The Unknown Road
It took a little
over two hours to get to Little Rock, AR and then we were northbound
toward Jonesboro. We had about
two hours to reach Jonesboro which would put us right on time to let the
equipment leaders prepare the set up for the choir presentation.
About an hour north of Little Rock, I noticed the
temperature getting warmer in the coach. Inspecting the gauges and the air
conditioning switches, I determined that the air conditioner had either
gone out or had turned itself off.
Thinking it was the
thermostat, I turned it both ways to increase the air circulation in
the coach but to no avail. It
continued to get warmer. Not hot
just yet, but definitely getting warmer.
This was totally
unsettling as we were just getting started on the trip in a brand new
coach. I knew from previous
experience that the air conditioner system could handle the
environment. For this to be
happening was not normal.
In some cases, you
had to actually turn the thermostat up to keep the coach from getting
too cold. Now it seemed that the
system could not handle the load.
I did notice that
the amp meter gauge which measured the output from the alternator had a
flicker from time to time. This
is not unusual as road conditions will cause all of the gauges to move
from time to time. I discounted
the alternator as the problem since we were in a brand new coach with a
brand new alternator.
I had bragged to
Robert that we were getting a brand new coach that had less than 5,000
miles on it. The outside, the
inside, and the esthetics were all immaculate. I was proud to have the coach and to
take it on its first out of state trip.
We were about 30
minutes out from Jonesboro, AR when it became obvious that the air
conditioning system was failing and the coach was getting warm. I suggested that the windows be
opened for the duration of the travel for the day and I would look into
it after we got to the church.
Arriving at the
church, the loaders unloaded the luggage from my coach and the equipment
from the church coach. Since
part of the air system is located in the luggage area, we might have
hit a switch or fuse loading the coach that could cause the problem.
When the luggage bays were completely unloaded, I
got inside the rear bay. I
checked the wiring and switches that were visible.
anything out of the ordinary or that there was a problem. It was clear; however, that the air
conditioner system was not working as even the fans were not running.
I told Robert about
the dilemma and that I would contact the office to see what the next
step would be. I would let him
know that evening when we came back for the presentation. The presentation was scheduled for
7:30 and then we were not due back at the church until 8 AM the next
By the time, we
unloaded and I had checked bay and the wiring, the office had closed
for the day. It would not be
open until 7AM the next morning.
Knowing that I would have time to call in the morning, I let it
go for the evening.
I reported to Robert
that night at church that I would be on it the first thing the next
morning. Obviously we had a
problem and the office could tell me where to take the coach to have it
With the coach
running as it should except for the air conditioning system, Carol,
Mark and I went to check into a motel for the evening. After getting our accommodations
arranged, we went back to the church for the evening service.
It was a great night
at the church. The choir seemed
to be acutely on track at every juncture. It could have been that Arkansas
State University is located in Jonesboro, AR. The choir was told there would be
students majoring in music in the audience and they rose to the task.
Early the next
morning, I called in and talked to Gary, our office manager. Looking over the system and his check
points, nothing seemed out of order.
He informed me to double check the gauges and the exposed
wiring. Everything was powered
as it should be.
I again called
Gary. Between the times I had
reported the problem and calling back again, Gary had called the Eagle
repair facility in Memphis, TN.
They were the closest repair shop. They assured him they would drop what
they were doing to look at it as soon as I could get there.
We were going through Memphis on our way to
Glasgow, KY, so it made sense to load and head that direction and let
the experts look at it.
If anyone could fix
the problem it would be them. I
reported back to the church at 8:00 am; informed Robert; we loaded and
set out for Memphis.
Sometime out of
Jonesboro, the air conditioning system came on. Within a matter of minutes, the
system was cooling. We closed
the windows and celebrated our good luck and moved on.
Everything was fine,
but I still felt it necessary to stop in Memphis and let them look at
the system. The fact that it had
occurred in the first place meant that something was still out of the
Although at present
we seemed to be working fine, the unknown issues could return at any
moment. With all the miles still
ahead of us, it was prudent to get it checked even if it was working
properly at the moment.
I was concerned that
I might go into the facility in Memphis and the air conditioning system
still be working. There is a ton
of wiring on these new coaches.
The relays, intermittent switches, regulators – you name
it. Problems do not exist if
everything is still working.
It is called in the
repair trade as CND problems. Can
Not Duplicate – is most used by the airlines when one of their gauges
begin to malfunction on an airplane.
Unless they can make it malfunction again, the problem continues
to exist. There is not a
solution until the problem is located.