Death Valley Adventure - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-03-2014, 10:08 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
Posts: 1,226
Death Valley Adventure

On the way back north from a wonderful time in Quartzite to the cold and wet of Washington State we had a wonderful stop at Death Valley NP. It was 87 in Death Valley and 19 and snowing at home. Death Valley was beautiful except for one event.

We went to "The Racetrack" to see the moving rocks. After about two hours of driving (actually bouncing would be a better description) on the 27 miles of narrow very bumpy dusty road to The Racetrack we arrived safely and enjoyed a pleasant late afternoon. We headed back to the campground and I was prepared to do most of the 27 mile return trip in the dark. About 2 miles into the return trip on the aforementioned narrow very bumpy dusty road there was a loud noise almost like an explosion and lots of grey smoke coming from the back of my Toyota Tacoma. I said "oh poop" or something like that and stopped to take a look at the situation. Now it's almost dark, 25 bumpy miles to a paved road, another 35 miles on the paved road to a telephone, (no cell service) and then about 70 miles to the nearest repair shop in Pahrump, Utah. I smell burning oil and have oil spray all over the side of the truck. I'm thinking broken oil cooler line or transmission cooler line or a busted oil pan or transmission pan and a long expensive tow. I'm also thinking a night sleeping in the truck before help arrives. I was a wee bit stressed. Kathi was even more stressed. It turns out that one of the expensive Bilstein heavy duty, off road shocks had exploded and they have oil in them that hit the exhaust and smelled bad. Everything else was OK and I carefully made it back to civilization and had a few beers and everything was fine. I thought Bilstein shocks were lifetime guaranteed but since they are original equipment from Toyota, Bilstein does not warranty them and the Toyota PLATINUM warranty does not cover shocks. I'm out of luck, but I had visions of a much more expensive repair. It sure could have been worse.
Other than the one issue with the shock, it was a great trip. Death Valley has some very beautiful areas and the trip was well worth it. Excitement, beautiful weather and incredible scenery all made for a great experience.

Photos are of: Badwater, the lowest point in North America, Scotty's Castle, Titus Canyon, the moving rocks of The Racetrack, glass bottle house in the ghost town of Rhyolite, Leadville in Titus Canyon, and a view of Artist's Palette.
Attached Thumbnails
DSCN0126.jpg   DSCN0145.jpg  

DSCN0187.jpg   DSCN3664.jpg  

DSCN0165.jpg   DSCN0193.jpg  

DSCN0136.jpg  
__________________

__________________
Jack L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Lora's Avatar
 
Name: Lora
Trailer: 89 Bigfoot 17G & 73 Compact II
Northern Neck, VA
Posts: 342
Registry
Good story and pictures. Glad the bad was not quite so ugly. Thank you for sharing.
__________________

__________________
Lora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 11:55 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Sorry to hear you had a problem but glad it wasn't anything more serious. Had a similar experience while heading down to the Northern Oregon Meet last spring. One of my axle boot covers broke open shooting oil out onto the engine.... with all the smoke coming from the engine area I thought I had blown a head gasket or worse. Luck to be only a few miles from a dealer - 4.5 hours later was back on the road.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 11:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
Posts: 1,418
I've been down that road with our 4-wd club and it is a work-out on your truck. Any weak links will show up on that drive. I 'm glad we didn't run in and out on that same road. We came in from the back side up the Lippencott mine road and then past the race track and on out through Ubehebe Crater. What no picture of tea kettle junction? I really liked the drive through Titus Canyon. Was there snow in Titus when you went through?
Sounds like you had a great trip.
__________________
stevebaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 01:05 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Patti
Trailer: 1984 UHaul CT13
Colorado
Posts: 409
Registry
Jack,
Glad problem was not too serious. I would have been stressing too and maybe would have had more than a few beers.
Just another adventure!
Patti
__________________
keekers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 01:26 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
Posts: 1,226
Keekers, The trip was a great adventure.

Steve, There was no snow anywhere, and there were very few teakettles at teakettle junction. The ones that were there were new and shiny. I did not see it as a great photo opportunity.
__________________
Jack L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 02:43 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
Posts: 1,418
When I was there 2 years ago there must have been over a hundred tea kettles.
__________________
stevebaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 02:57 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
Posts: 1,226
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
When I was there 2 years ago there must have been over a hundred tea kettles.
I did not count them but there were no more than 7.
__________________
Jack L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 03:03 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 2000 Burro 17 ft / 2001 Toyota Tundra V8 2wd
Posts: 322
Registry
I was there with my son several years ago, we camped overnight at the end of the road that led out to the racetrack. The vibrations were intense, and my truck almost went sideways a couple times from the washboard. For those contemplating this adventure, the road is pretty much all washboard or fist sized rocks. Decent ground clearance and tires (i.e. no low profile tires) are needed as well as a full sized spare. My truck is 2wd, and I had no problems, so I would say 4wd isn't a requirement.
__________________
ThomasE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 03:33 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
Posts: 1,226
Good tires and ground clearance are a must. I had 4WD but never used it. I also had 10 ply tires and was glad I did. After my adventure I stopped at the Jeep rental place in Death Valley to see if I could get a lead on a repair shop for shocks. He said the road to the racetrack is unusually bad this year and he showed me a pile of blown shock absorbers over 3 feet high.

The Jeep rental guy is a really nice guy and he rents in Death Valley in the winter then he rents in Moab the remainder of the year.

I actually saw a Toyota Corolla and a small Chevrolet sedan at the Racetrack. . They may still be back there.
__________________
Jack L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 03:57 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
When I did that road a couple of years ago with my Outback there was a Jeep ahead of me and it spare tire came bouncing off - the guy didn't even notice. I retrieved it and then eventually caught up with them to return it.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2014, 03:04 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
Posts: 1,418
Here's what it use to look like.
__________________

__________________
stevebaz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Death Valley National Park & Quartzite Jack L General Chat 3 01-01-2014 09:33 PM
Death Valley in winter Dennis Urso Camping, Campout Reports 19 01-01-2013 04:43 PM
Happy New Year from Death Valley Byron Kinnaman General Chat 3 01-01-2013 04:07 PM
Death Valley John Perry Camping, Campout Reports 4 04-01-2007 12:36 AM
Death Valley November 2005 Chris B Camping, Campout Reports 2 11-16-2005 09:56 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.