Sunday, July 10, 2011

Meet Sylvia

Life can be unpredictable when you travel in a camper van. Sylvia is our 1985 VW Vanagon camper van. We love her. She has safely housed and transported us to and from Moab, Vegas, Red Rocks, St. George, Zion, and Mesa Verde supplying more fun than you can imagine along the way. We love how our mindset changes when we step out of our reliable daily drivers and climb into her. Everything slows down, literally. 4,000 pounds and only 75 horse power? That's fine. No air conditioning in the desert heat? No problem. We've learned to relax and realize that each trip will take at least twice as long and that there will always be some kind of mechanical failure. Always. Take one of our last trips to Moab, she started losing serious power, struggled to go downhill with a tail-wind. We pulled over at the nearest exit to see what was wrong. One of her fuel lines had wiggled loose and was spewing gas everywhere. Jason handily worked a new clamp on and duck-taped it for good measure. The fix lasted an entire year until I was picking up trees at a local nursery and stepped out of the camper van to gas fumes and a trail of gas behind me. Upon calling the insurance company to have her towed, they informed me that I had to have the fire department check her out to make sure she was safe to tow. I sheepishly called the non-emergency number for the fire department and told them about my very non-emergency situation. They sent a fire truck out, with lights flashing. A little embarrassing. The fire-fighter glanced under the van and declared her safe for towing to the mechanic, who told me after working on it that some moron had tried to fix it with duck tape. I informed him that the moron was my husband. On the way to St. George, her roof air vent lost a bolt  and blew open, flapping violently in the high winds. We rigged it back "closed" with climbing gear. Unfortunately, we could not close it super tight so I had to ride with my arm behind me pulling on the climbing gear to keep it from flapping. In Vegas, she just wouldn't start unless we opened up the engine compartment and hot-wired her. You get the idea. Despite all of the difficulty, we love her so and have dirt-bag dreams of living on the road in her visiting scenic place after scenic place.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that you are continuing your posts : )