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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Roll With It

~Tuesday, July 21, 2020~

Day 37 or back to Day 1?

I wake up and count my blessings everyday, which are a plenty. Yes, we’re in a precarious situation, but you just gave to roll with it. “It’s part of the adventure”, I keep telling myself. It’s just a huge inconvenience and time consuming with all of the back and forth with the service department, Chris, and keeping our family/friends informed of what’s going on. We just want answers as to how this could have happened on a brand new truck with only 7,000 miles on it. I think this would rattle most people.

Before we checked out of La Quinta Inn, Jeff and I were working on honing in our travel blog name. It only took us 37 days to do that. But we’ve finally arrived. Wait for it…….. FootprintsOnWheels. The next step, choosing a photo for our homepage on our blog. It’s a few years old, but it’s the one of us in front of the Vermillion Valley Resort, better known as VVR, on our JMT trip. I guess we’re official.

We decided to check out the RV Park in Bakersfield called River Run RV Park. We wanted to see if this would be a good home for us for the next week or two, and jot down a few sites we thought were ideal. This was a viable option for us since we had a loaned truck that could tow our trailer and felt it far better than staying in a hotel with Sadie. Site 108 it is (a pull-through site), with laundry, really nice bath/shower facilities, a dog/equestrian run behind the park, and a pool. And ½ the price of where we stayed at Rancho Los Coches. We had just signed up for a GoodSam membership where most RV parks offer a 10% discount. This will come in handy for the times we want a break from boondocking, or dry camping to reboot, get laundry done, etc. We initially booked 2 nights for now, until we hear more from the service department. We didn’t feel safe leaving some of our precious cargo in the back of the loaner truck (we left much of our things in our truck), so we bought a tarp to put over them.

The next stop, going to the dealership to talk to Omar, where we were basically told nothing. They still had not put our truck on the rack, but his foreman did say it would likely take 2 weeks to get the repairs done. We’d like to stay positive in thinking that maybe since they really haven’t taken a good look at it yet, it’s not as bad as we think. Not knowing anything is the hard part. Ugh!!! So the next step was getting most of our stuff out of the truck and transferring it over to the loaner truck so we could function with our trailer once again. Transferring stuff out of a 120 degree car is no fun, so it sure makes you work in a hurry. There was a bit of a challenge in getting the trailer out of the Ford parking lot, since it was parked close to a sea of other broken down vehicles. But we did it.

When we arrived late afternoon to the RV park, we were dying for a swim, but the swimming pool closes at 4:45, and it’s by appointment only due to COVID. Gosh, an early evening swim would have felt wonderful after today’s work. They’ve even taken away the picnic tables at each site to deter social gatherings. So instead unloaded everything, and setting up camp for at least a few more nights that we’re hoping won’t turn into 1 or 2 weeks. I decided since I was setting stuff up anyway, the trailer could use a good cleaning inside, especially after Del Mar Beach and Jenning’s Lake. Jeff and I never thought we’d say how nice it was being back in our trailer. Don’t get me wrong, we love it, and it is “home” for us right now. So anything “home” is comforting. While we were setting up, we met our neighbors who are from Bakersfield originally, having done 50+ years in farming and now enjoying retirement. When we told her our story about the truck, she immediately went to her husband to tell him our story. Within 10 minutes she came back with a phone number. That phone number belonged to the owner of Jim Burke Ford. Apparently, her husband had gone to school with him, and had used Jim Burke’s truck fleet for years for his farming business. Small world.

It certainly helps to have connections. Take Jeff’s brother Ken for example. We were able to call him right away to help guide us through the process. The advice….go around the dealership and call Ford directly. Having an expensive truck break down with only 7,000 miles on it, and having to wait 2 weeks for repairs (which will likely be 3), is unacceptable. Ken basically told us to bug the hell out of them until we get what we want. Don’t let the dealership string you along. The other advice, demand a new transmission or replace the truck altogether, not wait for parts to fix it. We really didn’t want the “fix” option since we’ll always worry, will it happen again, or did we buy a lemon? Thank you Ken!! Lots of unknowns at this point. In the meantime, I'm enjoying watching a beautiful sunset at our new home for the time being.

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