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RV'ing blog

To Texas or Bust

After spending two weeks in Paso Robles (California) visiting the family and attending to doctor’s appointments, we headed out on February 23 intent on getting to Texas this time to become real Texans. I spent the morning nervously following behind the truck/trailer in the Jeep, watching one of the trailer tires that seemed ready to blow. It never did, but as we were climbing up the Grapevine heading into southern CA on I-5, Terry suddenly jumped from the #4 lane to the shoulder with flashers on. I knew that couldn’t be good, and sure enough something was seriously amiss with the truck. It would not go more than 10 MPH on that big grade. We tossed around our options and decided to limp it down the hill to the Hungry Valley SVRA (an acronym for a state riding area) so that we could park the trailer and prepare for an extended stay.

There is a pretty steep little hill that has to be climbed to get in to the camping area, but Terry gave it a shot anyway. Unfortunately, the truck stopped and would not go any further on the hill. So, the little Jeep that could ended up pulling the whole load up the hill on the end of a tow strap. Too bad I didn’t think to take pictures of this little train wreck.

After getting everything set up we drove the truck down to Gorman, called for a AAA tow and the truck was sent on its way to Santa Clarita on the back of a flatbed.  I secretly relished the thought of being able to play in the off-road park with the Jeep for at least one day.

Happily, instead of a $4,000 transmission or turbo repair, it turned out to be just a $400 hose. The service guy said that it would be ready in the afternoon. We picked up the truck, but we weren’t out of the woods yet. After just a few miles Terry decided that he did not like the tell-tale bird chirps that he was hearing from the drivetrain. After experiencing a driveshaft failure on the Jeep, he knew what that noise was. So back to the Ford dealership we went, complaining that the noise needed to be taken care of. Another day lost on our long journey, but we figured it would be better to get it taken care of now rather than waiting for the driveshaft to blow through the floor of the truck. The service guy said he had never heard of a failure like that in 25 years, but sure enough, that’s what it was. Another $400 later and we should be on our way tomorrow.

Alas, just as I finished that last sentence, Terry walked through the door with a piece of the Jeep in his hand. One of the welds on the sway control had given way, leaving the Jeep drivable, but sloppy. We decided it was not in the cards to take the Jeep all the way to Texas in that condition, so we headed back to Oceano to drop it off at Xtreme for repairs, adding yet another day to our stay. At least we got a few good days of four-wheeling out of it.

So, now that we have all of the busted parts out of the way, we should have smooth sailing on our journey from California to Texas. Wish us luck…