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We got up early today, posted our blog about White Sands National Park and then tried to hitch up and hit the road.

When I say tried, I mean we couldn't raise the front jack on THE POD high enough to get the hitch ball on ROVER under the trailer tongue. It was tight when we unhitched six days ago, but now it won't fit?

The reason, our new tires! Although they are the same tire size of the ones we took off, these are 10-ply tires inflated to 75PSI. Our old tires were 6-ply tires and inflated to just 45PSI. Fortunately when we deflated the new tires down to 45PSI we were able to hitch up and go. Thank goodness!

We're headed just 20-miles north to the other side of town to get our water leak fixed. The shop opens at 8:30AM so we left the campground around 7:45AM to arrive on time. This also gave us enough time to dump our waste water tanks before leaving the campground.

No matter how well we plan things, there is always something out of our control. We arrived at the State Park's dump station only to find it locked up tight and a sign that said it was only open 8AM-4PM. It was 7:50AM, damn.

With no time to wait we headed out to keep our appointment, last thing we need is to miss our reserved time slot.

While there are no pretty pictures in this post, we did get some pretty good news at the Alamo RV & Truck Center just north of the Alamogordo city limits.

After just a few minutes of checking things out the service tech found the problem. On the backside (inside THE POD) of the city water inlet we had a pretty severe leak. The inlet is where you hookup a water hose to keep the water inside the trailer under constant pressure like you have in a standard house, bypassing the water pump.

Only during our first few months on the road did we hookup that way. Since early 2019 we have exclusively filled our fresh water tank and used our water pump to supply fresh water to all of our faucets and toilet, completely bypassing this city water option.

How was it leaking then? Well, while the water pump pressurizes the water lines it also fills this inlet pipe all the way up to a check valve that doesn't allow water to be pumped out in the wrong direction. That's where the leak was, on the backside of the check valve.

Of course this isn't just your ordinary $14 check valve common to most travel trailers and RVs. No, this is a proprietary "Airstream Check Valve Assembly" that no independant dealership in the country is going to have in stock.

So we did the next best thing! We had the technician cut the pipe and cap off the line leading up to the check valve. Then we also asked him to cap off the check valve side in case we both forget and try to put water into the city water inlet for some unknown reason.

Now that we have no more leak all we have to hope for is that our water pump doesn't fail and leave us with no way to get water up to the faucets. We can always just pour water into the toilet.

A half an hour later we were leaving the repair shop after paying our $58 bill and in search of a FREE dump station in Alamogordo. Turns out there are three options for that, we chose the Alamogordo Visitor Center mainly because it was on the right-hand side of the road as we headed back into town and we wouldn't have to cross any traffic lanes to access it.

With our waste tanks empty, and our gas tank full, we were all prepared to leave town. Only there is one BIG problem, the entire southern half of the state of New Mexico and northwestern Texas is under a HIGH WIND WARNING!

With 35-40MPH winds and gust up to 70MPH you can bet we won't be traveling on any highways today.

Lucky for us Alamogordo is a large enough city (pop. 30,898) to be able to support a Walmart location. Proper etiquette when "camping" at Walmart is to arrive no earlier than dinner and leave no later than breakfast.

Today however is an exception! Although it's only 9:30AM it's not safe to be traveling in an RV under these conditions.

When we arrived at Walmart I wasn't surprised to find a half dozen RVs and an 18-wheeler already in the parking lot. Apparently they don't wish to be on the road today either!

Would I have liked to move on down the road 100-miles or so today? Sure. It would have cut tomorrows 200+ mile route down to a more pleasurable length. Instead we're remaining safe, sitting here at Walmart watching the tumbleweeds and trash blow across the parking lot.

As an added bonus, every once is a while we'll see a shopping cart torpedo rolling across the parking lot with it's sights set right on the center of THE POD. It's like somehow our aluminum trailer has become magnetized.

Tricia has taken it upon herself to intercept these incoming projectiles and return them to their proper corals far away from THE POD. According to the forecast, her watch will end sometime around 8PM tonight! It's 4PM now as I write this, and I haven't felt the winds diminishing one little bit!

As far as Walmarts go, this isn't a bad one to "camp" at. The parking lot is huge and we're several hundred yards from the storefront and equally far from the highway noise. It should be a rather pleasant stay later tonight when the trailer stops rockin' and rollin' with the gusting winds hitting us broadside.

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