Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Trip - Out of Texas

We are in New Mexico. At long last. I think we may have set the record for how long it takes to get out of Texas when you're really trying.

Monday, we left Cisco, expecting to arrive in California no later than Thursday, when we'd have a chance to see my kids before they left Friday for a two-week trip to Germany together. (I really hope they don't kill each other. I told them before they left--especially my son, who inherited my stubborn streak--to be nice to each other.)

California by Thursday didn't happen.

At the RV Park and Service Center, one of the guests, who works on pipeline construction and plays with Ford engines for fun, came over and pulled the engine apart. He tested the thermostat and said it looked OK, unless it had been stuck and his test jarred it loose. Then he checked the radiator cap to be sure it wasn't bad. And he checked for water in the oil, but there was just oil in the oil, to our great relief. And in the morning, the service center guy tightened up a few things, ran the engine for a while, and it stayed at 190 the way it should. So we headed for El Paso proper, keeping an eye on the temperature gauge.

Within 8 miles, the engine was hot again. We waited in a parking lot for it to cool, took the car off the dolly, so there'd be less strain on the motorhome, and tried to find a repair place to look at it. One shop sent us to an RV dealer/service place by the Texas/New Mexico border, and we nursed the motorhome there, making several cool-down stops along the way.

That shop took the engine apart, checked things, replaced the thermostat, and tightened everything down. It took all day, and while we waited, we saw a used motorhome on the lot that called to us like a siren-song we tried to resist.

When the repairs were done, they said there was one more thing that could be the problem, if the new thermostat didn't fix it, and to come back in the morning (that would be Friday) if it still got hot. Which it did on the way to the RV Park where we spent the night.

So we went back Friday morning to have them replace the fan clutch, and the siren-song got louder and more insistent. By afternoon, my mom gave in to the call, and started the paperwork tempest that allowed her to trade in the problem child for the newer, hopefully more reliable motorhome, seen here in, yes, New Mexico:

They didn't finish the paperwork until Saturday, so we had one more night in the old motorhome. After the fan clutch replacement, the engine held its temperature at 180 very nicely. But on the way back to the RV dealer, the transmission started acting wrong, so we were very relieved to be relieved of the burden of the old motorhome (pictured here).

But there was a good side to all the problems. At each place we stopped with trouble, whether it was because the battery didn't have the oomph it needed to start the engine after a short stop at a rest area (that happened quite a bit), or because of the overheating, there was always somebody ready to help us ladies in distress. We have thanked God when the engine started, and we've thanked Him when it didn't but someone was on hand to help us. In all of it God has been faithful to us.


Bekah said...

You didn't know this adventure was going to turn into a faith drive, did you? :) I like the new home...I'll be thinking of you tonight when Mom and I do our annual tour of motor homes at the county fair. (We do it as much for an air conditioning break as the chance to see "the other side of life.") Yay for God always putting the right people in your path and for your flexibility to take the change of plans in stride. You're my hero! :)

Christina said...

Glad to hear that you're finally back on the road a new state and a new home! It looks great and I hope the rest of your adventure involves no more service stations!

Malott said...

This has been very stressful for me. Hopefully the worst is over.