January 14, 2012

A Change of Plans

When Tim and I left the RV show yesterday afternoon, our “check engine” light was on. Never a good sign.  Luckily it was before 5:00 pm, and I was able to locate a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Tampa that services Sprinters.  A quick call and a chat with John confirmed that the RV was safe to drive.  We were also lucky enough to get an appointment for this morning to get the issue checked out.  

We arrived at the dealer this morning, and Dustin took good care of us.  He escorted us to a nice lounge with a café, and we enjoyed cappuccinos while the technicians determined the problem (you really can’t beat Mercedes waiting areas!).  Tim had done some research last night, and his diagnosis was confirmed.  The issue was a clogged diesel particulate filter.  It was a relatively simple fix that was covered under our warranty.  Dustin then advised us to drive the RV at highway speeds for at least one-half hour to blow out the rest of the ash buildup.

We left the dealer around noon and headed for the interstate.  We had originally planned to head toward the west coast and follow back roads northward through old Florida. Unfortunately, we had to scrap those plans.  High speeds and back roads just don’t go together.

I can’t tell you how lucky we were that this happened while we were in Tampa.  Finding Sprinter service locations is not always easy, as they are typically few and far between. Being able to get an appointment in less than twenty-four hours was also amazing to me.  The Mercedes dealer could not have been more accommodating, and we were in and out in just over two hours.  Having to revise our plans was a small price to pay for a quick resolution to our problem.

We drove northward for about an hour and then decided to detour toward the west coast and Crystal River.  We found a nice, old Florida campground on Lake Rousseau and decided to stop for the day.  It seems to be a great place to just chill out for a bit.

Lake Rousseau
This Reminds Me of Old Florida
Kitty and Tim Enjoying the Lake
It's Been a Long Day
I Want That Squirrel
You're Not Going to Get Me
A Big Scratching Post

Is It Spring?
Tim is now watching the Denver Broncos being beaten by the New England Patriots. Everyone in Florida seems to be rooting for the Broncos since Tim Tebow was such a star player at the University of Florida.  Hopefully, he can perform a miracle and eke out a win for Denver.


  1. What amazing luck you had! So glad it all worked out. Sometimes a change of plans makes for a more exciting adventure! Love the pic of Tim and Kitty on the bench. LV

  2. LV, Sometimes things just work out. You are right, changing plans can be exciting. That's one of the things I love about this type of trip. Sarah

  3. Great pictures. Glad the truck is OK. Rex

  4. Rex, Thanks. Yes, we were lucky that the problem was so minor. Sorry about the Broncos. Sarah

  5. Tim,
    Aren't you glad I didn't give away Kitty at that rest stop?

  6. Jane, You know that you never would have done such a thing. Sarah