Luckily Marci found RV blogs (well, Facebook pages) and we’ve been reading them religiously since April. So we knew – I MEAN KNEW – that things will go wrong on any RV eventually. We paid close attention to things that seem common (like tires) and things that are preventable (like fires at gas stations due to leaving the propane refrigerators running or leaving the antenna extended).
Look – we are just not preachy or judgmental. And we are quick to point out that we are not experts at anything in the RV world. So don’t take offense, go ahead -run your fridge, don’t check your tires, don’t triple check that your slide will not be dragging something across your floor. And I promise – some of this WILL happen to us (or anyone who drives thousands of miles with a small home on wheels).
This morning we woke up at the KOA in Wendover, NV (there is a free 24 hour shuttle to the Casino – located about 300 yards away – for the ‘gamin’ camper). After 550 miles the day before, we planned to head across the salt flats in the cool morning. And then I saw the tire.
As I said above, I’ve been warned. Not just by all of you, but by two 5th wheel owning co-workers I trust. CHECK YOUR TIRES.
And I found the right rear (new at the start of the trip) was TOTALLY worn on the ‘outside’. Remembering the photos of blow-outs on Facebook – I could see me changing a tire in the middle of 100 miles of flat salt and sun. I’ve changed a whole lot of tires in my life – I decided not to wait for Good Sam Road Service (doesn’t seem to be a prompt) and broke open my new ‘bottle jack’ to get ‘er done.
An hour later, covered in dirt, tire-blackened hands, and enough colorful language to hope that my neighbors’ hearing aide battery was dead – I got the spare on. We quickly threw everything into the truck bed – (thankfully Marci insisted on a triple check – which prevented more RV repairs) and headed for The Tire Factory (whom I HIGHLY recommend http://www.tirefactory.com/gotirezonecom ) for a quick repair. They even moved us to the front of the line because our rig blocked their entire parking lot.
Anyway, I learned that the tire was faulty to begin with (nothing wrong with the axle etc), how to actually change an RV tire, and that we could persevere through our first RV repair issue. I am sure there will be many more – but we choose to look at this as part of the adventure (and it will grow a life of its own as I tell the story over and over the years to come!)
PS This repair only cost $113 and a bit of worry in the 120 miles across the salt flats