Every thing has been wonderful, until Saturday. Before getting ready to roll in the morning from Little Vineyard RV Park in Deming, New Mexico I checked the oil. Full. Then started the truck and it made an unusual noise. I opened the hood to look around, not that it would do much good, and no parts flew out so I closed the hood and put her in gear.
Leaving Deming, New Mexico on I10 east
Good thing I was barely rolling. NO brakes. OK, I exaggerate a little. More like when your power brakes have no power. So I coasted to the park’s office, went in and asked if they knew a mechanic open on Saturdays. The lady behind the desk made a couple phone calls and, surprise, the local Ford dealer’s service department was open. (I won’t divulge the dealer’s name yet.) I described what happened and the mechanic said “it’s the vacuum pump, bring it in.” I carefully drove about 3 blocks to the dealer, they ordered the part, put it on and I was back on the road within 1.5 hours. Not bad, except for the huge hole left in my pocket. (No, I don’t need a bail out, but of course donations are always gladly accepted.)
About an hour down the road every bump, and there were many, would cause some gauge(s) to bounce or idiot light(s) to blink. Hmmm…. I said to myself, what does a vacuum pump for brakes have to do with dashboard electronics? I continued on down the road.
Just out of El Paso the oil pressure gauge started bouncing on L(ow) erratically which made the engine light blink on and off. Now that could be a problem. So I pulled over and let the engine cool (no it was not running hot) to check the oil. Still full. Hmmmm….. Called Mike for a second opinion about screwed up dashboard and he concurred. So off I went again.
Spent Saturday night at KOA in Van Horn, Texas, which BTW, serves excellent catfish in their Kafe.
Sunday morning I again check the oil which was full.
Then down the road I’m still watching the gauges bounce and lights blink but the truck is running great. This could drive me crazy.
I am heading for Alpine, Texas for the night. Friends from long ago live there but must be gone for the weekend.
I decide to take a little side trip to the Woodward Ranch where plume agate is found. It’s closed because Mr. Woodward died on Saturday. My condolences.
So I’m heading back to town to find an RV Park for the night when Slam and Wink, all the gauges peg somewheres and the brakes give out. I down shift and pull over slowing down with what little bit of brake is left.
The welcoming dog at the ranch
Everything electric is not working, so I don’t turn off the engine for fear it won’t start again. Look under the hood, nothing changed there, no smoke. Engine is still running strong and I’m only four hilly miles from town. Pumped the brakes and they worked.
Plus two miles to the Lost Alaskan RV Park where I made it safely. When I finally got leveled and ready to turn off the truck it wouldn’t turn off. Disconnected both batteries and she ran on. Then a fellow camper pulled the plug on the alternator and she fell silent. I called Good Sam and they will send out a tow truck in the morning and take me to a mechanic.
Someone commented that my photos are looking dark. If anyone else notices this could you please let me know.