Home » Gate Guarding » Warning! 22 mile range! Warning!

Warning! 22 mile range! Warning!

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)

The first thing we did after picking up the pickup was to drive to Heidi’s son’s house in Minnesota for some fun family time and some lessons in all things diesel.

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.

He was particularly glad about that extra gas tank in the back.

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.

Gravity was not in our favor.

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 paid with my other card.

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


9 thoughts on “Warning! 22 mile range! Warning!

  1. Hi
    After reading your post on nearly running out fuel I thought I would mention this as I wish someone had told me when I got our diesel.
    You probably know this already but a diesel is not like a car, if it runs out of diesel you cannot just pour some diesel in and it starts. It’s a real pain! Most of the time you have to prime the fuel pump and sometimes it requires taking injectors out. Believe me you never want this to happen!
    One other tip: After much fifth wheel backing up stress, we got 2 hand-held 2-way radios ($40) and they really help in not backing into things:) Plus you can use them around the park or oil gate as they have a really good range.
    One last tip – Some of the fuel stations have green handles for diesel pumps and the pumps are on the same pump as the gas. Other stations will have green handles on the gas pumps as well. Being well traveled and tired it is easy to pump gas by mistake into the diesel tank..not good!
    I love the fifth wheel, it looks in excellent shape!

    • Andrew – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your tips! I was hoping you’re still reading so that I can thank you again for the video from the 5th wheel magazine!
      The yellow tape was INCREDIBLY helpful. Backing up to hitch up is so easy with it – I can’t imagine how far off I would have been without it.
      We were fortunate that the 2nd tank flowed in before really running out of gas. I’ll open the valve much sooner if we ever get in that spot again. The hand helds are a great idea. We’ve tried using our cell phones but don’t always have any signal.
      Got fooled at BP with the green handle, thinking it always meant diesel. I’m learning, but it’s certainly a process! 😀
      Thanks again for all your tips and encouragement!
      ~ Debbie

  2. Debbie, I don’t know how I missed this post! Wow! I was there and I don’t remember even smirking through the whole day… but this post made me laugh out loud! You’ve got talent… now what? I feel that we should do something about it (using ‘we’ loosely!). You’re so funny. PS: Every dang thing she said was true!

    • Diane – work is truly a break after the trip! Unfortunately that’s literally true tonight as the sirens went off and the winds carried off my lights and table! At least we’re finally getting some rain~
      ~ Debbie

  3. WOW! I’d do away with that card. We go south in the wintwer and north in the summer. Usually after our first large charge after we are in the new area, our card company will call to verify that it is us using the card in the new location. (usually within an hour)

    • Carol – isn’t it the most bizarre thing? It’s not that I don’t appreciate their protection, but I had told them I’d be traveling. By the time I got off the phone, the staffer knew me better than my relatives! Made me a little uneasy – seemed like an excessive amount of info to divulge. You’re right, I won’t be using my Citi card again…
      ~ Debbie

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