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Old 04-06-2024, 11:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 964
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 29
Near miss tonight going to eclipse

So I nearly died today. My story does not include a bus per se, however I bring it up here because the original plan was to drive the bus on this trip to Texas to see the eclipse.

Since the bus had to go into the shop again to get the ignition system overhauled, we took our truck instead.

We drove 400 miles from SC to Alabama, we just had our ball joints replaced, and we stopped at Buc-cees in Leeds. As we were leaving the lower left control arm shattered around the ball joint and broke in half. And the wheel collapsed into the frame. While luckily this happened in the parking lot, it was not that dangerous, but the thought that we just drove 400 miles on a cracked control arm means it could of easily occurred while going 80 mph on the interstate and seeing the wheel condition it would have flipped us and killed us if it happened any time during that point.

I realize this is the fault of the mechanic that installed the new joints. It’s often said that aluminum control arms can crack during ball joints installs which we just had done. I also don’t fully blame the mechanic as this could happen to anyone. I do blame the designers for not using steel control arms. This would not have happened. I plan to replace with steel if it exists.

Prior to today’s incident we had a house fire the day before where an outlet ignited some spray foam I was using to plug a hole in insulation. The wall exploded.

So between the bus not being ready in time for the trip, the house blowing up, the near miss of death with the truck, that something is telling me not to go see this eclipse.

We’re still determined and working to obtain a rental while our car is fixed in a remote town the tow guy has to drop it off at.

What would you guys do at this point?

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Old 04-07-2024, 08:38 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Central Tx.
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Year: 1999
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Engine: DT466E HT 250HP - Md3060
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitis View Post
So I nearly died today. My story does not include a bus per se, however I bring it up here because the original plan was to drive the bus on this trip to Texas to see the eclipse.

Since the bus had to go into the shop again to get the ignition system overhauled, we took our truck instead.

We drove 400 miles from SC to Alabama, we just had our ball joints replaced, and we stopped at Buc-cees in Leeds. As we were leaving the lower left control arm shattered around the ball joint and broke in half. And the wheel collapsed into the frame. While luckily this happened in the parking lot, it was not that dangerous, but the thought that we just drove 400 miles on a cracked control arm means it could of easily occurred while going 80 mph on the interstate and seeing the wheel condition it would have flipped us and killed us if it happened any time during that point.

I realize this is the fault of the mechanic that installed the new joints. It’s often said that aluminum control arms can crack during ball joints installs which we just had done. I also don’t fully blame the mechanic as this could happen to anyone. I do blame the designers for not using steel control arms. This would not have happened. I plan to replace with steel if it exists.

Prior to today’s incident we had a house fire the day before where an outlet ignited some spray foam I was using to plug a hole in insulation. The wall exploded.

So between the bus not being ready in time for the trip, the house blowing up, the near miss of death with the truck, that something is telling me not to go see this eclipse.

We’re still determined and working to obtain a rental while our car is fixed in a remote town the tow guy has to drop it off at.

What would you guys do at this point?
Wow!
I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Whatever the “reason” yours might be, it wasn’t time for your ticket to be punched!

Glad your all ok!

What would i do?

Life goes on and the clock keeps ticking…LIVE, live on and keep chasing your dreams but also take the time out to give thanks for all you have, your family and friends and all the memories made that you all share!

Godspeed my friend !
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Old 04-07-2024, 08:19 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: CSRA Georgia
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Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Ford B-700
Engine: 12V 5.9
Sorry for your luck for sure. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-08-2024, 01:04 PM   #4
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Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitis View Post
So I nearly died today. My story does not include a bus per se, however I bring it up here because the original plan was to drive the bus on this trip to Texas to see the eclipse.

Since the bus had to go into the shop again to get the ignition system overhauled, we took our truck instead.

We drove 400 miles from SC to Alabama, we just had our ball joints replaced, and we stopped at Buc-cees in Leeds. As we were leaving the lower left control arm shattered around the ball joint and broke in half. And the wheel collapsed into the frame. While luckily this happened in the parking lot, it was not that dangerous, but the thought that we just drove 400 miles on a cracked control arm means it could of easily occurred while going 80 mph on the interstate and seeing the wheel condition it would have flipped us and killed us if it happened any time during that point.

I realize this is the fault of the mechanic that installed the new joints. It’s often said that aluminum control arms can crack during ball joints installs which we just had done. I also don’t fully blame the mechanic as this could happen to anyone. I do blame the designers for not using steel control arms. This would not have happened. I plan to replace with steel if it exists.

Prior to today’s incident we had a house fire the day before where an outlet ignited some spray foam I was using to plug a hole in insulation. The wall exploded.

So between the bus not being ready in time for the trip, the house blowing up, the near miss of death with the truck, that something is telling me not to go see this eclipse.

