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(For those of you who want to order our new book, “Hawk and Red Fox-Modern Day Gypsies”, go to the link above or below and choose either the full color version or the B&W. Here you will see the details of their first year as full time RVers in 2010/2011, as they traveled through 28 states and one Canadian province)-
Special offer during the month of April! You will be sent a 1/2 hour DVD of our famous ride through Bear Tooth Highway in Montana/Wyoming at 11,000 feet and 30 foot snowbanks on our Harleys for every book ordered through the link above.
Greetings once more! When last we posted, we were getting ready to depart the Moab/Arches/Canyon Land area after a great 10 day stay there at a B.L.M. camping area on the Colorado. The day before leaving we spent preparing to move (loading motorcycles, generators, kayaks, bicycles etc.) and checking all systems (tire pressures, oil, coolant etc.). This usually takes about 4 to 5 hours and then we like to relax and leave early the following day. Everything was going according to schedule with the usual verbal skirmishes and we finished up the preparations around 1 p.m.. We had heard a high wind warning, but hadn’t paid a lot of attention to it.I had just taken a shower and was relaxing in the sun still wrapped in a bath towel when a gust of about 50 m.p.h. drove a huge cloud of red sandstone dust all over the campground and into our trailer which still had the back ramp open after loading the Hogs. When Red Fox got done laughing at me covered with red dust, she realized the entire inside of the trailer was filled with dust and hastened to close the ramp and windows.
Things went downhill from there! After cleaning up the mess, we lit the campfire, but couldn’t really enjoy sitting out because of the continuing high winds. (Later we would find out that our Kennybunk friends, John and Mary, had been driven out of their Lake Powell camp, along with the camp host. Strong winds were prevalent throughout the entire area). The next morning we left, as planned, and headed to our next National Park, Capital Reef. Because we had such poor internet in Moab, we had not really absorbed the weather for that day and the next day nor, foolishly, had we checked what the altitude was at C.R..
Anyway, about an hour into the trip, as we began to descend and ascend some steep grades, the dreaded wrench light came on. Now you need to understand that the wrench light is different than the check engine light. While the check engine problem can usually diagnosed readily by the Ford service people, the wrench light is a different animal. One never knows what’s wrong until you hook up the computer and run a diagnostic. We immediately lost power and having great difficulty climbing the steep grades (20 mph instead of the usual 40 mph). We limped along for at least 50 or 60 miles in the middle of nowhere before coming to a town called Hanksville. Here we fueled up and got ready to try and reach the nearest Ford dealer (about 100 miles away). Lo and behold, hallelujah, when we started the truck the wrench light did not come on and the truck ran normally or close to it. We were immensely relieved as we had had the usual visions of engines blowing up, huge repair bill and so on.
The remainder of the trip was fairly pleasant, although we could tell the temperature was dropping and dark clouds were hanging over the mountain tops. Finally we arrived at C.R., but there were no campsites available. We were prepared for this eventuality and went to Plan B. Plan B is always to look for a private campground that isn’t too pricey. We soon found one in Torrey UT and hooked up for the night. It had been spitting snow but we were so tired we didn’t pay much attention. It was nice to have full hookups and we soon settled in for the night with electricity, water and sewer. Life was good or so we thought. During the night I got up to use the bathroom and found no water running when I flushed. This was not good and back came all the stress of the day in full force. There was nothing we could do, except keep the heat on and wait. for the morning.
In the morning we awoke to heavy, wet, constant snow with about 2 inches on the grassy areas and learned that the temperature had bottomed out around 18 F. We had the electric and propane heat on all night with the cabinet doors open under the sinks but were still very nervous about water freeze-ups. Master Plumber/Mechanic Hawk went out into the Arctic conditions after breakfast, armed with a hair dryer and set about trying to thaw out the water hose connected to the trailer and the campground water supply. After about an hour of working on it I was able to disconnect both ends and then melt the ice inside the hose. There was some ice in the trailer connection where the water enters the trailer lines, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it. I was more concerned about the 10 gallons of water we had carried in our fresh water tank and worried that might have frozen in it’s tank under the trailer.
After thawing out the water hose, I tried reconnecting, but no water was able to flow into the trailer. I then concluded that some ice may have entered the trailer lines and might be blocking them. So, I took the hair dryer inside and blasted hot air under both cabinets to no avail. Reconciling ourselves to the fact we would have no water until we arrived in warmer climes, we entertained ourselves for the rest of the day with constant heavy snow and temperatures only reaching 29 F. I continued to worry about possible serious damage to the water lines. Luckily we had plenty of heat, a laundry room and a shower room. Waking up the next day to continuing snow and miserable weather, we decided to forget about C.R. and head towards Salt Lake City. Fox checked the weather and S.L.C. promised much better conditions. After cleaning about 4 inches of snow off the truck and warming it up, we pulled out with continuing serious concerns.
Now we faced snowy roads and a steep descent from C.R. down into S.L.C. It continued to snow and we were forced to keep our speed down to 20 mph on the steep grades. Meanwhile The Fox scouted out campgrounds near S.L.C. and we scored one in Tooele (two-Ella), about 1.2 hour west of S.L.C.. It was basically a dirt parking lot with RV connections behind a motel and next to a huge Flying J truck stop. We still, however, had no water. So we called our trusty RV service guy in Rhode Island, Rocking Rick (he has his own rock band). He immediately analysed the problem as being a cracked plastic insert in the water fitting where the water enters the trailer and told us we could fix it easily. We went and got the fitting, Master Plumber Hawk replaced it and we were back in business. Additionally, we tested the fresh water tank and pump and it too was fine. We were ecstatic. Two near disasters and both turned out fine. One $18 part and my expertise and we were up and running.
That was last Friday. It is now Tuesday, April 21 and we are finally stress free and enjoying life again. Hard lessons learned and filed away. Some pictures (and maybe videos) attached.
Our current digs in Tooele. We will stay here at least a week before heading to Elko in northern Nevada.