Saturday we spent the day running errands on diesel fuel, and then we headed out on our first road trip–30 or so miles to my parents’ house in Tampa. All was well until David switched over to vegetable oil. The engine died.
Well, seems there was air in the line. David called Justin (Benny’s previous owner) and got some advice on getting rid of the air without having to stand out in heavy traffic, a police car showed up to sit behind us with lights on and make sure no one ran into us, Annabelle (busy cutting a tooth) became distressed and I went to sit at the dinette and nurse her, and David got the engine started. We buckled back in and decided to head for home, because the evening was darkening and we no longer felt up to a long two-way dinner trip.
New plan: we would drive over to my parents’ house in the morning to show off Benny, and leave Ada with them for the day.
Morning dawned as early as it does with kids in the house, and David thought he’d drive around for a little why, try switching to veggie oil, and make sure everything seemed fine before he’d get us all in and start across the bay. I guess it was a good idea because when I called him a few minutes ago he was working on the engine again. Again it died when he switched to veggie oil. More air in the lines. And his pump wasn’t working. He sounded impatient to get back to work on it so I let him go.
I don’t think we’re making it to Tampa this weekend.
But you know what, somehow none of this is disheartening. I have a real fondness for Benny and this seems like the inevitable sort of thing we need to go through as new owners/drivers/mechanics as we get to know each other. Even David told me last night after our breakdown that he still thinks Benny is great and really admires the machinery. I think with each glitch he learns more and understands more about how it works, and that can only be good. We’ll see how he feels when he gets home from his current mishap…
And then I have Tara’s account of some of their mishaps and imagining teetering on the edge of the bumper, in the rain, while my bed is getting soaked, just emphasizes how convenient our breakdown was. We were able to fix it from inside the motorhome (the engine is accessed from between the drivers and passengers seats) where dark, cold, and wet don’t really effect us. I was able to move about the cabin freely, seeing to my baby’s needs and if either of the girls had needed to get up and move around, they could have gotten out of their seats, used the bathroom, gotten a snack, played on the bed, etc. What’s more, the size of the motorhome makes it a much safer vehicle to occupy on the side of the road than a family car. All in all, it turns out I don’t mind breaking down with Benny, and once we’re moved in with all the comforts of home, so much the better!