|© 1998-2012 EarthRoamer|
Believe it or not, I managed to fit all ten of these people into my camper!
I had only traveled about four miles toward the mission when I ran into a group of seven American tourists whose rental van had broken down on the way to the mission. The van was spewing ATF and wouldn't climb the steep grade in the heat. They asked if I had room for seven passengers. I tallied my seating vacancies; one in the front passenger seat, two in the quad cab seat, and possibly two in each bench seat in the camper. I told them it would be tight, but I could squeeze them all in. They were very happy to find a ride to the mission, and even happier to be traveling in a smooth riding, air conditioned Ram.
After traveling for a couple of miles, we came upon a Mexican family of three walking toward the mission. We were still about 15 miles away, and the road was very steep, so I stopped, and one of my passengers who spoke Spanish asked the family if they needed a ride. They happily joined our party. The mother sat in the middle of the quad cab seat, and the father and son stood in the aisle in the camper.
We now had eleven people in my truck including me, the temperature was over 90 degrees outside, and the road had grades of over 19%! I did a quick mental calculation and realized I had over 1,600 lbs. of people in an already heavily loaded truck! I put the transfer case in low range 4x4, put the transmission in first gear, turned on the Horton fan clutch, and turned on the auxiliary BD transmission cooler. To be safe, I probably should have turned off the air conditioner, but it was really hot outside. We chugged along the remaining 15 miles to the mission without incident. The ATF temperature never exceeded 170 degrees! My Mag-Hytec double deep transmission pan and BD transmission cooler clearly saved the day.