Getting unstuck

How do you drive your van-house away after 6 months of parked living? Gravel, straps, 4-wheel drive trucks, shovels, planks and friends.

We finally scheduled a mechanic visit to finally replace the fuel pump, which had been a problem for about a year and delayed our last border crossing but hasn’t been a problem lately since we haven’t driven the van anywhere:-)

But this trip to the US for Nathan and Caitlin’s wedding and lots of visits and church work doesn’t need delays and mallets. But the day before this mechanic visit, Phillip started working on getting the van unstuck, and at times I wasn’t sure we’d succeed. Maybe we need to just buy a VW van, combi now?!

The past six months of parking in El Terreno have included feet of rain, and even though Phillip put down gravel and wooden planks, he couldn’t drive the van out of its spot. We thought the trees and new kitchen would be the problem, and he moved the solar water heater to clear a path. The way was ready. The ground wouldn’t let go.

The more he tried, the lower the back tires sank. So he went to town (in the truck) and got a strap. A Hefty heavy-duty strap, which he looped around a concrete post in the kitchen. I worried the kitchen roof would come down, but nothing stirred. The van body raised a smidge but the tires never shifted.

We asked the neighbors for a car jack or gato. This is a great Spanish word! Cat, pound/hashtag, tic-tac-toe and carjack. Also a way to call a person worthless.

Of course they came over to see the fun (by flashlight, it’s dark at this point) and to help. Phillip put a wooden plank under the jack, but still the whole thing just sank into the mud as he cranked. Time to engage the truck’s 4-wheel drive.

Even that took forever, especially because the truck’s back tires were in the mud left behind from the solar water heater, so that 4-wheel drive wasn’t happening.

When the truck was in better position and the hefty strap back on, the van came out! We left it as close to the gate as possible and didn’t bother to level it for bedtime.

My priorities were off: I didn’t get video of the actual emergence. So Hannah fills in for the dramatic moment:

What a mess.

Then the van got stuck (broke down) after leaving the mechanic!

Update: we’re semi-stuck in Little Rock now, but not mud (van still isn’t really fixed).


mom October 21, 2018

I was hoping you’d have photo documentation of the event! SO glad you got it out!

Phillip October 21, 2018

We now have some pictures up, and are working on a video too. We don’t have as many good internet opportunities on the road.

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