This week started out as any other week. I had a few plans and it was going to be a busy week. Little did I know that it was going to be an expensive one.
Monday and Tuesday cruised along nicely. Wednesday I had plans to go out with my brother and his wife for dinner. Thursday was a lunch date with my friend Kevin in Springwater Conservation Area in Aylmer to catch up and talk about a fantastic custom van show called Vanfest which happens June 9-11. Friday lunch with my youngest daughter which moves me into our Canadian first “summer” long weekend. It is May here so sometimes it is summer and sometimes not. Lol.
All went smoothly until Wednesday. A lovely dinner with brother Art and my sister in law Yvonne on a really nice spring evening was wonderful.
The plan was to leave my brothers, drive about halfway to Aylmer and find a spot for the night, work on my blog that was due for Sunday then leisurely make my way to the park. Well that’s when all those plans went for a BANG! A really big bang. I tried starting the van and it turned over but would not catch. Almost like it was not getting fuel. I called Tom. He is my “what the heck was that” go to guy. We have been friends for more than 30 years and his wife, Kim and I have been best friends since high school. His phone had no answer so I called hers. As I let her hear what the van was doing I put my pedal to the floor, turned the key and a bang rang out that litterly shook the ground. I think all my brothers neighbour’s came out because it sounded like a bomb went off. After I calmed the neighbour’s that it was my van that made that noise, Kim went to get Tom. We thought maybe the timing chain had gone or something to do with the electrical that it was not getting a continuous spark, hence the backfire. I would definitely need a towtruck and a small miracle that nothing major was wrong. A quick call to CAA and my tow truck was there in 20 minutes. I must mention that the lady I talked to on the phone from Hamilton CAA, Stacey was excellent. Sometimes trying to describe a Class B RV to people is confusing for them. Height, weight and the fact she has a low clearance skirt (my basement), she cannot be towed and must be on a flatbed. She did not quite understand the idea so she googled Roadtrek. Haha! Instantly she had a picture in her mind of the size and type of towtruck I needed. Great job!
There are some that do not understand that when your home is your vehicle and it breaks down you’re heart begins to pound. There are some that do. Luckily every breakdown I have had, only once did I have to find a place to stay while she is repaired. If Tom can fix it I can still be home while it is getting fixed which is extremely helpful.
As you all know I have two vans. My other van is a Custom 1969 Econoline. I needed to go to Aylmer to meet Kevin so Tom gave me a lift and I went to grab my other van while he diagnosed and repaired my home.
For an old girl she is reliable. After being in storage for the winter, she has never seen snow, the battery was a little low. Armed with a portable booster off I went. She ran beautifully all the way there. While sitting at the park I get a text from Tom. I have good news and bad news… the good news, it was a bad distributor cap. The bad news, the boom was your muffler blowing apart. He could not get all the way under to see the total damage but sent me a picture of what used to be my muffler.
Peeled like a banana! Darn. But it was not as bad as it could have been. At least there was no major engine damage. She is fixable! Pheww!
A hug, a warm goodbye and see you in a couple of weeks for Vanfest I set off for a countryside drive back to my home. Stopping at Tim Hortons for coffee, no making coffee in the 69. Lol She would not start. Click. Click. Click. Darn. The battery was dead. I get out the handy little jump starter and I am on my way. Unfortunately I had to stop for gas, at the price of gas these days it is doubly unfortunate and had to boost again. Back at Tom’s I told him of the problem and thought I just needed to replace the battery. I put a new battery in and when we did the volt test on the engine and no just not the battery, a new alternator is needed also.
I hate it when they tag team me! Lol!
Finding a exhaust repair place to take my size of van is a tad difficult. They have to be able to handle trucks because of the height and weight of my Roadtrek. I found Zorro’s in Welland and he told me to bring it right in. The 69 had to go back to my friend Mike’s where I park it and the muffler place was right in the middle. Perfect. The alternator for the 69 would have to wait until next week. I needed my home back and we were coming into a three day weekend.
I told the gentleman behind the counter what had transpired with her and he said to pull it right in and they would have a look. Well, the verdict was not just the muffler was blown to pieces in the blast. It was the whole exhaust system, from the Y pipe back. Oh that was going to hurt the pocket book but the good news was they had all the parts and I could have my home back in about an hour. Perfect.
Tom and I went to Stacks Pancake and Breakfast House for lunch. That was the first time I had been there. It was a great place to get an all day breakfast and just as promised the chocolate and banana pancakes were delicious. We talked about the resounding boom the van made. The mistake I made was putting my foot onto the gas pedal and filling the system with raw fuel. I must have filled the entire exhaust system with fuel when that one piston sparked. One of my friends mentioned they did that once and it resulted in a fireball out the exhaust. With a 30 lb propane tank I am glad it did not do that. Or did it???? Looking at the battery cover door near the exhaust, the fiberglass is flared and there is the a black residue on the bottom. Oh my stars.
As I was driving her down the road thinking how lucky I was that it could have been so much worse than a big garage bill, I smile and thank my lucky stars with a renewed enjoyment of the feeling of living this RV Life!
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure. See you next week!