Our trip to the Southwest this past August and September has been a trip of firsts for us. We’ve been traveling for many years and we’ve never had so many strange things happen as we have on this trip.
On the third day of our trip we were on I-70 in Colorado and just after passing though the Eisenhower Tunnel westbound I tapped the brake pedal and discovered the brakes on the truck were gone. Fortunately there was a truck turnout right there. A brake line had split open and we were losing brake fluid. Man, that will cause you to have to change your underwear. This was the first time we’ve had a breakdown on a trip. By the way, Good Sam ERS really came through for us. We lost two days while the truck was being repaired and the fifth wheel was sitting on an empty lot.
Our first night in the upper elevations in Colorado we had to turn on our furnace. This was the first time we’ve used the furnace since picking up our new Wildcat in July. Shortly after the furnace kicked on (at 2 AM of course) one of the detectors started sounding the shrill alarm. I was sleepy, I couldn’t figure out if it was the LP gas detector or the smoke alarm. I turned off the furnace, dug out our little electric space heater and went back to bed. The next morning we figured out that it was the smoke detector reacting to that new odor of the furnace. This kind of set the tone of our trip. We started expecting things to go wrong.
The trailer’s clock on the slideout quit working the first week on the road. I thought it was a dead battery but no, a fresh AA battery didn’t help. Three days later the clock started working on its own again and hasn’t missed a tick since.
A water spigot split open while making a connection for our water hose spewing water on me. I got drenched. Have you ever had a metal water spigot just split open?
Twice our laptop computer locked up while booting up. We couldn’t turn the computer off and we had unplug it and remove the battery and then reinstall the battery so we could reboot.
The igniter for the stovetop burners has quit working. We have to light the burners with a match.
While we were gassing up the truck at the Red Mesa Trading Post, the automatic shutoff on the nozzle didn't work and I ended up spilling about a half gallon of gas down the side of the truck and onto the ground.
When we arrived at the Santa Fe Skies RV Park one of the latches on the front storage compartment came loose and wouldn’t allow us to open the compartment door. I had to climb in the side compartment door and manually work the latch. Just a loose screw but it caused us strife. Oakman is getting too old to be climbing into small spaces.
Once the roof top antenna disengaged from the directional crank. The antenna wouldn’t turn. It has since started working again.
On our visit to the Royal Gorge the memory card in my camera shot craps. This really bummed me out because some energy drink company (Go Fast I think) was sponsoring an event at the gorge. Bungee jumpers and base jumpers were jumping from the bridge and the tram that crosses the gorge. All those pictures are lost. Fortunately, I had been uploading the other photos I had taken of our trip to the laptop.
While at the Mountaindale Campground in CO, the battery on my cell phone quit holding a charge for more than 5 hours. It too has since started functioning properly again.
Somewhere during the trip I picked up a crack in my windshield in the lower left corner.
We did have a great time on our four week trip though, The Colorado National Monument was better than expected. Arches NP was fantastic as was Canyonlands NP. Monument Valley was great and we did take the half day tour with a Navajo guide, money well spent.
The Royal Gorge was beautiful but I was shocked to learn that the bridge was built to attract tourists. For some reason this took away some of the allure of the bridge for me. Garden of the Gods would have been more impressive if we hadn’t just come from seeing Arches, Canyonlands and Monument Valley.
Of the RV Parks and campgrounds we stayed at we enjoyed Mountaindale the best. We used it as a base to visit the Royal Gorge and the Colorado Springs area. The park we liked the least was Riverside Oasis in Moab, UT. Very narrow gravel roads and the sites were narrow, short and on top of each other. The best deal was Mom and Pop’s RV park in Farmington, NM., for $17 you got full hookups, free wifi, and level paved roads and sites, great for an overnight stay.