The Vacation that wasn’t!

After months of anticipation and planning, we left Tuesday May 15 for the first part of this years spring vacation.  Out itinerary included Overland Park KS for Machine Quilters Showcase then a stop over in Oklahoma City, OK before heading to Santa Fe, NM for a week.  The last leg was north to Yellowstone then home around June 6th.  We made most of the reservations way back in February and were so looking forward to this extended vacation.  Bought a new truck right before Christmas to make towing the fifth wheel worry free.

By noon on Tuesday we were waiting for the tow truck.  The information center on the trucks’ dash went “ding ding ding” and informed us of  some kind of exhaust filter cleaning (this truck is a diesel) and we should keep driving as it may take up to 30 minutes.  About 7 minutes later we heard another “ding ding ding” with the message ” engine speed reduced”  and it was…down to 30 mph…on the interstate….pulling a trailer.  We made it into a service area, dropped the trailer and waited. 

At 3 pm on Tuesday we were arriving at the nearest dealer  via tow truck.  After about 4 hours they thought the problem was solved and we were ready to start our vacation again.  If we drove straight through we should get to Kansas City around 1:30 am.  I will still make my Wednesday classes.

45 miles later were heard the “ding ding ding” and the exhaust filter was cleaning….well, OK, maybe it was supposed to do this and everything was …..”ding ding ding” engine speed reduced….same thing,  onto the shoulder at 30 miles an hour, in the dark …on the interstate….pulling a trailer.   We spent our first vacation night at the truck stop.

At 7:30 the next morning we limped 2 miles up the road to the local Chevy dealer….we luckily got off at the exit the dealership was on, so no tow this time!  We spent Wednesday morning waiting to get good news.  The diesel mechanic wasn’t working but another mechanic took a look.    hmmmmmm better wait til tomorrow for the diesel mechanic.  Looks like I won’t make Wednesday classes, or Thursday’s.  Or Shopping Frenzy!!

Now I must say the dealership folks were OK….we plugged in and filled the water tank.   We had all the comforts of home! 

You can see us parked in the dealer lot above.    We explored the local grocery and discount store.  Supper was at the Mexican restaurant a few blocks down.  A nice walk, and it cooled off….very pleasant, considering we were “camping” in the dealer parking lot.

Thursday we got the news that we need a part.  It was going to take a while and we should go home.   A rental car was located, eventually, and we headed home around 5 pm.    Two days into our vacation and we are about 100 miles from home, I’ve missed all of my classes at MQS,  and the 5th wheel will remain in the dealer lot….sure hope they don’t think about selling it!

It was a very long week-end.  We waited to hear that the part was located and shipped.  We waited.  And waited.  I cancelled the OKC plans, and then the Santa Fe reservations.  Now it looked like we might be able to go just to Yellowstone.

Tuesday….one week after our first departure the dealer called around 3pm…truck will be ready to go by 5-5:30pm.  We tossed our stuff back into the rental car and took off.  The service manager explained what the problem was, how they fixed it and it should be OK.  We hooked up we were on the road.  Off to Yellowstone National Park, with a stop at Mt Rushmore on the way.

We made it 37 miles.  “Ding ding ding”….we pulled into the rest stop and called roadside assistance yet again.  A tow truck was dispatched.  We called DH’s brother to come rescue us.  Our vacation is officially over.

For the sake of space I have omitted a few parts of our adventure….the flat tire on the trailer while travelling down the shoulder…the jack for same tire not quite high enough and a slight problem with the spare, too.   The rental car ….

I would love to say this tale has a happy ending…..but the truck is about 140 miles away…waiting for another part.  This is a holiday weekend so we won’t hear anything until Tuesday.  The 5th wheel is back home.   I cancelled the Yellowstone reservation.  


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One comment on “The Vacation that wasn’t!
  1. Linda in Ne says:

    You just bought the truck but it sounds like time to trade it in for a different one.

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