So now we had brake issues on the Dakota so the following day we took it into a repair shop where we got the happy news we needed new pads in front and back, new calipers, new rear wheel cylinders and spring kits. They also found that the tie rod ends were worn out. $1500 later we had a great turning and stopping truck. :-)
So with all the $$'s going out we really, really needed to get some coming in to replace it. This time of year we only knew of one place where a work camper can make some decent money fairly quickly, being a gate guard in the oil fields of Texas. I made a few calls and got the ball rolling for us to return. Things looked pretty good for us getting a gate fairly quickly but, of course, we had to be there ready to go first.
We made the final decision on Friday and by noon on Saturday we were pulling out and heading west. I was pretty bummed to be leaving Florida for the dusty, scrabble of the Texas desert but "you gotta do what ya gotta do".
Saturday evening we stayed near Pensacola and Sunday evening we made it just over the Texas state line before stopping for the night. Monday morning I called our gate guard company to see which direction we may be needed. They have several service facilities that also have hook ups for their guards to use while waiting on a gate. We were directed to the Carrizo Springs yard which we have worked out of the last couple of years. We got detoured in Houston due to a really bad accident that shut down the interstate. We were working our way around that when the manager at the yard called us to let us know he had a gate for us starting Wednesday morning. Cool beans!
Today we had to make a quick run to Uvalde, Tx about 50 miles North of us to the nearest Dodge dealership. During the last 100 miles of our trip the check engine light came on in the Dakota and it started shifting really hard and not running exactly right. On the way there we called old friends Kit and Jerry who live nearby, They had heard we were coming to Texas (small world here in "fulltimers land") and were hoping we could get together. They picked us up at the dealership and Jerry played chauffeur for all of us. We made stop for lunch as well as a Wal Mart run before returning for the truck. Turns out the TPS had PMS and decided to throw a little fit. The new throttle position sensor cost a little over $300 to fix but with fingers, toes, legs and eyes all crossed we are hoping the mechanical issues are behind us for awhile.
We said our goodbyes to Kit and Jerry who promised to come and see us at the gate before we head North. "See ya soon guys, thanks for keeping us company today".
Our new gate is going to work out pretty good I think. We will only be about a mile outside the town of Cotulla which is where we have always gone to do our shopping and errands in the past. The last two years we had to drive between 40-50 miles round trip for groceries. With this gate we are only a few minutes away! Sweet! Of course that means McDonalds, Wendy's and the Dairy Queen are also really handy so we will need to be careful or we may be replacing the shocks on the truck next! :-)Tomorrow is moving day and our first day of Gate Guarding 2014! I'll keep you posted.