I fear I lack the strength to spin this saga into a well-written, thrilling adventure story animating all of the ridiculous circumstances we’ve faced over the last two months so, instead, I’ve decided to retell events in the manner of my Historian background and let the list of chronological occurrences speak for themselves.

-January 3rd: We are in Marble Falls, TX and need to drive the RV down to San Antonio for a second awning replacement because the one we got in Houston in December was installed incorrectly. As the large back slide out wall is coming in, it breaks for the 3 time in 3 years. Luckily, the slide makes it all the way in so we are able to move the RV. We make it to San Antonio but the shop is not ready for us so the RV stays in San Antonio overnight and the awning is replaced January 4th.

-January 21st: We find an RV repair shop in Prescott Valley, AZ willing and able to do the slide fix. The slide parts are ordered and we are given a 3 week estimate for the parts to arrive.

-January 31st: While occupied at midnight, the bed in the RV suddenly drops 3 inches. We abandon the RV for the evening and sleep in the Melodic View travel trailer – one person in a bunk bed, the other on the dinette.

-February 1st: We drive the RV to the same repair shop and they are able to refortify the bed into the wall. During this process, we discover that the factory completely missed the support beam and sloppily attached the bed to the 1/8inch plywood wall. Somehow it held for 6 years before breaking.

-February 12th: The slide parts arrive but Russell is in Wisconsin so we schedule for the slide replacement to be completed three days later.

Chipped slide out teeth

-February 15th: We try to start the RV to drive it to the repair shop for the slide out replacement. The battery is dead but does take a jump. We drive 36.9 of the 37 miles to the repair shop and suddenly, in the middle of traffic, the engine makes a terrible noise and the RV stops dead in the road. Two hours later, it is dragged .01 miles into the repair shop and the battery is replaced but the engine is still having issues. The repair shop proceeds with the slide out replacement but it will now be stretched out over a weekend due to the delays on the way to the repair shop. We pack enough clothes to last us 3-4 days and drive back to spend the weekend in the Melodic View travel trailer. That night, the dinette in the travel trailer that Russell is sleeping on breaks. He moves to the floor of the trailer for the duration of the weekend.

-February 18th: The slide out replacement is complete and Russell is away in Wisconsin. Melody returns to the repair shop to drive the RV 5 miles down the road to a Ford dealership who will look at the engine and assess the situation. Upon arriving at Ford, the shop immediately confirms that the RV is not drivable.

-February 19th: Ford calls with the news that the engine was about 10 miles away from throwing a rod and we need a completely new engine from the factory to the tune of $8,500. We order the engine which will take 1 week to arrive and another week to install. March 6th is set as a completion date. We move my mom’s Grand Canyon travel plans to the following week to give us breathing room on the schedule.

-February 20th: Russell returns from Wisconsin late in the evening to sleep in the travel trailer for our final night in Arizona before moving to Las Vegas.

-February 21st: We wake at 8am to a light dusting of snow and proceed to hook up the trailer and begin our drive to Nevada. Since we only have 3 days worth of supplies with us, we plan to drive to the Ford dealer to gather other important items from the RV for the next two weeks in Vegas. By 10am, the snow has intensified over all of northern and central Arizona and the entire area is experiencing whiteout conditions. We make it to the Ford dealer where the RV is stored but, the entire area is a ghost town and we are not even able to enter the Ford parking lot. Gathering any further supplies out of the RV is impossible. Most of the route to Vegas is closed and, after barely making it out of the area, roads closing all around us, we are forced to drive to Phoenix and then through California to make it up to Vegas. What would normally have been a 4 hour drive on the regular path takes a total of 14 hours. This is easily the longest and most harrowing day we’ve experienced in our 3 years on the road. We arrive in Vegas at 1am.

With Russell leading the way, we bravely crawled down many unplowed roads
The same shot taken during the white out conditions and then two weeks later, Prescott Valley, AZ

-February 23rd: We decide to put the Melodic View travel trailer in storage and move into a hotel where we can host my mom and friend who are set to visit Vegas from Feb 24th – March 5th.

-March 5th: We deliver my mom to the airport in Phoenix to fly home and Ford calls to confirm the RV will be ready on March 6th, as planned.

-March 6th: We pick up the RV and begin our drive back to Vegas. 60 miles into the drive on a brand new engine, the check engine light comes on. We decided to pull over on the side of I-40 and spend the night.

-March 7th: Ford sends a tow truck and the RV is towed back to the Prescott, AZ area. After several hours of troubleshooting, Ford determines it was a timing calibration issue. Once that issue is corrected, we leave once again for Vegas, 24 hours after our last attempt.

Needless to say, we’ve been through the ringer so far during 2019. We are finally warming our heels in Vegas and have canceled many of our Utah plans in favor of staying in the desert (without winter) for another month. Here’s hoping our string of freak bad luck has come to an end and everything stays in working order for at least the next several months.

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