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Breaking down on the road -


Briarscratch

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I had the same thought as Dave about getting a rental if you are really concerned.  Otherwise, I think that a friend list is invaluable and UJ covers most of the countryside.  Hunters take care of each other.  When I traveled around the country a while back, I found that my birddog connections were the best and most reliable sources there were. Call one that you know and they can make calls and contacts from their home to find you help closer to your location.
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You can always rent a car, van truck or SUV, and leave yours to be fixed and return when it is done or on your way back.  We did this once years ago.  Not much fun but life went on for us and we got to hunt too.
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Thanks for the great responses.  I realize that much of this is common sense, but it's good to hear how other people have skinned the same cat.   I was laying awake last night thinking about this and figured it couldn't hurt to ask my Upland Board of Advisors.

I've taken pretty good care of my Xterra over the last 12 years but it's at the point where little things are starting to go.  Bobman's suggestions are all good - and I probably will take it in for new belts, hoses (I've already replaced one myself), a thermostat, fuel filter and any other obviously worn items.  The brakes aren't in great shape but my mechanic told me to keep driving until it's metal against metal and then deal with it.

A word about my mechanic, he's one of the best I've ever had.  Qualifications:  former stock car racer, crew cut, smokes cigars, named Carl, has own shop with lift, only takes cash and will give you a step by step synopsis of everything he does and why - giving you the option to get parts cheaper on your own and calling you when anything out of the ordinary comes up.  He's as honest as the day is long and knows his stuff.

One boogeyman I worry about is the timing belt.  The less said the better, but I don't think I can swing the cost of replacing it right now. The budget is tight and with labor, we're into the thousands. But I'll ask Carl what he thinks.

Erik, Triple A can be a life saver when a car is broken down on the side of the road, or your driveway, and you needed a tow ASAP.  Aside from the annual cost the service is free.  They also help with dead batteries and lockouts.  

Last year I had a bad flat in scary conditions on a major highway - right after a nasty snowstorm.  Semis were blowing by doing 80+mph  less than 5 feet from the side of my truck.   Rather than risk my life I was very happy when that flatbed showed up and got me out of there.

AAA, credit card, cash, cell phone, extra blanket, water and the good blessings of St. Hubert. Check.

StHubert.jpg

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AAA Plus-

Prepaid 24-Hour Towing Up to 100 Miles

Fuel Delivery Service No Fuel Charge

Vehicle Lock-Out Reimbursement Up to $100

I have it for the whole family- usually pays for itself each year- tows and lockouts!

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How about making a list of the members of this board that are near your line of travel or near your intended destination, do some information gathering to get their contact info, PM's, etc.

If the worst case occurs you'll have somewhat local contacts who share your passions and are able to help you out with whatever you or your dog might need, ie; place to stay, etc.

It might require a bit of work but it could be a nice low cost  insurance policy.

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AAA is the best and cheapest insurance going.  It will get you to a mechanic at least.

I looked into renting a truck for the trip to SD this fall but all the companies charged mileage after 100 per day which made it too expensive.  

So I brought my truck to my mechanic and had him give it the once over, tuned, brakes and tires--all were needed anyway.  He says it should make it no problem.

So next Friday we'll load up the 2002 Tundra with 207K miles on it and hope for the best!  Between SD, VT and MA this fall I figure to add 7500+ miles by Thanksgiving...Fingers crossed!

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AAA Premier member here and it is the best investment you can make for sure.  200 mile tow no charge dedicated line no waiting for help.  Even if you dont use it it is still great to have JIC.
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You have the 3.3l v6 (vg33e) correct?  Have you ever replaced the timing belt?

You are looking at a replacement engine if it breaks.  You need to think about that, maybe stop eating those expensive herrings or something.  I just don't want to read about you breaking down in xx then later find out you are driving around in a $100 '91 camry with no rear brakes and blown out shocks because you can't swing the $3k engine replacement.

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I agree with Peterson the timing belt is not optional.

brake pads are cheap and easy to do yourself, if I was up there I would help you do this

I forgot to mention wheel bearings.

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Credit cards and a cell phone would solve any kind of problem that could conceivably come up for me. Where I hunt nowadays, I can always hear traffic in the distance (meaning access) so the worst thing would be the loss of a half day or a full day of hunting.
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Tiger MT's Carter
Where I hunt in northern Nevada there are many places a cell phone won’t work. A few years back I purchased a satellite phone. The monthly cost is $40 and $1.95 per minute to talk. It is not cheap until you are in the rough country with problems.
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Jeff, I was hunting around on the xterra forums and the job takes 6 hours max according to those people, if thats true it should not cost thousands maybe $5 -600 if you don't go near a dealer.

I think I would shop that price pretty hard

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Okay, I guess it's overdue.  I'll call Carl tomorrow to see how he feels about changing out my timing belt.

As far as the brakes, the pads are fine and have plenty of meat on them but the rotors are almost shot.  Given how much stuff would need to be pulled off to change them, it's a $1000 job.

I can't really afford a timing belt change right now, but given the mileage I can't afford NOT to do it either.  I knew this.

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For all of us with older trucks(cars) and bad weather coming this topic sure is relevant. My '94 Suburban(185,000 miles) got a rebuilt motor last fall and is running fine.  I put money into the truck as needed. On a recent trip to a very remote area I did some reflecting on this very subject and decided it was time to get a cell phone again.  The first thing I put in my contacts other than friends and family are vets and tow services.  Our insurer(State Farm) has a similar deal as AAA but I need to do a closer inspection to see how their services differ. Here in Montana you can get in some scary places when the weather turns bad.  Even with 4 WD tire chains are a good idea(and a shovel).  I also carry my portable ham radio that has all the repeaters programmed into memory that I might use on a trip. Sleeping bags, emergency candles, granola bars, etc in a box in the back. A bag of sand or kitty litter can be used for traction. I even carry a little Trangia stove that runs off alcohol and can be used to warm up water, melt snow, make tea, etc.  People make similar stoves from scratch using cat food cans and show how on the web.

If at all possible I would get that timing chain repaired, even if you have to use a credit card.  Both our vehicles are getting long in the tooth but our mechanic is on top of it and we manage to get around even in winter.

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