Not to be a Debbie Downer, but when you decide to live and travel full time in an RV, you need a hefty amount of resilience because bad things are going to happen – two of which are road hazards and in-climate weather. The more miles you travel, the more likely you’ll encounter them. There are no two ways about it. And the overall outcome of a random act of bad will be one of two things – stopping you in your tracks, or in our case (so far) celebratory happy hours at campsites in beautiful places.
This lifestyle has led me to believe that luck and timing can work in your favor more often than not, if you are willing to deal with the bad stuff – in other words, not ignoring the possibilities. Bad things can truly end well with a little good luck and timing, and more importantly, the right tools.
Bad luck and timing. As we do every year, we began our 2023 travels heading north on I-75, and within 100 miles pass the Fort Myers area. Remember Hurricane Ian from last year? That, by the way is another bad event that ended well for me and Vivian. Fort Myers took the brunt of that hurricane and as a result, lots of debris removal, repairs and construction have been going on in Fort Myers since last October. Consequently, there’s a very high probability for a random screw to end up on the highway. But, given the typical daily traffic on I-75 in Florida, there is an extremely small chance that a screw will find its way into our RV tire. But it did.
The right tools at the right time. How do you know when there is a screw firmly embedded in a tow behind tire? You likely will not know until a slow leak becomes a worse case scenario. This is why we have a tire pressure monitoring system (see below for more information on this essential tool). Vivian noticed one of the pressure sensor readings were lower than normal, and in about 30 miles dropped from 80 to 61 psi.
Good luck and timing. A conveniently located rest area became a safe place to pull off and the weather, despite being hot, was in our favor with no rain in site. Not only that, being in a highly populated area, our cell phone service was as it should be.
The right tools at the right time. We chose a road service through Coach Net. Although we have the tools to change a flat tire on our 12,000 lb fifth wheel, we chose to pay for the $179 yearly membership and simply make a phone call – and wait. Within an hour or so, our screwed tire was replaced with the spare.
Not so good luck and timing. This happened on a Sunday, which meant the unrepairable tire would not get replaced until the following day at the earliest.
Very good luck and timing. Only 60 miles from our beautiful campground, we drove in a few hours before sunset, in time to set up and enjoy a nice evening while searching online for the nearest Goodyear tire service. Vivian found one 10 miles away in the little town of Brookville, ordered our Goodyear Endurance tire online and made an appointment for 9:30 am the next day. Cheers and let’s have another!
And we are on our way again! So much for road hazards and now for the weather. After three days spent outside of Mobile, Alabama, a nice ‘little’ city by the way, we headed west along the infamous I-10 corridor through Mississippi and Louisiana. Not needing to overstay our welcome, we spent two nights on the road without unhitching before arriving at our Texas destination near San Antonio. Just passing through – thank you very much.
If anything is most likely to change your travel plans it is weather. We know, it’s happened to us more times than we care to remember. By the time we arrived at our campground outside of Baton Rouge, the weather had turned sour, and I-10 was turning meaner by the mile. The next day and 280 miles later, we arrived at a campground east of Houston, planned for a Saturday so that I could drive through Houston early Sunday morning. Except there was a huge orange and yellow blob on the weather radar screen hovering west of Houston and where we wanted to be the next day.
Very good luck and timing. We prepared to change our itinerary and held our breath as I drove west into Houston. At 8:30 am Sunday morning, city traffic was as light as it could possibly be. And the weather blob that threatened us earlier has dissipated and moved north. As luck would have it, we were clear to make our original destination as planned.
So we settled into our campsite on Canyon Lake, enjoyed the view and nice weather while once again making a toast to safe travels. The best part was that the Texas Hill Country became a perfect introduction to our westerly travels and a reminder that we were no longer in the Southeast. For the next several days we had some Texas exploring to do – Hill Country and Chihuahuan Desert style. Stay tuned.
If you are traveling with a tow behind (trailer or fifth wheel), a tire pressure monitoring system can (no, will!) save you in many ways. Our monitoring system has saved us three times – once when a low pressure reading alerted us to a nail in the tire while we were parked at an RV service center. Without the monitor system, we would have learned the hard way driving I-10 in Florida’s panhandle. Another time when a tire went flat from a sharp stone while pulling out of a campground. We were 30 miles from the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan’s upper peninsula (also on a Sunday morning). And on this trip, a screw caused a slow leak while moving along on I-75. Each incident ended well, thanks to our investment in EeZ Tire. No, they are not cheap – our brand EeZ Tire with four sensors costs about $300. Well worth it, considering the cost of a blow out. Here’s the good news, they are on sale for $249 (four sensors). Check it out and be safe! If you are considering the purchase, help us out and click on the link to purchase your monitor.
2 thoughts on “May 7, 2023 – If it’s Meant to Happen, it Will”
How long did you have to wait for roadside assistance to show up? We haven’t been using our TPM and don’t like the older model we have. As soon as we are at a campground long enough, I’ll be buying one through your link!
We waited about an hour and it took the guy 5 min to change it. If we had done it ourselves, I am sure it would have taken much longer than that! I am glad you are getting one again! It has saved us a few times.