Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017

Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017
Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Breakdown in the Middle of Nowhere - Thurs., Mar. 6

I'm skipping a few days of blogs to report on today.

We had a mellow start to the day and left Deming, New Mexico at 10:30 a.m. thinking we'd arrive in Carlsbad, NM at 4:00 p.m. We stopped for lunch at Taco Bell in east El Paso, TX.

Driving US 62/US 180 100 miles east of El Paso heading toward Carlsbad Caverns, we heard a loud thump or metallic snap sound. Both of us said, "What was that?" with some degree of alarm in our voices.

Bob pulled to the side of the road and we walked around the rig to check for tire damage or any other damage. We didn't see anything.

After strapping ourselves back into our seatbelts, Bob started up the engine and we slowly moved forward. I said "Won't it go any faster?"

Bob said, "I've got it floored."

Because we were coming up on Guadalupe Pass (5,680') we pulled over to the side of the road where it was wide and there was plenty of room for a tow truck. There were two lanes of highway going our direction so cars and trucks could easily get around us.

A call was then placed to Good Sam Roadside Assistance Technical Support. After Bob explained what happened, their thought was it was most likely a transmission problem. We were on the phone with them for 1-1/2 hours while Good Sam helped us locate a service provider in Carlsbad, New Mexico, 66 miles from where we were. They then arranged a tow truck that could tow both our vehicles at once.

From the time of our initial phone call to Good Sam Roadside Assistance until our tow truck showed up, three hours transpired. I took photos of where we were, and we did a few chores while we waited.

The view where we broke down
In the middle of nowhere
The sign going back the way we had just traveled.
That's where we were stuck.

Nothing for 55 miles this direction (Van Horn, TX).
Yep, he towed both vehicles at once!
Thankfully, we had reservations at an RV park in Carlsbad, NM for two nights. (Looks like we may have to extend that!) Our tow truck driver, Cameron, got us all hooked up. Good Sam Roadside Assistance paid 100% of our tow. The tow truck towed us into the RV site where we unhooked and set up the 5er. He then delivered our truck to the Ford dealership.

Ford will do diagnostics on the truck tomorrow. If it is a simple fix, they think they can have it repaired by Monday or Tuesday of next week. If it is not a simple fix, who knows?

Meanwhile, we have reservations for the 10 a.m. Kings Palace Tour at Carlsbad Caverns tomorrow. What to do? Why, rent a car, of course. Bob got online and found an Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Carlsbad, NM. He called and made reservations. When the email confirmation came, the rental car reservationist made the reservation for Carlsbad, California. Oops! Bob had to call back to have it corrected. Let's just say that the cost of a rental car in Carlsbad, New Mexico is $200 more for a week than one in Carlsbad, California. Crazy!

At least we are all set up in our cozy home and we'll still be able to go on our tour tomorrow. The truck is at the dealership awaiting our phone call at 6:00 a.m. We are in good health and enjoying our trip despite the setback. Thank goodness for Good Sam Roadside Assistance!

We hope you are doing well wherever you are too.

Travel Bug out.

40 comments:

  1. Nice to hear you have returned safe. The place looks great where you got breakdown. It might be a great task for you to over come that.

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  2. Aw, darn - sorry to hear of your truck's breakdown. We'll keep our fingers crossed that the repair is minor. There's nothing you can do about it, so enjoy your day at Carlsbad.

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    1. We definitely enjoyed our day at Carlsbad, but you know us...go, go, go.

      We're very happy at the minor (well minor compared to a transmission) repair.

      See you Sunday!

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  3. It is good to hear that Good Sam's came to your rescue and paid for the towing. We have them, too, but haven't had to use their towing service...thank goodness. I hope the truck is repaired quickly.

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    1. If you ever do have a breakdown, you will thank your foresight for signing up for Good Sam's Roadside Assistance! They even called back to make sure the tow truck was there and we weren't stranded by the side of the road.

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  4. Sorry about the breakdown- enjoy the caverns- they are fantastic

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    1. Yep, the caverns are fantastic. We hiked three of the trails, one with a ranger, two self-guided.

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  5. On no! Glad you are safe and seem to have everything under control. Hope it gets fixed quickly and that you enjoy Carlsbad Caverns.

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    1. We thank our lucky stars that we broke down when and where we did. It could have been on Guadalupe Pass. Who knows what would have happened if we were going down a steep grade and systems started failing! Yikes. And the fix was quick and relatively cheap. Thank goodness for Good Sam Roadside Assistance. I can't say enough good things about them.

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  6. Oh ... oh! Sorry you had to get towed. Did Ford not have a vehicle you could use while your truck is getting serviced? We've had service companies give us a loaner at no cost when we used to take the cars in for service.

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    1. No, that particular Ford did not have a loaner vehicle, but they did tell us to ask Enterprise for a "dealer rate." Took our daily rate from $60/day to $40/day. We were lucky to get a car. As we were turning ours back in, we heard the agents putting people on a waiting list for rentals. A man at the counter waiting to rent a car had been told that there were no cars available in the size he wanted, and then we turned ours in early and they rented it back out on the spot to him after they checked it over, that is. They made out on that deal because we only had the car from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

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  7. Breaking down underway in an RV was always one of those nagging thoughts in the back of my head anytime we headed out. Pays to have roadside assistance, and a cell phone. It'll be interesting to hear what the diagnosis will be. Might have been the turbo if you're running the Ford Powerstroke. Fingers crossed.

