What a day. Of course, since I didn't mention the end of yesterday I have to start there.
We settled in at the Sam's Casino RV park in Las Vegas and went to the strip. After the let down of the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas didn't disappoint. We drove to the Strip and parked at the Paris/Bally's garage. For those that know the strip, we then walked the strip down to MGM and crossed over to New York, New York. We then walked North to the Mirage with a stop to watch the Bellagio fountains and a side trip through Ceasar's and the Forum Shops.
Mom seemed to really like it and Michael loved showing everything to her. Max loved the little 'football cards' the guys kept handing out with the ladies with stars over their boobs. That kid.
We end up back at the car at around 10 pm. The kids haven't been fed, showered or anything. We are officially bad parents. So, on the way home we stop at a restaurant to feed everyone. Before the food can arrive, Max is asleep. We eat and head home. By the time we get home and everyone situated it is very late. Sarah and I get to bed at half past midnight. During the day, we had received word from the campground for the next day was full. It was to be our backup campground because the one we wanted didn't take reservations. This didn't bode well. So we decided to skip the campground in Tehachapi and drive straight through to Three Rivers. That would make it the longest drive this trip by 100 miles and one of our longest days ever. Now we weren't getting to bed until after midnight. Good start.
So, Satchel wakes us up at 0700 to go potty. He does this by shaking his head and flapping his ears. He has done this for years, works every time. We get up, make coffee and get started. By this stage of the trip everything is pretty smooth in the preparations. It doesn't take us long and we are on the road, even after a fuel stop, by 1000. Awesome. Then we drive.
For those that haven't been there, the climb out of Vegas on Highway 58 is brutal. Hot, long and steep going up and down. For hours we are climbing and descending through desert, mountains and high desert plateaus. This sucks. It takes a lot of concentration. Everything wants to overheat and there are crazy drivers everywhere. It doesn't help that every few miles you see the burned asphalt on the right shoulder from a past Car-B-Que. At last, after several hours of torture, the scenery starts to change. It starts getting greener, a little cooler and not quite so steep. We stop for fuel and a potty break. When we get back on the road, things start going wrong.
First, the truck won't accelerate. It will shift gears one time, drop power and has no get up and go. Won't go past about 35 MPH. Which, on this highway, is slow enough to get you killed. I radio Sarah and pull over. It sounds like the truck is in limp mode. The Duramax has so many sensors that it knows when something is wrong and will drastically decrease performance to save the truck. When it does that, it is called limp mode. Now, we pretty consistently have a check engine light on. I have researched it and found that it is a fault in a sensor called the vane position sensor that can decrease efficiency in the turbo. The sensor costs $350 or so. I haven't changed it. The downside here is that there is a check engine light and I don't know if it is the same old thing or not. We pull over. While walking back to confer with Sarah, I notice something. There is a bulge about the size of a baseball on the side wall of one of the RV tires. That is not good. Crap.
All of this happens in....wait for it...Tehachapi. So I talk to Sarah and she gets on the phone with Good Sam Emergency Roadside assistance. I get on the phone and start looking for what causes the Duramax to go into Limp mode. It all hinges on the trouble code by the check engine light. I don't have a reader.
Back on the phone. There is a Napa auto parts store in Tehachapi. I call them and they have a reader. Just so happens that the basic model is also on sale. I hop into the Civic with Mom while Sarah waits for the roadside assistance guys in the truck and haul butt into Napa. A few minutes later I return to the truck with the reader. The first roadside guy is there. They have to send two, one for the truck and one for the RV. Can't tow both. While we wait for the second guy, the RV guy, I check the code. IT is a low fuel pressure at the fuel supply rail code. I am now convinced that this is a clogged fuel filter. I just so happen to have a spare fuel filter under the seat. I whip it out and get busy. The truck tow guy is convinced I am wasting my time, but he is humoring me. The RV tow guy has now arrived and he starts changing the tire so he can tow it. Luckily I have changed this filter a few times. It only takes a minute. I finish, fire it up and get no check engine light. All is good.
The RV guy finishes changing the tire and I test out the rig. Everything works. We thank the roadside assistance guys and get back on our way, a few hours later.
We decide to go ahead and press on to Three Rivers. We arrive at the park a few minutes before sunset. Exhausted we managed to get set up, some dinner cooked and the nightly kid routine done. They were washed, fed and in bed half an hour before we had left the strip the night before.
Now Sarah and I are off to bed. Hopefully tomorrow can be a different sort of adventure.
Edit: Updated to add a picture.