Grounded For Awhile

It looks like we’ll be grounded for awhile due to truck troubles. Since January of this year, it seems it’s been one thing after another with our 2006 Dodge Ram 2500. First a transmission rebuild, which didn’t go as well as we’d hoped. The truck went back to the shop a couple times after this as it still wasn’t right. Then the torque converter that was put in had to be changed as the replacement part was defective.

We finally got that sorted out in time to tow our fifth wheel home in April when our winter camping program ended. We also towed it on weekend to Waterloo and back without issue. Then, our final weekend of camping in April, we towed up a hill and overheated the transmission. On the Sunday we went to leave, the engine light came on and the truck went into “limp mode”. We could not tow home. We paid for storage at the park we were camping at, cleared the code on our truck with our programmer and drove it home. The transmission shop had it for a week. They determined that yes, we had heated the transmission but the fluid wasn’t burnt badly and we didn’t cause the “limp mode” issue. In a way, that was good news and bad news. It looked like it was an electronic issue, which can be very difficult to find. This wouldn’t be the first electronic issue in the truck, but more serious than any other.

After a week, he gave it back to us and said he cleared the code and did a transmission flush/service and the truck was ready to go. We drove to Milton Heights, took our fiver out of storage, camped the night then headed to Hidden Valley Resort in Turkey Point for our reserved stay. The truck seemed to tow fine, gauges looked good, but it was such a nerve wracking tow just waiting for something to go wrong. Since they could give us no affirmative cause for the engine light and limp mode, how could we consider it fixed? We arrived without issue on Saturday, set up camp, drove the truck around a bit without the fiver and had no problems. Sunday we hooked up to tow home and without even putting the truck in gear, the engine light came on and it was back in “limp mode”. Again, we couldn’t tow home. We cleared the code, tried again to tow, but no go. Light immediately came on again. Hidden Valley offered us a place to park the fifth wheel and didn’t even charge us.

Now the truck is due to go back in to the shop in a couple days. We’re told the transmission guy has spoke to a Dodge mechanic that deals specifically with electric issues and knows exactly what the issue is. That very well may be the truth, but neither of us will ever be confident enough to tow again with this truck.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We ordered a new truck about six weeks ago. It’s a 2016 Dodge Ram 3500. Latest tracking from the dealer says the truck will be arriving between May 20th and May 26th. So, we’ve decided for now to fix the truck so it’s as good as it was six weeks ago when we signed the deal for the new truck and not tow anymore. I’ve cancelled any remaining trips out until mid June just to be sure we have the new truck and it’s set up for towing.

It’s very disheartening and very frustrating when you have truck issues and no one can seem to find out what they are and fix them. The uncertainty of whether you will break down or even be able to tow home is stressful. It’s just too stressful towing listening to every little noise, monitoring every little shift and all the pod gauges just waiting for something to go wrong.

Thanks to our friends who have kindly offered to bring our fifth wheel home, we’ll be able to have it here this weekend. We plan on taking some time to give it a good cleaning inside and out and wax the front cap. There are a few minor repairs to make and a couple small warranty items that we can hopefully take care of while we’re grounded.




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