Beyond Texas to New Zealand travel blog


You know life in an RV is not all fun and games. It’s not all sightseeing and hiking. As G reminds me, we are not on perpetual vacation. It is a lifestyle and the RV is our home. As with any home, things go wrong. G discovered in Marathon that something was spraying fluid in the engine compartment. The OM says “It’s just a tiny leak. A teensy, teensy leak.” He diagnoses it as hydrolytic fluid and tightens up the connections with a borrowed wrench from our trucker neighbor. Off we go to Big Bend, “Oh, the leak is teensy now; not teensy, teensy.” Some more had leaked out. But we were in Big Bend, so we don’t want to leave and why should we—the issue won’t get any worse while we hike since we are not driving the vehicle. Well that may be the case, but there are always other issues. When you camp in the park, you don’t get hookups. It is dry camping and you bring your own water and power supply. It also means that you must use your water pump to get water in the sinks and into the toilet. Aah, a new problem supersedes the motor issue. The water pump is malfunctioning and has succeeded in overflowing and flooding the floors twice. We must now monitor the toilet for possible overflow each time it is used. Good thing, the park does have toilets. Problem solved except for late nights when it’s too dark and scary to go to the park’s facilities. Anyway, we both agreed the new inconvenience was just that and would not spoil our time in Big Bend.

After 5 days we left and drove to Alpine, Texas. The next day we took the RV to Fort Stockton for a check on our leak. It turns out it is not hydraulic fluid, but is diesel. The mechanic states it is probably the uplift station (huh?) but he cannot work on it. We call and schedule an appointment in Odessa at the Cummins South Plains Diesel shop. We get there Wednesday and spend the night in their parking lot. They actually allow us to hook up to their electric. Thursday morning at 8am they process us in, confirm the diagnosis and fix the problem. We spent the night there again and left Friday morning to return to Alpine and continue our explorations. This was the cleanest mechanics’ place I have ever seen. They had over 10 double bays for doing work on semi trucks and oil equipment plus motor homes. It was spotless. The parking lot was spotless. The people were friendly and it was a most wonderful experience. By the way, we had not been in a town this size (100,000) for over 3 weeks so what did we do but go to our favorite eating places from College Station—Rosa’s, Schlotskys, Johnny Carinos. Now you could say we had opportunity to do that in Albuquerque, but, hey, when you’re there, there’s too many local places to check out. So except for the occasional snack at McDonalds we didn’t taste the national chains. I also went to Target which I had not been to since Albuquerque and which I find so crisp and refreshing compared to Wal-Mart.

Share |