Early Thursday morning, 09MAR, we hit the road back to the Pacific NW. Upon arrival in Livingston, TX, we headed straight to the local vehicle inspection station; instead of going to the Escapees Rainbows End RV like we normally do. After the vehicle inspections we then checked into the RV park. Dan then jumped into Toad with all the paperwork to head to local DMV to get all our vehicles registered. In half an hour he had re-registered the RV, old Toad, & trailer; as well as registering the new Toad sitting in the garage in WA state. Dinner that night was at the Blue Duck like last year.
Friday was another early start for a long drive to Kerrville, TX. After setting up camp, Dan headed to the local Bank of America to clear-up car loan details for the new Toad sitting in Washington. Then it was off to Dan’s sister Sharon & husband Tim’s for a visit, excellent dinner, & reminiscing (see below BLOG link for our last visit).
Saturday morning it was back on one of our least favorite roads, I-10, west bound to the Pacific NW. Immediately we noticed an engine problem while going uphillL The RV runs good on level road, but “misfires” going uphill? Dan called the Cummins engine facility in El Paso (closest one) – no answer. Dan then called Freightliner in El Paso (again closest one) & talked to Service Dept about issue. They think they can fix it, but are closed tomorrow (Sunday).
If the entire drive was flat w/no passes we would have kept going to Washington. But with the Grapevine in SoCal, the mountains of NoCal, & Grants Pass, OR, we can’t chance a major breakdown! Since Freightliner El Paso can’t see us until Monday AM, we stopped in Van Horn, TX, for the night (95 miles left to El Paso). Dinner was at Van Horn Cattle Co where we were ate in DEC15.
Sunday morning it was a short drive to a RV park in El Paso, TX (we last visited El Paso in APR 2010, see below link). After setting up camp we drove the Toad to the Freightliner dealer to check out the route & location. Having most of the day before us, we went sightseeing. First stop was El Paso Connection Gifts & Pottery. If you have ever driven thru El Paso on I-10, you probably have seen this business sitting in a hill, north of the freeway. It is a very large facility devoted to Mexican items, furniture, & antiques sold in any Mexican border town.
We then went to the Chamizal National Memorial (also part of the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail).
Unfortunately we missed the start of Festival Internacional Folklorico (live music, dance, colorful costumes). But we still toured the historical displays & viewed the Park Service video. We also were allowed to view “Photowalk El Paso 2016” in the art gallery. Dinner was at Sunnys Sushi, highly rated on Yelp! Excellent – just ask the one that had the Mexican Orgasm Roll.
"In 1966, Congress established Chamizal National Memorial to commemorate the Chamizal Convention (treaty) of 1963. The Chamizal treaty finally ended a long-standing border dispute between the U.S. and Mexico. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo established the Rio Grande/Río Bravo as the international boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. However, rivers naturally move over time. In this case, the river gradually, and at times abruptly, moved south, which left Mexico with less land than the 1848 treaty established. The land disputes that arose because of the river movement caused tension between the U.S. and Mexico for more than 100-years. Finally, in 1963 U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Mexican President Adolfo Lopez Mateos met to discuss the "Chamizal Issue" and through diplomatic negotiations, they solved the Chamizal Issue with the signing of the Chamizal Treaty.Today, the memorial commemorates the diplomatic resolution of the long-standing Chamizal boundary dispute between the U.S. and Mexico. The memorial fosters goodwill and understanding between the people of the United States and Mexico and provides a center to present activities that celebrate cultural exchange."
Early Monday morning we head to Freightliner to be first in line; unfortunately they say we will be lucky to get to us that afternoon – tomorrow more likely. So later that morning we headed to Cummins. Where they spend four hours trouble shooting with no luck – we’ll be spending the night in their parking lot w/electricity onlyL
Tuesday morning, 14MAR, the RV goes back into the Cummins service bay – hopefully the problem is solved today? More troubleshooting reveals the fuel “lift” pump is outputting very low pressure. They have one on hand & hopefully we will be on the road this afternoon?
Unfortunately the low pressure from the lift pump has damaged the fuel injector pump (can you say big bucks?)L The injector pump is not on hand, so we decide to head back to Mission RV Park where we stayed Sunday. We will return to Cummins at 7AM to start dis-assembly & hope the part shows up tomorrow. Hopefully we won’t have to do battle w/our aftermarket insurance?
Wednesday morning back at Cummins hopefully for last time. Reconditioned fuel injector pump costs 50% more than a new pump. Why don’t we get a new pump? Because although new pump is still shown in their computer; new pumps are no longer manufactured! You can only find reconditioned pumps. It takes 12 hours but the repair is completed. It’s been a long day, so back to Mission RV Park for the night.
Thursday morning finally back on the road to the Pacific NW w/fingers crossed. We decide to take the Tran-mountain road around El Paso because it a very challenging climb for RVs. Better to test the fuel system repairs now, then the climbs in the Los Angeles basin. Everything appears ok & we drive hard & farther than usual to Quartzsite, AZ (589 miles driven averaging 55mph).
Friday (St Patties Day) is a long hard drive to Kit Fox RV in Patterson, CA, where we have stayed before in Nov 2010. I-5N from Tejon Pass north is rough! The “grapevine” descent from Tejon Pass now has all semis restricted to right lane. Although this supposedly a safety measure, it only appears to cause problems & we saw several near misses that could have been avoided if the semis could use the right two lanes.
Back on I-5 Saturday morning thru on & off light rain thru the mountain/passes of northern CA & southern OR. Spent the night in Myrtle Creek, OR – tomorrow, 19MAR, the final push?