Not 5 minutes after we left Catalina State Park for points north, we heard this really loud “BANG” in the truck, followed by a sudden loss of power.
To me, it sounded like the oil pan had fallen off the truck.
Fortunately, we were in the right-hand lane, and Highway 77 has nice wide shoulders through Catalina, so I was able to pull over immediately and easily. (I’m super glad that we weren’t on Highway 79, just north of the town of Catalina where the shoulders are non-existent. Apparently, many fires are started when vehicles pull off to the side on that road and park over the very dry vegetation.)
After pulling over, I jumped out of the truck fully expecting to see pieces of it scattered on the road behind us, but there were none.
During a careful inspection, we could find nothing obviously wrong with either the truck or the RV.
Ed immediately suspected that the truck had blown a turbo and went into a blue funk anticipating a huge hit to his bank account.
I called Nate from Catalina Towing, who came by as soon as he could – about an hour later – and towed the truck plus our RV up to the nearest Ford dealership in Oracle.
We dropped the RV off on an easement across from the dealership and then took the truck in.
We spent the afternoon reading in the RV, which hadn’t been leveled, and couldn’t be leveled, without running the risk of completely draining the batteries and was therefore quite wonky.
Not knowing how long the truck would be in for service, we elected to have the rig towed up to McDowell Mountain Regional Park, where we had reservations, rather than find a pet-friendly hotel back in Oro Valley, which would have meant packing up SO much of our stuff.
Nate, the owner of Catalina Towing is such a nice guy. We rode with him in his beautiful rig – Ed and he up front with Jasper and I in the back and we conversed all the way up to the park, despite Jasper making a nuisance of himself whining and complaining for nearly half the trip.
The trip up to the park was a 2.5 hour drive and a $430 tow charge, in addition to the $120+ tow charge Ed paid to have the truck and rig towed up to Oracle.
As it turned out, the truck had only blown a turbo hose and was repaired within 2 days (Ed was MUCH relieved not to have spent $4500). We drove the rental car back down to Oracle on Monday to pick up the truck, and because we weren’t towing the rig, we actually got to stop in Florence and take a look around, which was quite fun.
All in all, it was an adventure that could have been much more costly and we still managed to get to our destination only 8 hours behind schedule.
Wendy M says
Hope the language ( Australian English) is not too confusing!
That little episode brings back memories for me. In 1974 , We had a Ford F100 and were towing a 26 foot caravan. That caravan had our life within it, as did the F100.
We are a family of 4 with two children six and four years old and a kitten about 12 weeks old.
The plan was to work our way around Australia, hubby ( hubby – a mechanic, me a registered nurse) then pick the best spot to live, return there and set up home.
We had worked in North Queensland, Mount Isa, and were the last place we had worked, Julius Dam, just outside Mt. Isa, heading into Mt. Isa, and then on to Darwin. We had traveled from Melbourne in Victoria up until now, with the same setup and no problems at all. When we turned from the construction road track onto the main Barkly Highway (that track is no longer there!) we had travelled about a kilometer, when there was this almighty bang ( like yours) and the van sort of leaned a bit to the left.
Hubby thought we had broken an axle in the van so was not impressed. When he alighted from the truck, he walked round to the passenger side, and found the cause of the problem. The wheel bearing on the F100 had shattered, thus disconnecting the wheel from the differential per say, making driving impossible and the wheel was sitting at a peculiar angle. We jacked the ute up, popped the axle back in, and attempted driving very slowly forward, knowing the consequences if this failed.. We were ALL very apprehensive, and back then there were no mobile phones in Australia to ring for help.
The road, although a main through road connecting a lot of the towns and cities in Central western Queensland to the east coast ports, was NOT very wide. Our main dread was to hold up a road train, which is a semi-trailer with 3 very long trailers on, or to completely go over the edge of the highway into the valley below, (at various points the highway has VERY narrow shoulders), so it was a very scary drive. We were however VERY relieved when a friend from the same construction site that we had been on, was traveling into Mt. Isa on that day, in HIS F100.
When he saw us he stopped and offered to take the caravan into Mt Isa for us. We were relieved, and we told him where we had booked in. We unhitched the caravan from our truck, moved our truck slowly forward then hitched him up and sent him on his way. Then, hubby made the startling discovery, he had been using the caravans brakes as stopping power.
He DID NOT tell me this until we had reached Mt Isa. He was still able to use the handbrake somehow, but we were only traveling at about 5 kms per hour so gearing down was also an option we were using.
The left-hand side rear view mirror was tilted down so he could see what the wheel was doing, if he could actually see the edge of the wheel we would stop, jack the truck up on that side an put it back in again.
It was a VERY long trip into Mt. Isa, but we made it!
When we arrived in Mt Isa at the caravan park, our friend had been waiting there and had even set the van up on the site. We were so grateful to see the van again and to have got there in one piece. Hubby was then able to get the replacement bearing which he fitted and after a week staying in Mt. Isa, we decided to head off toward Darwin on our trip around Australia.
Rosalind Gardner says
I was raised with U.K. English in Canada and use American English primarily because 95% of my readers come from the States, so No, Australian English is actually quite refreshing and normal to me. LOL.
Thanks so kindly for your story. I probably should have embellished mine just a tad more, because there really was so much more to that day.