Monday, January 7, 2019

Gandolf Chronicles

We took Gandolf on its maiden voyage up to Minnesota for the holidays. The weather was good so we left in the wee hours of the mourn. I have to tell you that the truck was awesome. So much more comfortable. In fact we drove until 5 pm and made it to our planned stop. When we googled how much farther we had left in our trip Google said we were 5 hours from our destination so we just went for it. 1000 miles in 15 hours. We don't normally drive like that because my butt is usually sore after about 3 hours. Butt it wasn't bad. 

I did overlook one item when I purchased this new truck. Something that I said I would always have in a vehicle when we lived up north. That was an autostart. Luckily, I am willing to get bundled up in 20 below weather to get out there and warm it up for the princess. It did start on those cold days. I made sure to always use a diesel additive and to make sure that it was plugged in at night.

We ended up using the 4 wheel drive a lot, thanks to the terrible road conditions. I will never not have 4 wheel drive in a vehicle. We always need it in case we get stuck in somebody's yard or something like that. Gandolf actually has a shifter for the 4 wheel drive so that makes it more manly. The Beast had a little knob to turn. And speaking of The Beast it is all shined up and ready to sell in Texas. If anybody wants a well maintained 1 ton truck.

Our return trip to Texas was cold. We left at -21 below the doughnut as some of the weather people say up north. Roads where good until we got to South Dakota. They turned to shit pretty fast. South Dakota got rain, then snow and then rain on top of the snow.
Snow packed and ice.

Solid ice.

More solid ice.
The normal speed limit is 80, but with all of that ice it slowed us down to 55. I used to drive for a living and learned that roads like that are only slippery when you want to stop, so we don't stop.

The sun reflecting off of the ice on top of the snow.
Usually when we travel across the mid section of the country we really have to watch the weather. We waited for a storm up north to pass by and then we had to get to Wichita Falls, Texas before a winter storm hit there. So it is all about timing. We got to Wichita Falls hours before the storm hit and just hunkered down for a day. The weekend brought a big warm up so we pulled in the slides and said our goodbyes to Mike and Robin and headed south to warmer weather. We have a few days to play around with before we need to be in Tampa.

Gandolf handled like a charm pulling our 16,000 pound fifthwheel. So much different than The Beast. I could hardly tell the fifthwheel was back there. In fact I had to keep an eye on my speed because I could have easily been going 80 and not even know it. The ride is so much smoother. I don't feel all beat up from traveling like I did in The Beast. What a difference between the two trucks. Rams have come a long way.
Gandolf on the Gulf.
All in all, we are very happy with our new truck. Let the adventures begin.


  1. Glad to hear you guys are happy with the new truck. They make them as comfy as a car these days.
    Safe travels!

  2. Sounds like the new truck is making a world of difference. We know all to well what it is like to drive on ice covered roads. No fun at all! Glad to see you made it back south, see you soon!

    1. Lisa was crapping bricks. Not if we see you first!

  3. That’s interesting g that you don’t feel beat up anymore. Long travel days that’s exactly how I feel although the drivers seat is more comfortable. Congratulations on the new truck and it’s nice to know that it can make a big difference