We have grown to enjoy the Winter Garden area on the Northwest side of Orlando, Florida. We finally address the issues with the Jeep with a local mechanic. As always we are blessed with the lifestyle. We were even more blessed this year with visits from friends and family who escaped the exceptionally cold and snowy Wisconsin winter this year, as well as Oma spent an extended stay in Minnesota with our family there.
Well, there were numerous issues identified with our 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, a/k/a Rubi. A local Winter Garden Facebook community group recommended a local mechanic that was known to address these sorts of issues in numerous types of vehicles. Jason put together a 9-page summary of all of the events associated with the problem that started way back in Wisconsin in September. Dozens of different trouble codes, several shops and Jason replacing parts as well.
There were compounding problems, that we exacerbated by each other. There were two ultimate causes of the problems. First, when we bought Rubi the alternator was running high voltage and burned up some wiring. The dealer replaced the wiring harness and did a horrible job. Second, lots of people working to figure out the problem that started in September caused more damage to that wiring. This then caused more issues with cylinder damage which led to low pressure issues and misfires. After all, that was addressed the shop ultimately recommended a full engine swap to address the final error code.
After all that, Jason purchased an online technical handbook subscription that small shops can purchase. Every code recommended changing the oil as the first step, no one had done that yet. After changing the oil the codes immediately went away. We suspect that the wrong-weight oil was used in an oil change in September back in Wisconsin. All of this generated thousands of dollars in repairs that ultimately may or may not have surfaced at some point.
This was all stressful, self-defeating, and just plain aggravating to address over a four-month period. We still do encounter the P0394 “Bank 2 Camshaft Position Sensor 2/2 Intermittent” error code, but it is only when facing a strong headwind, cresting over a hill bucking into the wind and Rubi tries to downshift. Odd, yes, and ultimately we hope to be able to address this at some point.
We arrived the weekend before Thanksgiving 2022 and stayed through the second week of March 2023 this season. The drive down from Tennessee was fortunately uneventful and we arrived two weeks before our “long-term” stay started using our Thousand Trails two-week perk.
After traveling from Tennessee to Winter Garden we found a small leak had started under the kitchen sink. More repairs on this ole’ motorhome.
Christmas time is always fun at Walt Disney World, and it is even more fun when you can share it with your Wisconsin friends. We had a great time when Jason was able to take a vacation so we could spend those two weeks with Mark and Katrina.
We ventured out in the area more based on some recommendations from local Youtube Chad Gallivanter. One of these was some amazing German baked goods! It filled the gap of not being home for our traditional Christmas cookie day tradition.
Christmas morning was downright frigid with temperatures actually below the freezing mark locally and with a windchill down into the lower 20s! We had frost on the windshield and even saw some icicles hanging on our way to volunteer at the Village.
Oma headed back to Minnesota for 11 nights and that turned into 17 nights because she was having so much fun with the little one. Meanwhile Jason was back in Orlando tending to the cats, working every day, enjoying some Disney time on his own in the evenings, getting projects done on the motorhome, and volunteering at Give Kids the World village solo.
Jason’s parents surprised us with a couple of day notice that they were escaping from Wisconsin’s winter and would be joining us in Florida for a couple of weeks. Amazingly, we were able to get a spot in the same resort with us. This pushed us to check out some new sites around the Orlando area, some great, some not so great.
We stayed an additional 10 days using the Trails Collection of our Thousand Trails membership. We had to change sites because our three-month site had been rented out already by the time we were able to sign up for those days when the 60-day booking window opened. No problem, that was actually a good thing because it gave us a chance to make sure all systems were a go on the motorhome.
We finally achieved our Jeep Badge of Honor from the Ocala National Forest. This is about one hour Northwest of Winter Garden. Lots of sand and dust this time of the year, fortunately, no mud!
We extended our stay into the steamy Florida months to experience Barb’s favorite festival at Epcot Center, the International Flower and Garden festival. This also gave us an opportunity to volunteer a couple of more times at Give Kids the World Village, where Barb found out she loves to be the village shuttle driver!
More and more repairs on the motorhome this time around too, good thing we stayed just a little bit longer! As the motorhome ages, we are having to replace more and more parts more frequently due to aging.
We head up and out of Florida across the Gulf Coast to Texas!