We’ve been treating Herbie with fully synthetic engine oil ever since and we never had any issues with the motor, even though we traveled with a camper in tow through the most toughest regions on earth, just as deserts, mountains and jungles.
Adamol’s fully synthetic 10W-60 “Racing” is our actual favorite! And we are proud using engine oil by an Austrian company which was founded 1896 by the Austrian Adam’s family.
The current edition of the VolksWorld magazine is featuring “Our Grand Tour“.
In order to read it, click here!
Thank you for following our trip traveling across the US Southwest! We spent two wonderful months in the United States and just got back home to Austria, Europe.
After more than four years of sitting in the backyard at a friend’s house in Ridgecrest, California, we have to move Herbie and the camper to another place. Therefore Domi “exhumed” the camper and was very surprised by what he found there…
Before we were having our terrible ride back to Las Vegas, we tried to relax at a fancy hotel resort right at the Colorado river in Laughlin, Nevada. We really enjoyed to swim in the refreshing Colorado (as our hotel had its very own sandy beach, which others didn’t have) and also our stunning view from the 16th floor overlooking the town, the mountains and of course the blue Colorado river. (appendix)
At the moment we are in Pahrump and we’ll travel back to Ridgecrest tomorrow.
We made it back safely! Herbie managed to drive the 99 miles (160 kilometers) from Laughlin to Las Vegas almost losing the cylinder head and two gallons of motor oil. After that Herbie was having two full days of “surgery” at the Beetle Barn.
But first of all, thank you so much, Justin, for your help with Herbie! And thank you, Wayne, for introducing us to Justin and his Las Vegas’ Beelte Barn!
Herbie was suffering from at least one ripped out stud which affected a loosen cylinder head. Domi had to remove the engine and take it all apart, so Justin could install inserts on all the studs in order to secure the heads and cylinders to the case. While they were doing that, they also treated Herbie with an extensive service including renewing the exhaust valve of cylinder no. three, replacing the piston rings as well as push rod tubes and changing various sealing gaskets.
After all that Herbie is ready for another world tour…
Herbie was making weird noises (we called it “making popcorn”) and was continuously loosing power for the last weeks. Therefore we stopped by Justin Stephens’ “Beetle Barn” in Las Vegas (an outstanding shop for air-cooled VWs, recommended by our friend Wayne De Mello), while we were on our way to Laughlin, further South at the Colorado river.
Justin figured out the problem almost immediately. He diagnosed that the cylinder heads got loosen, which effected the valves by getting out of tune. He suggested to tighten the lower bolts and to adjust the valves afterwards. When we torqued down the heads, one of the studs didn’t hold up and ripped out. We thought that it would work out for a while because there are still seven other studs which would hold the head to the core.
We started the engine and Herbie seemed to run perfect again. Therefore we took off and hit the road towards Laughlin. While we were driving on the highway in the middle of desert, we noticed loosing power again and blamed the gusty head wind for it. But after a while those weird noises came back. And suddenly the oil pressure pilot lamp went on. We turned off the engine instantly and stopped on the emergency lane. Domi checked the motor oil level and indeed, there was no oil left. At that moment we knew, something went terribly wrong and the cylinder head was coming apart. Consequently we had to decide if we should continue to drive to Laughlin or if we should head back to Vegas. But as we were already closer to Laughlin and afraid not having enough oil to refill, we decided to continue to Laughlin.
We finally reached Laughlin after moving slowly and stopping several times in order to check the oil level as we were losing one quart (~ one liter) of oil per 15 miles.
After checking in at our hotel, we contacted Justin if he could help us to repair the loosen engine stud(s) if we would make it back to Vegas. He declared his support. Thank you, Justin!
But there is still one huge obstacle left: Driving Herbie 99 miles (160 kilometers) all the way back to Las Vegas with a loosen cylinder head and spilling oil by the liter.
After another chapter of Herbie’s World Tour, driving thousands of miles across the Southwestern United States, we decided to switch to the more relaxing part of this trip and stopped at a hotel resort in Mesquite, located North of Las Vegas, in the middle of Nevada’s desert. We’re enjoying time at the pool and a terrific view of the mountains.
Our upcoming destination will be Laughlin, a town located at the Colorado river.
Beaver, Utah – We just got back from a wonderful trip across Southern Utah, visiting the Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park. Even though we visited these place already several times, we always love to return to enjoy them again.
Herbie made incredible 200,000 kilometers through 80 countries on 6 continents!
Thank you so much, Herbie, for every single mile
you drove us around the world and never let us down!
Domi & Zainab
Our last visit of the Grand Canyon is already years ago. We have been there many times and we have always enjoyed those wonderful views. Therefore we visited Arizona’s great Grand Canyon today once again. In order to get there we followed the legendary Route 66 to Flagstaff, where we stayed overnight.
As Europeans we didn’t know what vapor lock means, but as we were driving Herbie in extraordinary hot places, we had to learn it the hard way, by experiencing it on ourselves. Unfortunately it happened to us again a couple times on this trip. And it was and still is one of the most frightening things to us…
Vapor lock is actually a problem that mostly affects older vehicles with mechanically powered fuel pumps. When you drive a car in really hot areas and you stop somewhere and you turn the engine off, the heat of the engine as well as of the asphalt underneath and the extremely high outside temperatures may cause the fuel to vaporize within the gas line. When this happens, there is no way to get the car started again, because the fuel pump is not able to suck through the fuel. After that, there are two options: You either wait (and that takes long) or you open the carburetor, filling fuel right into the fuel chamber, hoping that the fuel pump can overcome the vapor lock by running long enough to suck through the fuel.
