The Dreaded RV Breakdown

Note: This is a travelogue post of my breakdown near Leadville, CO. If you’re looking for what to do in case of a breakdown, that post can be found here.

The dispersed camping area near Leadville, CO is a curious place. My first evening there I discover that butting right up against it is a county park complete with porta-potties, handy for campers with small children or those without a bathroom of their own.

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Just beyond the park is Mt. Massive Golf Course, highest elevation golf course in the US. Daisies bloom along the fence line.

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Within the next couple days I drive into town and am tempted by a pasta food truck. I order fettuccine alfredo (tasty!) and get to talking to the owner, who asks what I’m doing in the area. I explain about full-timing, my blog and books, and work-camping, and he’s intrigued. He use to run a chain of restaurants in Oregon and Washington. The stress caused health problems and he sold the business and now just takes care of this food cart. He’s a lot happier.

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Downtown Leadville is a cute area. I see posters in some of the shop windows: “Save the Tabor Opera House” and become curious.

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The historic Tabor Opera House (completed in 1879) was reputed at the time to be the grandest opera house between St. Louis and San Francisco, and was one of the most costly and most substantially-built structures in Colorado history. During it’s heyday it hosted many talents, including Houdini, John Philip Sousa, Oscar Wilde, and Anna Held. Today it’s in disrepair and needs a lot of work to be made sound again. The City of Leadville has pledged to purchase the structure from the current owners to renovate it, and are raising funds to this end. It’s a beautiful building and I hope they meet their goal.

The Tabor is the one on the right

Back at camp, it rains for a week. Not all day, but every single day. I take advantage of the rare bit of sun for walks and photos.

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One afternoon, a rider goes past Cas on a horse. Another afternoon, a couple take a walk despite the rain, their bright umbrellas bring a little cheer to the day.

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The rain isn’t all bad though. Some days the low clouds cling to the side of the mountains surrounding town and the effect is quite beautiful, if rather monochromatic.

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And one glorious evening, the clouds part enough for a nice sunset.

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Finally I hear back from Amazon about my drug test, the reason I’ve been hanging around despite the bad weather. The morning of September 1st I hop into Bertha to make the long drive to Denver to pee in a cup, and discover frost on the windshield. Okay, it’s really time to get going.

It’s a long drive from Leadville to Denver, but the time passes quickly with the beautiful mountain scenery along I70. Before long I’m traveling through the Eisenhower Tunnel, which crosses under the continental divide for almost 1.7 miles at 11,158 feet. There are a couple stretches of 7% grades, and signs warning truckers to stay in lower gears.

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The drug test is completed without incident. I stop in REI and find the fancy wool socks I like for hiking are on sale, so I buy a pair. I also stop at Goodwill and find a Columbia jacket in like-new condition for $15, and it’s one of the fancy kind with a waterproof yet breathable shell and a detachable inner layer. I’m very pleased. The drive back to Leadville goes just fine. Bertha has no problem with the grades and is driving normally. When I get home, I hitch up in preparation of an early start tomorrow south toward warmer climes.

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September 2, Friday

Every full-timer is eventually going to have a day like today. But I survived, and when it happens to you, you’ll survive too. Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded vehicle/RV breakdown.

Bertha’s engine overheats just two miles down the road this morning, and I’m forced to pull over. A nice local named Jim stops to help. The coolant is low, it seems to have bubbled out of somewhere. After letting things cool down for a while, we pour more coolant in (I carry some with me) and turn Bertha back on. She starts up just fine and idles normally, but as soon as I start driving the temperature immediately starts to climb again. Oil levels are normal, there’s no obvious problem visible under the hood.

I breathe a sigh of relief. Yes really, I do. I’ve been fearing being stranded along the side of the road since I started RVing four years ago. It might sound odd, but now that it’s happened, the pressure is off. I knew it was only a matter of time before car troubles interrupted my plans and now that it’s happened I can stop worrying about it and start solving the problem.

Jim gives me a lift into the shop in Leadville with the best reputation, which can see Bertha today because one of the big jobs they had scheduled has canceled. There I get the number for the better-priced tow company and give them a call. Yes, they can tow both Bertha and Cas. I have them drop Cas back off at the boondocking area I’d been staying at, then take Bertha in to the shop.

