It was almost an entire month after we had purchased our 'new' adventuremobile, the Tiger XL, that we were finally able to take it out. Sometimes life just happens, schedules change and things get in the way. We had a flawless trip back with it from Southern California, but that was all freeway, so we were excited to get it out off the beaten path somewhere, anywhere!
Ideas were thrown around like Williams, Payson, Sedona. We knew it was going to be a quick trip but we wanted to go somewhere with a bit nicer weather and scenery. As we went to bed Friday night we had decided on Payson, but as Saturday morning came we changed our minds to Prescott. We had a late start to the day but after figuring out a route we were off and headed up the I-17. Things were going great until we started the big hill climb out of the valley. I was expecting a little decline in power, but the Tiger seemed to almost cut in and out at very short bursts. This only happened a few times, so I didn't think much off it until we pulled off in Camp Verde and it died at the pump. We made a note of it, went in and grabbed lunch and sat in the Tiger with the motor running as we ate. Not so much as a peep. We cautiously continued on but things only got worse. As soon as we turned off onto our dirt road route the Tiger started to die intermittently. I was a bit freaked because it would happen while driving and I would lose all power including the steering. After about the third time of this we looked at our map and decided we had just too far to go on an unknown backcountry road. We turned around, I took a couple of shots to prove that we had, somewhat, made it off road, and we limped back to the highway. It died on us one more time and was stumbling terribly at stoplights before we finally made it to Auto Zone in Prescott Valley.
On the drive in to Auto Zone we were brainstorming as to what it could be. I'd had a very similar problem with the 4Runner a few years ago and it ended up being that the MAF was all gunked up. After a good cleaning of that and the throttle body its been running like a champ ever since, so we figured that was the issue, especially knowing that the previous owner had put one of those oiled K&N filters in. Low and behold, after buying cleaner, a Haynes manual, and Josh taking the entire thing apart we learned that this year Astro has no MAF! We were left scratching our heads. We cleaned everything up anyway and hoped for the best.
We decided that backcountry camping was probably not a good idea at this point, so we headed for the campgrounds at Lynx Lake. We found one open spot, a handicap spot which we could have stayed in but needed to be cleared out by 10am. That didn't sound very relaxing to us, and realizing we had no cash to pay anyway, we continued on down the road to some dispersed camping areas we knew about. Those were all packed too! We obviously picked the wrong weekend to go to Prescott. One highlight of this journey was that we were able to test out the Tiger on some rutted and washed out sections of road with some hill climbs and the suspension and Tiger did great...when the engine wasn't dying on us. We were impressed, at least with that part. With the sun setting, along with our moods, we decided to throw in the towel and head to the house Josh grew up in on Thumb Butte. With no one living there it was kind of like camping anyway, except we got to enjoy the back deck and beautiful sunset overlooking Prescott.
We explored the property a bit then settled in for dinner in the RV. This was our first cooking episode and everything worked well, thankfully. We enjoyed dinner and just relaxing inside, trying to decompress from the stress of the day. We both crawled up into the 'coffin', also known as the bed. Josh cut out and fitted a nice memory foam topper so it was super comfy, but having the ceiling so close took a bit of getting used to. Lucky for me, I'm able to sleep anywhere so I didn't really feel restricted at all during the night. Josh made sure to sleep on the open end to be more comfortable, but I'm not sure he is 100% sold on the sleeping quarters!
We woke up Sunday morning and had a lazy time, with a bit of coffee, some reading and even a little yoga. Josh tested out the shower in the RV which also went well, so another relief. We decided to at least try to enjoy downtown Prescott before returning home, so we enjoyed a very large breakfast at the Lone Spur, then walked across to the Courthouse where they were having a little fair. We certainly appreciated having a vehicle that could still fit in a normal parking space, because parking was at a premium this weekend. The fair was a fun way to get our minds off the worry of the Tiger; we bought some great pasta and kettle corn, enjoyed some people and dog watching, and I harassed Josh once again about why we can't move there! On the way back to Phoenix, the vehicle seemed to be less troublesome, but still a little stumbling here and there.
We returned home still worried and stressed and hoping an appointment at the dealer would solve our issues the following week. Our Pride Prowl didn't turn out to be so prideful. As of this posting we are still not 100% the van is fully functional. After dropping it at the dealer it was discovered that the new plug wires which had been installed last fall were put on incorrectly, and had worked their way off the plugs, causing the (also) new dist cap to burn out. Everything was replaced but we just haven't had another free weekend to get out with it. It's died in the driveway or had a hard time starting a couple of times so we continue to worry. We are hoping to get out on a Pride Prowl #2 before we leave for our big trip in August.