It’s been an active couple of weeks. Some of it good, some not as much, but it can’t ever be said that it’s boring.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. After much soul searching and waffling back and forth, it’s been decreed that poor Mongo will not be traveling with us as previously thought. After a winter’s worth of mulling it over, we’ve decided he’s just not up to the trip we have planned. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll still make someone a great plow truck or daily driver, but due to his age, he’s better off as local transportation rather than a long distance hauler. We’re sad to see him go, but he’ll be put up for sale in the next few days.
So, where did that leave us? Unless we figured out a way to drop a motor into Lonestar, we had to come up with something else, and quick.
Now understand, I’d rather be poked in the eye with a burnt stick than shop for any vehicle, let alone a truck. There’s just something about the whole process that wears me out. I get frustrated with mechanical issues that I generally don’t understand, overwhelmed at keeping the features of each truck separate from one another, and suspicious of any dealer/seller that happens to cross my path. (Only 30,000 km on a six-year-old vehicle. Yeah, right. Pull the other one, buddy!)
But, no tow = no go, so I put on my big girl panties and dealt with it.
A Sunday drive down a secondary road to Moncton yielded our first contestant. A 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab. Low mileage, very little wear and tear, and what we felt was a pretty good price, comparing it to similar vehicles out there. Also, it wasn’t white. Always a bonus. (Sorry Mongo.) In fact, the official color title is Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl. Very pretty. I fell in love with it almost at first sight, but as I mentioned in previous posts, Mike is a patient, thorough hunter. He never jumps at the first thing. We took it for a drive, talked with the owner at length, came home and did a Carfax report on it. But we kept looking.
Contestant number two was the twin to contestant number one. Well, it was if the twin had been kidnapped and sold into a dogfighting ring. Same color, same make, same year, even the roughly the same mileage. But compared to the first, this one looked like it had gone through the Boer War, backwards. Dings and scratches, mud everywhere, the ride was much rougher, in short it was a work truck, and used as such. It did have one feature that the first one didn’t. A Ram Box, tool boxes built into the sides of the pickup box. No doubt a useful feature on a work truck. But we’d like to add a truck cap to maximize storage, and since the cap would sit on the tops of the tool boxes and render them useless, not a selling feature in my books. Moving on.
Contestant number three was a blue 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE. According to the specs, it’s gear ratio would allow a larger towing capacity than the Dodge. The mileage was somewhat higher, and the price significantly so. The interior had so much Armor All on it, I was afraid if I got in too fast I’d shoot right out the opposite door. But we took it for a test drive. The ride was even rougher than the work truck, and it felt very loose and unstable at highway speed. There was a large crack in the dash where someone had pried it up for whatever reason. Given this and the fact that the salesman wouldn’t really negotiate on the price, we kept going.
After a week of frustration, Mike confessed what I had predicted in the first place. He had ended up comparing every truck we looked at to the first Dodge we’d found. I just nodded understandingly and kept my mouth shut. Years of experience has taught me this is usually for the best. Anyway, a short phone call and quick negotiation later, another test drive was arranged. And the next afternoon, the Cherry Red Dodge Ram followed us home to stay.
About the only issue we have with the truck so far is naming our newfound friend. Nothing we’ve come up with so far seems to fit. If any of you have an idea or suggestion, we’d love to hear it. Put on your thinking caps and please leave us a comment below.
So, life goes on and solving one problem, as usual, leads to another. Now, we not only have to find Mongo a home, but sell my Tucson as well, since we’ll have no further use for it on the road. Cue the tire-kickers, low-ballers and no-shows. Let the games begin.