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Cloud City Towing only charges me $125 for both truck and trailer (and going to separate places at that). I’m very happy with the service.

A blog reader who I’d been planning on meeting up with in Twin Lakes tonight sees my Instagram photo of the tow truck and picks me up from the shop so I can get something to eat. I hang out on my computer in the lobby in the afternoon while they run some tests on Bertha. My iPhone becomes corrupted when I try to update the software and for a while I worry that I’ve lost my truck and phone/GPS/source of internet in one day, but I reset it to factory settings and am able to restore it using a saved version of my phone on iTunes. Crisis averted.

The mechanic comes out to the lobby. For sure the radiator hose is busted. The shop doesn’t have one in stock and because it’s a holiday weekend, it won’t come in until Tuesday. Once they get that fixed on Tuesday they’ll be able to finish running tests to look for other problems. It’s very possible that the hose burst secondary to some other issue (thermostat, water pump, head gasket) but there’s no way to know for sure until that’s fixed. If it does end up being something more complicated, I may be stuck here longer as the shop is short-staffed next week and won’t have time for a major repair until the week I’m due in at Amazon.

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But it’ll be okay. If repairs take a while, I’ll contact Amazon and ask if I can start a week or two later. I have transportation for the next couple days thanks to Ethan (the aforementioned blog reader), have enough money to cover whatever the repairs end up being (if you’re going full-timing always have an emergency fund!), and the weather is looking better for Leadville so I should be able to get out and do some exploring.

It wasn’t a great day, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

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Becky

At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

66 Comments

  1. David McIntyre on February 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Becky, you’re still inspiring me to get an RV in the next few years [gotta get my ducks in a row first]. I only hope my attitude is half as good as yours when my ‘breakdown’ occurs.
    One question: I love your website / blog. How can I get one like it?



  2. Deanna Keahey on September 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I can so relate to your story! I just encountered a brake problem a couple of weeks ago with my RV at the top of CO’s Lizard Head Pass. Turns out I needed to spend a few extra days (and more than a few extra dollars) in Telluride, waiting for what turned out to be an expensive brake job.

    But you’ve got to make the most of it, right? No sense moping around feeling bad about the vehicle problems while there are gorgeous Rocky Mountains to climb!

    Glad you made it through safely and in good spirits!
    Deanna Keahey recently posted..RCI Changes their Combine Deposits featureMy Profile



    • Becky on September 20, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Exactly Deanna. I hope you enjoyed your time near Telluride and that we’re both free of RV issues for a while.

      Take care and welcome to IO!



  3. Nancy on September 15, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    I had truck and trailer problems on the way out here. The truck wound up at a Dodge dealer in Arkansas and finally, I’m pretty sure my trailer problems are fixed. One thought that kept going through my mind wa, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” So true. Originally, I had planned to head out in May, but broke my arm and wrist on the hitch in my driveway…long story that seems so long ago, now. I decided since I couldn’t go all the way to the coast to meet some great camping buddies, I’d do Colorado. I learned very fast that I hate traveling in the warm weather. I was up in Creede just the other day so I wasn’t far from you. I’ll be busin for the next couple of weeks as my daughter flies in to Albuquerque and we’re coming back up to Durango and then down through New Mexico. I may head back up to see the leaves change after that. Email me if you’re still having problems by the 5th of October and I can do anything to help.



    • Becky on September 16, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      Sending good vibes your way that this is the end of your troubles Nancy. Sounds like you had a pretty good summer anyway, that’s the way to handle it: make the best of the situation that you can.

      According to the shop, Bertha should be ready to go by Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest, so hopefully I’ll be in Texas by the 5th but thanks very much for the offer. Safe travels and happy trails to you!



  4. Sue Ann Jaffarian on September 7, 2016 at 8:23 am

    So happy everything turned out well! Vehicle trouble is something we all dread.



    • Becky on September 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Sue Ann, it definitely could have been worse.



  5. Terri on September 6, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Becky, I’m so sorry you broke down, but it sounds like someone or something was watching out for you and your being so good to so many others, with a positive attitude, really worked in finding nice people who were willing to help. I’m so glad that if it had to happen, it happened the way it did.

