Carbondale, CO

September 15-16 2017

After two nights in Moab, we planned to move on to the last stop of our joint camping adventure, to Carbondale, CO, at the Gateway RV Park (owned by the town).

Our friends got off to an early start, and we were to follow them after getting Rocinante hitched up.  Unfortunately, we got a nasty surprise from our truck. As soon as we started moving, we got warnings that our trailer brake controller was having issues, and that the ABS feature of our brakes wasn't working. These error messages only happened when we were moving above a certain speed. If we stopped, turned off the vehicle and restarted, the error messages went away. Given we were headed into the Rockies from Moab, this seemed a particularly bad omen.  So, we stopped across the street from our campground and tried to debug.  We determined that the trailer brake controller was in fact working and the truck had brakes, despite the message. Otherwise, no luck.

We called AAA who said they would be willing to tow our entire rig to Grand Junction for service at the RAM dealer there, though the wait would be many hours for a suitable tow vehicle (or vehicles). So, we called the RAM dealer in Grand Junction and spoke with the service manager.  He expressed confidence that we'd be able to get safely to Grand Junction from Moab, since the road is "mostly flat." So, off we went!  Slowly but surely, we made it to the RAM dealer in Grand Junction, arriving before 3:00pm.

They were amazing. We dropped Rocinante on a side street, pulled our truck into their service bay, and they immediately set to work. Within minutes, they diagnosed a failed speed sensor on the right front wheel.  Symptoms of a failed speed sensor include: ABS feature of brakes stops working, cruise control stops working, and trailer brake controller complains bitterly. We had all three symptoms.  Less than two hours later, we had a new speed sensor which totally resolved the problem.

With our speed sensor replaced, we continued our journey to Carbondale, arriving after dark. Fortunately for us, our camping buddies had picked up something for dinner in town and had it waiting for us when we arrived. Now, that's what true friends do, and we immensely enjoyed camping with them.

The next morning, one set of friends continued to Denver where they returned their awesome rented RV, and the other returned to their home in New Mexico.  We were tired out by the previous day's adventures, so we stayed an extra night in Carbondale and explored the town the next day.

Turns out, Carbondale is a pretty neat place, and we highly recommend it. As some reviewers have noted, however, the Gateway RV park is right on the main road to Carbondale and it can be noisy, despite the convenience of the location to town. We would not recommend camping here in a tent, though we were OK in our RV and enjoyed ourselves both in town and at the campground.

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