Yep, Bad News - Again
30 Jan 2019
|Got to the Y Tuesday morning and after completing 353 stress-free miles and 2 more that morning getting to the Y in Why, LOW COOLANT LEVEL came on once again. Turn left and you're off to Mexico...right to head home.
The coolant was not low. As the engine was idling, we could see lots of air bubbles. We were probably there for 30 minutes. We all talked, I called my guy at the Chevy dealer in Tucson, we weighed the info and decided we'd ALL turn left at the Y. Two more miles and it came on again. I pulled over and let everyone keep going. I just couldn't chance a big problem in Mexico. I waited for someone to stop and then I turned across the road onto a dirt road and then the good Samaritan gave me the okay when I could back out into the highway (couldn't see with the bushes) so I could head back the other direction.
Five times I stopped - the coolant was a half inch from the bottom on that stop when I let everyone go by me. Two more times I just topped it off. Twice the coolant was fine. FIVE times, though, whether I topped it or not, the warning would come on after ONE MILE each time. It was by far the worst stretch of warnings I had had yet.
On the 6th stop, I was 93 miles from Trap, who was just west of Yuma in Winterhaven, CA, and I pulled into a rest stop and called him. I topped off the coolant and during all those 93 miles, the warning never came on again. I was thinking maybe, just maybe it's the air in the system after all. Perhaps when I stopped and watched everyone go by, that the coolant was so low then due to all the air we saw being released when we first stopped. Then, two miles before the CA check-in station, I saw a big white cloud come from behind. White exhaust and/or cloudy oil were the things we didn't want to find as those were indicative of big time problems. I pulled to the side, put my hazard lights on and just crept along the shoulder til I got to the check-in. The white cloud never showed up again. The CA border agents said I had a flat on my 5th wheel. I looked back, and boy, did I! I had .8 more miles to go to Trap's RV park and I just kept creeping along. He had reserved a spot for me right next to them. AAA refused to change my tire as it was on the RV and not the truck. I told them they had changed one in Wyoming in June 2018 and Moab in 2010. Wouldn't do it. Trap said that the white puff that came quickly and immediately disappeared was undoubtedly the blow out on the tire.
It is possible there was a big big air pocket in the coolant system and the truck is fine. That's a real possibility. I couldn't take the chance, though, of going to Mexico, spending my money on the paint job and then finding out I didn't have it for a big problem with the truck. Had to nix the trip. I'll live with the peeling decals.
Anyway, I'm in Yuma (well, very close). Today, Wednesday, I plan on doing nothing. I don't want to have to think today. We are just over a mile from Los Algodones, Mex, and I may go there tomorrow and get new glasses. Was going to do that in Puerto Penasco. My Oakdale eye doc gave me new prescription glasses just 3 weeks after I had cataracts removed, and I have a feeling more time should have transpired after the cataract surgery before a new prescription was made. The glasses have been terrible.
So that's the current saga. I'm betting it was just air and that I could have made it to Mexico and finished all my trip as planned. But maybe not. It was just a chance I couldn't take. I haven't decided what's next.
I left this little report as Trap came over at ten. He removed my blown tire and wheel and we went to town and got a new tire. Trap put it on and saved me $125 installation. He insisted. This is another example of how and why that HitchHiker forum has been so important to me and to so many others. We've been friends on cyberspace since '06 and He and Jan and I co-hosted the rally in Yellowstone in '09. I've seen them several times since. Great people, obviously, and I feel so blessed to know them. They're Canadians and part of the snowbird folks who seek warmer weather in the winter, and boy, this year that Arctic cold is horrendous! North America is freezing and Australia is having record heat. Here in Yuma, AZ, it's close to perfect. Almost makes one feel guilty.
Most important of all, though, is my gratitude to those who have sent me messages and/or emails of encouragement, good wishes and prayers. Not to mention Jeff, Susan, Rick, Virgie, Newt, Bernie, Trap and Jan. If I had a wish, it would be to have someone with me who could pat me on the back and tell me everything's going to be all right. You folks have been that pat on the back and the fact that you care has meant a great deal to me. Truly, I thank you from my heart.
Now, please at least look at the last few photos. Those are photos I found in the dictionary under 'friend'.