Friday, May 06, 2016

#WYFF - Always on a Friday

We break down in some of the most beautiful spots! Wouldn't you agree? We left Valley of the Rogue at 0600 as we wanted to be sure to hit Beale in time to pick up meds and shop. We were making amazing time. By 0900 we were at the top of the pass going over Shasta Reservoir. Michael and I both heard a noise - sort of like a card in the spokes of a bike. He checked the engine and saw nothing.

During  the walk around, however, Nolan noted one of the trailer tires was bulging. This was a good time to change it. We were thankful for the odd noise which prevented a tire blow out.

Michael  started up the van again and we got the familiar engine code. Remember, the spark plug that blew a month ago? O.K. this spark plug problem is a known issue for Ford V10 - Triton engines. When I said a month ago that a spark plug blew many of you questioned that I knew what I was talking about. Here's a quick Google Search.  I'm not loving our Ford so much these days!

USAA sent a tow truck out for us again. This time we had to be towed 22 miles - into Redding, CA. He towed both the van and the Caboose. Whew.  We all expected another spark plug had blown - it would be another $200 and we joked this meant only 8 more  could possibly blow.

IT WAS THE SAME SPARK PLUG... the heads had to be pulled. The spark plug holes will have to be bored out and new sleeves installed. All 10 will be fixed and this should not be an issue for us again. They'll have to reinstall it with a new head gasket. All told, it will be another $3500+, add that to Wednesday's tie rod assembly repair of $500, and this is a costliest week of full-timing to date.

They originally told us it would be Tuesday closing before they could get the van back to us. I didn't hide my dismay - I wasn't rude. I simply said, "We're supposed to be in TX on Tuesday." As they kept talking and I did the math of the trip.....I mentioned, "We're going to miss graduation. We'll be there for the wedding."  The receptionist asked us questions, while TWO mechanics both tore into the van to see if they could get the heads to the machine shop today.  I explained  our son was graduating in TX on the 14th and  I didn't see how we could drive from CA to TX in 3 days. I told them Michael was officiating at the wedding.

She called the machine shop and they told her they couldn't get to it until Wed. She explained she wanted it done ASAP. More back and forth and then she said, "Tell him, the guys have it out and are bringing it over. Freeze the other work you have for us and get this done first!" They said they'll have it back in the shop by Monday at noon, and then the guys will need to install it into our van.  They're pushing to be done by closing on Monday.

This is big - Krista is flying in on Wed - the 12th. We won't be there. We have hair appointments Tuesday, the 11th. We won't be there. We needed to go shopping. AND we are in the midst of plans for shopping and cooking with Team A for the rehearsal dinner....We are praying we can get out of here on the 10th and make it  by the evening of the  13th. Graduation/Rehearsal is the 14th.  We are considering leaving Monday night and stopping to sleep as needed..... We are considering dropping the trailer in Beale and just driving and staying in hotels.  The problem is this is our last trip before we are stationary again for an undetermined amount of time....through our extended stay at Beale we planned to visit friends in TX after the wedding and then go to the Grand Canyon....if we drop the trailer, we will come directly back after the wedding - can't afford 2 hotel rooms for 30 days. ::snort::  Giving up the trip that kept us positive through 5 months at Beale Fam Camp - and the upcoming settling down in's just something we'd rather not to do the kids.

We thought we would use the time wisely, rent a car this weekend, and find a hair salon and mall - get those errands done here in Redding - would you believe we can't find ONE car to rent?

We ARE in a Premier RV Resort - and I find it funny we always break down next to the expensive RV parks, rather than the $20 a night spots. LOL  There is a great pool here; but it was thundering this afternoon.  The owner of the repair shop towed the trailer and us to the park.

I also need to call the spots we have reservations along the way and cancel or move them.....but who knows when we'll be where....thinking truck stops, rest areas and parking lots will be our best bet for this trip.....oh! We also have that bulging tire we'd love to get fixed while were grounded....we do have two bikes...but Les Schwab is a long ways away.

That's pretty much the BOO - now here are some Yays!

  • We safely got off the road - on a narrow pass! 
  • We had planned to arrive in TX 4 days before the graduation/rehearsal - we may make it on time even with the delay. 
  • The repair shop is amazing and have gone beyond the norm to care for us
  • Premier RV Resort bent over backwards to move people around and find us a spot until Wed. 
  • Brenner picked up our meds and will take them to Fam Camp
  • Janey will look out for our meds, cancelled our reservation at Beale, and will hold our meds and mail for us until we drive through
  • Our tow truck driver was an interesting man with stories from owning two race car tracks and three race cars....he was preparing to tow a class A and a semi hit the Class A - hurt his back....if you have to be towed for 20+ miles it helps to have interesting conversation
  • There was a yummy Mexican diner within walking distance of the repair shop
  • Netflix in the waiting room of the repair shop
  • I cooked chicken last night so it was easy to throw together one of everyone's favorite meals at the end of the day - Chicken Divan. 
We appreciate your prayers for a quick return of our van, for a way to get out of the park and get our errands done, and for wisdom in how to proceed on this trip.....for now I want to sleep.

#WYFF (Where's Your Feet Friday) is sponsored by Fulltime Families. View more of our Friday exploits by clicking the #WYFF tab above.