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    1. Yes, we're running a Powerstroke, but it turned out to be the CAC tube, which neither one of us had ever heard of before. We were lucky not only that we had Good Sam Roadside Assistance, but also that we had full signal on our cell phone in the middle of nowhere!

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  8. Wow sorry to hear your truck broke down. Lots of good things though. We've driven over the Guadelupe Mountains and it is very remote up there. Good thing it happened before you got up there. Glad to hear Good Sam Roadside is so great in case we ever need it. Good thing they could tow you to your RV site and you could get a rental car. Carlsbad is a great place to visit. Enjoy your tour.

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    1. We were very lucky to get the rental car. When we turned it in, there was a waiting list for a car!

      We are super happy with Good Sam Roadside Assistance. They not only towed us to the RV park site, but they then had the tow truck driver tow our truck to the Ford dealership on the other side of town.

      Luckily the Enterprise office was only a couple of miles away. They would have picked us up, but we thought that would take too long. Bob loves walking, so he walked to the office and was there when they opened the doors. Probably why we got a car! Love him.

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  9. Hope it's a quick fix! Broke down in a car in that same area decades ago in June, when it was crazy desert-hot out. Your experience was a lot more comfortable than mine was! Planning on going to Carlsbad Caverns? The evening bat flight is awesome!

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    1. No bats this year until about May, per the rangers.

      We were very fortunate with the weather. It was cloudy and about 65 degrees at 4:00 p.m.

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  10. Oh goodness! Glad that at least yall broke down in a safe spot! Whew! And that it turned out okay so far (that's a gorgeous view to be "stuck" watching). Hope results land an easy fix for yall :)

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  11. Hope it turns out to be a small fix, at least you are safe and have a place to stay. Hope you enjoy Carlsbad Caverns one of our favorites, when you get back to San Antonio you'll have to check out Caverns of Sonora.

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    1. Still have a long list of caverns to see: Caverns of Sonora and Kartchner Caverns are on the list.

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  12. We have Good Sam Roadside but never have had to use them YET! Good to know they provide decent service. Here is hoping there will be a quick fix and you find yourself moving on down the road soon.

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  13. Well that's an abrupt change of plans! Fingers crossed it's a quick and low cost fix and you're back on track quickly!

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    1. We were back on track so quickly, you never would have known we broke down. Thankfully it was a quick and relatively low cost fix (CAC tube).

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  14. Darn....so sorry to hear of the breakdown but glad you're not sitting in Van Horn. We had the turbo go out on our F250 a couple of years ago heading north on the 17 just south of Sedona. Good luck with all and you'll probably have extra time to take in the White Sand Dunes and some other sites while in the area.

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    1. Well, we would have loved to hike in Guadalupe Mountains, seen the Desert Garden and Zoo and Roswell, but our truck was fixed so quickly we were able to continue on as if nothing happened. That's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it!

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  15. As bad as abreakdown is, I'm glad you were in a place you were safe while wait in waiting for help.

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  16. So sorry to hear you broke down but glad that you're safe. You'll enjoy the caverns. If you get chance and haven't already done it, try the hike up McKitterick Canyon in Guadalupe National Park it's absolutely gorgeous you'll love it. Here is the link http://www.nps.gov/gumo/planyourvisit/upload/mckcanyon.pdf

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    1. If we would have been stuck there longer, we had a whole list of places to go and things to see, including Guadalupe National Park and Sitting Bull Falls.

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  17. While it is a shame about the breakdown, it sounds like you have everything under control. The wonderful thing about having a 5th Wheel is that your home is separate from your vehicle. The motor homes aren't that lucky. Hope the truck has a minor repair and you get back on track.

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  18. WOW...how nice is that that he took you to the campground and then took the truck in. What great service!

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    1. Apparently that's part of Good Sam's Roadside Assistance. You can bet the tow truck driver was happy. He was getting paid to tow us 66 miles!

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  19. It was well worth the three hour wait to know that the tow was handled properly. Glad you are safe and still have your house. Hope you enjoyed the cavern tour!

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    1. To sing my new song from "The Lego Movie"...Everything is awesome!

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  20. We had a fantastic experience with Good Sam's Roadside assistance too.

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    1. It would be silly not to have it. Glad to hear your experience went well too.

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  21. Ouch! Hate that you broke down but glad you still get to visit the caverns.

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  22. Ahhh what a pretty spot to break down in! Hope the fix is easy, cheap and fast.... and you can get on with your adventure!

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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    1. Yes, good spot, cheap and fast fix...our whole life is an adventure. That's the way we choose to live it.

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  23. I'm busy trying to catch up on blog posts and was really concerned when I saw this. Good to know it worked out to be not nearly as bad as it could have been.
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    Colleen
    Traveling with the Longdogs (Blog)
    http://Travelinglongdogs.blogspot.com
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