Monday, August 27, 2012
The Good Samaritan
The culprit - note the damaged lug holes....all oblong
We got up early today in order to get on the road before it got hot, and hopefully get to our next stopping point, Twin Falls, ID and Rock Creek RV Park (a Twin Falls County Park) before it really got hot. We got the lead to this cool county park through the Day's End Directory....$15/day for water and 50amp electric. We hit the road without breakfast and planned on eating at the first rest stop only about 20 miles east of us. We arrived at the rest stop around 9:45am, and while Elaine made some breakfast I went out and checked the tires. They all looked good, and their temperature readings were all in line. We departed the rest stop around 10:15am headed for Boise, ID, about 60 miles east of us. Just as we were entering the city via Interstate 84 a motorcyclist passed us on the left waiving us over to the shoulder....he obviously saw something wrong that we needed to check out. As I eased onto the shoulder checking the right side view mirror I saw the fender on the trailer's passenger side flopping in the wind....my first thought was I had blown a tire. I stayed the shoulder, put my flashers on and slowed to 20mph....the next exit, Vista (the exit for the Boise Airport) was only a quarter mile. We exited and pulled onto a side street with a shoulder. I got out and walked back to assess the damage....I was shocked to see that the entire wheel was gone! The lugs had sheared off right at the drum brake housing.....wow...I was just thinking I would have to buy a new tire, and now I'm looking a new tire, rim, dust cover and 6 lugs. I called Elaine out and showed her what had happened. We talked about what to do and decided I should call Good Sam ERS to send someone out. Just as I got to the door of the coach to get my phone a gentleman named Royce drove up in a public utilities truck, and rolled down his window. I said "Hi!", and he said "Are you missing something?". I said "yes, a trailer wheel".....he said "I was behind you on the Interstate when I saw the wheel come off and roll into the brush along the shoulder, so I stopped and found it"......I asked "how did you find us?"....he said, "Well Vista was the next exit and I just got off and drove both directions hoping to find you, and I did!". Well, was I ever happy to meet Royce....a modern day Good Samaritan. How many people do you know that would stop along a busy Interstate, get out and look for a wheel in the brush? I don't know if I would, but I tell you one thing...from now on I will. Royce saved us a couple hundred dollars.
Instead of calling Good Sam I decided to take off the brake drum, and take it along with the wheel over to Big O Tires, about 3 miles from our location. I got there around Noon, and was approached immediately by Brant who listened to my story, and told me they had the exact rim for $30, and could transfer the good tire to it, and then get new lugs for the brake drum. I also needed a new dust cover, so they also ordered that along with the lugs from a local parts store. Unfortunately the first two dust covers they brought didn't fit, so we had to wait for a 3rd while they put in the new lugs, and put my tire on the new rim. Eventually the 3rd dust cover arrived, but it was too big, so Brant slightly modified it to I could install it and get on the road. Ultimately the modification didn't work, so I used some duct tape to hold it in place until I can secure one that does fit tomorrow at a local parts store in Twin Falls.
The new lugs installed
The damaged fender screwed back in place with duct tape
holding the dust cover in place.
The bottom where the screw was ripped out
I got back to the coach around 1:30 and, with TLE's help I began to re-install everything so we could get back on the road. Elaine held an umbrella for me to keep the sun off....and believe me, this was a very important job...seriously...it was in the mid 90's by this time. After I got the tire back on I got my torque wrench out and set it as 90lbs as Brant had instructed, and torqued down all 6 lug nuts. I was so hot after all of that I had to take a cold shower before we could leave just to stop sweating!
We finally got back on the road around 2:30 and began our trek eastward 130 more miles to Twin Falls. We stopped twice at rest stops just so I could get out and check the wheel. We arrived and Rock Creek RV Park around 5:30pm and quickly connected to the 50amp outlet and turned on both A/C's....it was still over 92 degrees, and we were hot. Within a few minutes order was restored, and we were enjoying the cold A/C's....eventually I shut off the front one and got started on connecting our DirecTV satellite.
As I finish writing this blog post I am comforted that we had another emergency and handled it, and my heart is warmed thinking of a man on the freeway that witnessed our mishap, stopped, found our wheel, and then tracked us down. Royce is a rare man, and I will be forever grateful to him for his sacrifice of time. This could have been a lot worse, but it turned out OK. It just goes to show you that even when you do your due diligence bad things can still happen.
It will hot again tomorrow, and I think we will just sit tight for 2, or 3 days...it's supposed to cool off Wednesday into the low 80's...that sounds more like traveling weather to me.
Thanks for stopping by!