Despite all the difficulties with the motorhome during the first part of our trip, we really did have a wonderful trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone.
We spent our last day in Yellowstone on the boardwalks in the Upper Geyser basin, where Old Faithful is located. It was a wonderful day. The temperatures were a bit chilly, but quite moderate for that time of year.
I will admit to having a bit of apprehension on our last day as I contemplated driving our broken motorhome back to Colorado. In summary, we had an oil leak, a coolant leak, a turbo boost problem, a check engine light, and, perhaps most significantly, no engine exhaust brake (jake brake).
In spite of that apprehension, our last day was really wonderful. We were able to watch some of our favorite geysers erupt and finished off the day with a very nice sunset.
We made our way back to camp and my wife did all the hard work of preparing the motorhome for the trip. That involved packing and organizing a surprising amount of stuff. Needless to say, we could not pack my medical equipment until the next morning.
The next morning we woke up to beautiful weather. We finished all our preparations for the trip and departed for home. We would be crossing the continental divide 3 times that day and I was still a bit concerned about the absence of an engine exhaust brake.
It turned out the drive was uneventful except for one unanticipated episode. We negotiated the continental divide crossings with lots of caution, but without any issues. South of Jackson, Wyoming, we came across some more road construction. This construction had a very narrow section with the narrowest one-lane bridge I could imagine. There were no warnings about width restrictions that we saw, but our motorhome only made it through with (literally) a few inches of clearance on either side.
My wife, who was following in the wheelchair van said that she was both impressed with my driving and very scared at the same time.
We arrived at Rock Springs, Wyoming, where we spent the night at a Kampgrounds Of America (KOA) RV park. We spent a pleasant night there and the next morning headed out for the final leg of our trip, which would involve two continental divide crossings and probably the two worst descents.
We made it over the continental divide crossings without issue. We drove through Craig, Colorado and then Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It is a beautiful drive.
Once we were south of Steamboat Springs, my wife radioed me to report that there seemed to be some fluid coming from the back of the motorhome. There was no place to pull over and since all temperatures and pressures were fine, I continued on.
The stretch from Steamboat Springs to Interstate 70 is a narrow, winding two-lane road with no opportunities to pull over. Since my gauges were reading fine, we continued on for another 70 miles or so. The only thing I noticed was the were "using" more fuel.
Once we made it to Interstate 70, we made the turn for home and drove the final 26 miles to our house. There we parked the motorhome and I had my first chance to checkout the back. The entire rear end was absolutely covered in unburned diesel fuel.
We had already made an appointment to drop the motorhome off in Grand Junction 150 miles away to have the other items looked at, so we added diesel leaking/spewing to the list.
Arriving home should have been the start of a period of recovery for me, but it was not to be. That night, it was well below freezing and we discovered the heat in the house was not working. We were able to set up some electric heaters we keep for such situations and to get a heating guy out the next day. He was rapidly able to confirm my diagnosis and install a spare part I keep on hand (living in the mountains, I have learned to keep a pretty good supply of spare parts for critical equipment).
The next day, we discovered that while the heat was working, the zone control valve that controlled heat to the bedroom I sleep in had also failed. We were able to get that replaced with a spare that I had.
That night, my wife discovered the washing machine had broken.
That is enough for now, I plan to write one more installment of this saga to share with you the resolution of the motorhome issues.