• Courtney

Vita Boheme Vilfred the Volkswagen

I drove home my 2000 Volkswagen Eurovan on May 24, 2018. I got her legal on June 1 and later that night we packed her full for a face painting gig I had booked downtown in Washington Square. On the way to Washington Square, the brakes locked up and began to smoke. I thought the engine was on fire. That was when Trav learned the calipers were rusty and sticking, therefore our first mission to fix was discovered. Although the brake lines were new, we had to replace to caliper parts and pieces before we went on any long journeys.

On Thursday June 25 Travis and I drove not too far from home about 30 minutes to Delton Michigan to attend and teach at the Midwest Peace and Liberty Fest. It was held June 21-25, 2018 for their 6th year. This was our first overnights in our bedroom on wheels. With the curtains up, the darkness consumed us until we woke the next morning to find a better spot to park for our stay in the orchard pathway. On Monday, we followed some new friends home to help them cart and unload their festival camping equipment. Vita Vilfred was in a touchy mood apparently because on our way from Delton to Plainwell, she was locked up almost the entire time. Trav was driving but I could smell the grind of now the back brakes. We had plans to leave for the upper peninsula in exactly 7 days so I knew I wouldn't have time to order my parts and have them put on before we left Monday. We dropped her off at the mechanics house and had him do a check over to validate if we were safe or not to drive 6 hours north. He said she seemed fine, he topped the oils off & we were good to go.

Monday July 2, Trav and I left Kalamazoo around 8am to meet my dad in Plainwell to gas up. Lily, my sister and her boyfriend, Donnovan rode with us in Vita for the voyage. All set and ready to go, we were quickly cruising 80-85. After about two hours, we hit a traffic jam. That's when I learned Vita does not like to stop and go. The under carriage, as I like to say, was hot so no wonder the brakes were sticking during our accelerate decelerate period of about 30 minutes. When traffic cleared we had to pull off to the side of the highway so Trav could hop out and pound the brakes out. This happened about four times. Trav came to the conclusion that Vita's computer was in overdrive due to the "thought" of the weight on the rear. Thinking she's hauling a load, it made it difficult to get up to speed. It felt almost stuck in gear. I could barely climb over 50 miles per hour. We let her cool and continued on to the next gas station where we were sat for a little while longer. About an hour away from the bridge, we pulled into a carpool in the shade. we knew at the bridge we would hit stop and go traffic again as travelers paid their tolls at the upper peninsula entrance. After we paid our tolls, as expected, we were locked up again. another pull over and bang out. We finally made it to our destination close to 7pm. We parked Vita and let her sit until the next day when we loaded up to visit the beach 10 miles down the main road. She did wonderful. No lock or extra haul.

The short drives over the week gave me a sense of how Vita likes to be driven. Lightly tapping on brakes keeps them from completely sticking together so our ride home was much easier. Though we still had to pull over a few times and let her cool, she didn't give us nearly as much problems on the way back home as she did on the way up. We are home now and Vita sits awaiting her rear caliper change. After the squeal squad does their work, it will be time for a transmission flush and tune up. Dazzling TLC will be in effect until we leave for another 6 hour trip south to Hocking Hills, Ohio for another day long side show performance with the HIPPIEFEST August 4th and 5th.

I am not a mechanic nor anywhere close to one. My desire to know about vehicles is highly outweighed by the fact I know very little about the topic. I have done my best to explain what was happening while driving but I could admittedly be entirely wrong about my assumptions. We shall see. I am confident with Vita, I will learn more than I ever anticipated. I love her all the same and I am so happy to share Miss Vita Boheme Vilfred's voyages inside and out

with all of you.

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