We had hoped our troubles would be over if we could just get the jacks fixed, but that turned into a months-long ordeal that left us in the New Mexican dessert in the hottest part of the year, unable to run the too-high voltage air conditioner in our trailer.
Finding a repair shop that would come to us to diagnose and fix the problem was difficult, but we found a place located not far from where we were which would come take a look and had decent prices. They came out and saw that yes in fact the motor was busted, and some of the gears were stripped. We would need an all new set. They said they would order the part and call when it came in. A few days later we got a call from them letting us know it may be awhile since the part was apparently special in some way and there were several orders of the same thing backing up the place. We said fine, we’d wait.
Well, this “it’ll just be a couple weeks” wait, turned into two months. While we wouldn’t change staying with Mari and their mom, and getting to bask in their friendship and hospitality, their house was smack in the middle of the dessert, with no trees for shade in sight. We were in our little immovable tin can, roasting and still unable to shower. We couldn’t do anything about the water since we still weren’t able to move the trailer.
It became our hot dusty little apartment for that couple months, with us ever looking forward to the part coming in and being able to fix what was wrong.
While we waited for the part, we got a bandaid to fix the sewage leaking problem, as we didn’t want that to be constantly leaking in our friend’s yard. That helped and we set about trying to find someone to fix that too, although with the temporary fix and a mobile dumping company coming to empty our tank every week or so, we weren’t doing too bad.
If you thought more didn’t go wrong in that time we were waiting for that part, you’d be sadly mistaken. It seemed a never ending discovery of new things that needed fixed. We were able to use a hose to do some flushing while in Mari’s yard, which lead us to discover leaks in the water system, the grey water tank appeared to be leaking and the hot water heater seemed to have some leakage as well.
So there we were, sitting hot and broken and stressed. Our only solace through all this was our wonderful friends and family. Getting to be so close physically with Mari and their mom lead us to be closer emotionally, and we had a lot of fun hanging out together through those months. Our other friends and family were also supportive and hanging out all the time, distracting us from the bad parts of life.
Finally, the part came in. But this was not the end. Turns out the repair guys we went with were not trustworthy in any way. We decided not to go with them for the installation after having Jordan’s uncle offer to help install for us for way less than these guys wanted to charge us. When we said we just wanted to come get the part, they tried double charging us for the work they’d already done, claiming we had to pay that since we weren’t having them install the part.
I then went over to the place to pick the part up, and they refused to give it to me even though I had already paid for it and it was mine. They said I had to pay them first, then I could have it. I told them I’d already paid for it and I wasn’t paying them again for work they’d already done, or any of their ridiculous made up “fees”. This turned into a stare down that in hindsight, as a small woman, could have turned very dangerous for me. I will say to anyone reading this if you are in this situation, CALL THE POLICE. If you’ve paid for a part they can’t legally keep it from you, it’s your property. I didn’t call the police and instead ended up paying them half of what they wanted and going home feeling dirty and used. Writing this now I feel frustration, shame and regret. I wish I had called the police and gotten my property without being scammed out of a couple hundred dollars, but live and learn I guess.
Part in hand, Uncle came over and he and Jordan installed the new jacks. I add “and Jordan” but really this was Uncle installing and Jordan standing near him handing him parts. All he wanted for his work was to be able to take the old jacks (he’s an artist and works primarily with metal) and a six pack. We said we’d give him anything, and thanked him profusely.
Now we could move our home again, and could dump our tanks and work on flushing the water. We did all these things damn near immediately. We didn’t get any of the various leaks fixed then, partially wanting a break from the nonsense and partially because the repairs had hit us in the wallet hard.
The water system also remained not fully usable. We kept flushing but couldn’t seem to get the antifreeze out, then once we seemed to have gotten it more would pop up out of somewhere. And the water stank, no doubt because the system needed cleaned. We did that and it seemed mostly ok, but still antifreeze or bad smelling water would pop up, and we had to continue using the water jugs.
With the ability to move though, we were feeling a lot better. Now we were thinking about new timelines. We had ended up stuck in Albuquerque much longer than we had originally hoped, unable to do more practice trips or even start our adventure because of the repairs. We decided to wait even longer since now fall was setting in and the Holidays would be right around the corner.
We settled in, much more happy now that the weather was beginning to cool and we could move our home and take care of it again.