It was shortly after 9 a.m. when we left our campsite and got in line behind Rob and Joyce at the sani-dump...we are all heading to Denali National Park & Preserve today. Alan and Cec were still in their site when we drove by...Bob and Sue were long gone! They left around 7:30.
It was going on 10:00 when we left the sani-dump and headed up the hill out of the campground...it is 1 1/4 mile back to the highway. We had gone about a mile when all of a sudden we heard a big pop and hiss come from under the cab of the truck...yikes! Needless to say, we immediately pulled over to the side of the road. What the heck was that?! Our first thoughts were that we blew an air bag on our suspension. We both got out but couldn't see anything (not that I really knew what I was looking at!)
Okay...we'd better not try driving any further...time to call our roadside assistance provider, CoachNet. Rob and Joyce, who were filling with fresh water when we passed them, stopped and I explained what had happened...Steve was on the phone. I gave them our phone number so we could connect later on for an update...then they were on their way.
A short while later Alan and Cec came up the hill and, seeing us, pulled over. Steve had just gotten off the phone with CoachNet and was waiting for a call back from them on the status of a tow truck. Steve explained to Alan what happened and fired up the truck so he could listen to the sound it was now making. Alan thought it had something to do with the turbocharger and insisted on crawling underneath to have a look. He took a couple of pictures and said it looks like the air side of the turbocharger looks a little oily. Well, a tow truck will eventually be here...I hope. We thanked Alan and Cec and they were on their way...we'll stay in touch. Fellow RVer's are a great bunch! CoachNet called back with a tow service on the line. He enquired about our truck size and said he couldn't handle it.
Arctic Express Towing eventually showed up and said they didn't have anything big enough to tow us.
Steve was now starting to get stressed out...not because we were broken down, after all we were in a city and we new there was a dealer in town that services our type of truck, so we knew would eventually be looked after. He was having difficulty getting across to the gal at CoachNet that we needed a tow service that deals with semi truck tractors. Oh we don't cover commercial trucks sir. What!!! Steve told her to check our account...we sent pictures of our truck when we signed up to make sure we were covered. I don't see that on file sir...can I put you on hold again (for the umpteenth time.) Aghhh!!! She returned and apologized saying that we were covered...I will call you back when I have found a tow service. Eventually a different girl called back and started duplicating all of the questions Steve had already answered. Sheesh! Okay sir we are still checking...I will call back when we have located a tow service. We have now been sitting here for 2 1/2 hours when she finally calls back. We have found a tow service that can handle the truck and trailer however it's a 3 hour wait. Can you wait that long? Geez...what choice do we have. Meanwhile a different fellow from Arctic Towing stopped by. He said they have a similar truck and he thought he might be able to fix it. He got under the truck and with a lot of difficulty (because the cab was down) managed to fix the clamp and hose...but suggested we get it looked at because it might pop off again. As long as we still have full power the turbocharger shouldn't be damaged.
So Steve called CoachNet back and cancelled the tow....then we drove up the road a bit to a spot where we could back in and turn around. We drove back to the campground...and the same site we had left this morning...it was after 1:00 by this time. I'm sure glad that Bruce from Arctic Towing had managed to get us going...it appeared to be much easier than trying to find a tow truck big enough to tow us. At least we learned something else about the truck and now know what that noise relates to and how to fix it ourselves should it ever happen again. I'm still not clear on what they were going to do with the fifth-wheel...unhitch and tow it back down to the campground...tow the works to where the truck would be serviced...? It worked out much better being able to get back to the campground and unhitch the trailer ourselves.
Steve called Cascadia International and made an appointment for first thing tomorrow morning to have it check out just to be on the safe side. There is a lot of lonely highway and no cell/Internet service areas up here. We are thankful this happened in Anchorage!
Well, one good thing about being back here at the campground was that I was able to take advantage of having internet service and work on our travel blog. I did that for a couple of hours while Steve read and then we decided to get out for a walk around the campground. We hadn't been down to the day-use area yet, so we thought we would check it out. Another look at the river...
After our walk and a little fresh air, we went back into the trailer and I continued working on the blog. Steve took the boat off the truck...here is Buster all ready for his appointment in the morning...