Thursday, March 07, 2013

Update on Truck Problems and Other Things

With all the problems we’ve had with the truck this fall, we’ve been thinking about buying a different RV

We visited several of the RV lots around Quartzsite and found several used motorhomes that we liked.  Most of them had the older analog TVs and either no satellite dish, or an old one (or a dome), so not only would we have had to replace both TVs, we would also have had to install a new Winegard Trav’ler on the roof.  $$$$.  Not to mention lack of solar which we would have to add.  More $$$$.

Using our fifth wheel as a trade in really isn’t an option since we still owe money on it…we’d have to try and sell it ourselves and then use the money from the sale of it and the truck for the down payment.

We finally decided to refinance the fifth wheel.  When we first bought it back in 2007, the interest rate we got was 7+ percent.  We were able to refinance it at 4.99%, a savings of around $100 per month!

Earl made an appointment with a dentist in Algodones, Mexico, to have some extensive dental work done, so we left Gateway Ranch RV Resort on January 21, and drove to Gold Rock Ranch RV Park north of Winterhaven, California, just off Ogilby Road.

The dental work consisted of one extraction, eight root canals, and 13 crowns (including a bridge).  Total cost was just over $4,700!  Expensive, but I’d hate to think what the cost would have been in the U.S. – I imagine it would easily have been triple that, if not more!

After spending a week at Gold Rock Ranch RV Park, we moved to a BLM boondocking area just south of there on the east side of Ogilby Road north of the railroad tracks.

While traveling around Yuma, the engine check light came on again!  Earl took the truck to Fisher Dodge to have it checked out.  Turns out we needed more work on the transmission! Sad smile 

Everything that the guy in Alturas and the guy in Coachella did was done correctly – they just didn’t do a complete job.  This time, Fisher Dodge replaced the torque converter and the pump for the transmission. 

The guy at Fisher Dodge said that if the transmission had gone out in Yuma, they could have put in a brand new transmission and given us a 3-year warranty for around $5,000!  As it is, doing it piecemeal like we had to do, it cost us a total of over $8,000!  That includes the $500+ we spent at Peterson Stampede Dodge in Nampa, Idaho.  While the ABS module going out may have been just a coincidence of timing, I believe that it was all tied to the transmission problem.  Why do I believe that?  Because when we got in the truck the night of October 30 and found that the dash lights weren’t working, our PacBrake quit working and never worked again UNTIL we had the final piece of the puzzle done at Fisher Dodge.  Now the PacBrake is working just fine!

After we got done with everything in Yuma, we drove to Tucson to visit Blaze’s breeder, Tari Parrish, and had a really nice visit with her.  We then moved to Casino Del Sol and dry camped in their parking lot for a couple of days so we could have lunch at Takamatsu with a friend from our New Horizons days, Lloyd Treichel.

While in Tucson, we found a really good Mexican restaurant, Don Quijote.  We’ll definitely go back there again!

We spent time in both Yuma and Quartzsite visiting with friends Mike & Mary.  While in Quartzsite, we had lunch at our favorite places:  Times Three Family Restaurant (good fish & chips) and Silly Al’s Pizza (some of the best pizza we’ve had anywhere).  We also ate at Dos Amigos east of Brenda for their fish taco special on Wednesdays and, on our last trip into Blythe for shopping, we stopped at Popeye's for spicy chicken and red rice and beans. 

We left Quartzsite on the morning of March 5, arriving at Government Wash in the Lake Mead NRA in the afternoon.  Before heading out to Government Wash, we stopped at Camping World to buy a new lube plate for the fifth wheel because the old one had caught on the hitch and broken.  I don’t know why…it was only six years old!

I don’t know how long we’ll be in Las Vegas…just depends on when the weather warms up farther north.  I’d like to be back in Spokane by at least the middle of April, but we’ll have to wait and see how the weather is.

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