Roadside problems - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-23-2015, 04:26 AM   #1
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Roadside problems

After reading many posts of roadside problems/mishaps I've got my "Big One" to pass on, just cuz . Nothing to do with FG TT's but pretty much worse than a flat tire. In 1996 we had a big family gathering at Lake Powell for a week. Many had boats and skis to play with. I was towing my ski and had my niece & boyfriend drive my little Mazda P/U so I could use it for launch/receive. 6 miles from Lake Powell a fuel line broke and the engine caught fire. No one was hurt and a passerby stopped and put the fire out. Overall, minor damage but not driveable by any means. MMM, 600 miles from home, what now? Remembered that my neighbor across the street from me was planning a group trip with his family on a houseboat at Powell three days later. Called him, explained what was up and he towed up a car dolly to me that another buddy delivered to him. He used my ski and brought it back a week or so later. Bad part of that was I only got to use my ski for three days . Anyway, coming back home, towing the burnt truck on the dolly my tranny let go in Fredonia AZ. Think sitting on the side of the road with a bad tug and a burnt vehicle behind you, this can't be good . Being the tranny wasn't laying under the MH I figured it wouldn't hurt to see if it would move. It did, very slowly which was OK. Sorry to who owned the property I made the u turn thru, it was only weeds. Did find a shop that just recently started to do repairs to the public, they were building repopped AC Ford Cobras, that replaced the tranny for a very good price. Overall, what started out as the trip from Hell turned into a very positive experience with good folks and good memories. Just one other thing in case someone is traveling thru Fredonia. Back then he charged $20 a night for hook ups. Blue Sage motel was the name, some rooms and six RV spots. Two days later when we left he would only take $15 total from me for the two nights we spent there, AC going to whole time. His words to me were, "$15 dollars is more than enough, you folks have had enough trouble". Donna and a few others keep telling everybody to make memories. Well, this is one of mine that turned from lemons to lemonade. Sure hope it's the worst that ever happens though. Funny how you can look back and chuckle about it now but when it was happening my blood pressure was sure over the top.
BTW, has anyone ever noticed that when someone has a tire blowout it's pretty much on the plumbing side that takes it all out too? Have seen that a few times.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
After reading many posts of roadside problems/mishaps I've got my "Big One" to pass on, just cuz . Nothing to do with FG TT's but pretty much worse than a flat tire.
Did find a shop that just recently started to do repairs to the public, they were building repopped AC Ford Cobras, that replaced the tranny for a very good price.
Dave, I had a similar experience. Back in the early 70's my buddy and I decided to take a week off and drive his 69 Dodge Super Bee to Nova Scotia to visit my relatives. We got down into the Valley there and a local was riding our back bumper. My buddy was driving and was getting annoyed and tapped the brake pedal to flash on the brake lights for a sec. He must have gone a fraction to deep into the pedal which affected the drive drain, the engine died, and the car coasted into an abandon Irving Station. The car would turn over but would not start. By chance a guy was walking by. He asked what the problem was and said he may be able to help. Within 5 min he found the problem. The gear at the bottom of the distributor shaft had broken off and was residing at the bottom of the engine.

He said to follow him to his place a short block away. In his back yard was a garage and when he opened the garage door my jaw dropped. It was full of high performance Hemi engines in various stages of build ups. He was the engine builder for a big time Chrysler Drag race team. Anyway we reached down into a box and pulled out a distributor shaft and he said " this will work". We walked back to the car, he inserted a long magnetic tube down into the engine and pulled up the MIA broken gear. Installed the replacement distributor shaft and the engine was running a short time later. Talk about luck to break down on a country road and have the right guy walk by that could help us out with such professional knowledge, skills, and the will to help us out.
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:28 AM   #3
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Those are the stories we all want to remember - thanks!
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Old 09-24-2015, 04:15 AM   #4
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Talk about luck to break down on a country road and have the right guy walk by that could help us out with such professional knowledge, skills, and the will to help us out.
You're right Wayne, you just never know who's out there. The year before the "trip from hell" in '96 we did the same trip and everything went fine. During all our time out on the water I saw only one sailboat. Turned out he was staying in the same CG we were. As an past sailboater (SP) for years I went over to talk with him. Found out that during one of the afternoon storms his main sail ripped and he was now "on the beach" as he didn't have any repair material. Went back to the MH and got a sail I bought at a garage sale that I used as a tarp. Told him to take as much of it as he needed to make the repair and take some extra too. Like your experience, I was probably the only person within 200+ miles to have the fix for his vacation. Best 2 bucks I ever spent at a garage sale and will always remember his happiness. Pay it forward, it does come back around now and then . MMMM, wonder what the % would be in both our stories for the right person to come along?
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:22 AM   #5
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Confidence

Everyone who travels has had 'road issues'.

Ginny told me the other day that one result of our travels is improved confidence, confidence that we can deal with small and large issues while traveling, confidence resulting from performance.

