The Beginning of the End – A Blown Head Gasket

On our way out of Bozeman we swung by the super cute town of Livingston that Jimmy Buffet sang about. It was neat to drive through and the gas prices were great. We then continued our journey to the first of two Harvest Host stops we planned for the next few nights. Little did we know that there was a head gasket issue brewing.

Livingston, MT from the passenger window

Hobby Farm

The first stop was a hobby farm. It was ok, but it wasn’t the best Harvest Host location. We walked down to a river and sat by it for sunset before going back to the RV and making dinner. The first thing the next morning roosters woke us up. So we just went with it and started getting ready to hit the road.

Winery Stay

Our next destination was a Harvest Host winery a few hours away. We made it there just fine and parked out front. We went in to do a tasting and find out where we are supposed to park it for the evening. We chatted with the owners and enjoyed our tasting before heading out to move the RV to the field they wanted us to park in.

Uh Oh

Well, wouldn’t you know – when we went to move the RV it wouldn’t start. We troubleshooted and tried things and were finally able to jump it off, but there was so much smoke coming out of the exhaust that we knew something wasn’t right. We stayed where we were for the night and had some alpaca meat from the farm. Austin liked it more than I did, but it wasn’t bad. It’s just weird eating a piece of meat right after hand feeding the same animals!

Towing the RV

The next morning we couldn’t get the RV started so we called a tow truck – this was a first! After a few challenges getting the RV loaded onto the tow truck, we made it to the shop. One frustration was that our towing insurance wanted to tow us hours in the wrong direction to a place that doesn’t even work on RVs!! We only wanted to go less than 5 miles away to a place that DOES work on RVs. So that was annoying. We ended up paying out of pocket for the tow.

Blown Head Gasket

We got to the shop and the mechanic diagnosed it right away as a blown head gasket. Ugh. Our options were patch it with Blue Devil and see how long it would hold or do a 4 week $5,000 engine rebuild. We didn’t want to rebuild the engine so Blue Devil it is! The mechanic said he has seen cases where the Blue Devil solves the issue for years. We went to lunch nearby while they worked on getting the Blue Devil and putting it in the RV. The mechanic told us not to tow the Jeep for a while and also not to turn the RV off for a while to give us the best chance at this working for as long as possible.

See the white smoke? That’s not a good sign

So, with high hopes we head off to Theodore Roosevelt National Park driving the 3 hours separately.

Welcome to North Dakota

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