Traveling Days – May 2013

Yep, it’s that time of year again. Getting hot and sticky in Florida and a campground job was waiting in Wisconsin. I wasn’t getting any warm fuzzies by watching the weather channel just before leaving Patrick AFB. There was supposed to be heavy rain along most of my route through FL, GA, TN and KY. Well, we all know weather guessers can be wrong frequently so I was hoping that would be the case here.

I left on a Saturday morning with overcast skies but no rain. That was good for a couple of reasons. First, it kept the temps down on my engine and tires. Second, there were no love bugs in the air so the front cap of the 5th wheel stayed clean. My good luck with the weather lasted until partway through GA. Then the rain started, not real heavy but steady. I made it around Atlanta without any trouble and spent the night in a truck stop north of there.

The next day was more of the same, lots of steady rain all the way into Indiana. The interstate in IN also left a lot to be desired. I went over a small bridge south of Indianapolis and thought for sure that something was going to break since the front of the RV was bouncing like a bucking bronco. About 30 miles up the road I decided to exit and during my mirror check I noticed something strange on the driver’s side. I’d been watching water get thrown off my tires for the last 2 days but this looked different. After a second I realized that there was a tremendous amount of smoke coming off one of my RV tires. I quickly pulled to the shoulder and stopped. Fortunately, this was at the exit ramp so I had plenty of room to walk around. Damn, looked like an axle problem. It had skewed so that one of the tires was rubbing against a suspension component. The tire still had air in it so I turned on the hazard flashers and limped into the Flying J truck stop. I went directly to the truck parking in the back and it’s a good thing there were plenty of open spaces since maneuvering the RV was a  little challenging with one of the axles off center.

It was still raining so I didn’t even try to crawl underneath the rig for further inspection. Instead, I started looking for a local RV dealer for repairs and posted some inquiries on RV.net. Then I headed into the restaurant for all you can eat spaghetti.

The next morning I called an RV dealer just across the interstate. He showed up in about 10 minutes, took a quick look at the problem, and gave me a card with the number of a tire shop on it. Then he gave me a ride to the shop, which was directly across the street from the truck stop. Talk about lucky! They had a mechanic available. He drove across the street with some tools and got the axle straightened out enough for me to drive it to the shop. After further inspection, they just needed to replace a pin in the leaf spring assemble and replace the tire that got smoked. I was back on the road about lunchtime.

I spent a few more days in IN visiting family, then continued my trip to WI. The rest of the trip was uneventful. Arrived at the campground and got set up  fairly quickly. Just in time to experience low temperatures below freezing at night. Hopefully, that’s the last I’ll see of those temps until the sugar beet harvest.

The Black River is running high and strong right now, a little too much for my kayak, but it should settle down soon and let me get some playtime in.

Here are the Lost Falls, the campground namesake.

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