Nov 07, 2017

It could have ruined our day, even our vacation

But to start at the beginning.  It was 36F inside the RV at 6:30AM and 25F/-4C outside.  Back home in Kelowna it was -8C so I guess that we were better off but it was still cold.  I even slept with socks on for the first time.  Perhaps it is because we don’t have the girls to cuddle that makes it seem extra frigid.  We were ready to leave and Colin went to prepare the Jeep for travel.  He was gone a long time and I knew that something was wrong.  Finally he came in and told me that bad news, the $1,800.00 Blue Ox Patriot Braking System was not working.  It has been used a total of 10 hours.  He went out to try again while I started to gather phone numbers off the internet and began making calls.  We were on the phone with a tech guy ( and you all know how much I love them  🙄 ) for over 30 minutes.  His solution was for us to ship the unit back to them and that they would look at it and send it back.  Umm, today we were driving Pendleton Pass and we needed this braking device by law and then we are off to Mexico.  Finally after a bit he decided to have us manually override the system.  The pedal engaged less than an inch but the tech said that is should be fine.  So we decided to go with it and will decide what to do once we get to Vegas.  We wonder if the cold has also affected this brake system.  So tonight we have it inside the RV.  Tomorrow may show us something else.  We got off to a very late start at 8:25AM. But we were underway.  For a while I had visions of us staying put.

We crossed the Columbia River twice before leaving Washington state. The old bridge on the right is being repaired so it was one lane each direction on the newer one.

Our second state of the day.

First time we have ever seen the foothills just entering Oregon covered in snow.  The cold and snow are going to be with us until we aren’t too far north of Las Vegas.

As we started our steep ascent we saw this RV in front of us.  It was a 5th wheel and they were towing a homemade trailer for their ATV.  Look at the two tiny and narrow tires keeping it rolling.

I would have to say that this fellow had a much worse day that we could even imagine.  As we drove we talked about our options with the brake assembly and what we might or might not do.  We no longer felt as badly as we had earlier in the morning.

We made it to the top with no issues. Colin was able to pull the heavy Jeep in 4th gear with no more effort than he had the HHR.  He also felt that the down hill portion was controlled with no feeling of the Jeep pushing the RV.  We only had to use the brakes twice and the device did kick in or so it said on the remote display.  Unless you are in the Jeep you have no idea what is actually happening.  FYI Colin is very light on his brakes and uses the engine brake as much as possible.  This is a 2001 RV with just over 130,000 miles and we have 70% left on the original brake shoes.

I missed getting a photo of the 49th parallel sign stating that we were halfway between the equator and the North Pole 😀   We stopped in Baker for fuel and lucked out at 2.999per gallon.  But even there Colin tried over and over to get the pump to work but he finally had to ask to the manager to come out and work some magic.  Once back on the interstate I kept hearing a strange noise.  Colin pulled over and discovered that the fuel access panel was open.  We think that because it was so cold and windy while fueling that he simply overlooked closing the panel.  He does remember replacing the gas cap and turning it.  Sadly it was missing.  The wind was very strong as we drove.  He came up with the brilliant idea of Gorilla taping the hole so that nothing would get into the fuel tank.  We stopped at Love’s in Ontario but they don’t sell gas caps.  We will have to add that to our Vegas to do list which is growing by leaps and bounds.

An oldie but a goodie to the owner. We chuckled as we know that in about 20 years others will be pointing to our old rig and snickering.  But look at those tiny tires, they are less than the width of the white line.

Finally our third and last state of the day.

Our car was filthy and almost black from all the snow and wet roads back home and the RV needed a bath as well.  We saw a sign advertising a hand wash truck and RV service about 36 miles into Idaho so we took that exit and sure enough it was legit.  I had been on the phone yesterday calling around Las Vegas to get someone to come to the RV park to wash our vehicles.  First off the park will only allow RV’s to be washed, you have to take your car or truck to a car wash.  Secondly you can only use the services that they allow to come into the park.  Two wanted $120.00 to wash the RV and the third one wanted $145.00.  No gracias.  These fellows did both vehicles for $75.00 and they look great.  Apparently they do on average of 30 RV’s or semis per day.  Good business.