Tonight we visited Downtown Las Vegas. Here are some pictures we took there…
Today Domi met up with Wayne De Mello and his son Sal. Since more than a year they’re following Herbie’s World Tour as they found us on the net. They took Domi to the Las Vegas’ “Hofbräuhaus”, enjoying a decent “Maß” of beer (one liter of beer).
Father and son De Mello are huge air-cooled Volkswagen fans. And as they were following our trip, knowing we would visit Vegas, they contacted us in advance. Domi enjoyed spending time with them and will meet them tomorrow again.
After spending the last days in Pahrump, we headed to Las Vegas yesterday. We have been in the so-called “Sin City” already many, many times before. And even though we wouldn’t want to live here, we always enjoy our visits. In the evening we walked along Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as the Las Vegas Strip.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your Staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23, Holy Bible)
Today we took Herbie for a ride to the Valley of Death, better known as Death Valley National Park. As we are staying in Pahrump, Nevada, right now, we had to cross the border entering California again. We have been in Death Valley many times, but we never approached the lowest point of the United States coming via this route.
Actually, one of the most “dangerous” things which may happen to you, when you stop in such extremely hot areas and you turn off the engine; that your car vapor locks. It happened to us already so many times that we’re getting used to it.
Pahrump, Nevada – This town is one of the major entrance gates to California’s Death Valley and is located close to the state border just East of the National Park. Initially, we wanted to stay here just overnight, but we’ve been enjoying this place so much that we have decided to extend our stay for another night or two.
We also got a pretty good deal on a four star casino resort in Reno and so we stayed there more than one night, too. The view from the 20th floor was just wonderful.
Actually, we are on our way to Las Vegas and haven’t expected to stay in Nevada that long, as we’ll stay in Sin City as well at least three nights. But as we have traveled the Silver State in the past not as much as other Southwestern states of the USA, we really appreciate to get to see more places in Nevada.
Yesterday we visited the Bristlecone Pine Forest, just outside of Big Pine. The Bristlecone Pines are the oldest living organisms on our planet. They are up to 4,700 years old and grow at an altitude of more than 10,000 feet (or 3,000 meters).
Herbie had to climb a pretty steep winding road up the White Mountains, where these magnificent trees are located. In addition to that we had to take a little hike along a trail where we could spot some of the oldest Bristlecone Pines out there. Even though it was a long way up, it is well worth visiting this wonder of nature.
The Austrian newspaper “Heute” just captured Herbie’s World Tour again…
For more newspaper articles featuring Herbie’s World Tour click here!
Herbie conquered America’s “Loneliest Highway” today. We made it all the way to Fallon, a town just 60 miles outside of Reno. On our way across Nevada we had to override reams of mountain passes. From here we’ll be heading South towards Las Vegas, after we spent two nights in Reno as we haven’t been there before.
Right before we reached the town of Fallon, we passed by huge sand dunes.
Nevada – The so-called Silver State is the one we entered today. In order to hit the “Loneliest Highway” towards Reno tomorrow, we drove all the way from Salt Lake City to Ely, the probably biggest town along this highway no. 50.
Back in Salt Lake City, somebody told us that our brake lights are not working at all. Even though Domi already had worries about the brake light switch beforehand, he checked the bulbs and fuses and they were okay. Luckily we bought such a switch as a spare down in Mexico when we came back from South America.
As our brake lights are working again, we are ready and eager to hit the “Loneliest Highway” tomorrow cruising across the entire Silver State. Our destination for tomorrow is Fallon, which is located at the western end of highway no. 50.
Above you see the big Salt Lake which we we passed heading towards Nevada.
Salt Lake City, Utah – While we’re heading West, we stopped to meet the Hales Family, who are huge fans of Herbie, the Love Bug. They’ve already been following our travel blog and contacted us after we started this trip across the US Southwest.
On our way to Utah’s capital we passed by Park City and its Olympic Park Jumps.
It seems, whenever you enter Utah, to be welcomed by red rocks and scenic views. So, also this time, when we were driving along Interstate 80 coming from Wyoming.
Tomorrow we’ll be heading towards Nevada. Domi always wanted to drive the “Loneliest Highway No. 50” as we have already driven the “Extraterrestrial Highway”.
In Colorado we were facing rain and on our way up Northwest entering Wyoming we had to cope with pretty rough headwinds, making it though for Herbie to keep up speed. Today we stopped in another town named Green River for the night.
Tomorrow we’ll probably enter Utah again in order to head further West as we want to stick to the Southwestern US this time. We don’t have that much time like during our world tour, therefore we pretty much want to stay in our most favorite places.
What is yet to come? We’re actually planning to visit Reno and Las Vegas, to drive Nevada’s so-called “Loneliest Highway”, to explore Bryce and Zion National Park another time and to stay in Ridgecrest, California, at least for a couple of days.