    I was in Leadville a few years back for my brother who ran the 100 mile road race there. It was a very cute little town, and after that race, it looked like there were a bunch of dead corpses lying on the ground everywhere! LOL, it was just runners who had run four marathons in a row, pretty much. My brother saw two sunrises!

    It was a beautiful area, for sure. Glad you got to see it, and glad the drug test went off without a hitch.



    • Becky on September 7, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks for the well-wishes Terri, I’m pretty satisfied with the way it worked out too. Bertha does need extensive repairs so I’ll be in Leadville probably two more weeks but I’ve purchased a bike for getting around town and am loaded up on groceries. I’ll get to see the fall color now which’ll be nice.

      I hear a lot about the Leadville 100, sounds like a pretty epic event. Kudos to your brother for finishing it.

      I know you’re thinking about moving and I hope things go well for you. Take care!



  6. Sherry on September 5, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    You definitely have the right attitude for a full timer. AND you luckily, at least in this case, have a trailer and not a Class A,B or C. You can just leave your home in a beautiful place and possibly even take taxi to it if you have to rather than live at the shop for the entire week-end. Hoping it’s just the hose.



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Yeah Sherry, this is one case where having a towable instead of a motorhome is a big bonus. Thanks for the well wishes, I should know more by later today.



  7. Debbie on September 5, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    You are a strong a hardy lady. Hope things work out when they fix the hose.
    Debbie recently posted..St Elmo GhosttownMy Profile



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Thanks Debbie.



  8. Ernesto Quintero on September 5, 2016 at 11:35 am

    This observation is from experience and is meant to benefit everyone reading Becky’s wonderful adventure blog:

    Often the rubber hoses that transfer engine vacuum deteriorate from age and surface contaminants, vacuum shuts a weekend section “close” when the temperature under the hood get extremely high, worst cases are high summer temps and high altitude driving. The symptoms will be the engine will run rough, weak power or shuts down completely, then you after pulling over, opening hood and letting excessive heat leave the engine area, the vacuum hose’s weak section “bounces” back to normal shape which allows the engine to start after half hour or so. Under certain conditions the problem rears it’s ugly head and usually at worst possible time, thanks to Mr. Murphy.

    Every item has a useful life, engineers use the term MTBF, mean time between failure, to describe the estimated life before breakdown is likely to occur. It’s why they recommend that RV tires be changed out after so many years due to dry rot, not because of mile driven. I know it my seems like throwing money away by replacing a set of tires that look “good” but blow outs at 65MPH can be extremely dangerous in an RV. A little preventive maintenance, tire covers is one, goes a long way towards limiting breakdowns and intermittent gremlins. In my job on certain equipment, we often change seals, springs and rubber items that are known to wear out and cause issues after a certain number of years, hours under power and/or cycles during scheduled preventive maintenance service calls.

    Sorry for the long post, but I feel giving examples/reasons illustrate my tips, advice or experience helps to explain my points. Becky, time to put another notch on your “Road Warrior” belt. 😉 Be safe.



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Thanks for sharing Ernesto, your advice is sound. You’re not the first to recommend getting the hoses and belts changed out, as I’m not the original owner I’m not sure if any of them have been changed out before – well, everything the owner’s manual has called for changing out has been done because I pay very close attention to that, but if it’s not in the owner’s manual probably not.

      And as for the tires, absolutely. I changed mine out last summer even though they still looked fine.



  9. ghsebldr on September 5, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Sorry to hear about your and Bertha’s problem. Sounds to me like a shopping spree by your readers through your affiliate link to Amazon is in order. I know I already started mine before posting this comment. Hope we can all help get Bertha back on the road very soon. It’s not too soon to start our Christmas shopping is it?
    Good luck



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Thanks for using my Amazon affiliate link, it really does make a difference. Haven’t heard back about Bertha yet, hopefully later this afternoon.



