The Truck Saga

Kim / Sept – Nov, 2021 / testimonials

Bikes? Check! …Helmets? Check! …Gloves and Pads? Check!… 

Excited to celebrate Evelyn’s birthday we load up in the truck. With a turn the key and our Cummins Turbo diesel fires right up just like it should and we start off down the hill from our boondocking spot deep into Kelly Canyon. Kelly Canyon is in he wilderness of Caribou Targhee National Forest in Idaho.  It is a beautiful canyon cut by the snake river.  As we get to the bottom of the canyon something isn’t right!  We turn to go up a small incline in the road and with the press of the accelerator there is no power.  The truck won’t move. “I can’t take it anymore” Tim says “we have to replace this turbo! We are 30 miles from town and stuck at the base of a mountain in a truck that can’t even pull itself up a 20 foot hill much less a 10000 lb camper up and over the mountain to get out of our camping spot…”  The turbo on the truck had stuck closed once again, this time in the middle of no where.

You see, back in Kentucky, the turbo on our truck started acting up (this is what initially allowed me to meet Jami). After the initial hiccup, it started working the rest of our time in Kentucky until the day we were pulling out. We packed up our rig and went to hook it up to the trailer and the truck was doing a weird idling noise and sounded like it was surging. We let it sit for a few minutes to see if it would calm back down and no change. I step away and immediately start praying. You see, we had to be out of our spot in 45 minutes. After about 10 minutes, a gentleman from a few campsites down walks over. “Hey are y’all having trouble with your truck?” I start trying to explain what’s going on, which wasn’t very clear because I had no idea any of the terminology, so I defer to Tim. After they begin talking the gentleman tells us he used to be a diesel tech! What?!?! God is so good! He proceeds to tell us a little about these engines and gives some advice. The truck then begins working just fine and we go on our way. We travel through Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, and into Idaho with no problems and no hiccups… praise God!


We had towed up and down mountains and in and out of secluded boondocking locations with no problems.  Even in the first few weeks of our Idaho visit, we had no issues.  We knew we would need to clean or replace the turbo eventually, but with it working fine and not being in a location to receive parts or work on the truck, we just kept plugging along until…it went out again while we were in Kelly Canyon. When the turbo goes out, the truck has no power, we can’t drive over 10 mph, and certainly can’t travel up any mountainside.  We now were on the hunt for a new turbo.  After many phone calls and pondering our options, we decided to order a turbo from NAPA and have it installed by IBEX in Rigby, Idaho. We had to wait a week for it to be shipped and installed and in the meantime had to move the camper up and out of Kelly Canyon and to Idaho Falls. The day we pulled out of Kelly Canyon, we circled up as a family and asked the Lord to go before us and help get us and the rig out of the canyon safely.  We believe He was all over that and answered our prayers because we had no issues getting it to our next destination.

IBEX hard at work…

Tim went to get the new turbo in at IBEX the following week and it failed on us, so back to IBEX he goes to troubleshoot and find out the problem.  No solution that day, so he brings the truck back home to wait a day or so until we can connect with a guy who can look at another option.  We get connected with him and after he runs tests, nothing… no solutions.  Thankfully, the turbo was under warranty so we had to go through the process of ordering another one and waiting. 

Meanwhile, God positioned us in the perfect place to be able to deal with this mess.  We were parked on Stacy and Josh’s property in Blackfoot helping them with their remodel (learn more about them in the testimony section). They had a safe place with plenty of space and any tool we needed.

Tim goes to get the second turbo installed and you’ll never guess what happened…it failed as well! After a full day at the shop with the guys, testing everything imaginable, they finally decide to try calibrating the actuator. This option was discussed with the first turbo, but if you try calibrating it, you void the warranty. This time we were about done with this process so they decided to give it a shot. Calibrated and no change! The guys at IBEX were stumped and Tim left with a truck that still had a faulty turbo and now the warranty was void! Praying for wisdom and clarity for what was going on, Tim spends the next day troubleshooting himself.  He decides to open up the actuator and finds it flooded with coolant! No wonder it didn’t work…

New parts!

At this point he’s already done his research and wants to get rid of the factory turbo and upgrade so we don’t ever have this issue again.  We order the new turbo, exhaust break, and control module and have to wait another week before it arrives.  Thankful we were stationary and at a place where we could receive parts and Josh offered for us to use any vehicle we would need in the meantime.

As frustrating as the process was, God had already gone before us preparing the way and providing our every need! The new turbo comes, Tim installs it, and the truck is “running like a boss”… his words exactly! After the new turbo, tires were necessary, so we had those installed.  In preparation for leaving Idaho, Tim wanted to check and grease the bearings on the trailer.  In this process he finds bad bearings and a bulging trailer tire… new bearings and trailer tires were also installed!  At this point it’ll feel like a brand new truck and trailer going down the highway!

We are so thankful for the ability to take care of these major maintenance needs before hitting the open road again. Giving God all the glory for his continued hand in all of it and so thankful we were in a place with amazing people and a location for parts to be delivered.  He is a good, good Father!


The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

Truck Pictures