Picking up last night’s exciting tale of no stations, no diesel, no service, I know I can only get so much mileage out of a story about running out of gas, so I’ll wrap it up. (By the way, Luke sent me a link in yesterday’s comments so I won’t find myself in this predicament again – thanks Luke!)
I wasn’t adequately worried when the Warning! 22 mile range appeared because
1. I wasn’t sure what it meant and
2. We have a secondary gas tank in the back of the new used truck (which I had mistakenly assumed was a gigantic tool box)
Galen’s in college now, getting his degree in Electrical Engineering, but for the past several years he’s been an independent trucker – as you might guess from the contents of his driveway.
He spent hours going over the Silverado and writing out everything we needed to buy, ask about or have done.
One of the things Galen mentioned was that the extra tank was a gravity flow tank. It takes a little time and you need to be tipped a little toward the driver’s side and, ideally, downhill.
At the 22 mile range warning things looked like the picture below, except the berm was narrower and we were going up hill.
When I pulled far enough off the road to clear the lane, the truck and RV were precariously pitching about 20 degrees to the right.
We waited. We prayed. We waited some more.
Finally, I crept back on the highway and after a 10 mile uphill climb – there was an exit – with the tiniest gas station ever, and of course, no diesel.
I pulled into the repair lot across the street. Heidi went in to ask about the nearest place to fill up and was told it was just a few miles down the road and No we certainly could not pull around their building. Back up.
Well, I tried to back up around the myriad of cars waiting for a facelift. It didn’t take long for the auto shop folks to repent. Soon, not 1 or 2 but 3 employees came running out and said, in rather impolite terms, to go ahead and pull around the building before I hurt something.
It was all downhill from there – literally. By the time we reached the gas station the new read out said 29 mile range! We’d traveled 10 miles and gained 2 gallons of gas! Relieved, I breathed a prayer of thanks, filled up the truck, shut off the gravity flow valve and went in to pay.
The thing about diesel is, they often hold your card because of the truckers, and then run it when you’re done. They ran mine and it was denied.
They tried 3 times. I only have 2 credit cards and I have a high enough limit on them that I could have charged the truck, not just the gas. But not that day.
I was too tired to even be embarrassed.
I called the credit card company and was e v e n t u a l l y (valued customer that I am) passed on to the fraud department.
I’d faithfully called before leaving Texas to say I would be traveling and there would be expenses from other states. That apparently wasn’t enough information.
I gave my card number, the special 3 digit code, the billing address, my current location, my social security number, my birth date, my mother’s maiden name, the name of my first grade teacher, the name of my favorite pet, my first car and my last charge. I had to pass on the exact amount of my next intended charge – honestly, do people really know that ? Then it was on to the total amount I planned to charge while traveling: will this be between $100 – $500. $500 – $1000, over $1000, over $2000, under $10,000, under $20,000 – no kidding, she just kept going!
Feeling slightly over-protected, I politely hung up and resolved to only use that card to cash in the accumulated airline miles to avoid ever driving 5000 miles again… and to push every button I see, while stopped, on level ground, after unhitching, when the gas tank is full.
These are the times that try men’s souls. ~ Thomas Paine