  10. pamelab on September 5, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Hi, Becky –
    So pleased for you that you are handling this situation pretty calmly. It’s going to happen to us all, at one time or another. You are right. It’s how we react to the situations that makes the difference.
    I recently got stuck in the sand with my Casita in tow and out of the blue, there were Good Samaritans that were kind and generous with their time and talents. When I was back on the road and out of the sand, I was speechless at how it all played out.
    I am so happy that you are better than OK. Thank you for your example.
    Happy trails
    Pamelab in Grand Rapids, MI for now



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Glad you found some help when you got stuck Pamela. I’ve had so many similar experiences during my time on the road, you’ll find that for the most part, people are good and kind and helpful. The world is better place than the media makes it seem.

      You’re welcome for this but all the same I hope you don’t have to deal with a breakdown for a good long time. Take care.



  11. Colleen C. Yarnell on September 5, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Yeah you can handle issues. I had my newly inspected cadilidic converter break in the middle of nowhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway. But my first trip in the NW with my parents and sister was summer 2004 was the worst. I was in my 30s and my health was puny from a bout of anemia(later to be cancer). Our new suburban broke down out side Cheyenne WY at the beginning of our trip. We were pulling a 32 ft TT. Turns out it was a problem with the fuel pump on the engine when you hit a combo of elevation and temp. If we had stayed in NC we would have been fine. The dealership in Cheyenne was littered with similiar engine vehicles including a couple of mini buses from tx with a large youth group. Luckily my dads cousin was actually working on fuel system development for that company. He found out they only just had a prototype replacement but were not planning a recall. So we thought our vacation was over. No Glacier or Yellowstone and everything in between. So dad put his negotiating skills and lawsuit threats to use and got payment for lodging, vehicle, suitcases(our stuff was packed in the camper). The dealer stored our camper as you cant rent a vehicle to pull one, and we hoteled/restraunted it(ugh) for the next two weeks. Thank goodness for multiple cell phones, gold key memberships, and eternal patience as we cancelled National park reservations, booked hotels and re-planned our route. By the time we got back to Cheyenne my dads cousin had sent a new pump and we made it home. They never did recall that part but we heard lots of stories of its failure in the higher elevations.This was the worst though other trips had engine issues, tire blowouts from bad valve stems etc…



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Ugh, sounds like such a hassle Colleen but I’m glad you were able to continue that trip even if you couldn’t have the travel trailer. Being full-time is a little easier in the sense that I don’t have a set itinerary or time constraints to worry about. I’ll get to Amazon when I get there.

      Glad your family made the most of a bad situation and glad your relative got a new pump for you. I hope you have many breakdown-free days ahead of you.



  12. Richard Harmon on September 5, 2016 at 8:06 am

    So glad you had prepared for problems and it (so far) wasn’t any worse. I’m enjoying your blog and way of taking the problems in stride.



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Glad you’re enjoying IO Richard, thanks for reading.



  13. MnDreamer on September 5, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Sorry to hear about your truck troubles, Becky. I wonder if you realize how, even when you hit those “bumps in the road,” you continue to set an example for all of us with your great attitude and calm problem-solving. Your response about breaking a problem down into steps, to keep from becoming overwhelmed makes so much sense. Thank you for the inspiration you provide; I know that I will think of your advice often, as I begin my own journey. What a woman!



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:33 am

      I’m glad you’re finding IO inspiring and helpful Mn. I enjoy helping others so comments like yours really make my day. I hope your transition to full-timing goes smoothly. Take care!



  14. Roger Fell on September 5, 2016 at 5:48 am

    It’s been a long time since I commented. I was a career mechanic, 35 years, now retired.
    Insist they change the thermostat when the new hose is installed before testing, it’s an inexpensive part and is easily damaged by overheating, plus they will have the coolant out already to change the hose, saving labor costs. Hopefully, that’s your only problem!



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Thanks for the suggestion Roger, it’s good to hear from you again. I’m hoping it’s that simple too.



    • frater secessus on September 6, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Good point, Roger
      frater secessus recently posted..Payday = pay off debt dayMy Profile



  15. frater secessus on September 5, 2016 at 2:27 am

    It might be worth it to carry spare upper/lower hoses (and belt[s]).



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:29 am

      I’ll think about that Frater.



  16. Kim on September 4, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Bummer. But your great attitude and wise perspective are impressive!



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Thanks Kim.



  17. VictoriaEP on September 4, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Oh no! Here’s hoping that that it’s only the hose!