There's no doubt that fellow travelers are very helpful, afterall they are in the same boat, generally a very nice group of people.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:30 AM   #6
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On my last week's trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario I pulled into a convenience store/gas to fill up right before entering New York. Around 6 pm and starting to get dark, I finished pumping, the dogs were being walked and as I looked around the trailer, flat tire. The curb side front tire had a metal screw sticking out and it appeared I had been riding for awhile with it flat.
No tire store in town, no garages and no cell service. I asked for the store owner to call any place local, but most were closed by then. Finally I heard a brusque voice ask "What is the problem" we walked out and looked at the tire. He was the Exxon fuel delivery driver who was unloading fuel at the convenience store. I pulled out my "trailer Aid" a ramp for tandem axle tire removal. Well before I could return from the bathroom, he had removed my flat and was putting my spare on. I purchased a "plug kit" inside, ( I had one in the trailer but this person suggested the one in the store) and he plugged the tire. We refilled the tire to 50 psi, topped off the spare and threw the tire in the truck. He refused to take any money and said he always helps those on the road. Back on the road an hour later we made it to the Canadian border 30 minutes before it closed that night.
I'm planning on writing a nice letter to Exxon to commend this driver. Upon arrival here at home this week I had to buy 4 new tires since riding with a flat may have damaged the rear tire and you need then to replace the tires on the other side, so $700 later I have new tires and axles repacked.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:37 AM   #7
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Jim,

Nice story and glad things worked out well.

You probably recall I have tire pressure (and temperature) sensors on the Scamp's tires. It catches the loss of pressure and would have detected your failing tire.

I had a nail in a tire and it started to leak slowly, allowing me to change it before it went totally flat. A good sensing system costs way less than a set of tires.

Safe Travels,
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:41 AM   #8
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Yes, I'm looking into those, as we speak/type....
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:52 AM   #9
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I used the type of wireless sensor that mounts on the valve stem. It makes it easy to change the battery and should one fail to replace the sensor with out dismounting the tire.

We have never had one stolen and have never used the anti-theft feature.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:51 AM   #10
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A lot of people from the niagara wine escape heard the story last year...or were part of it!
This was our first meet and furthest the camper had traveled. We were coming from Cooperstown/Albany area in NY. We did all kinds of maintenance on my van with several hundred dollars in parts and repair (our friend is an amazing mechanic so we were lucky that it was only several hundred dollars). We forgot to do the oil change so ran into Wal mart tire and lube last minute to have them do that. Well I never had engine issues before but within 40 minutes of leaving walmart my engine blew. I knew it was bad right away. After hours of trying to get out of the rest area we managed to slowly hobble the van to (rental? Call friends? Where is the closest AAA garage, there is an issue with who is allowed to tow on the thruway) we dropped the trailer at the rest stop ( and worried that it would be gone when we returned!) and rode with the tow truck after one switch out to a different tow truck. We got the broke van home and borrowed our friends truck. Finally got the trailer back on and pulled away. A few miles down the road I feel a tug at the truck and look to see the camper swaying almost sideways. Holy crap!!!!! What was that?!? We stop and re pack the camper. It still happens! I drive as Nick is doing some google searching. We need a lower hitch. We stop at every place that sells hitches and purchased several as each one just didn't drop the trailer enough. My jaw ached from teeth grinding and we missed all the scenery as Nick had his eyes locked on the trailer to warn me of any sway he sees before I feel it. FINALLY .... a 4.5 hour drive....14 hours later we arrive. We were 15 minutes late after the camp office closed...thank God they let us in!!!
So the next morning we are happy to get to some wineries!!! Relax time right? Well it was raining and we are headed down the road with the beautiful niagara River next to us. There are no guardrails to obstruct your view of the river...just grass and water. With all the driving around looking for a hitch we failed to notice that the gas gage stopped working at 1/4 tank. The steering locks up and the truck turns off. Nick tries to slowly maneuver to the grassy shoulder next to the river. The moment the tires hit the wet grass we went spinning!!!! We thought we were going over the falls for sure in that truck! Thankfully it finally stopped with the back tires about 6 feet from the river, sideways. With us wondering what in the world just happened!?!? After looking it over we found we did indeed run out of gas. Thankfully a couple who were at the meet from Ohio or Iowa (omg I forgot their name!) came to our rescue and brought Nick to get gas while I waited with the truck. We were again on our way and although we got lost all over Niagara on the Lake and we missed the pot luck but the discovery and purchase of ice wine made it a bit better!


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Old 09-28-2015, 07:08 AM   #11
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Hi: Megan... Wow I had no idea!!! The broken waist belt was the least of your worries!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:55 AM   #12
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I'm planning on writing a nice letter to Exxon to commend this driver. QUOTE]

Was he actually an Exxon employee, or maybe working for a contract carrier or he could have been an owner operator. That info would have been on the truck. Most fuel trucks I see are operated by regional carriers.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:03 AM   #13
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Ahhhh yes!!!! Nick had lost a bunch of weight and while examining the truck his pants about fell to the ground lol! He rummaged around and found bungee cords, the kind that hook with a big black hook, behind the seat of our friends truck! Imagine if the fancy wineries we toured knew that!!! Lol!!! We still include the gifted belt in our story of that trip! Thanks for the belt that day and the recently updated one also Alf!


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