I set sail a few weeks back from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi on the quest to retrieve and return "Bus 732" (and or) The Horse (iron) with no name, deep from the bowels of Dallas, Texas.
The flight there was of no real issue, other than several wrenches being confiscated from my carry on, due to their length exceeding the TSA 7" maximum limit, but thats a conversation in and of itself, for another day.
24 hours before my scheduled flight, I was going over my check list on what to have and what not to have. The case was made for having a roadside service provider and I opted to go with Good Sam. At the time (and currently) they are offering 50% of all plans, and I opted for the Platinum complete plan. Great bang for the buck.
Being a boater all my life, I always carried seatow. It was always the best $100 a man could spend in a year, and its obvious the same applies to the Bus.
Let me just say, thank god I had the good sense to procure it.
Roughly 235 miles into my trip home, my bus, a 1999 international 3000 with 7.3L v8 Diesel (T444E) and Allison transmission (AT545) began to lose power. I dropped from the governed 55MPH to 15MPH by the time I limped off the exit, where I brought it to a rest.
Long story short, in the middle of no-where, I wasnt moving from the spot the bus lay. No gas stations, stores, people, or taxi services were available. It was me, myself, I, and a very under powered, low signal cell phone.
Long story shorter, the radiator was shot. Bottom blown out.
I called goodsam, gave them my member number, and without several hours, the big rig tow truck was out, as was my drive shaft, enroute to the nearest diesel mechanic for repair. This tow cost Good Sam $750, had I not had it, those would have been duckies out of my pocket.
Needless to say, a weekend, late night tow, shop closed, no parts stores open, I left the bus with them, and returned home to MS after my ever-so-understanding wife drove through the night to get me.
A week later, said wife drove me back to the shop, coughed up the dough for the repair (I replaced the radiator, thermostat, water pump, belts, and hoses, along with fan and assembly), a quite expensive repair, but I digress...
I am back on the road again, the wife is around 40 miles ahead of me, roughly 200 miles into our trip, suddenly, the bus starts to lose power again. Of all places, on a bridge, over a swamp, with very little median to escape into, to make matters worse, a 75 mph zone, trucks and cars flying by.
I of course popped the hood, went right to all that was just replaced, could find no issue, nor any other issue after fluids checked, et al. I could identify it to be a fuel starvation issue (it seemed so). Everything checked out that I could identify, without getting run over, or what I could see.
At this point, im over it, and on the phone again, with Good Sam. Give them my member number, the approximate location of where I was, and shortly thereafter, a big rig tow was there, drive shaft off, and I was on the way again, to a diesel shop.
This tow cost Good Sam $800.
So in a matter of a week, I used the service twice.
In both instances, Good Sam paid the full cost, $1550 total.
Best $120 I could have ever spent, for Good Sam service.
Longer story shorter, this break down, of all god forsaken things, was caused by damn Dirt Dobbers. While the bus was at the 1st mechanics shop, the dobbers had invaded and built their mudtubes over the fuel tank vent. Because it couldnt breath of course, tank became pressurized, collapsed fuel pick up line, now vapor locked.
The 1 thing I didnt check (the fuel cap) while broke down, on the bridge, in the dark. Had I done so, The pressure would have been released, and I would have been on the road again, until pressure built back up, where I could simply rinse and repeat again, until I got home and could actually see where the issue was.
I returned back a couple of days later to get the bus for the final 170 miles back home. Made it without incident (3rd time was the charm) and will begin the strip down in the days to come.
There ya have it. My 1550 reasons WHY you should have GoodSam too.