When I found it, it was in Lubbock, Texas, a few hours from where I lived. My awesome-sauce daughter went with me (do we see a pattern here? haha!) I had a high stack of cash to purchase it. Off we went! Had sushi first time at some weird place there in Lubbock, Texas.. the kid actually got me into a mall, argh! But finally it was time to go get that RV.
It is awesome! Drove it the 4+ hours home no problem. Did good in the wind that was hitting us broadside. So, I decided to take it to south Texas, a 10+ hour trip.
Yep. I sure did. So off I go, it was 7am that morning and I took off. Fanny Mae (what she is called) did really great. It is July, in blistering heat in Texas traversing Texas Hill Country... do we see what is up ahead??
The rig is doing great and I am trucking along. Until.. It was in Fredricksburg, Texas when it happened. I had just come down the most horrid hilly area, having to gun the engine a lot. I get to Fredricksburg and am at the first stop light and my beautiful RV dies right there. Dead. At a stop light. Cars honking. No movement. I am panicking. The rig starts, but when I put it in gear it dies again. I am sweating. More cars honking at me.
Finally, finally, I get it in gear and floor it limping it across the intersection, illegally, to an Inn across the street, it's dying again.. I get it to the side of a quaint little german inn and it's completely dead, I can't even get it moved to the back of their hotel. So... there I am... dead stick, stuck in Fredricksburg, Texas at some german inn and not knowing what to do. I go in and tell them what is going on. I can not say enough about how nice they were to me, they sat me in the back and gave me a huge glass of wine on the house while I called Good Sam and AAA and people with motor knowledge...
No puddles, the fluids were good, decided to wait to let the engine cool down. I let it cool for an hour or so. Started okay, drove okay, so I was off again.
The road between Fredricksburg to San Antonio went without too much incidents. I decided to not run the dash AC to keep the engine cooler. I had set up a fan and plugged it in to the 12v outlet to help cool me off. It WAS mid-July in Texas, after all. I stopped a few times to check things and let the engine cool. Twice I took a cold shower. Nice thing about RV's... if you are ever stopped in them, broke down or otherwise, you can pretty much do anything. Cold shower, make a sandwich, go to the bathroom. No complaints there.
San Antonio, though... It nearly killed me twice. I am already stressed, I was definitely hot and already pissed off worried about every odd sound or smell. Decided to take the loop in San Antonion, thinking I would at least bypass the down town heavy traffic. That's funny!!! OMG there are tons of traffic no matter where you drive in San Antonio. So I am trying my best to just get through that dang city, my rig was stressing me out, I was hot.. and here is where my first near fatal incident occurred.
When you drive something that big, you naturally have an appreciation of just how much weight you have going down the road. So I was, of course, taking my time, not going fast, and giving myself a ton of room in front of me. Jerko San Antonians, though... noooo... kept cutting me off. It was said incident that almost killed me. Kept having too many cars in too much of a hurry cutting me off, when a line of them all slammed their brakes on right in front of me. My only choices were to slam into them cause I knew I couldn't stop in time, or turn my nose to the on ramp and pray no one was coming. I chose the latter. I stopped 3 cars in.
I stopped and got lost for a bit on the southern side of that loop, and the rig died again at a Love's Travel Stop where I had stopped to get my bearings. I hung out in their air conditioning to cool off for bout a half hour. It was about 6pm that same day. I had been driving for 11 hours now. Was hoping to just take it easy and stop more to get the rest of the way to my destination.
Engine cooled... Pammy cooled, and I take off again. I am still on the San Antonio loop on the southern end looking for I-35. And the second thing happened. I can not even make this up. I am on a 3 lane highway, and I am on the right hand side because I am going slower. There is a truck in the far left lane, with a kayak tied down on the back. True story, the kayak decides right then and there to come loose, flying across the interstate, and heads for me. I swerve going 60mph into the shoulder to avoid, am stoic the whole time. What is the freaking odds????
So, I find I-35 finally and head south, destination still a few hours away. Until... yep.. I smell something. Let me just say now, my nose for engine smells is awesome!! So I pull off at the next exit, I am probably 30 miles from San Antonio, it is dark. I find a gas station and pull off to it's side. Dead stick again. I get out to look. Huge red leaking puddle under engine and a long trail of red following my RV's path. :(
Dead as a doornail transmission. Crap!
I went in to said gas station to explain to them that I am parked off to the side, that I am broke down, and that I had already called to get it towed. He was a jerk about it. An hour later, tow truck shows up and hauls awesome Fanny Mae, butt up in the air, back to San Antonio to a mechanic place they assumed would fix me. I slept in the parking lot of that place.
Come to find out, they couldn't accommodate my rig. I called around, either no one touched RV's or no one messed with transmissions. Found a Ford dealership that would actually accept me, and called AAA again, another tow.. That membership more than paid for itself with those two tow's, they were awesome to this scared chickie.
So.. dead transmission... rental car with no freaking cruise control.. I did get to hang out with my most awesome friend I haven't seen in almost 30 years though. (Yes, she is still most freaking awesome!!) A week later I go to pick it up at the Ford dealership in Boerne, Texas. New transmission, four grand pourer, and I finally head back home. This time, you better believe I took my time and stopped a lot!
And, I didn't die.