So my son & I decided to go to the Monroe Swap meet. I still need some bits & pieces for a few of my projects - notably my '37 Dodge, but I don't ignore the potential parts for my Henway, my '56 F100 or my '57 Chev either. And one never knows when another potential race car may show up.
Anyway, while we were in line for crossing the border, Jon (my son) went back to get something out of the trailer. The trailer hissed at him. That'd be the bright new Robertson screw that was sticking of the sidewall of one of the new (less than 6 months old) tires
. So after clearing customs, it was time to pull into a grocery store lot and put the spare on. The spare was a Marathon, purchased and installed in Seattle in September - it is now about 6 weeks old. All others are Les Schwab Towmasters, incl the one with the screw through the sidewall. Since we now have no spare, we double check tire pressures and we drive at 55 mph despite the fuel mileage penalty. (My truck really prefers speeds in the 70-75 range for towing my Bigfoot
, where it gets approx 3 mpg better than at 55.)
Onwards. Arrive at the fairgrounds at midnight, set up camp.
Hmmm. Curbside propane
tank is empty, so shut off the valve, open the valve on the "streetside" tank. Nothing. That tank was filled in Texas a year ago and has not been used at all since. How can it be also empty?
Luckily we have a "Hottrodd" in our HW tank, and we have a cube heater and we have a site with power so we are OK. Switch the fridge
to electric and we're golden.
Saturday, after the swap meet, we take the two "profane" tanks to be filled. The one that had been on the left side could/would not be filled as propane
came out of the leaky valve as fast as it could be pumped in. (Explains why it was empty!) So we now had one full 30 lb tank and one still empty.
Les Schwab was closed so we could not get the "screwed" tire replaced.
Sunday afternoon, after another day of swap-meet shopping, we leave for home.
After all this hassle, we didn't find a single useful car part at the meet, but I did score a refrigerant-style compressed air dryer for my shop at a super good price.
Since we have NO spare tire, we continue to drive very slow and careful. We check tire press before leaving. All are at 65 psi. We drive at 55 mph. We get back to I-5 and just North of Marysville, a tire violently lets go, tossing pieces of rubber all over the road. Yup - its that one and only Badyear Marathon Timebomb. It likely has about 100 miles on it, all at about 55 mph and it is just over a month old. A buddy, also heading home, recognizes us, stops and, through happy luck, has a Ford Ranger on a tow bar behind his moho. The Ranger has the right 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern with a 14 inch passenger car tire on his spare so he loans that to me so we can continue home, still sans a spare and collecting a bunch of useless rubber in the bed of my truck.
Arrived home with further incidents.
In two days time, I leave again, this time for the NOG.
I now have a new 30 lb profane tank to replace the leaker.
I will return the borrowed Ranger spare tire to Jim (and drop off a box of wobbly pops).
I will be stopping at a Les Schwab to get the tire with a screw in it replaced under road hazard warranty, and I will be stopping at a Badyear dealer to get my $$$$ back for that blown-up, one-month old Marathon timebomb.
I will get another Les Schwab tire as spare.
And hopefully, will have a much less eventful trip this time.