The perfect tow vehicle dies!!!!


Did I do something wrong?


Yesterday morning I cruised happily to work in my new-to-me van. 

I pulled into my usual spot, turned off the radio, and disembarked (You don’t get out of this vehicle.  The seat is so high from the ground, you must disembark.).   I couldn’t help but cast a last look back and a smile before entering the building   So shiny and bright white in the morning sunlight…

Well, she was still shiny and bright when I came out at 4:00, but she was definitely dead.  A friend hooked up some jumper cables, and after several minutes of revving and turning the key, nothing.  Absolutely nothing, rigor mortis, not even a faint clicking of the starter. 

Hoo-boy.  Forty miles from home and I’m stuck. 

Luckily I was able to catch a ride with my friend.  We both agreed, “This is a problem for tomorrow.” 

On the bright side, when I had called GEICO last week to put insurance on the van, I decided to keep my 1996 Honda Odyssey covered as well, at least until it is sold.  The Honda was at home, my trusty ol’ pal, ready to take me to work today.

I went to bed early.

Once I was out the door this morning, I called on my cell for the tow truck guy to meet me nearby and follow me to work.  Soon my check for $125 was in his pocket.  There’s a sad sight: your newly purchased vehicle moving past the window, high atop the flatbed of a tow truck. 

At lunchtime I called the garage to hear the bad news.

“Started right up, no problem,” the garage guy announced.  What?  I couldn’t believe it!  This was good news because it meant I probably wouldn’t be charged anything, but I could still feel a slight sting from the tow bill.  And what does this mean?  I have to wonder when the van will have another fit of temporary paralysis?

“Yeah, we started it up several times.  The battery is fine.  There does seem to be a draw on it though.  We looked but we couldn’t find it.”

I asked him about the power inverter thingy in the back and he said they disconnected it.  He advised me to take it to an auto electric guy.  After work I drove the van to the auto electric guy and left the Honda with the garage guy.   The auto electric guy said he will check it tomorrow, Saturday.

So.  How was your day?



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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14 Responses to The perfect tow vehicle dies!!!!

  1. theresa says:

    it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with tomorrow…..good luck!!

  2. kayjulia says:

    The auto electric shop will most likely figure it out I had the same problem
    years ago and it turned out to be a corroded ground wire to the chassis. Electrical problems sound so simple when they are figured out but so frustrating until they are figured out.
    Best of Luck

  3. DebbieT in Alabama says:

    Dang, Sue… I’m sorry this happened. It’s always a really sickening feeling when a vehicle doesn’t start, isn’t it? And *really* annoying when it won’t do the same thing for a mechanic…. grrrrr.

    Hoping it was just a quirk and nothing serious.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      DebbieT in Alabama – I hope none of your family has been affected by those tornadoes.

      Thanks for sharing my pain! I might not find out until Monday what the problem is. The really crackerjack electric mechanic, or whatever he’s called, doesn’t work on Saturdays. I’m dropping it off Sat. so they’ll have it there.

  4. William B. Kelleher says:

    Since you are going to be by your self and have a travel trailer I would suggest that you get a multimeter and find somebody to teach you how to use all of it’s functions.

    They check AC & DC voltages.

    Bill Kelleher

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I will. Thanks, Bill.

      I have got so much to learn. I think I’ll post a list of things a fulltimer should have. It’d be great if the seasoned fulltimers and just plain smart people gave me their ideas of things to add to the list. It might be helpful to other soon-to-be fulltimers.

      Oh, man…. Bill, I just did some research on multimeters. I found some info at

      I don’t know how in the world I’m going to learn this stuff.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, Bill! I bought a multimeter at Walmart today!

  5. William B. Kelleher says:

    I have seen this one on sale at Harbor Freight for $1.99
    You would not have to worry about making a mistake and killing the meter. :))

    Just learn the basic’s at first.

    Bill Kelleher

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You read my mind. My next question was going to be which one to buy. The prices go way up and there are different types. Nice to know the cheapie is okay.

  6. Pat Gabriel says:

    Sorry to hear about that. I’m in the very early stages of looking at campers and planning my “getting out of Dodge” scenario. I was planning on using my 6cly Ford escape that has the tow package,etc. but when I brought it in for a tune up Thursday, the mechanic said the cam shaft is about to die and plan on maybe another 2500 miles before she dies. I love that car and wanted her to go for at least another 3 years (that’s the warranty on the new transmission I put in last summer…), but her days are numbered. So, the lesson I’m taking from this is to plan on having a pile of cash on the side at all times to replace my vehicle in case of an accident or mechanical failure.
    Hope you get good news.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Pat, I’m sorry about your car, especially since you have that transmission warranty on it. At least you’ve gotten some forewarning, even though it isn’t good news. I hope it all turns out for the best.

      Yeah, a cash reserve is essential. It’s hard to keep one on a small income.
      No word on the van yet.

  7. William B. Kelleher says:

    I took a look at this link and it look’s like it explains the functions of the multimeter pretty well. ( I hope :)) )

    Bill K

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