Stuck in Denver: Part II

The next order of business was figuring out where I was going to stay until my appointment. I had a sinking feeling about this. I knew RV Parks tend to be booked on weekends and it was a Friday. One by one, I called every RV Park in the Denver Metro area. No one had availability. I could have found a street to park along or stayed in the Walmart parking lot which was where I was currently parked while I made phone calls, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to do that for five or more days for several reasons: (1) Most streets and lots are not level. If I was going to run my fridge, especially for that many days the RV needs to be as level as possible and I didn’t want to look as if I were camped out (which was what I’d be doing) on the side of the street or in a lot with a bunch of blocks under my tires. (2) If I wanted to charge my electronics or run the AC I would have had to run my generator. Again, I didn’t want to appear to be camping out on the side of the road. (3) When Tuesday rolled around, I would have to put kitty somewhere. I wouldn’t be able to just leave him in the RV while they were working on it. I was now dealing with a legit Ford Dealer service shop, not some rinky-dink garage. I also didn’t know how long it would take to fix it. One day? Two days? (4) Bottom line, I just wanted to be comfortable. It had been a rough couple of days, and I didn’t want to have to worry about all the things I’d have to worry about if I stayed in the RV. So, I booked a hotel.

By now, though, I had already learned that when a hotel said they were “pet” friendly what they really meant was “dog” friendly. So, I picked a hotel that was pet friendly and omitted I had a cat. When it came time to transfer kitty to the hotel room I scoped out all my options for entrances trying to find the best one that was closest to my room and away from the front desk. With the perfect one selected I looked around my RV to see what I could carry him in. I certainly couldn’t use his carrier. My backpack probably wouldn’t work very well. Then, I realized I had the perfect thing – my duffel bag I use to carry my mountain biking gear. I dumped everything out, put his bed in there, then put kitty in and zipped him up with a few inches left open so he could breathe and peer out. With him in one hand and another large duffel carrying the litter box in the other, I made the long trek up to my room. Now all I needed was for him to stay quiet and there was a fifty-fifty chance of this. It was almost as if he knew what was going on because he didn’t make a peep the entire way. After getting kitty settled in the room, I continued transferring everything from the fridge in the RV to the fridge in the room, so I didn’t have to keep it running.

After four days of biding my time in the hotel in a city that may as well have been Lynnwood, it finally came time to drop Betty off at Ford. When I did, I gave the guy the whole spiel about what happened at the RV repair shop. He took the information, was very professional and didn’t make any snide comments about the shop like Jack would have done. In addition to the stalling issue, I had also asked them to inspect the brakes to make sure I was going to be good for the return home. I hopped on my bike and headed back to the hotel feeling confident they were going to resolve the issue.

About an hour and a half later, I got a call from Ford saying they diagnosed the issue. What had happened was the ignition coil in Cylinder #1 had failed. When it failed, it sent out a high radio frequency which had caused the computer to freak out and send a misreading of the fuel pressure. I don’t know anything about auto mechanics, but it seemed to make sense to me. So, in addition to replacing that ignition coil and the corresponding spark plug they wanted to install an update on the computer which sounded reasonable to me. Those three fixes came to around $430. I was beside myself to think I could have spent more than $500 at Best Auto and RV Repair and they would have just done a bunch of work that didn’t even need doing. Let alone, not fix the actual problem.

I approved Ford to do the work and about four hours later they called saying all the repairs had been made and the brakes had been inspected. All looked good. Woohoo! The next morning, I hightailed it out of Denver.

Author: Debora Schwartz

I am a traveler, a writer, an outdoor enthusiast and a tiny house dweller.

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