Broke down but not broken!

By January 29, 2018 Adventure/Travel
Yukon and Bean - Gru going to the engine doctor

Yukon and Bean - Gru going to the engine doctorHere at Yukon and Bean, we live by the saying, “Have less, live more” but more recently our motto feels like “broken down again and again.”

We have been doing a whole lot less living the travel life because of crappy luck with our rig “Gru” and our tow car “Bob.” We appear to be temporarily living the “broken down life.”

Gru started belching out impressive mountains of black smoke from his exhaust pipe in December while we were driving from Georgia to South Carolina. After doing some research and calling a friend who is a mechanic for advice, we started with the easy stuff – changing fuel and air filters.

Nelson discovered a crack in our air intake, which allowed water to get into our air filter. He also saw water in our fuel filter, which we think must have been from some bad diesel fuel. After he fixed those things, Gru seemed to get a little better for a time, but the black smoke got much, much worse during the next two trips.

Finally, just after the new year, the coach lost all power and had to be towed to the Cummins engine repair shop (thanks Good Sam’s, except for dropping the coach at the repair shop and NOT reconnecting the drive shaft).

We learned we have one inoperable injector and two which are on their way towards being bad…this improper combustion in the engine is what caused the impressive black belching from the exhaust. The coach is still in the shop awaiting parts and replacement of all six injectors (preventative maintenance on the remaining injectors since they are 10 years old). The waiting is SO frustrating. Being out of our house is SO frustrating!

So, we are here in Gastonia, NC, at Nelson’s mom’s house, cooling our heels. Thankfully she is gracious and welcoming to us and Rex and Hobbes.

Yukon and Bean - Bob's turn for the repair shop

Broke down…again.

Then, over the weekend, our tow car Bob starting making odd noises. Then he started “clunking” into gear. A quick trip to the shop revealed a busted U-joint in the driveshaft.


We dropped Bob off at the Chevy dealership first thing Monday morning, fingers crossed that they will discover the issue is both an easy and inexpensive fix.

In addition to all of the auto drama, we are not returning to our subcontracting job that got us out on the road initially last August. The company was not a good fit for us, for reasons it’s not necessary to go into here.

So – what’s the plan, kiddos?

We are broke down, but not BROKEN!

That being said, we are having to take life day-by-day.

I (Angie) am relaunching my business with a focus on Wayfinding. “What is Wayfinding?” you might ask? It’s me helping you find your way towards living life YOUR way, one step at at time. You can find out more at www.AngieStegall.com.

Nelson has (reluctantly) taken several remodeling jobs (he’s book through the end of March already, for which we are SUPER grateful, because, you know…MONEY) and he’s working hard on his new website to showcase his photography, which is what he ultimately wants to spend his time on. We’ll announce his website as soon as it’s ready.

The GOOD news: we are ALASKA bound!

Additionally, our sights are set on May of this year because we’ve accepted a campground hosting job at the Trail River Campground in in the Chugach National Forest, near Moose Pass, AK, on the Kenai Peninsula. We’ll be there through the end of September, leaving before the snow flies. Come see us!!!!

So, that’s what’s happening here at Yukon & Bean. We’ll keep you updated on what we’re doing and where we’re traveling ‘cuz we ain’t stopping. We LOVE living on the road, even with the issues and breakdowns.

Thanks so much for continuing to follow along on our journey, even when the road is rocky! We may currently be broken down, but we are definitely not broken!


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  • Reply Jami Badala January 30, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Trying to find a way to follow your adventures, have a great time in Alaske, hoping to go with my hubby in 2019, we need to upgrade from our tt to a Class C or A !!

    • Reply Angie Stegall January 31, 2018 at 10:34 am

      Ooooh – let us know how your plans progress in selling your tt and upgrading. We may be back in Alaska in 2019 for the summer season so keep in touch. Let us know how we can help you on your journey!

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