The next morning we headed out of BJs RV Park. I told my friend we could either go back up the road to Alpine or we could drive into Big Bend and heading north to Marathon. She was wondering about the road and I had to tell her I had never driven the road north through the park to Marathon so I didn't know if it would be more or less winding and hilly than the road we came in on. The speed limit in the park is 45 so it could take a little longer but then we didn't go much more than that coming from Alpine. We decided to take a chance on a new route. It turned out to be just fine.....less hilly and winding as a matter of fact. We initially had Sonora on the route as a possible overnight but then we found the Wagon Wheel Rest Area. This rest area is very nice. It even has an RV dump station with potable water. We parked in the shade and fixed dinner which we ate at one of the neat picnic areas. Harley got several walks in. About 10PM, traffic on I-10 died down and the road running behind where we parked was completely quiet. We had a lovely quiet sleep.
The next morning we took off on what was supposed to be the last night of our trip. It wasn't all that long before my friend pulled off at an exit for Roosevelt Texas. She said her engine made a horrible noise. When she tried to start it again, it did the same thing.
It was about noon when she called Good Sam Roadside Assistance. We were at least safely off the road. Thus began the wait
The tow truck didn't arrive until 5 PM. They had to send a really big tow truck to tow the F250 diesel and the 35' 5th wheel.
The closest Ford dealer was in Kerrville and they said they couldn't even look at it until the next week. They said we might be better off to go back to El Paso.....I don't think so. They found a repair shop in Junction and my friend talked to them. The tow truck guys wanted us to go ahead so we could tell them where to pull in with the truck and trailer. They had to unhook the drive shaft so that took a while.
The repair shop was closed by the time we got there but the woman my friend spoke to said to call her when we arrived and she would come back in to show us where to park. They had room behind the shop for both of us and even ran 110 electrical out to the 5th wheel. I have a generator and solar so I was fine.
The news the next day was not good at all. The engine was shot. Replacing it was not really a good decision. My friend consulted with several knowledgeable people and made arrangements to sell the truck to an online company and cut her losses. The repair shop said we could leave the 5th wheel there for several days for no charge. They were really nice. We left in my RV to head back to San Antonio. It was Thursday and the company picking up the truck couldn't get there until Monday.
My friend's brother came from Louisiana with his diesel to tow the RV back home. He arrived on Saturday and they went back to Junction to wrap things up.
RVing is not for the faint hearted. I get upset every time someone who has never RVd asks if they can live on $600/month. You need to have a decent RV, you have to maintain it on a regular basis, you have to have a fund to cover the unexpected, and things still happen. This was a very well maintained truck but things still happen that you could never anticipate. The good news is that my friend is very level headed and responsible. She will be RVing again soon but only because she plans for the unexpected. The end but there will be a new beginning.