It's not looking good. Finally we get a chance top move the mh. Mike goes to start it up and I go out to help direct him out onto our driveway. Jimmy waits in the barn because he is only here for stand by,

Mike starts to back out and he starts to slide. The land next to the barn is now all mud. He pulls forward and tries backing out again. He is slowly backing out and he starts to slide again. There is nothing he can to and the MH slides sideways into the barn.

Now Jimmy comes out of the barn and says "want some help?" Wise guy!!
He tells Mike I'll do whatever you want. Now Mike is a little skeptical because he doesn't want to cause any damage to the mh. If we hook it up this close to the barn we could really have some damage. Finally Mike says "ok let's go for it". Mike hooks the chain up to the hitch on the back of the mh and to the dozer. Then he gets back into the driver's seat in the mh. Jimmy is ready and waiting on the dozer. I am off to the side in charge of communication between them.

Jimmy slowly starts to pull while Mike tries to steer. This is really tricky because it is so slick. If they move too fast it could slide right back into the barn and possibly go through the wall.

They get the mh away from the barn after a few tries.

They get it pulled out of the mud.

And finally onto our gravel.

This is the mud mess we left behind. Mike will have to clean it up once it dries.

I thought today was supposed to be an easier day. Well now that we are back to where we were yesterday, lol, we can get out of our property. At least it hasn't stalled. Mike starts to drive it out the driveway and past our gates. By the time Mike gets to our turn on the right of way Jimmy and I are there to see if Mike can make it.

Mike says this is fine and he can make it. Yeah we are out of the property and on the main highway. Woo hoo. I follow Mike all the way to our other property and he gets it parked on the pad. On our way out we decide to fix the fence that the motorcycle ran into last week. Ah now we can go back home and take a break from the last 2 days.

The things I have learned this week. Women, namely me, panic much quicker than either Mike or Jimmy. And 2 good things from this week. Mike is safe and the motorhome wasn't damaged.

Well that is the story for now. We had one heck of a two days and the "real" today hasn't been much fun either, lol. I hope you all enjoyed the story. I will write again next Monday as long as there is no major problem.

Have a great week..



  1. Your a good writer. You had me on pins and needles several times during this chapter. :)

    1. Thank you so much. I never thought of myself as a writer...a talker yes, lol..but not a writer. Thank you:)

  2. Wheehw! I thought for sure you'd scraped the to of that beautiful motorhome on the roof of the barn! Just the way the picture's taken, I guess...

    Suspensful stuff!!

    1. It was a scary day. We were very lucky that both Mike and the motorhome had no damage:):)