Jan 19, 2010

Fixing the Rig, roll 1.

That’s it – we are out of the lone star state to a whole new place. New Mexico. On the way we attempted to fix the RV, and it looks like you are going to hear (read) about it more. This is not end of story. So we are on the way to AZ stopping for couple nights in Columbus.

Tuesday, January 18, 2010 – It’s a moving day! Got up very early (for real!) and ran to take the laundry I forgot last night in the dryer. I had a conference call this morning at 10:00AM so I tried to get organized as much as I can before that.
Got the conference call done at about 11:00 and started out trip to Anthony, TX a small town north of El Paso, where we scheduled a repair on our RV. The water pump and all the monitor unit simply don’t work, the left slide-out is giving us hard time pushing it in and out, and we have one tire that is pretty bad, and we are dragging it from Alabama, where we exchanged this RV.
We did not realize how far it is, but when we punched the address into our Tom Tom, it said 5 hours drive… This time we took the highway I-10 all the way to Camping World in Antony TX.

Fly J Fly

On the way, we stopped on Flying-J on exit 37. I saw that gas station mentioned few times in other blogs, but I did not know why, so we decided to see what this Flying-J is all about.
It is a very nice and big gas station. They have a dump station, fresh water fill station, Propane, and plenty of parking space for big RVs. They were also cheaper than the other stations around – couple cents, but still.
Inside the store they had a nice restaurant with buffet and a-la-carte menu. The other side has what most gas stations have, and plus. They carry some cloths, souvenirs, movies, gadgets and much more (reminds me of Travel America Plaza) They also provide internet access and some other trucker services.

New Pasta Style - Cajun Alfredo

We set down for lunch and I ordered Cajun Chicken Pasta. Patti took the buffet. When my food was ready the waitress served it to my table, looked at me and said “This is not what you ordered, or is it?” I looked at the plate and said – “It sure does not look like Cajun Chicken to me…” She took the plate back to the kitchen, and after a short while came back with the same plate. “I guess it is Cajun Chicken. This is El-Paso here, not New Orleans, this is how we make it” she said with a smile.
The food did not look bad, just did not look like Cajun style. If anything it looked like Chicken Alfredo. I tasted it and told her – It is “Alfredo sauce”. Now she was more puzzled. She stepped into the kitchen and came back with the Que card - the instruction of how to make a Flying J Cajun Chicken Pasta. And guess what – It is pasta, with chicken and Alfredo sauce. I guess this Alfredo was a Cajun guy. At least that’s how the locals see it.
We finished our meal, took Moe for a short walk, fueled the truck and were back on the road.

No Camping at Camping World

We passed El Paso before dark. I did not realize how big of a city it is. it took us 20-30 minutes to drive through the city and before we new it we got to Anthony, just on the border with NM (Exit 2 on i-10 in TX).
Camping World was still open so I jumped in to see of they have a place for us for over night stay. They told me that their site do not have electricity, it broke in the storm. but there is a campground just above us, they said.
Right around from the parking lot of Camping World there was another big parking lot with parking spaces and hook-ups. The place called itself a campground. “American Campground”. Not so sure what so American about this parking lot, but so be it. $25 for the night.
One more time fighting with the slide out hoping that tomorrow – they will take care of it.

What we did not know about our RV
(and no one bothered to tell us)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 – It’s a long day today, but hopefully we will get our RV fixed like new! We wake up at 7:30 (wow) and by 8:00 we are at the service department door of Camping World. Signing in, filling all the paperwork, and explaining the 3 issues we got. The Pump/Monitors, the slide-out and the tire.
We have a maintenance plan with Camping Word – CWCare, what they call “Extended Warranty”, so we hoped they will cover it. The tires are not covered, we knew that.
We were directed to the waiting room, where they had some nice sitting area with workstations and internet, free coffee pop-corn, TV. Nice. They even let Moe get in and wait with us.

The fun begins

We set down and worked on our computers. A best way to utilize a waiting time. After a while, when I did not hear anything I went to the office to check where things are standing. They found that the problem with the monitor and the pump was just a broken wire, and fixed it. They also found that the gear to the slide-out is broken. That means two things – first – it is covered by the insurance, and second – they will need to order the part and we will have to drive back here next week.

