All Around The Campfire

Vacation 2016 – The Not So Good Start

By the evening before we were leaving, we were set. I had enough food to feed an army (or two teenage boys). I managed to find space for 3 years worth of clothes (chronic overpacker). I had enough bedding that we could survive a sudden Rocky Mountain July blizzard (there wasn’t one in the forecast). I had full tanks of gas and propane. I had the Jeep hooked up. All we needed was for 5:00 AM to roll around so we could hit the road.

My husband and I got up and got ready, packed last minute things, and herded sleepy boys out to the motorhome where they promptly went right back to sleep. And we were off! My husband hadn’t pulled the Jeep yet, so he was a little worried, so he insisted I stare at the rear view camera, so that we would know when the Jeep disconnected, careened off the cliff, and exploded in a fiery disaster that would burn the entire eastern half of Oregon. He was fine after 15 miles or so.

The motorhome has a diesel engine and every 3000 miles or so, we have to refill the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) tank. The light went on about 90 miles into the drive, so we pulled over and added the DEF that we took along just in case. We got back on the road, and the light was still on, but it is common for it to take a few engine starts to disappear.

A little while later on popped the check engine light. The same thing happened last summer after we filled the DEF tank and it went off after two engine starts, so while we were a little worried, we were still optimistic. We stopped for gas and when my husband started the engine, we got the dreaded notification that we only had 10 more starts left before going into limp mode.


At this point we were closer to Boise than Eugene (we do not have a place to get warranty work done in Bend), so we decided to continue on our way. We had promised the boys a stop at the Roaring Springs water park in Meridian. While they were having fun on the water slides with one of their classmates who was also in the park that day, we were figuring out where to stay that night and where the nearest Mercedes Sprinter dealer was located so we could be there when they opened on Monday morning.

We ended up staying at the KOA in Meridian. It was just a couple of minutes from the water park and met our needs for the night. It was 102 degrees, and we weren’t compromising on electrical hookups. Other than the boys hunting Pokemon, it was an early night of crawling into bed with a beer and movie.

Our site at the KOA in Meridian

Our site at the KOA in Meridian

Beating the heat

Beating the heat




We were at Mercedes Benz of Boise at 9:00 AM Monday when they opened. Our service advisor, Cameron, pulled some strings, rearranged the schedule, and managed to fit us in right away to fix the two NOX sensors that went bad. While the techs were fixing the motorhome, we took the Jeep for a day of wandering and the dealership had us back on the road by 4:00 PM. I can’t recommend these guys enough! What could have turned into something that ruined our vacation, just turned out to be a little delay, and I can live with that.


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