It was a calm and sunny Sunday morning. The birds were singing and the bees were buzzing. All was well in the world.
Well… I would have been singing if I were a bird. I couldn’t actually hear them as Missy and I were trucking up the road at a nice 65 mph. What road? Northbound on Highway 27 in the southeast corner of Iowa.
Out of the blue, there was a BANG!!! of epic proportions! I’ve been on an Army artillery range and been near M1 tanks, 155mm Howitzers, and other artillery while they were practicing. I have an idea what a “bang” sounds like. This event sounded like a bang.
“Hmm…” says I, “I wonder what that might have been.”
I then took a look in my rear view mirror to see one of Missy’s side panels and a bunch of other debris flying thru the air.
After a short discussion with Missy, we decided to stop and take a look.
This is what we saw.
Notice that outside dual tire? It seems to be missing something – it’s tread!
Well phooey, says I, that is going to mess with our travel plans.
I attempted to hit rewind on the remote control so I could go back and choose an alternate experience but it wasn’t working.
I figured I might as well see if there was anything left of the body panel so I started my Olympic sprint down the shoulder of the road to see what I could see.
As I approached, I could see the debris laying in the left hand lane and, while there wasn’t a lot of traffic, there was a bit and they all wanted to get far away from the crazy, fat guy trying to run on the right side shoulder. Which, of course, put them in the same lane as the debris. I kept hoping nobody would run over it and they all did a stellar job.
When I arrived, it was in one piece and relatively undamaged. Yes, some scrapes. Yes, the fasteners that hold it to the chassis were ripped off. But, overall, well worth the near heart-attack from attempting to waddle fast.
As my breathing slowed and blood began to return to my brain (sprinting is hard), I realized I would have to carry it back.
In my typical Arnold Schwarzenegger style, I hoisted it up and started marching down the road.
I carry a Roadside Assistance program from the Good Sam RV club. I have as long as I’ve owned and RV – but have never used it. There are always lots of discussions on the various RV forums about these services and whether or not people that use them are happy with their experience. This was my chance to use mine!!
Yay! I pulled out my card and dialed the number.
A wonderful young lady named Ashley answered. I just love the name Ashley. I’m not sure if it was Ashley Judd, Ashley Tisdale, Ashley Benson, Ashley Hart, Anastasia Ashley, Ashley Greene, or one of the many other Ashley’s that convinced me that it is a fabulous name, but it is.
So, there I was all alone with Ashley. Well… and Missy too.
I told her of my predicament and she said she would help. I just love the name Ashley! She need to make some phone calls and she said she would call me back in a few minutes.
She had found someone to help and asked a few more detail questions about my tires (load rating). She then told me the repair guys would be there in sixty to ninety minutes.
I was in love….
Amazingly – they showed up in LESS than an hour!! They were very friendly and knew exactly what they were doing. I was quite surprised by the tricks they knew and used to get the old tires unmounted, the new ones mounted and back on the coach. Pretty impressive work!!
In a pretty short amount of time, they were done and off. Of course, it was not free. Far from it. The big shoes that Missy wears are not inexpensive in the best of circumstances. They are most certainly NOT inexpensive sitting on the side of the highway on a Sunday morning! However; the experience was not at all negative.
I am, once again, very thankful to the Good Sam Roadside Assistance folks – especially Ashley – and the two guys that came out and fixed me up. Ashley, dinner is on me – give me a call please!
Is Roadside Assistance a required thing?
I suppose it depends on the person, your equipment, and your location. The tires are my coach are massive (22.5″) and weigh more than I care to attempt to move. The lug nuts are torqued to 300 ft. pounds. It takes far more than a tire iron to get them off. So, I’ve made the choice not to carry a spare tire and will always count on this service to fix tire issues. That will cost something, obviously, but so does carrying a spare tire and the equipment to change it.
Finally, this is all my fault. I know better. I knew the tires were old (by their date codes) and VERY in need of replacement. I don’t like taking chances but the tire shop at my last stop couldn’t get a full set of tires for a whole ten days. I didn’t want to wait that long. Yes, I had plenty of time if I had started the process sooner. But I didn’t. I didn’t as spending that many thousands of dollars is never something I leap to do. So, this is just a reminder to me to listen to my brain. Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder to you to not risk using dated tires as this event could have been MUCH worse. Damage to other vehicles would have been easy. It could have happened in a bad place. Or, worst possible, it could have been a front tire. When that happens on a coach like this, you are along for the ride.
So – Cheers to Ashley and the two fellas that stopped by to visit me!!
Oh – also – Missy and I have an appointment this week to get new treads all the way around!!
Another exciting adventure!!