We (Diane and I with the fur-kids) left our homes at Pete’s Camp just outside of San Felipe Baja MX at about 8am. We got to the military check point and wouldn’t you know I get inspected by the new guy on their team he went through every cabinets and had open some of bags and briefcase. We even opened the outside compartments; all of them. This took a lot longer than usual, but he let me go.
With Diane in the lead we took the cross peninsula road headed to Ensenada MX. This road looks innocent enough on the map. In real life it is a narrow two lane road with lots of grades of 6% up and down. My engine temperature gauge was moving to hot very soon in the trip and feared the worst. Then we started down a grade and the gauge moved back to cool and I would breath a sigh of relief. We got to Ensenada and went through town catching about every stop light. At the last stop light going out of town I noticed that the brake pedal had very little travel and didn’t think to much of it until we started up a grade and felt like the brakes were still on. Further up the grade I saw a car coming out onto the road and I stepped on the brake slow the vehicle and “There were NO BRAKES“! There are a few things in life that get your full attention and finding you have no brakes while driving a big RV towing a car is one of them! I pulled the shift lever into low and pumped the brake pedal as fast as I could with no result. Do to going up a small grade and being in low range the vehicle slowed and came to a stop. I almost had to pry my hands off the steering wheel.
Diane noticed I had stopped and came back to see what the trouble was and volunteered to go for a mechanic, so she left in search of mechanic while I and the fur-kids waited in the RV. When she came back she said that the mechanic wouldn’t be able to come until monday. However she had a lead on another mechanic further ahead, so she took off in search of this mechanic. Later she returned with a lady, Rosa, and some brake fluid. Rosa was to prove very valuable to us as she was bilingual with her help she got the guys from the local tire shop to come over and help us get the brakes bled and brake fluid in the master cylinder. We tried the brakes and they worked!
We took Rosa back to the restaurant where she had been and bought her lunch and enjoyed chile rellanos with rice and beans and had a talk about this mechanic near-by named David. I thought it best to have David check the brakes and make sure they were safe before going back into the mountains again. After lunch we headed off to find David. We found him in his shop and he cleared a space for my RV and helped me un-hook the car and park the RV. He and two other mechanics worked on the RV checking leaks in the brake lines and making sure they worked okay. Rosa helped with the translating which was a big help. The final outcome was the brakes were fine or good enough to get me north and that the ABS wasn’t working but not worry. David helped hook up my car again because by this time with all the stress I was not strong enough to do it myself.
The cost? The two guys that helped get the fluid in and the brakes working two hundred pesos, Rosa I bought lunch and gave her two hundred pesos and David two hundred pesos or forty-six dollars. That my dears is cheap!
We got to the border and the much talked about wait time was reasonable and of course having an RV I got sent to secondary inspection which was brief. Now we are in the states and I am looking for a gasoline station. Diane and I part company with cheerful waves she heads to Long Beach and I to Tucson. When I get to the first gasoline station I fill my tank as much as the setting on the machine will allow and four dollars a gallon it doesn’t fill my tank. I go to restart the process and the machine denies my card. I am upset, the day before the bank and I had a conversation on the phone because the blocked my card because I had changed my email address! I told them then I was going to be using my card in the U.S. the following day and they said it would be alright-well it wasn’t alright. At least my U.S. cell phone worked and I parked out of the way and got on the phone and played phone roulette with Wells Fargo and got that straightened out. Then off to find I-8.
I got on I-8 and followed it out past Calexico and didn’t see any truck stops, by now it was dark and I don’t like to drive at night. When I came to a rest stop I walked the dog and after we settled back in the RV I check my GPS and found there was a truck stop about 15 miles away I followed the GPS there and asked to stay the night. In the morning I was getting ready to go when I couldn’t find my CAT! I looked all over the inside of the RV the outside walked the perimeter of the lot and NO CAT! I was very upset as we had been together for over fifteen years and now she runs away? After searching for two and half hours I gave up and move over to the fuel islands to fill up when I discovered I had no fuel cap on my RV. I must have left it at the last gasoline station! After filling up I asked if they had found a fuel cap and they didn’t have any or could find any so though well I’ll be stopping at Flying J and they should have some extras. So off I go to get on east I-8. I am still upset about my kitty PIA and decide to return and look again for her and still no kitty. I get back on the road and when I get to Yuma and the Flying J they don’t have any gas caps. So I get directions for Walmart and go there get a cap and start my journey again which goes on and on it seems to take forever to get to Tucson. I do get there in the late afternoon and get parked at my family’s house and after plugging in the electricity I go to bet in the RV and there is my Kitty PIA staring at my like what are you up to? She had been hiding all this time and wouldn’t come out until I had stopped for a long enough time for her to feel safe to come out! Damn CAT!
So last night I notice that the RV is hot and the AC is on it seems there is something wrong with the AC and I have to find a technician to fix it as these are special to RVs and marine use so it going to cost a lot more than forty-six dollars to get this fixed for darn sure ! Oh well I’m here safe and sound and I’ll get things fixed repaired and replaced as necessary.
I was very, lucky this trip I was traveling with a great friend and neighbor Diane met wonderful people that helped like Rosa, the two men at the tire changing shop and the mechanic David that was so nice to find time for me and my problems so it end well and that is what matters.