Sunday, January 17, 2010


I was not going to write about this tonight, but I want to be honest in documenting our general efforts, successes and downfalls!  But today/tonight was a step backwards.  In just about 24 hours of owning our new truck, it refused to start.  If you read our last post about buying our truck and how we found out it was originally used by Halliburton, you might  understand me better when I say that I am not sure if it was because we named her "Fluffy," or because we were playing Air America and NPR - but the truck would not turn over. Less than 24 hours, and not even having the opportunity to read all of the truck's manuals, it is dead - and it's dead many miles from home!

Now for buying history - something I neglected in my last post, this is a used truck we purchased for $10,995 less our trade in from a used car dealership in Roy, Wa.  Before even seeing the truck, we saw and examined the car fax.  We then called a family member who was once in the "business" as to the general condition of the Truck and the price.  It was a good deal, he said, as long as it check out.  We went to see the truck finally, drove it, looked it over, took it to an independent mechanic who checked it out and said-and I quote: "what you likely have here is a diamond in the rough." We paid him and we thought: "Awesome," and so we bought. I do believe we did everything right.  I have gone over it again and again, and we took the right steps.

Today, we took the truck out to look at a few fifth wheels we are interested in.  Not intending to buy, but to do more research at this point. We stopped at Camping world, joined their club and Good Sam's Club because they were running a deal this weekend.  While there, we got a quote on the installation and needed equipment for a fifth wheel hitch, braking and lights. We also purchased two-6 gear folding bikes.  We had our eyes on this for a while and they can run up to $300 a piece.  They were on a good sale at $140.0 and so we got our two bikes for while we are on the road.  We left Camping World with our bikes and memberships - riding high and excited.  We stopped next door for a coffee and when we got to the truck -nothing.  Nada.  Effen for real?  Yes - for real.

Called my sister.  My sister is totally awesome and so is her entire family.  They loaded up, 6 year old restless boy and all, and came down to help.  My husband and Emily worked on the car and tried jump it - no luck.  We have two batteries in the truck and so its hard to tell which one is dead.  At first we thought one of the batteries went to a makeshift heater that was installed in the back of the truck (remember it was in Alaska).  We went to Shucks to get a new battery - no luck at another $120.00.  We took both batteries out and went to another Shucks in Tacoma, WA to get them tested (the one by were we are stalled was closed). It is going on 7 PM now.  The batteries test good and after some talk with the folks at Shucks, and our own thinking, we believe it is the starter that is bad.  We bought a starter for another $250.00 and one of they guys at the story felt he could put it in for us- he does trucks.  We offer him $50.00 to do it and meet where the truck is (thank god it died in a parking lot!).

This gentleman is super nice and very earnest but he could not get the old starter out because although he brought lots of tools, he did not have the one he needed to reach a really obnoxious screw holding the starter in.  Not without trying!  He tried - this dear stranger, tried and tried.  We tried tapping the starter - no go, and because the truck is diesel and automatic, the other "tricks" to get it going was not possible.  Defeat for the night.  We try again tomorrow, in the daylight and, we hope, wtih the right tools. We hope it is indeed the starter and that we will have the ability to later bring it to a dear friend who can give the truck out a really, really good check for us.

As for our purchase of the bikes - We hope its not true but in a worse case situation, at least we now  have a way to get to the store to buy food.  Thank god I work online!



  1. Oh goodness, what a nightmare! Well, what is a road trip without roadblocks and trips, right? Wishing you the best of luck tomorrow. Hugs.

  2. yep! LOL but Fluffy is safely parked outside our home now - I have to still learn how to drive her! She is really, really big. R


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