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Crossing my fingers Victoria, thanks.



  18. Jay on September 4, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Becky,
    sorry to see that you are having vehicle troubles !
    Im a 30 year retired mechanic , 9 years dealers, 15 years with the county and 6 years on my own.
    You bought your Dakota used with 87K and if the hoses and belts our OEM they should be replace as they have served their life. If they don’t find any reason for the over heating ( hoses do blow with age ) have all the hoses and thermostat replaced. thermostats do go bad while driving with out notice , have them check the radiator for leaks . We hope to leave here next week pulling our Casita on a three week plus trip and I just checked the truck over ( 60,00 miles on it) and it’s ready to go BUT that said it doesn’t guarantee something won’t happen.
    What Jerry said about Preventive maintenance is right on.
    I hope that they get you up and on the road soon and if you have any questions fell free to ask and I or someone here will help if we can. Jay



    • Becky on September 6, 2016 at 10:25 am

      I hope you have a good trip Jay!

      The shop is definitely going to be checking for other leaks and issues once the new hose is in. As I told Jerry I do keep up on maintenance but yes, that doesn’t guarantee something won’t happen. At least I broke down near a town, had cell signal, and a free place to park the Casita. It could have been worse.

      Hopefully I’ll know more by later this afternoon once they’ve got the hose in. It’s the waiting that’s the worst.



  19. Linda Sand on September 4, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I had that reaction when my husband was wounded in Viet Nam–OK that’s done and it’s minor; I can relax now. It made no sense at all but it’s still how I reacted. So, I understand you reacting that way.



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      I’m glad that your husband’s injury was minor Linda, I imagine worrying about a loved one gone away to war must be ten times as worse as worrying about an inanimate object like a vehicle.



  20. Cletus on September 4, 2016 at 10:22 am

    I hope for a speedy repair.

    As others have posted we’ve had our share of breakdowns through the years that involve towing. I can remember at least 4 in the last 6 years. We decided to add a roadside assistance rider to our auto policy many years ago, doesn’t cost much, $12 per year, and it has paid for our last 4 tows. of $150 to $200. I asked our agent if using it would raise our insurance premium and she said no, it was the same as glass coverage. I’ve also used it for a jump start when our batteries failed to start the truck one sub zero day.

    I continue to enjoy your blog and photos and buy all my Amazon purchases using your affiliate link.



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experiences Cletus. I’ve thought about roadside assistance policies before, but they get pretty expensive when you include the RV as well, $12 a year is a fantastic price!

      I appreciate you using my affiliate link, the money I make from Amazon sales really does help my bottom line. Take care.



  21. Dale on September 4, 2016 at 10:14 am

    The one thing that helps relieve the stress of breaking down is the fact we have our home with us. I’m sure everything will work out fine. Remember that I am not very far away from you, and if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      Will do Dale, thanks. Yes, the fact that I still have my cozy little home to stay in helps a lot. While I’m always saying there is no best type of RV, the fact that I’m in a travel trailer makes life easier when Bertha needs work done.



  22. Jerry Minchey on September 4, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Hopefully, you will find out Tuesday that all you need to do is replace a radiator hose. That would be wonderful.

    Whether it ends up being just the hose or something else, your experience is a good reminder to all of us to inspect and replace hoses and belts frequently. All hoses and belts are going to fail sooner or later, and they are a lot more expensive to replace when you’re sitting beside the road.

    Because of your experience, I’m going to get my hoses and belts inspected and I’m also going to see about replacing my transmission fluid and filters. I also plan to check and maybe flush out my brake fluid, since it hasn’t been done in awhile.

    Preventive maintenance seems expensive when you’re getting it done, but doing it is a lot less expensive than breaking down on the side of the road.



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Yes Jerry, preventative maintenance greatly helps avoiding breakdowns and I can’t recommend enough that people keep on top of it – I’ve mentioned it in several blog posts.

      Sadly it can’t catch everything. I usually spend over $1,000 per year on maintenance for Bertha and always ask that they check hoses and belts, fluids, everything the owner’s manual calls for. Bertha got a clean bill of health two months ago when I last took her in for a check. Sometimes things get missed, or the problem develops between checks. Such is life.



