We were DYING to get Vie out on a test run. So, we set our sights on Christmas in California! We wanted to test her out on the long haul and see how she could do.
With finals and everything crashing down before we left, we didn’t have time to get the roof rack set up. SO, we loaded it all in and did our best to batten down the hatches!
We got everything loaded up and I went to pick up one more thing before we left. I got to the place, turned off the truck, and ran inside. When I came back and tried to start Vie, NOTHING. I tried a few hundred more times… offered a few prayers in between… still, NOTHING.
We tried a few things but couldn’t get it to go! I was getting pretty frustrated at this point. So, instead of beating my head against the motor, we decided to unwind and snag some pizza while we waited for a friend to help us.
After we got ahold of my uncle he helped me problem solve a bit and we got it to start! (Turns out our battery terminals were all gummed up and all I had to do was clean them! Such an easy fix! Thanks Uncle Dan!)
So, a little late, but pumped up on pizza and the little bit of success that we experienced, we set off on the 780 mile journey only 5 hours behind schedule! We were going to make it!
We had about enough time to turn on the road tunes (about 5 miles north of where we started) and then all of a sudden the back right tire blew out! The tread just peeled right off (it may have been a re-tread, not sure) and was just flapping around as I pulled over. This is where I should have been praying, but started cursing instead. We called it for the day. Obviously Vie had a bit of an attitude and was not about to leave. She was putting up a fight.
The Freeway Man pulled up just in time to help me put things away and throw a little air in the tire. Nice guy. So instead of pushing our luck any further, we limped Vie home with high hopes of leaving in the morning.
We set out on the same 780 mile journey early the next morning. And boy we were moving! It was awesome. Vie was in a good mood and we all felt great! We got all the way to western Utah (somewhere before Wendover) and we passed a sign that said, “Next services – 70 miles”. I thought to myself, “No problem, we have the extra reserve tank of fuel, all I will have to do is flip the switch and pump some gas from there to the main tank.” We pushed on without stopping to fill up.
As I flipped the switch, nothing happened. I waited for the main tank to start to fill, but it never did! I was getting scared.
I pulled over and went and looked at the secondary fuel pump, which is conveniently placed right behind the back right tire. I examined a bit more carefully and noticed that the fuel hose that went from the fuel pump to the reserve tank was all chewed up! When the tire blew the night before, it had wrecked this hose and the connection was all messed up. So I crawled under the belly of the beast, took off the clamp, got gas all over me, cut the hose, and clamped it back on there tightly.
I went back to the cab, tried the switch, and what do you know?! PRESSURE! We did it! It was fixed and we didn’t have to die in the middle of nowhere Salt Flats, Utah.
From there, the drive was flawless. We rolled into Lafayette, California late (the drive was slower than we thought) but safe and sound. The next morning, we scheduled an appointment with the tire shop and got all 6 tires replaced.
Lesson learned, we made it in one piece, but it was a struggle. Tally it up for a good test run – but we still have some bugs to work out!