Las Cruces, NM

We started our stay in Las Cruces with a trip to the repair shop. Luckily, it wasn’t for repairs, but just an oil change and generator service. We pulled into Cummins El Paso (ok, so our stay in Las Cruces is going to start with more time in El Paso) at around 7am, hoping to get out by noon. Because noon seems like a good time of day to drive to Las Cruces. And also, it’s an oil change. And a gen service. 5 hours seems plenty.

Secret Cummins Shop surprise! We were in the shop until 6:30pm. Because apparently 5 hours with Dyna is never enough.

So, we decided to hang tight and take advantage of some free Cummins shop parking and then head to Las Cruces the next morning.

Because I don’t like to drive any vehicle at night. I have the eye sight of an animal with poor eye sight. I can’t think of one off the top of my head.

Except the next morning we found a coolant puddle under our generator. So that was cool.

They must really like spending time with Dyna at this shop.

We should have known that this particular Cummins shop wasn’t going to be a win for us.

As we set up our computers to work from the lounge area, we met two other RV couples who had been in the shop for a few to several days each. And also, according to Jake, our tech looked pretty high. Which is all fine and dandy except he is at work and is supposed to be changing our oil and servicing our generator. I’m only asking that he waits to get high until he’s finished changing our fluids and we’ve paid him to do those things.

By around 5pm the day of our epically long, possibly weed powered oil change, we were sharing beers in the customer lounge with our fellow RV repair shop comrades. Because the oil change tech didn’t offer us any of his weed. But our fellow RV dwelling Cummins shop sufferers offered us beer. We rarely turn down beer.

Anyways, after spending the night at Cummins and waking up to a large fluid puddle leaking from under Dyna’s bra area (risque!) we were informed by a Saturday morning tech (poor dude – Saturday morning?) that they could fix us up on Tuesday, but wouldn’t be able to get the part before then.

We made the decision to tighten what we could, top her off, and order this part to Las Cruces. Because to heck with this place. We came in for an oil change and left with a coolant leak. It’s always nice to leave a shop with more problems than you rolled in with after you’ve just paid a Winn-Dixie bag’s of worth of $$ to have do basic maintenance.

But, wait, there’s more!

Since we had our rebuild done last summer, Jake has become a fiend for investigating our engine after each and every haul.


Fluid suddenly leaking from our engine.

The fun seriously never ends.

But let’s talk more about that later. Because we didn’t spend all of our time in Las Cruces scouring ads for a new RV and berating Dyna and her never ending ability to cause us woe.

We also spent time traipsing through White Sands National Park. Because it’s awesome there. And sandy.

We hiked around in the sand for a few hours, and did stuff you do when you’re surrounded by sand as far as the eye can see. Like cartwheels. And down-hill-sand-dune-running. And pretending that you are riding a majestic camel with 2 humps, like Sally. (Oh, you weren’t/aren’t a preschool teacher? You don’t know about Sally the camel and her TWO humps?)

Post sand dunes hike we headed East to check out Cloudcroft because it is called Cloudcroft and that is just a really sick name for a town. Also, you can see the sand dunes from Cloudcroft which we thought was really freaking awesome. New Mexico is pretty nice. They have mountains with trees and foliage and sand dunes and regular dusty terrain too.

It’s nice to have a choice of terrain. Because apparently in New Mexico you have very little choice of spice level of your food. Oh, you want non-spicy food? TOO BAD! Secret green chiles! Surprise!

My New York born and raised mouth is just not a good receptacle for New Mexico’s green chile obsession.

But, we did find some apple pie in Cloudcroft that did not have green chiles in it – although it was an option to have green chiles in your apple pie. Like I said, obsession.

We also ate some hotdogs on our way back from Cloudcroft. I mention this because I was able to convince the hotdog goddesses at the hotdog stand to make me a hotdog without sneaking any green chiles onto it. And also it had Frito chips on it. So, the hotdog was a little bit of a big deal. Jake accepted his hotdog with green chiles because he thinks he’s cool or something. Also, gross.

We parked Dyna in an older RV park in Las Cruces based on this park’s proximity to the Old Mesilla area. Also, it was one of the cheaper parks in the area. Also, the management turned out to be gems. Also, they gave us an ‘extra free night’ because we were ‘good customers’. I have no idea what it means to be a ‘good customer’ at an RV park. I guess if you pay your bill and you don’t poop on the ground? Anyways, we’re good customers, so that’s cool.

We spent an afternoon walking to and about Old Mesilla, checking out the architecture. Ok, mostly drinking beer. Because there is a brewery in Old Mesilla and it has pretty good beer. But we also looked at the architecture a little. And I found a dried chile pepper chilling on the sidewalk of town. Which I find infinitely amusing. This place and their peppers. Also, there is also an old theatre tucked into on of the adobe type buildings, which we had fully planned to check out during our stay.

But before getting to partake in a flick in an old style movie theatre, we decided to get Dyna checked out by a new set of professional diesel engine lords. Because, gasket leak. Which was lurking in the back of Dyna and in the back of our minds during every bit of exploration we set out on since noting it.

