It seems that no VW long term journey is really complete without at least one good breakdown story.
Ours is a bit of a complex story…
You see, back in New Mexico along that wonderful Rio Grande River, one evening Fred sort of backed the van into a tree while we were getting set up for a night’s camping. Not a really bad encounter, but enough to mush up the bumper pretty good and ding up the back hatch door.
We did the proper thing and eventually turned it into our insurance, which promptly gave us a $900.00 check to go with our $500.00 deductible, to fix it at our leisure, anywhere between New Mexico and California. Sweet.
We decided to get it fixed when we got to Tucson. In fact, when we got to town, we arranged for an appointment, and for the Collision Center to get the parts before the appointment, since we would be without our home for three to four days and have to stay in a motel. All’s well.
We stayed out at Catalina State Park for the weekend, until our Monday appointment. On Sunday, we decided to run into town, just a few miles up the road to get a few groceries.
We only made it around the first corner out of the campground.
Bingo! Crash. Bam. What the heck.
It’s an ugly situation.
Our front ball joint just broke. The wheel fell off, and ugly oily stuff was leaking out the bottom. It was hot. AND it was Sunday.
Never, ever have a breakdown in Arizona on a Sunday.
After a very long wait, one park ranger, and two different Arizona highway patrol officers, our awesome tow truck driver arrived and artfully and skillfully got this mess up on his truck bed without damaging the entire front of the van.
In Arizona, nothing is open on Sundays. No auto dealerships, no repair shops, and after noon, no rental car companies. Yikes.
We managed to get into our motel room a night early, and thanks to the campground host, our stuff back at the campsite was safe and secured.
Monday was slightly better, as Geico gave us a nice 2014 GMC all wheel drive SUV for as long as we needed to drive around at no charge. Fun.
Of course, now the back collision work can’t be touched, until the front is fixed so the vehicle is mobile.
Very long story, shortened for this post…is two garages, different mechanics, one ball joint, one CVC and shaft, a new seal, and some new gear oil, and 11 days later, our beloved van is again on the road. Our insurance covered the second incident as well, but the rear end crunches are still not fixed. The first garage sent the parts back, when the van was moved to the second garage, and after 11 days, we really wanted our home back more than we wanted to wait around another week to get the back damage fixed. So we’ve put that off until we get back to California in Dec. to deal with.
During this time of van repairs, we had also arranged to meet up with some family in the little town of Laughlin, Nevada for a few days for a pre holiday get together. We were on a minute by minute standby, waiting for the van, and after waiting for us for a couple of days, they had to head home. No meeting up with them.
But wait, on Thursday afternoon, moments after we picked up the Keevan, they called and guess what? Their car broke down. In Laughlin.
Geeze…Friday we headed up there for our visit as now they were stranded for the entire weekend while the garage was closed.
We had a lovely visit with them.
And we had lots of fun in Tucson, got to visit another cousin of mine up near Phoenix, see some sights, and feel like locals for awhile.
And enjoyed some more beautiful Arizona sunsets.
Oh, those desert sunsets… ❧