RV Repaired, Heading Home, RV Broke

Hi there. I honestly figured I would be doing this much earlier in the evening because we left Fort Stevens about 5:30 PM. I spent more of the afternoon than planned fixing the fuel issue with the RV, and everything was going along just great. Up and down the hills we went, willy nilly, not a care in the world. Then, on Highway 30, mile post 75, the main fuel tank ran out. You may remember this one as the tank that I thought was pretty much drained by the leaky fuel pump. I was curious to see how far we could get before it ran dry. Farther than I thought.

When the engine started chugging, I switched tanks, like I normally do, and after a couple of coughs, we picked up right where we left off … for about 50-60 feet, then the chugging began in earnest. We headed up a hill on the new tank and I could tell the engine was starved for fuel by the way it was running. Down hill was great, but putting a load on the engine, as in going up a hill, was torture and I had to use the flashers. Diane said it was probably good that it quit because I was driving way too fast. According to my speedometer I got over 55 mph once. According to hers, I was going 60-70 most of the time. I honestly didn’t think it would go that fast.

Anyway, the engine quit around mile post 78 on a downhill run so I let it coast for a while because there was only a tiny little bike lane alongside the road. Then mile post 79 popped up and there, at the bottom of the hill, was a small place to park, big enough for the RV and the car.

I did some testing, with Diane’s help, and came to the conclusion that the tank switch failed and the default is for the main tank. I know the reserve tank is full because I filled it on Thursday and didn’t use it. Perhaps I should have.

So, there we were, stuck along Highway 30. Traffic was whizzing by at a frightening pace and it started getting dark. I called AAA about 7:30 and they sent a tow truck, from Bob’s Towing, which was supposed to arrive before 8:46 PM. That’s true, because they sent a text to Diane’s phone to share that information. We sat in the RV and watched our daylight disappear, yearning for Bob to show up early. Every time a vehicle passed us the RV rocked like crazy. Single vehicles were rare. They normally whizzed by in packs of 6 or more. They came from both directions at the same time, arriving next to the RV at the same time with such stunning consistency, that I figured it was all planned. Like someone had set up flagmen behind and ahead of us, and they coordinated their release of stopped vehicles so they would arrive from both directions right where we were parked. That isn’t true, of course, but it was a real oddity.

Bob finally showed up, drove passed us to turn around, the came around us with all kinds of lights flashing. He stopped, dropped his little forked thing and backed it into the RVs front tires. Diane was inside at the time so she got shoved around a little, but didn’t fall down. Neither of us expected that kind of jostling. Bob didn’t warn us.

When the bar was against the tires, he unfolded a part that snugged up against the back part of the tire, then picked the front end up like it didn’t weigh hardly anything at all. He strapped the front wheels down, then slid under the back of the rig and removed the drive shaft so he wouldn’t destroy the transmission. I appreciated that since I wasn’t looking for any more ‘things’ to fix.

He put a nifty little LED device on the back bumper of the RV that had a wireless connection to his brake lights and turn signals. I thought that was awesome. A wireless set of tow lights.

Then he took off. Diane was driving and the plan, between Bob and me, was for us to follow him until we got to Columbia City, then pass him and lead him to our house. Simple. The only problem is that Bob drives about 80 mph and Diane wasn’t comfortable going that fast in the little Subaru. Neither was I. Bob got about a mile ahead of us then slowed down a bit so we could catch him. It was a harrowing experience for Diane, but we made it home safely.

I pushed the pick up out of the way a little so Bob could back the RV in behind it and get it back on the ground. I told him he was a hard man to catch. He smiled, and said, “Ya know, that thing looks big, bulky, and heavy, but it tows real nice so I was just having a little fun with it.”

Now, the upside to all of this is that we made it home quickly, and we didn’t use any gas in the reserve tank of the RV. So, I figure our gas mileage went from 5 mpg to 10, just like that. It kinda made up for gas we lost on the trip over. Funny how things work out.

Now it’s almost 11:30 pm and we’re both a little slammy-eyed so better quit. We’re glad to be safely home, as are the dogs, and the cat we left behind.

And, gee, I got a new project to work on.



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