We thought we got a great deal and were very happy.  At one point Colin was going to wash the RV himself but the RV park in Vegas wants $25.00 to use the water.  And he still would not be able to wash our very dirty car.  As there was no precipitation expected until we reach the Isla we decided that it was a well deserved treat.  These guys were done in 30 minutes!

Besides in addition to our already planned errands in Las Vegas we now have to deal with the A/C situation and the braking issue.  Tonight we are in Mountain Home, Idaho guests of Chez Walmart.  However I was able to lighten my wallet and get several things crossed off my shopping list, my favorite being 15 boxes of white fairy lights to decorate with on the Isla.  I think that 1500 lights will look just lovely 😎  Idaho is on MST but we are in PST so as we will be back to PST in Nevada tomorrow we are staying with PST.  We arrived here about 5:50PM and now it is getting close to 10:30 PM and we need to get to bed.  A wee change of plans for tomorrow has us on the road for a longer time.

A long day today at just over 400 miles, wait till you see what we are doing tomorrow.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and to comment.  I appreciate you all so much.  Hope that you are warm where ever you are.


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12 responses so far

12 Responses to “It could have ruined our day, even our vacation”

  1. Dee Tillotson says:

    “Chez Walmart” — just love it! You are the only one I know that can make Walmart sound so classy! LOL!

    Vegas will give you some warmth as long as the winds are not too high. I bet a piping hot bowl of the lentil soup you made would taste great right now. Wish you smooth sailing after Vegas.

  2. George Yates says:

    Good luck with your Blue Ox braking system,we have had good luck wth our Brake Buddy since 2006. Hope you get all your repairs done and can enjoy your trip to the Isla.

  3. ann says:

    glad you are on the road and hope things improve day by day. we use Johnny Walker RV in vegas for all our RV needs etc. In fact I’ve already had to call them this year cause the back up camera/navigation system has stopped working again.
    We are leaving San Carlos today and will overnite at truck stop in Los Mochis. Maz on Thursday. Getting old and lazy to make the long drives.
    When you get to Mexico you will be very warm very high 80s and 90s predicted for the next week.

  4. Gail Todd says:

    Predicted eighties with sixties at night for the next week in Phoenix, Arizona. It awaits you!

  5. Sandie Dixon says:

    Enough with the problems. Sure hope they all get resolved in Las Vegas. We just can’t do those long days anymore.

  6. Steve says:

    I’m glad to see you made the 400 miles without incident. It had to be hard driving while wondering what was going on with the Jeep. I’ve taken that exact way down I-84 to Mountain Home, ID and I even lived in Boise for a short time. Just think how nice it will feel to get to warmer weather once you reach Las Vegas.

  7. Peter says:

    A good day on the road. Hope all the issues will get resolved in Vegas. Safe travels.

  8. Caroline in seattle/las vegas says:

    It has cooled off in vegas ….it was 85 last week but now our high is only 70 and it drops to 50 at night. Fall is here.

  9. Crikey! Any more vehicle issues and you will have another problem….a depleting wine supply 🙂

  10. Rod & Sylvia says:

    Only 50 bottles with you? You might net get out of the USA?!? Hooefully the rest of your trip is non-eventful.

  11. Maxx Trails says:

    Things have to get better! I think the great deal on the RV and jeep wash is the beginning of your luck changing 🙂

  12. Dolores T says:

    When I 1st got RV, I paid over $300 to have it washed/waxed, was SO bummed when got to Southwest and it was so much cheaper!!! I sure got took with that one!! Glad u have gotten so far and all is well… Our Winter has sure settled in for sure.. remember in 1974 snowed 2′ on Nov 5th and was stuck in my driveway for 2 days! So not unusual for Nov to come in like a lion!!
    Safe travels!!!

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