Friday, October 20, 2023

Well, that didn’t last long

I was going up a long steep mountain grade leading from New Mexico to Arizona when the newly installed low mileage transmission started acting up. Or not acting. Third gear was slipping and sometimes not wanting to stay in gear. 


I had made a choice: go with the salvaged transmission that was available, or wait who knows how much longer for a remanufactured version. The salvaged transmission came out of a wrecked van with a third of the mileage of the Rolling Steel Tent, so I figured it should serve for a couple of hundred miles more. Right. And I was very tired of waiting.

I limped to the summit and a cell signal. I called the mechanic and broke the news. We talked options, including reinstalling my old not-as-broken transmission. He called back five minutes later saying he had talked to the transmission supplier and gotten him on the hunt for a remanufactured or new one. The warranty would cover the replacement. I’d just need to pay any extra price difference. Okay.

Now the trick was to get 170 miles back to the shop without a reliable third gear. I chose a longer, slower, twistier route because it was flatter and mostly downhill.

And I made it.

Meanwhile, the power had been shut off at Lou’s place, so staying there would mean boondocking rather than having the comforts of home. I could’ve handled that. But my trusty neighbors Pat and Marjean invited me to park at their place where I could plug into their RV hookup, use their bathroom, and wash my clothes while I wait. And wait. And wait for the next transmission.

It could be worse. I’m not totally stranded in the middle of nowhere, starving and penniless. This is just disappointing, inconvenient and patience-trying. As they say, it’s another story to tell.


  1. At times like this I have to remind myself that someday I'll look back at this and either laugh or cuss some more! :-)
    Good luck...

  2. I hope it doesn't take a long time to find a replacement transmission. This setback must be trying your patience. Good luck!

  3. I still feel your first guess was frequently the right one. But now we know that the warranty on the unit was important also. Good luck.

  4. Your experience reminds me of a line I remember from the movie "Tess". One disaster after another was afflicting the protagonist, Tess. Her friend finally told her, "Even bad luck runs out, in the end."

  5. Boy, this is a rough cob. Can you afford to rent a car or van and do some 'sploring?

    It's been a week since your last post; any changes?

    1. The closest car rental is a hundred miles away in Las Cruces.