One thrown out back, one MIA solar panel charger, one broken fuel filter, one tow truck ride and one overnighted part later, the Jerry’s are headed for the Mexican border tomorrow, 12/22! We’re about a week behind what we planned but we’re finally ready to roll and currently in Las Cruces, NM, inching our way toward the border.
In a move that shouldn’t surprise anyone, we really underestimated the amount of time it takes to clean, repair and pack the camper. A Saturday departure turned into Sunday, turned into Monday, Tuesday–we finally left on Wednesday. Before leaving, my back seized up in a spot that’s plagued me for years from a combination of rafting, knitting and terrible posture. I was pretty useless for about two days, I mostly spent my time groaning, foam rolling while groaning, stretching while groaning and groaning about what my back will feel like 20 years from now. Thanks to my wonderful PT mother and some rest, it’s feeling better.
While I was laid up we also waited for a solar panel charge controller that didn’t appear in the mail when it was supposed to. We bought a flexible 160 watt panel to have in addition to the 250 watt panel we have mounted on the roof. Aaron ordered the charge controller for it weeks ago and the delivery date got pushed back over and over. We decided that instead of waiting around for a controller that is somewhere between China and Colorado, we would pick up a new one on the way. We snagged one in Denver and will have someone return the other one for us when it finally shows up.
After getting the charge controller, we had a blissful four hours of driving with visions of tacos, Coronas and street dogs. Plan A quickly turned into Plan B when the truck’s fuel filter housing cracked on I-25 and we lost a half tank of gas in about 20 seconds flat. The incident sounded something like this:
Aaron: Calmly, with zero alarm “Looks like we’re out of gas.”
Cass: Slightly less calm with a maybe just a little panic “What the fuck do you mean we’re out of gas?!”
Aaron: Smoothly driving the truck onto the shoulder and putting on the hazards “Yup. Out of gas. Hmm. ”
Shout out to AAA and the awesome tow truck driver who came out to the middle of nowhere with a flatbed to pick us up. Piña was not so pumped since she had to ride in the camper while the truck was being towed. Good thing she’s resilient. We got towed to Albuquerque and took our chances getting dropped next to a NAPA instead of going to a mechanic. We spent a chilly night sleeping next to NAPA and luckily, our gamble worked out well (so far). Aaron was able to replace the fuel filter pretty quickly but wanted to get another fuel filter housing to take along in case we have an issue down the line. Obviously, that part doesn’t exist anywhere near Albuquerque so we got it overnighted to the RV park we’re currently at in Las Cruces.
All in all, the delays worked out alright. Aaron got to clean the diesel out of his eyes, we hit the RV Park hot tub last night and Piña is enjoying growling at the small white dogs that seem to come standard with most RV purchases. We’re ready to roll (we think) and are headed to the border tomorrow! Hopefully they don’t weigh the camper and Trump doesn’t build a wall in the next 24 hours. With a little more luck than we had this past week, we’ll be in Guanajuato by Christmas. Adios!