Lesson learned: RAM Promaster

This was the trip when I learned what it was like to live in the Promaster.   Did I make a good choice or an expensive mistake?

The Promaster nailed it.  I loved it more after the trip than before.  It was great to drive, easy to maneuver, and went everywhere I wanted to go.  And some places I shouldn’t have gone.

Lesson:  campervans and road trip resting

One of the scariest things about road trips is getting tired while driving.  But since this is a campervan, If I yawned 2x I just found a place to pull over and rested.

This sounds obvious in retrospect but I had to learn it.  There’s a bed in back I could easily climb into any time I wanted.  Literally turn off the engine, get out of the seat and take a few steps to the bed.

Lesson:  stop coddling the MPG

The van gets about 18MPG when babied and 17MPG when driven normally (for me).  So I’m just gonna drive it.

Lesson:  running up that hill

The 6-speed auto works well and the van walks up long inclines at highway speeds.  No problem. It likes to downshift to 4th (4th prime, actually) rather than 5th, but it’s no matter to me.

One quirk:  during overrun (as when coasting downhill) the trans automatically downshifts.  Not a bad idea, but a bit unexpected for a flatlander like me.

Lesson: off-roading

I’d been on Q hardpack about 10 days when I finally decided to go into town to visit the open air markets.   I drove west on Main a little further than I wanted to go.  There was a wide area beyond the right shoulder that looked like a good place to turn around.

It wasn’t.  I assumed it was hard “desert pavement” but it was sand.  Stuck like Chuck.

Immediately a passing young local pulled to the right shoulder and offered help – he keeps a pull strap in the car.  He said people get stuck there all the time, 3x that day and it was still morning LOL.

I told him if I wasn’t out in 2 minutes I’d take him up on it.    I tried light pedal, heavy pedal, wheels straight and wheels side to side a bit.  Traction control off and on.

In this case traction control was best.  You could floor it and the computer delivered about 1/4 power while cycling on the brake-based traction control.  I inched forward slowly and it finally caught solid ground again. Yay!  We gave each other a thumbs up and he pulled off.  Thanks for checking and offering help, random Quartzsite local!

If the local were waiting to see if I could get out I would have probably aired down and pulled out with no drama.

But this reminds me to get a tow strap for the van.  I already had the clevises I borrowed from the tractor and checked for fit ahead of time.