I’ve been thinking about tow vehicles

Wednesday, October 17, at our house in Arizona

In keeping with the topic of today, this post’s photographs feature the Perfect Tow Vehicle, a 2005 Chevy Express 1500 van with a 5.3 liter engine and eight cylinders.

Vortec, baby!

 I bought the PTV for $8,500 when she was six years old with almost 100,000 miles (IIRC) on her odometer. Today she boasts mileage of 181,115.  

She hauled me, my crew, and the BLT further than I ever imagined, up and down mountains and across wide deserts.   Not only did she tote us, but also most of our belongings, including the essential 200-watt solar panel and two AGM batteries.  

She always carried us safely and never put us in a situation that wasn’t surmountable.  

Although some may say the time to retire the PTV is drawing near, I don’t want to let her go.  She’s our ever-present guide, our dream-catcher, our magic carpet.  It’s hard to consider any other.  

The photos jump around in time and a few are old, taken with a cheapo camera. — Sue

~ ~ ~

Okay, I’ve been thinking about tow vehicles.

This past year the Perfect Tow Vehicle has begun to show her age.   I’ll do the math for you. She’s thirteen-going-on-fourteen years old.

You may remember that earlier this year she had shifting problems which led to a transmission rebuild.  Much to the puzzlement of the transmission shop, after the work was done, the PTV’s shifting did improve, except she had trouble shifting out of “park” first thing in the morning.

Another problem arose a short while ago.

I told you about the rough idle.  I thought, “Okay.  I’ll take her to a repair shop and have a tune-up done.”  However, when I heard the tune-up would cost over $400, I balked.

Instead I started feeding the PTV right.

With her tank nearly empty, I took her to a gas station and let her have her fill of premium gas.  Immediately I noticed a spring in her step as she took off from the pumps.  By the time the tank was half-empty, the idling had smoothed out considerably.  I think another full tank of premium will get her completely back in shape.

She could use a tune-up but that will have to wait.  I have too many expenses right now to drop that kind of money.

Here’s my theory.

I think letting the PTV’s tank go nearly empty during the rainy season allows moisture to collect.  Or I may have given her some bad gas.

As for the shifting problem . . .

Since it only happened first thing in the morning, I thought maybe the problem had something to do with the viscosity of the fluid due to lower temperature.  Going into the heat of Arizona summer lessened the problem considerably as the overnight lows were not as low.

Oh, Spikey. You are in control.

Sticking with this theory, I feared the problem would come back in full with the return of colder mornings.  Well, we’ve had a week of chilly mornings now and I’m happy to report that the PTV has shifted out of “park” with no difficulty or hesitation.

I’m no auto repair specialist.  

What a surprise, huh.

With my limited knowledge and experience (okay, NO knowledge and experience), I’m guessing that somehow the transmission rebuild needed time to get its act together in order to shift well.

Time to practice the steps before it could go to the dance, so to speak.

Time to learn how to be a team player!  (Channeling Tioga George here.)


Be a perfect part of the most perfect tow vehicle the RV world has ever known!

Hmm . . . I’m wondering . . .

Writing this post has me wondering how many of my readers (who tow their home-on-wheels) have a van for their tow vehicle.  I know some of you do.

Would you take the time to tell us about your tow vehicle?

I’m curious to know why you chose a van for a tow vehicle and what your experience has been.

What kind of van do you have and what size engine?

Putting the 4-wheel drive feature aside (The PTV doesn’t have it which is fine with me), would you choose a van again or would you rather have a truck?

If you tow with a truck, I hope you will tell us about it and give us your opinion on its use as a tow vehicle.  Do you full-time with it or use it for camping trips?

Oh, buying the PTV home was quite a thrill!

“Powerful, Practical, and Pretty” — April 24, 2011

~ ~ ~

Seven rosebuds for seven decades!

Is that some luscious-looking, decadent cake or what?

Thank you for the happy birthday wishes.

The seventh decade of my life was the best one so far and I enjoyed celebrating it.  I’m looking forward to experiencing the eighth “rose” as it opens into full bloom!


NOTE:  The comments section isn’t restricted to tow vehicle talk.  Feel free to carry on as usual, blogorinos.  If you aren’t a blogorino, well, become one.  Jump through captcha and join us. We’d love to hear from you!– Sue


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Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil
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Roger’s first ride in the PTV is about to begin.

RVSue and her canine crew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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