I have told you about all the issues we have gone through with our RV trying to get all the little imperfections completed so we can use it in its entirety. I thought we had that accomplished last Thursday — then, on the way out of the dealership, the check engine light came on.
If I did not know any better, I would think someone is trying to tell me to get out of the RV we just bought. The issues that we had going on inside the coach have finally been corrected. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was this past Thursday when Missy and I went down to pick up the RV. The last of the imperfections (a cabinet door, two screws, and hot water at the sink) had all been fixed.
I was excited to take the RV back to the house knowing that all of the things that we were fighting had finally all been resolved … and then I jump in to start the RV and am greeted with a glowing check engine light. I couldn’t believe it.
I shut the RV off and calmly walked back inside the dealership to get someone to come out and take a look. This dealership does not handle chassis or engine issues, but the tech who worked on the last of the fixes said he noticed the light came on when he pulled it out of the bay. He did mention that it was not on when he pulled it into the bay to start working on it, so I had to assume that something happened while it was in their shop.
After looking at the dash to try and see if we could figure out what made the light come on, I couldn’t possibly understand what was the issue. I knew it was all still under warranty, but I had never had to deal with an engine issue and I had no idea how long it was going to take to get it fixed, or even get it in for an appointment at the nearest center that handles Spartan chassis.
While all of this was running through my head, I looked down and saw that the diesel exhaust fluid gauge was showing only 25 percent full. I knew that could not have been the case because I never let it get below halfway on the gauge and it was reading full when I took it into the shop.
We shut the RV off and I went to look at the tank. I thought maybe I had hit something on the road that may have put a hole in the tank. But when I opened the compartment, the tank was at the full line. While the tech stood and listened to the relay at the top of the tank, I went back inside to start the RV. He said that it was making a clicking sound like it was trying to send a signal to the gauge.
I surmised that this was my issue, because any problem with the DEF tank would set off the check engine light. This light is scary, but generally it indicates a problem with the emissions control system rather than your engine getting ready to explode.
I drove the RV back to the house and made a phone call to find the nearest dealer. Fortunately, it’s pretty close. I set an appointment for them to look at the RV for the 17th of this month. If my analysis is accurate, I expect it to be a somewhat simple fix. I told them what I had found but said I would appreciate them doing their due diligence on the motor to make sure it’s not something else. They were very pleasant and easy to deal with and assured me they would make sure it was thoroughly inspected.
So I wait. Ill tell you, I was not thrilled when that light came on. I feel like we had battled to get all the bugs corrected and finally were going to get to enjoy the RV with everything working properly. I can only hope that this is a simple fix and we have it back in time for the Fourth of July. We were thinking about a trip up to Lake Seminole, so hopefully we can still do that.
I know RVs are pretty much just boats you can drive, and there’s always something to repair or replace or maintain. I expected that. But dangit, this thing is new! I really hope this is the last problem we have to deal with for a little while.
Greg Bartz is a tournament bass fisherman based in Lakeland. Greg fishes lakes throughout Florida’s Heartland and enjoys RV travel around the Southeast with his wife and tournament partner, Missy. Contact him at Greg.Bartz@SummitHoldings.com.