This afternoon my sister and her husband loaded their four kids into the RV for a road trip out to Wyoming to visit my dad. It was supposed to be a three day drive. They drove about three and a half hours and got as far as Illinois. Nope, that's not a pic of their RV but it accurately depicts what happened.
The poor family was stuck on the side of the road for hours while their 1-800-roadside-assistance people tried to find a mechanic willing to look at this thing before Monday. You can't expect to just pull an RV mechanic out of your ass at nearly 5pm on a Friday out in the middle of nowhere, now can you?
They finally found a company willing to tow them to Peoria so someone could look at it in the morning. Which was 50 miles away from where they were, by the way. It was going to take awhile for the tow truck so they decided to send sis and the kids on into town to find a hotel. But no rental car place would come out to them. Plus it was over $100 a day for a mini van rental. (Remember there are four kids so a regular sedan wasn't gonna work.) So my sis and her four tired, hot, bored, cranky kids and a bunch of their stuff rode in a taxi van for an hour to Peoria. At a cost of $100. Ouch. When I talked to her, which was now after 8pm, hubby still had not arrived. Last she saw him, he was stuck on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck. I sure hope he's there by now. Cuz she sounded like she was about to lose her mind. I think she may have discovered a new level of hell.
The kids are happy though. For now. They were excited because the hotel had a pool. And it's 5 feet deep! They all took note of that fact for some reason and reported it back to me.
We're all really hoping they get this thing running tomorrow. If so, they can continue on with this trip. If not, they'll be looking for some place to entertain four kids in Peoria until Monday. The kids will be really disappointed, too. They haven't seen their grandpa in several years and they were all extremely excited about their 'cation. That's Tatum's word for it.
So send some good mechanic ju ju to the great state of Illinois tonight for my poor, frazzled sister and brother-in-law. Oh and when they get back, I probably wouldn't ask them how the vacation went if I were you......
*Update* Saturday 3:30pm
The fuel filter was clogged so it was fixed. But the mechanic suggested a new fuel pump also. At a cost of over $700 total. My bro-in-law said no thanks since he's a mechanic and decided to just buy the part. Total cost was still $400!! The plan was to keep chugging along and try to get to Wyoming. They got about another half hour west when bro-in-law decided they just weren't going to make it. So they pulled over in an abandoned parking lot so he could put on the new fuel pump. So as of right now sis reports that she is sweating her ass off trying to entertain the kids while the hubs is sweating his ass off underneath the RV working on getting them up and running again. Hopefully, they will be back on the road again heading west within the hour. Reminds me a little of those Chevy Chase vacation movies. I hope she's taking pics of all this.
* Saturday 7:30pm
My dad spoke to Bobby on the phone who was somewhere in Iowa washing his hands after having just replaced the second fuel pump. It seems RV's have a front and rear fuel pump. So now this one has two new ones. Maybe the problem is solved now.
* Sunday 2:00pm
They're still 600 miles from their final destination. And there's still something wrong with their RV. It seems they can't let the gas tank get below half a tank or it starts chugging like it's running out of gas. Even though it's not. So every 120 miles they stop for more gas. And to think my sis thought it was too expensive to just fly. Wonder if she's thinking the cost would have been better than all this headache? Wonder if their family will ever take a road trip again? Or will they all be permanently traumatized by this event? Well, at least her kids will have some really funny stories to tell their kids someday about that family vacation where mommy and daddy were really mad.