There we were, on our way out of Van Horn, Texas, on a beautiful Sunday morning. The road was excellent, the sky was clear, there was little traffic and we were feeling quite mellow. The two of us were reminiscing about how great things have been going - no bad weather, no foul ups, excellent sightseeing, great (with one exception) campsites, and the Beast was behaving beautifully. At that exact moment, the Beast gave a great big cough and started to rattle deep in its bones. We pulled off the road, in the middle of nowhere, 50 miles from Van Horn and 81 miles from El Paso. There's a whole lot of nothing in this part of Texas, except for heat, flies and semi trucks. We thought we had a flat but everything that was supposed to be round was still round. A call to CoachNet resulted in a tow truck arriving about 3 hours later. We piled our stuff into Zippy (the car) and headed out to El Paso to wait for the Beast to arrive.
The good news was that we managed to break down in the only place that was literally crawling with truck and RV repair service centres. They were all over the place!
The other good news was that the damage wasn't fatal. A spark plug broke loose and damaged a coil. They figured we would be out of there first thing in the morning. Ha!!! Things are never that easy with the Beast. It turns out that whoever put the plugs in, stripped the threads and the whole thing had to be replaced. Naturally, parts were hard to get.
The end result was a bill for $830 plus 2 nights in a motel and meals.
A big thanks to Steve, the tow truck driver and mechanic, and to Gilbert Duran, one of the owners of Duran and Son's Service Centre, who went out of their way to ensure that we got our repairs done very well and as quickly as possible.
With all that, we never did get to go sightseeing in El Paso, although we managed to buy LOTS of food at Walmart.
There is a new house rule: no one is to mention how good anything is going until AFTER we have parked for the night. Even then, there's a chance we might irritate the gods of the open road, so we're going to keep such comments to a minimum.