We’ve started the trip and made it to Utah. Here’s the scoop about the truck issue and how it was resolved, kind of. Its running enough to get up the hills at a respectable speed so off we went. For all those with a Chevy or GMC Duramax diesel engine: if you’re trying to haul an Airstream, travel trailer or a heavy load in general and you’re trying to head up a hill (big or small) and accelerate to even keep up with the speed limit, first a message on your DIC might say you need to replace your fuel filter and that the fuel filter life is empty. Then a minute later, if you’re DIC displays that “Engine Power Is Reduced” your truck will probably go into a limp mode… meaning accelerating is no longer an option and your max speed will be 40-45mph on a flat surface. Less than that if you still need to climb. This happened to us and we found a technical service bulletin of PIP4526. There’s a fuel supply hose that collapses under heavy suction pressure. This usually only happens when demanding a lot of fuel (when pulling a heavy load up a grade). We replaced the hose with the recommended part number (the replacement hose was MUCH heavier duty and improved) and the symptoms went away. We were able to make the hills now.
We made it into Ogden, Utah at a late hour and did our very first Wal-mart overnight parking. Adventurous, to be sure, and we were treated to an early morning screaming match between a man and woman. We started up the diesel rig for some white noise… Ahhh, peace at last. Searching for decent coffee has us at Great Harvest Bread Co and as luck would have it, Stumptown Cold Brew is about the best we can find. Headed down the dusty trail towards Denver…. Giddyup.