Tires Story

And last – they said that not only one tire is bad – but all four need to be replaced. With President’s club discount it is $1,200 ! Holly macro! We can’t pay that. For sure not now after we lost our full-time jobs…
My tires are not as bad as the one on the picture. It is just for illustration, but they were gettin’ there.
The lady explained to us that we drove the rig with the tires under-inflated for long enough that it caused damage. I said – “Let me tell you a secret. We just bought this unit a month ago, And guess from whom? Camping World!! “
I tried to assess my options here. I suggested that they will take the spare, which is brand new, with two new tires, and leave the best out of the four. She came back and said – “your spare is a little bigger than the new tires we are going to put, so it won’t work”.
Ah huh! Got it! Eureka!
So you want to replace the four tires, and leave me with a spare tire that won’t work for me anymore, just because the tires you have in stock are a different size. Interesting.
I asked the service rep – wouldn’t it be cheaper just to go somewhere else, like Tires Plus? “Yes”, she whispered back. “Go to Martin Tires, he is pretty good and very reasonable”.
They put everything back to the way it was (that’s what they said) so we can continue and use the unit until next week, and we were on our way to Martin Tires in El Paso.
Martin – a very knowledgeable and nice person, came out to greet us, and check the tires. Two are very bad. One has some “internal damage” and one is good. So we buy 2 tires, use the spare, and the other good one. With work and everything - $295. Now that is a different number…
Patti went to Sam’s Club that was just next door while I waited with Martin and the crew. In less than an hour Patti was back, the tires were changes and we were good to go. This time safe!

Cheap thieves

Just before we started our driving, I wanted to let Moe drink, and looked for his dish. Last I remembered they were on the truck where we put them while we were waiting in Camping World. Patti said she remembers seeing them when she was driving to Sam’s club. Someone just stole them from the truck bed. Two $5 dog dishes. Now how cheap is that?

New Time New Mexico

iPhone 001 It was still early in the day, when we started our drive. A short 40 mile drive to Columbus Mexico. We planned to stay in Pancho Villa State Park. We took hwy 9 – a long narrow road surrounded by flat land and some isolated mountains are spread here in there. Feels like Driving on the moon. The road is completely empty and only the border Control vans are popping up from time to time.
This is also a new time zone – we switched to Mountain time, so we get an early sunset tonight.
iPhone 005
ColumbusNM 003 We arrived to the park at around 4:00PM and had enough time to look around,  go shopping and even catch the sunset. One problem though – the guys at camping world did not connect the slide-out correctly, and when trying to push out, only one side is moving. Not good! At least it is the smaller side– with the kitchen and entertainment center. We just left it in for now, until they will fix it.
We drove to town to a small grocery store – San Jose Grocery store. We felt like tourists, as no one spoke our language here. They knew some English, but among themselves they spoke Spanish. Next time we will bring our passports just in case.
The park itself is very nice. The sites are HUGE and have a shed on each site. There are some “comfort station” around, and playground, and the whole campground is landscaped very nicely. So just before sunset I went outside and captures some pictures from the park. Here they are:
ColumbusNM 002
ColumbusNM 024
ColumbusNM 005
ColumbusNM 008
ColumbusNM 015
ColumbusNM 037


  1. מרתק הסיפורים שעוברים עליכם. חבל שהקרוואן דורש תיקונים ועולים לכם בבריאות (וכסף)..
    מצחיק מה שעבר עליכם בתחנת הדלק - לפחות יצאתם שבעים..
    תגיד, 7:30 בבוקר זה מוקדם?? אני קמה כל יום ב- 6:30!! זה דווקא משתלם.
    לא ידעתי שיש לכם כלב - איזה סוג?
    חבל שלא הייתי איתכם בסן-ג'וס, כי אז לא הייתה לכם בעיה עם הספרדית - אני מבינה ומדברת.. הייתה מאמין?!

  2. have enjoyed following your blog for the last few weeks...if you havent already, make sure you stop by the visitors center/museum at the park...also, the bacon green chile jalapeno cheeseburger at the patio cafe is awesome...its not on the menu, but missy can fix it up...tots beat the fries...though ive never been, ive heard that the Pink Store, just across the boarder in Palomas, is quite good as well...enjoy your stay...

  3. Everything is breaking. We have so many minor little things to fix around our fifth-wheel we have got to take a break and get to work on them.

  4. Feb.6th Just wondering where you are tonight. Hope you found good tires.

    What a week here at the "SILVERADO" Monday it rained all day. Tuesday it was clear----A reporter
    fro Paris, France came here to interview me for an
    article on the Border Patrol activities here locally. Took a lot of pictures. The article will
    be spotlighted in the newspaper and a magazine.
    in Paris.
    She loved the place and the animals. Will be back in September.

  5. Do you have a phone contact or email for CWCare? Can't find my contract and need to get a new one sent to me. Dealer where I bought the CWCare plan has been useless in this matter. Thanks for any help.