Saga of a new truck Part 1

A lot has happened since my last post. I want John to tell the story so there will be 2 posts from him and then tomorrow I will add a short post about the places we've stayed. Its been a little stressful.....

Captain's Log: Somewhere in Texas
Tyler SP, notice we still have the old truck

Somewhere being Tyler Texas, or close to it in Tyler State Park. Beautiful park and great weather, but instead of enjoying the fishing, I decided to take the truck in to the Tyler Dodge dealer to see if they could fix my growly sound coming from under the truck. I rarely fish anyway, and the sound may have been getting worse. I had already paid a guy in Florida to replace the rear bearings and all four brakes were new but it was still growling. The only thing that seemed to help was turning the radio up, but that wasn't going to end well.

I took the service guy from the Dodge dealer for a ride, and after several miles he said he had no idea what the noise was but it sounded really bad. Maybe if I left the truck there for a couple of days, they could tear the rear axle apart and see what's going on. Great. Maybe before I did that I would see what new trucks cost. I mean this is Texas, and we knew from our last visit here (when we had the truck's transmission rebuilt) that this is truck country. What I didn't realize but would soon find out was that March is Ram truck month.

So service guy connected me with salesman guy who was happy to show me what they had for big ass trucks in their inventory. Quite a few actually, and while we were looking they would send my growly truck in for a trade-in estimate. Fine, what could it hurt? I immediately eliminated everything that wasn't set up for towing and didn't have dual rear wheels. I wanted the new Aisin transmission also, but no dice. And a long bed. That still left several trucks so salesman guy started with the most expensive one: over $70k, but it was loaded. Ram calls this option package the Laramie Longhorn and it includes lots of leather, keyless entry, keyless start (if you had the fob on you), a sweet stereo system and lots of other stuff we no doubt needed. Ha ha, good one salesman guy, what else you got? Well, if you're willing to actually stick a key in and turn it, and you can forego the doors that unlock themselves as soon as you touch them and sit on cloth seats then we might have something in a Lone Star. Turns out Texas actually has their very own equipment package (everywhere else it's called a Big Horn). Still plenty of stuff on it, including the sweet stereo, and it was set up for towing. And it still cost too much.

But it was truck month. And our trade-in was worth more than I thought, even with the unresolved growly noise. We took all their numbers and went home in the old truck. See what happened there? When did it become the old truck? I don't know, but the new truck was really sweet and NADA said the trade-in was what it should have been and there were some dealer and factory incentives and I even asked for more and got that too, but they wouldn't include the hitch. So back to the dealer to do the deal in what was to be our last ride in the old truck. As we were transferring stuff from the old truck to the new truck, a different salesman guy comes up and says he had someone interested in my truck and he had a few questions. It is Texas.
Isn't it pretty! (oh, John would say "awesome")

So we introduce the new truck to the 5th wheel, play with our new hitch until we're ready to hook them together, and hit the road for our maiden voyage to Atlanta State Park. It's only about a hundred miles north of Tyler. About right for the first trip, I'm thinking.

Happy trails.
- John


  1. Congrats on the new truck! I was just looking at the new Ram Diesel that our neighbor in TopSail SP had. Its a beautiful machine with plenty of capability. Look forward to seeing yours back in Iowa. Dawn and I are in Kentucky and will leave for St Louis tomorrow for a few days, then Back to Keokuk for a week, then touchdown in Cedar Rapids on or around the 18Th.

    1. We plan to arrive in CR the 15th. Let's hope the weather improves up there. :)

  2. It is a pretty truck but it's a Dodge. lol Nice that your trade in was worth more than you thought it might be.

  3. My husband would reply similarly to Chevy and Ford owners. Other than the saga of the break controller he loves the truck.

  4. Janie - tell John I love the looks of the big ass truck, even though it is a Dodge. Sure hope my Ford doesn't get all "growly" cause I can't deal with those kind of 5 digit numbers just now. Miss you both and hope to see you again real soon. Amazon perhaps?


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