We’re still determined and working to obtain a rental while our car is fixed in a remote town the tow guy has to drop it off at.

What would you guys do at this point?

Yikes!

I've had those kinds of weeks before. What would I do?

I would probably grab a beer or three, smoke a joint, and/or chocolate brownies, or whatever your guilty pleasure is and just find a hammock or something to kick back and enjoy some nature and some beauty to appreciate life. But most of all, I would probably just try to stay home and relax and stop trying to tempt fate; the divine have spoken, and you should probably just sit down and appreciate everything that you've got and enjoy a low-stress weekend (or two).
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Old 04-10-2024, 08:21 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2020
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Engine: Cummins 6.7l ISB
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Many thanks to @EWO1 for the parking spot and hospitality - he's got a great little piece of property and some good plans for it. Was hoping to meet a couple other skoolie proprietors, but unfortunately not to be...Glad that you made it through unscathed @Nikitis.

Weather gods held out for us with only intermittent clouds - enough to see the real deal, but surprisingly not pitch black for the totality....Here are some pics of what we saw: (larger ones were taken through the telescope with a solar filter, so that's why it looks dark out...)
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Old 04-11-2024, 05:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitis View Post
Prior to today’s incident we had a house fire the day before where an outlet ignited some spray foam I was using to plug a hole in insulation. The wall exploded.
I've spent most of the last year rehabbing a house I bought back in August. Initially, there was a wall switch by the front door and whenever I turned it on I heard a humming noise for a few seconds and then the circuit breaker flipped. After demo I found that the switch led to a wall outlet with frayed insulation (80 years old) that was arcing; there was a huge char mark on the stud next to it so I'm pretty lucky the house is still standing.
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Old 04-18-2024, 02:17 PM   #7
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Small update on this. I posted on another post you'll probably read about, but made it home safely. Got the truck fixed. Stealership robbed me of course.

I've since repaired the outlet, and put a new one in, and fixed up a new Gas Line, and tested it for leaks. There was a 2 lb regulator on the other side of the wall and the flex host went through the wall to the unit before which was kind of crappily done. Rats could find their way in to the wall and chew on such a thing, so I decided to do a hard line through the wall.

All good and stove is usable, but not in wall yet. Still got to put in Fresh Insulation, and plastic seal it (vapor barrier), then cut out a new large section of drywall and seal it all in. I also plan to add a plastic fake plug to one of the two outlets, and the stove is plugged into the other, but also seal up the outlet cover with some silicone to prevent gas from reaching the outlet ever again in case it's faulty like before. I want it as air tight as possible.
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Old 04-21-2024, 06:30 PM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: New Orleans
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You didn’t miss much. Here ya go.

https://youtube.com/shorts/usR7Jw_EMVU?si=sKobgNw0cD7FJkYi

Like the song says “when life looks like easy street there’s danger at your door”.

☮️Dave
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Old 04-21-2024, 07:27 PM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: So Cal high desert
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Cool build! I am in Cali and we got a partial eclipse here, just saw a notch cut out of Sol, but cool enough. We used the cardboard viewing box method as we are not big $pender$ on a partial eclipse.

Anyhoo I have my own balljoint story, about 25 years ago I had a 1985 Dodge B300 cargo van I was using as a daily and self-moving truck, I went from married with children to single and forced to move out. Long story why my life was in this state after starting out "right", but the point is life changed for me and I had to adjust, like many here have. That breakdown day, I had parked at an establishment to eat lunch. When I got back into the van to back out of my parking spot, I was getting a screeching sound from the front right wheel. I thought that odd, so I carefully pulled forward back into the parking spot to investigate, but before I could shut her off the passenger side front suspension collapsed onto the tire. I knew right away I had a major suspension failure but since i was essentially parked, I was ok. The lower passenger balljoint had separated. I thanked my lucky stars and whatever patron saint presides over old vehicles that I was not going 70 down the highway when it happened, the van would have tumbled! Fortunately I had supportive friends and co-workers around me so I was able to borrow a vehicle and tools to change the balljoint where the van was parked and got back on the road in a few days. The eating establishment was connected to my employment at the time so I was afforded the leeway to keep the van there instead of a tow away, and I did the repairs myself.

I went on to have a few more adventures in that van before i sent her down the road, including a funny but disgusting story of being on the road in the middle of an industrial park area, a 3 gallon bucket, a roll of paper towels, and a sudden case of explosive diarrhea. You can probably guess some of the story, but at the end of events I had to throw away what was a perfectly good bucket! Vanlife before #vanlife!

Oh, and to this day I keep a roll of toilet paper in my current long hauler vehicles. Got another funny story on how I got that habit!
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