Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fort Stockton to Van Horn, Still A Blowin’ and Big Problems

Van Horn TX.

34 Deg., overcast, NE wind @ 6 mph.

Forecast = Mostly cloudy, high temp. 52 deg, a 20% chance of rain, East wind @ 10 to 15 mph.

Just before we pulled out of the Fort Stockton RV park at , the wind started to blow again. It wasn't blowing too hard, so I thought it would be OK. As we were heading to the next exit where there was a gas station, I thought the wind may be picking up a bit, but it still wasn't too bad.

Well, by the time Jim had filled my tank with good old #2 diesel and we headed back out onto Westbound I-10, I knew it was going to be a tough travel day. You see, the wind had switched to the NE and was hitting me pretty much broadside at about 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts!!!  : O  

Now, I’m pretty heavy and wind doesn't bother me a real lot, but Jim had to “stay on the ball” to keep me from wandering off course, which meant that he couldn't really relax at all.

We stopped at one rest area and one picnic area along the way. Once to just relax a bit and the other time to relax and check tires and tow bar. So, with getting fuel and stopping the 2 times, it took us 2 hours and 40 minutes to travel the 123 miles here to the Eagle's Nest RV Park in Van Horn, TX.

This is a pretty nice park with fairly large pull-through sites and full hook-ups, with some sites having 50 amp electric. There wasn't anyone in the office when we pulled in, so Jim did the "self registration" thing and soon I was parked in site #3.

Yesterday morning, the wind had died down some, so Jim and Linda thought they'd get an early start. Well, as you know, the best laid plans don't always work. 

By about 8:30, Jim and Linda had everything ready go go, so Jim fired up my engine and it started right up and then promptly stopped!!!! He tried to start it again but it would crank over but not start!!!   : O

Now what to do???? He went out and checked to see of there was anything visible wrong but couldn't find anything, tried to start my engine again, but it still wouldn't run.  : (

So . . .. .  . A call to Road Service was in order.

After talking to the friendly and sympathetic people at Road Service for awhile and giving them a bunch of information, it was decided that the best thing to do was to send a tow truck out and have me towed to the nearest facility, which is about 100 miles away in El Paso.

After about an hour so so, they called back and said that they had found a towing service that could handle me, but it would be between 3:00 and 5:00 before they could get here. : ( 

So, , , , , nothing to do but wait, and if you know Jim, waiting for something like that is not one of his better attributes.  : (

Anyway, about 3:30, the phone rang and it was the Road Service telling Jim that the tow truck had problems and wouldn't be able to come and tow me to El Paso until Monday!!!!!  : ((

But, , , , , , , , , , Just after that call, the man from the tow truck company called, asked some questions about me and asked if anyone had looked at me? He was told that "No, the Road Service had determined that the thing to do was to tow me to the facility in El Paso". He said that since his tow truck service was in Van Horn, and he had some time, he wandered if it would be OK if he came over and had a look at me?

In about 10 minutes he arrived, checked a few thing out, and then he and Jim tried to start my engine. Again, it would not start, so the man got out some starting fluid and while Jim was trying to start me, he sprayed some into my engine air intake.

My engine fired up and in a short time was running fine on it's own!!!  : )

So, what's the problem? Well, he thinks that there is a small leak somewhere and my fuel system is loosing its prime. In another words, after sitting, the fuel runs out of my fuel lines and back into the tank and without a little help, the pump will not pull it back up.

I've noticed my engine running a little rough after starting a few times, but I just blamed it on the cold weather, as that seemed to be when it happened. But now, I've got an idea that there was a problem for some time now, and it finally showed up here when the temperature was down to near freezing.  

Being that it was too late to head to El Paso, it was decided that we'd stay here for the weekend. Jim called the Road Service and told them to cancel the tow and then called the repair facility in El Paso and arranged for me to go in to be checked out Monday.

Oh, and that man from the tow truck company? He wouldn't accept any money for stopping by and instead, apologized for having a problem with his tow truck and not being able to tow me.

But, you know what? I'm glad that he had a problem with his truck!!! I didn't really want to be towed and if Jim can get my engine started Monday morning, he can drive me  to El Paso to see what the problem is.

Did you know that Van Horn was named for Lt. James Judson Van Horn who commanded an army garrison at the Van Horn Wells beginning in 1859? Lt. Van Horn's command was relatively short-lived as the post was seized by Confederate forces in 1861 and Lt. Van Horn taken prisoner.


  1. I read more and more about the kindness of strangers :)

  2. We had a similar problem with our Tiffin Phaeton. It was the computer chip that tells the fuel pump. After being towed 3 hours to San Antonio and three day wait, it took them 1 hour to replace the chip. Hope you don't have that long a wait! ~whereweaver


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