  23. Judith Blinkenberg on September 4, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I’m thankful you are ok and that hopefully a hose is all hat is needed. We started a trip this past Friday and had problems. I hope you get to Amazon in a timely matter. I’m interested in knowing what you are going to do wth them. Safe travels and enjoy your time off.
    Judith Blinkenberg recently posted..Progress ContinuesMy Profile



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Thanks Judith. I’m of course crossing my fingers that it’s just the hose too, but I’ve got a plan in case it’s something more intensive. Take care.



  24. John on September 4, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Nice post. A good attitude can make a huge difference in how you respond to adversity. The ability to realize whatever current frustration you face will soon pass and while inconvenient really isn’t so bad is key in life and likely even moreso when you are less in control (such as driving around all the time or even traveling as a digital nomad through SE Asia etc.). It makes a huge difference if you can accept the issues that crop up with grace.
    John recently posted..Location Independent Living Can Be In Your Comfort Zone and a Good ExperienceMy Profile



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Absolutely John. Glad you enjoyed this.



  25. Dawn in MI on September 4, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Glad there were people so helpful, including your blog reader! One of the benefits of having a blog with a wide following is that you’re never truly alone. Hope it all works out so that you’re not late starting work. I know this wasn’t the way you wanted to end summer. But at least it’s in a cool town!



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Dawn. And yes, I say it all the time: for the most part, people are pretty awesome. I’ve met so many helpful and kind strangers in my travels.



  26. Christina on September 4, 2016 at 6:47 am

    I admire your calm and logical handling of the situation. I think you’ve made the point before that problems happen to everyone. It’s hard to deal with them in an even tempered way, so I congratulate you on your mental and financial fortitude!



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Thanks Christina. I’ve had four years experience dealing with RVing problems by now which helps. If I’d broken down in the first couple months it probably would have felt more like the end of the world.



  27. Gumo on September 3, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Well, when the dreaded breakdown happens time, I only hope my attitude can be like yours. You are an inspiration to say the least. Best wishes for a quick and easy fix. Thanks to Ethan for his help.



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Thanks Gumo. When it happens, it helps to break the problem down into steps and only worry about one step at a time. Keeps the whole thing from becoming overwhelming.



  28. Nancy on September 3, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    I had air conditioner problems in Arkansas. It turned out that after just having had a new fuse box installed, there were wires touching each other and shorting out before they reached the compressor.

    I want to visit Leadville. I have to look to see how far from Durango it is and if I can avoid 550 to get there.

    Good luck with your fix. Hope it’s something very simple and you’re on your way, soon.



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Glad it was something simple Nancy, that must have been a relief.

      Leadville is a neat town, it looks like you can get there from Durango without traveling on 550 if you go east first then north.

      Thanks for the well wishes.



  29. Sarah Shillinger on September 3, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Sorry this happened. Glad you are OK.



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Thanks Sarah.



  30. Ron on September 3, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    We all have had at least on incident, we had Diesel truck problems in a very small ND town, stranded 4 days and left $5000.00 lighter. Luckily they had a city campground we coasted into. Had plenty of time to explore that small town, friendly folks and actually quite interesting.



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:50 am

      Glad you made the best of a less than ideal situation Ron. I was fortunate to still be so close to the boondocking area, at least I’m not paying for camping while I wait for Bertha to get fixed. And there is plenty around Leadville still to see.



  31. Milly on September 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Bleh. My heart sunk when I saw the picture on FB. We had a car fiasco in July. No fun.
    Milly recently posted..Quickie UpdateMy Profile



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Nope, no fun Milly. But ‘this too shall pass.’



  32. Dave on September 3, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Feel you pain as we had a gas pump go out on us this year at the start of our trip, and had a few things break on our trip to and from Alaska that were minor, and did not cost much (thank goodness, that gas pump took a chunk out of our emergency fund). And on top of that, our dog Skruffy got real ill up in Alaska and almost did not make it, but she is doing real well now. Hoping it is just a bad hose and nothing else. Good luck. –Dave



    • Becky on September 4, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Thanks Dave. Sorry to hear about the problems you had in Alaska but glad Skruffy is doing well now!



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