So, we dragged Dyna’s sometimes pain in the @$$ down to Border International Las Cruces to have the situation looked at. And, after fretting about needing a whole new rebuild – again – the tech calmed our worries by diagnosing her with a probable lesser problem. A problem he thought one of his dudes would be able to tackle in the timespan of a single day.


So, we re-upped a few more days at the RV park where we are very good customers, and planned to bring our hunk-sometimes-junk into the shop on a Tuesday. And maybe we would get to go hike up a few trails in Organ Mountains. And then check out a movie at that adobe theatre and drink some coffee (not Jake, he hates coffee) at the local coffee shop. And enjoy an adventure or two without evil engine woes creeping into our minds.

But then…


Yes, that is correct. Jake was overtaken by the evils of the flu.

My dad used to sing a song about getting the flu when we were young. It went like this: “I have martian death flu, boo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo.” And that’s the end of the song.

So, my experience of the next weekish of Jake’s battle with the flu was filled with emergency runs to WalMart for yet another family sized allotment of tissues, timing Dayquil/Nyquil rations, and having that really ‘endearing’ song running on repeat through my head. Oh, also, one afternoon Jake decided he would like a milkshake. And when your partner hasn’t eaten in two days and requests a milkshake, you drive to all 3 of Las Cruces’ McDonalds, who all report that their milkshake machines are broken. Then you find a Sonic, whose milkshake machine is not broken. Victory! Then you drop your Victory! milkshake on the front step of your home on wheels as you bring it in the door, making you break down in tears as your sick partner holds and you laughs. And then you both end up deciding that Lebanese food would be better than milkshakes anyways and you start the hunt all over again (except this time the Lebanese food makes it home successfully).

In non-milkshake spilling news, the Olympics were on, so we had something fun (*cough*cough* Adam Rippon) to watch while Jake fought off the martians all week. This would typically remind me to thank Jake, again, for installing the magical TV making bat wing antenna on our roof, but the RV park magically had tv making cable hook-ups.

So much TV! So much spoiling!

Also, I have to thank Jake again for finding out that we can utilize the Monroe County Library’s online book system even though we’re not residents of Monroe County. He got me a Monroe County library card for Christmas, which was too awesome. So when we weren’t watching the Olympics or HotRod (the best movie ever, FYI) or one of the Disney movies we drag around with us because I can’t seem to live without them, I got to spend some quality time with my kindle. That was nice.

Because I have been #blessed with a very decent immune system, I staved off Jake’s bout of martian death flu for several days before succumbing to a much less aggressive version. I assume I must have eaten a lot of dirt in my youth. And by assume, I mean, I definitely ate a lot of dirt in my youth because I remember sucking on gravel while playing on the playground in 2nd grade. Because apparently I felt that was a good idea.

Anyway, back to the present day.

Jake was well enough by Tuesday for us to haul Dyna into the shop to have her woes taken care of. Which was a #blessed revelation. And then we got #blessed with the shop having an awesome coffee shop/work space, which is not typical of engine shops we’ve been in before. And we’ve been #unblessed to have spent our fair share of time scoping out engine shops.

I should probably start a blog rating the customer amenities at RV related shops across the country.

Or maybe not, because that sounds boring.

Anyways, Dyna’s tech and crew at Border International Las Cruces was pretty awesome. And young. Like us. Which was nice.

They got us back up and running without fluid spewing from the gasket anymore. They think that there were a couple loose bolts and a paint fleck flecking the seal up on the gasket cover which allowed the fluid vomit to escape. Which Cummins, who warrantied the rebuild, decided was not under warranty. But because the shop back in Elmira that did original rebuild were also pretty cool guys, they ponied up the $$ to pay the bill – which Border International had already substantially ‘dealed’ for us.

Because apparently, even though Dyna likes to be a giant butt sometimes, and the martian death flu bringers like to strike their evil on Jake at the same time as Dyna is being that butt, we are apparently still #blessed.

And that’s it for Las Cruces. We began and ended our stay in New Mexico’s second largest city (they are very proud of this fact, by the way) in a repair shop. The second of which was much better than the first. So, I’d say we left Las Cruces better than we came. Except that Jake’s nose is still spewing snot. And I have a cough (poor me!). And that whole Dyna/bra/generator leak situation is still leak situationing.

But still, #blessed. And #betterforit. And #noiwontstophashtagging

2 comments on Las Cruces, NM

  • Scott Love

    I was in Old Melilla a long time ago…. meditating under a Spanish oak tree by the irrigation canal at Lonnie Smith III’s house and reading the Bagavad Gita…Lonnie was friends with Peter, Paul, and Mary and played guitar… hitchhiked from Old Mesilla to San Diego and then North of San Fransico to the Ramagiri Community outside of Tomales…Vivid memories of riding in the back of a pickup truck with field workers taking lettuce to market in Sausalito…so long ago…..

    • Liz (author)

      I love this Coach Love =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *