Saturday, December 26, 2009

Trouble on the Road

Have you ever been driving along an interstate highway and noticed tire treads lying on the shoulder or even in the middle of the road? Well, if you happen to be on I-10 about 100 miles east of Tucson, AZ the tread you see may be ours. We were tooling along the interstate at around 65 mph and bang, one of the trailer tires came apart. I managed to get onto the narrow shoulder, barely out of the traffic lane. Unfortunately, the tire that blew was on the left side, so anyone trying to change it would have his butt sticking out into 75 mph traffic.

The good news was that there was a good cell signal, so I first called 911, and then called Good Sam’s Emergency Road Service. The other good news was that we were midway between two exits only about two miles apart. On other sections of that interstate, some exits are 20 miles or more apart. Penny and I got our lawn chairs out of the trailer, opened them up in the desert away from the trailer, and waited for help. I’m sure drivers passing by were wondering why these two old people were sitting in the desert on lawn chairs.

First, an Arizona Highway Patrol Officer stopped and suggested that when the technician got there, he should look at the tire and decide whether it would be safe to drive it on the shoulder to the next exit, where it would be much safer to do the work. If the tech thought it would be too dangerous to move, he would come back and control traffic while the tire was being changed. He gave me a phone number to call so he could be sent back if needed, and said he would stay in the area to check on us. He actually did pass by at least once.

The road service guy showed up after about 45 minutes, which is faster than any AAA response I’ve ever had in New Jersey. He agreed that the tire was sound enough to get us off the highway, at low speed on the shoulder. So that’s what we did. He put on the spare, and after examining the other tires, suggested that we replace all of them. Also, when the tire came apart, it destroyed a fender skirt, and damaged one of the side panels on the trailer, so our first order of business on Monday will be to get to an RV shop for new tires and repairs.

BTW, the RV park in Tucson, Voyager RV Resort, is a small city. It has 1600 spaces, a bar, a restaurant, several pools, and since it’s an adults-only RV park, it has a bunch of shuffleboard courts. More on the Tucson experience in future dispatches.


Blogger jettybeach said...

I guess it was time for those new tires!! Lucky all the way around. From what you were saying about no people around, this was a godsend. What a great cop.

7:49 PM  

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