Parking Lot Camping

So, to review, this adventure began with our engine light coming on as we were leaving the house for Pacific City. (If you have not read How bad is it? you will want to now.) Now, the service tech had assured me the truck would be fine to pull our trailer to and from, around 200 miles, for a well needed weekend of relaxing in the wilderness. Instead…it turned into our most stressful adventure to date.

After discovering the Thousand Trails campground was full and unable to accommodate our trailer, we decided to give up on a camping weekend and just head back home. Only one-hundred and one miles to go. Mind you, the engine light was still on and every so often I saw the Inter peer over at the dashboard. I am tired. She’s tired and the dog finally gave in a fell asleep. We make it nearly to Salem when the truck goes into limp mode.

You may be wondering what limp mode is. It means the computer noticed something wrong or lost contact with an important sensor that could ruin the engine or transmission and has de-rated the power so you can get home without the car stopping or damaging itself. Limp Home Mode or Limp-in is an operating condition set by the vehicle computer. (Thanks Google)

In our case, it meant the truck dropped down to 25 mph and we engaged the hazard lights for 8.7 miles. It was the longest 8.7 miles I have ever traveled in a truck pulling a 15,000 trailer. The Intern googled the Chevy dealer and we pulled into the nearest parking lot to try and sleep it off. Granted, it was already after 1 am. I put the jacks down, got the geni running and slid out the slides. She and I shared a beer and headed to the bunk for some well needed rest. Rest was the last thing we got.

The parking lot soon became a meeting place for people with loud motorcycles to have screaming competitions and street races. Yes, that lasted about an hour or so. I swear, ever little sound was amplified in our heads. All I could think of was someone messing with the truck or the trailer. Now, we are not sure what time Home Depot opens, but by the time we rose from our somewhat nerve-wracking-slumber, the entire parking lot was filled. And we were parked in the north-forty!

As soon as it was 8:00AM, I unhooked the truck and headed to Capitol Chevrolet. Saturday, of course was their busiest day, but they were nice enough to promise to call me as soon as they were able to diagnose the problem. I hoofed it back to the parking lot to update the Intern. She started telling me the manager of Home Depot had stopped by to ask her to move the trailer. (I had the truck…) Anyway, she said he was nice after hearing our adventure and asked we move as soon as we could.

We had offers from friends and family to come and pick us up, but in the end, we decided to use our roadside assistance and called for a tow. You can see below, we were rescued and Steve really liked our driver, Daniel. That was a relief…Steve doesn’t like anyone.

An hour and a half later, we were home. The truck is still in the shop and has a six hour job on it. It doesn’t help when the Intern is absolutely against all of these fancy computerized vehicles. She thinks they are programmed to break at a certain mileage point. That’s pretty much why she drives the FJ. Less computer, more manual. I prefer the fancy heated/cooled seats and the defrosted mirrors.

All in all, we got home safely. The trailer has damage we can fix. The truck is under warranty and hey…maybe we will have another adventure when we drive up to Salem one night next week to pick it up.

One response to “Parking Lot Camping

  1. Pingback: How bad is it? | WE Adventure NW·

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