Row of Camper Vans Motorhomes on the Ridge at Night. Mountain RV Camping in the Italian Dolomites. Starry Summer Sky.


DEAR CAR TALK: My mother’s a hundredth birthday is subsequent month, and I might like to be there for it. She lives in New York. I am in Ohio. Sadly, as a result of pandemic, I am nonetheless reluctant to fly or keep in a resort.

Do you’ve gotten any ideas for a automobile I would hire for journey and residing, assuming that I can discover a place to park, for 4 to 5 days? My 2010 Prius could be good for the previous however not for the latter. Thanks. — Tim

DEAR READER: Completely, Tim. It is advisable to hire an RV.

Now wait, I do know what you are considering. You are imagining one thing the dimensions of a Greyhound bus, with a Ford Expedition hanging off the again for “brief jaunts.” However not all RVs are humongous. There are van-size RVs and even minivan-size RVs. And you’ll hire one for every week.

Search on-line for RV leases and take a look at a number of the choices. Winnebago and Cruise America are two of the massive RV rental outfits, however you may discover others.

It’s going to value you extra in gasoline than your Prius would. But it surely’ll prevent cash on lodges and aircraft fare. And consider the journey; you may see a thousand miles of asphalt you’ve got by no means seen earlier than.

You could possibly do the drive in a single lengthy day and simply get there. However if you wish to break it up, simply search on-line for RV campgrounds. You will discover locations you may cease in a single day, use the services, relaxation up and luxuriate in a $6 snack-size bag of Solar Chips. Some are in peaceable, rural areas and a few are proper close to main highways for comfort.

I do not know the place to counsel you park the RV in New York. Does your mother stay in New York Metropolis correct? If that’s the case, you can act like a local New Yorker and simply double park it with the flashers on for 4 or 5 days.

Or pay a man to drive it across the block for the week.

Truly, I might use Google Maps and discover some parking tons and garages close to the place your mother lives. Then name them and make an association prematurely with the supervisor to park the RV there. They will in all probability wish to know its dimensions to verify it suits. And get them to agree on a value prematurely.

Or you can park in lots in the course of the day and drive your self to the outskirts of town and spend your nights at an RV campground in case you’re fearful about Mother.

Both approach, have a secure journey, and want Mother a really comfortable birthday for us, Tim.

DEAR CAR TALK: I’ve a 2004 Volvo S60, grayish-green, with an engine drawback that has occurred 3 times. It occurs when the engine is heat. After I’ve made a short cease (like for purchasing), the engine will begin, however runs very tough. Then, after I begin to drive, I can not get the automotive to go greater than round 20 mph, regardless of how a lot I press on the gasoline pedal.

My “examine engine” gentle comes on, and I get a message saying “poor engine efficiency.” Once I come to a cease, I put it in impartial and the engine surges. I’ve managed to get the automotive dwelling all 3 times, the following morning, the engine runs effective, although the examine engine gentle and the efficiency warning are nonetheless on.

Ultimately, the sunshine and warning go off, so I have never taken it to a mechanic. What do you counsel? — John

DEAR READER: I counsel taking it to a mechanic.

I find it irresistible when you may’t go greater than 20 mph and the engine is sputtering, and also you get a useful message on the sprint that claims “poor engine efficiency.” Effectively, duh!

However here is why a visit to the mechanic is important, John. At any time when your examine engine gentle comes on, your automotive’s laptop shops a fault code.

With the assistance of a scan instrument, your mechanic can then learn that saved code and know precisely what brought on your examine engine gentle to return on.

My guess is that your electrical throttle module is failing. The throttle is the mechanism connected to your gasoline pedal that regulates how a lot gasoline and air are despatched into the cylinders.

Within the outdated days, the throttle was linked to the gasoline pedal by a cable. However now it is carried out electronically. An digital sign tells the ETM the precise place of your gasoline pedal, and the ETM then operates a servomotor to open and shut the throttle.

Volvo had an issue the place the contacts inside their ETMs had been sporting out and inflicting the precise signs you describe, John. They even prolonged the guarantee on these ETMs for a bunch of vehicles to 200,000 miles. Sadly for you, it is 10 years or 200,000 miles, so that you’re about seven years late in attending to your mechanic.

Anyway, when you get the automotive scanned and ensure that the issue is the ETM, you would possibly wish to name your Volvo vendor and ask in case you’re eligible for any assist in repairing the automotive. They may let you know to go pound Swedish meatballs, but it surely’s price asking. Then evaluate the restore value on the vendor to an impartial Volvo storage and go along with whichever is cheaper.

Ray Magliozzi dispenses recommendation about vehicles in Automobile Discuss each Saturday. Electronic mail him by visiting


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