Tuesday, January 24, 2017

286,000 miles and showing its age

Wife, van and popup camper in Smoky Mountains National Park

Showing sigs of wear and tear

I keep wondering just how far our  Chevy van will go.

My wife and I purchased it some 16 years ago this month from a dealership in Pensacola, FL.

We had numerous vans before but were looking for  a high-rise so that we could stand upright inside when needed.

And it was nice to have. Four captains chairs and a bench seat for three more provided space for seven. Occasionally we had that many in it.

But basically, it was our day-to-day vehicle whether it was intown travel, hauling stuff around  or traveling to see family.

We liked to use it for camping. Sometimes we reconfigured the inside and slept in it. Other times we pulled our popup camper on our many jaunts to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

But its showing its wear. Well, its been showing that for a number of years, but now other things have cropped up.

After the vehicle started whining (the transmission) during shifting, I decided to see if it needed to be rebuilt. Well, I knew that it did, but I just had to talk to someone about it.

The owner of the shop told me I had been very blessed to have a vehicle where the transmission lasted 286,000 miles before showing signs of trouble.

I felt that I had been blessed, although over the course of the van's lifetime with us, the radiator had been replaced, we had two water pumps installed and a fuel pump replaced.

The most major problem was the replacement of a gasket that went bad allowing water from the radiator to co-mingle with the oil.

Luckily I managed to find that before any major problems developed.

During our years of travel, the vehicle has been to the Atlantic Coast and the Pacific Coast and too many times to count to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

All in all, its been fun having it and we just can’t decide on whether to purchase another vehicle or get it fixed hoping it would last another five or 10 years.

Our used van already has the small dents, rips and tears in the upholstery that we would worry about happening in a new vehicle.

We have managed to own three additional long-wheel based vans and what at the time was called a mini-van (a down-sized van), not the kind they refer to today.

We like vans and the space they provide. Any maybe soon, we will have to make a decision.

Next post: Jan. 31, 2017

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