It's been a week since we got the bad news about our truck. But this would turn out to be a better Monday.
We weighed a large rig this morning at 8:30. One of the things we've noticed is that the larger motorhomes with lots of cargo carrying capacity tend to carry a lot of fresh water in their tanks - we're talking half to three quarter to full. Often, the extra water makes them overloaded on an axle or makes them unbalanced if the tanks are positioned to one side.
We ask, and almost all of them go from RV park to RV park where there are water hook-ups, so I'm not sure why there is such a need to carry so much water at 8.3 lbs/gallon. It addition to weight issues, it certainly doesn't improve fuel mileage. I think it's just habit for many people and they really haven't considered the weight and fuel economy issues. So, when they get weighed at least it gives us an opportunity to suggest a simple thing that might help in a couple of different ways.
After our morning weighing, we went to the Post Office once again. Yesterday, I mentioned we've been waiting on a package from our friend and mail forwarder, Stephanie. Well, she's back from vacation and confirmed that she did send the package out on July 10, but it was the one time she didn't get a tracking number.
I walked into the post office with my I.D. as I had done three times before. Linda stayed in the Jeep and begged for some good news. Each previous time, I had asked "Is there perhaps another location where you can look?", and each time the response was: "It's not here, perhaps your friend didn't really send it when she said she did".
Well, imagine that, today our package was there! For some reason, there was no postmark on the package, and the clerk stopped just short of completing her sentence .. "Looks like it might have been here for ......". Yeah, that's what I thought. It probably has been there for awhile, but I had it in hand now and the day was starting out pretty good.
Back home, the owner of the seven Ford dealerships I talked to on Friday gave me a call. I know he has to be a very busy guy, so it meant a lot that he called like he said he was going to. They are working with Ford to get some assistance on the engine replacement and, if that doesn't work, they are searching for a truck for us.
Twice during the rest of the day, one of his employees called to give me updates. No definitive news yet, but at least somebody is doing something.
Let me re-phrase that. We've got lots of friends and readers that are working behind the scenes to see if they can help or find someone to help. But it's nice to have a prominent dealer testing the waters as well.
Around 1:00, we had our final weighing of this rally. Though we didn't make a big deal about our truck, the news spread when we didn't show up at the beginning of the rally. And so many of the attendees came up to ask us about it and to offer encouragement. This last couple was no different and departed wishing us luck. RVers - gotta love 'em. :)
Late in the afternoon, I got a call from Joe Jamieson, the inventor of the Automated Safety Hitch. Through the RV grapevine, he heard about our truck predicament, and was offering yet another potential solution.
Although we didn't specifically discuss it, I think the gist of our long conversation was that perhaps we might not need as much truck by incorporating his product. The Automated Safety Hitch has the basic effect of adding an additional axle and changing the physics of the braking and towing.
He has a customer in the next county over, so we might pop over and take a look one day this week. I don't think we would go with a lesser truck, but the concept is intriguing from a safety standpoint.
Then, it was time for dinner. Leigh, one of our readers, emailed a couple of days ago and wanted to know if he could take us to dinner. He is helping his daughter move from the midwest to Utah, and they were going to go through Gillette.
He offered a couple of suggestions and we both agreed on The Prime Rib restaurant. We arrived a little before 5:00 and got a table. Then Leigh and his beautiful daughter, Lindsey arrived shortly thereafter.
After introductions and drink orders, we had a wonderful, easy-flowing conversation. We worried about Lindsey and whether she would find this whole "dinner with internet strangers" boring and an unnecessary delay in starting her exciting new life. But she joined right in and was a complete delight.
The Prime Rib is a steak place, and I didn't make the mistake this time of venturing into other dishes. I'm not the biggest steak fan in the world and rarely eat prime rib, but since it was their specialty, that's what I ordered. Bingo! That was a good move as their thick-cut prime rib was delicious.
Linda went with the Steak DuPont, a prime cut stuffed with sauteed onions and mushrooms smothered with pepper jack cheese. Another winner.
But as good as the meal was, the company and the conversation was better. We delved into some emotional areas and Leigh was quite complimentary, almost embarrassingly so. :) Not many people make us tear up at these kind of meetings, but we had some true emotions bubbling up.
It was indeed a pleasure spending a couple of hours with Leigh and Lindsey. After dinner, Leigh got a few photos and they departed with hugs.
It was definitely a much brighter Monday. :)