We had an uneventful trip to Fort Stockton having decided to overnight at the local Walmart. It turned out to be us and about 40 other rigs. That place gets packed! We got there early enough to get ourselves situated for a clean getaway the following morning, so it all worked out. Plus we got our shopping done and were well provisioned for our trip to the Big Bend area.
We had reservations to stay five days at Maverick Ranch in Lajitas, about twelve miles beyond Terlingua, the closest town to the entrance of Big Bend National Park.
While at Walmart Steven and I had a conversation about how clean Toadie was after that long trip. There seemed to be less road grime and no blowback from Scoopy, which we really hadn't experienced since our big fix in Vermont. It always makes us very happy to see Toadie so clean!
Fast forward to our arrival at Maverick Ranch in Lajitas and, oh my, how things changed! We were shocked to see Toadie drenched in oil! This wasn't the usual road grime you can wipe off with your finger. When we tried, it just smeared and got ugly. What the heck? And to make things worse, we were not allowed to wash any vehicles in the park unless we paid $25. We walked over to explain we had a little grime on the front of our car and could we just rinse it off. They said sure, so we proceeded to rinse off as much as possible from the grimy mess!
Five days later we had to decide what to do. This isn't the first time this has happened but it was by far the most oil Scoopy has spewed onto Toadie as we traveled. We were in the middle of nowhere with very spotty cell service. Did we want to take a chance? Just hook up and hit the road anyway?
Tempting as it was, we decided the prudent thing to do would be to tow Scoopy to the nearest garage and see what was going on. We called Coachnet. Unfortunately the nearest available garage was 160 miles away in Fort Stockton so they arranged to have us towed back there..
The tow guys arrived late in the afternoon and it took about an hour to get our girl situated and locked down on their truck bed. We followed long enough to get photos then we took off ahead. We stopped for dinner and, when we arrived in Fort Stockton, scouted the safest entry into the truck yard just about the time Scoopy arrived. It was after dark and a little nerve-wracking. These guys were pros, though.
The following day a mechanic from H & H Trucking came over to us and took a look. He could obviously see oil, but he didn't know where it was coming from. He suggested an oil change and a viscous additive which he thought would safely get us to Cummins in El Paso, which it did.
At Cummins, they were kind of bummed about that oil change because they would have liked to have it analyzed. But they figured the 240 mile trip from Fort Stockton was long enough to show problems, so they sent the oil out for testing. It came back clean.
So once again, nothing was found and we haven't had any problems since. We have continued to research the issue and have found numerous “fixes” for the blowback, and it has to do with something called a “Slobber Tube”. Ew. After a couple of nights at Camp Cummins, we picked back up on our travel schedule and headed off for Alamogordo, New Mexico and the beautiful White Sands National Monument.
UP NEXT: More beautiful photos from Steven!!