TO BE OR NOX TO BE

In my previous post I mentioned that we had a recurrence of the “Check Diesel Exhaust Fluid” message we had experienced during our May 2016 trip to Boston. Last week our E-trek was serviced by Mercedes-Benz, and both NOX sensors (upper/lower) were replaced; however, replacing the sensors required Mercedes-Benz to remove and reinstall the black and gray tanks to replace the sensors.

I had coincidentally just posted a link to my previous post to the Roadtrek Owner’s Facebook Group, and within minutes, I received a message from one of the group’s very helpful members that the NOX sensor replacement, including removal and replacement of the tanks, is fully covered by warranty. Good thing, because the first thing Mercedes-Benz said was that the removal of the tanks to replace the NOX sensors was not covered by warranty. We contacted Roadtrek, and within 30 minutes, we had an authorization number for Mercedes-Benz to bill Roadtrek for that portion of the work.

The work was completed on Friday, October 21st. We also learned that the sensor which was replaced in May was a temperature sensor, although it produced the same “Check Diesel Exhaust Fluid” plus check engine, followed by the 10-start countdown. We are planning several trips over the next month to see if everything is finally working. We hope to drive to Florida for a wedding in December; however, we won’t take a chance that we will have yet another occurrence of vehicle defects, and end up stranded somewhere in the Carolinas, hundreds of miles from the nearest Mercedes Sprinter dealer. We also need to test VoltStart before we embark on a major trip, since we will be relying on our batteries more than ever before.

In the meantime, we have few other issues to deal with. Earlier this year, we purchased a special bicycle rack to accommodate Karl’s Elliptigo. The first time we used it, we noticed it did not clear our steep (16 degree) driveway and part of the rack got damaged on the ride home. Karl tried attaching a wheel to the bottom of the rack, but it was not strong enough to support the rack and it snapped off on our trial run. On our recent trip to Saratoga, we stopped at the bottom of the driveway and Karl unloaded the Elliptigo, my electric bicycle, as well as the rack before driving up and parking the E-trek.

Over the weekend we purchased a dual hitch extender that we hope will solve the problem. We attached the rack to the upper hitch, and the bottom piece does not extend out as far as the bicycle rack. Although the bottom extender still scrapes the road a bit when as we ascend, the additional height of the second hitch allows bicycle rack to clear the driveway.

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In addition to the bike rack challenge, we were growing weary of the iPad mount between our seats–it was always in the way of my feet and it was difficult for me to operate from my seat. I usually end up using my own iPhone anyway, so we decided to get a vent mount for my iPhone, which is easier for me to reach and is not in the way. We like to download shows from our DVR to our IOS devices (iPad, iPhone) to listen to while driving, so now it will be easier for me to fast forward through the commercials.

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