Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yes, Again!

We’re spending the night in an interesting campground. Actually, we have the trailer parked in the back lot of a repair shop in Eastland, Texas. Yahooo!

It all started this morning when we left Abilene headed for Arlington, near Dallas. We were travelling on I-20 about 60 miles east of Abilene when we were passed by a pickup truck towing a horse trailer. The driver beeped his horn and waved his hand. Penny looked in her side view mirror and saw pieces of tire flying off  one of our wheels. I got onto the shoulder and we got out to inspect the damage.

The tire on the front axle on the right side of the trailer was in shreds and one of the propane lines was broken off and stuck through the tire. I turned off the gas tanks, set up my emergency triangles, which are getting a lot of use on this trip, and called my road service company.

Two and a half hours later, with traffic zooming by at 75 mph inches from our stuck trailer, the service truck still hadn’t arrived. Fortunately the temperature, unlike last time, was reasonable and there was a nice breeze blowing. Then three trucks from the Texas DOT pulled up behind us with lots of flashing lights. The DOT crew mounted our spare tire for us, wouldn’t accept a tip, and escorted us off the interstate. We then found a tire repair shop in a town a few miles away and arranged for them to replace the shredded tire.

When they removed the spare they found that the spring on that axle was broken, as was the shock absorber. The other tire on that side was also gouged, so I had them replace that one too. But that left us with a broken spring and shock absorber. (I could have used a shock absorber of my own at that point.)

As has been the case every time we’ve had a mechanical problem in rural America, the people we turned to for help did absolutely everything they could to assist. The tire guy, who wasn’t equipped to replace a spring, started making some calls and found a shop in the next town, Eastland, that could do the work.

We limped 10 miles to Eastland and Matt, another good guy, looked over the damage, said he could fix it and and the broken gas pipe and offered to let us plug in our power cord and hook up to the water at his shop until tomorrow when he’ll work on the repair.

With no propane, we had to go into town for dinner and found a really cute, local Tex-Mex place (Hey, I’m assuming any Mexican restaurant in Texas is Tex-Mex), and the food was great. The shop is behind a fence, so Matt gave us the combination to the lock on the gate, and we’re camped here until morning.

Hopefully, Matt will have the parts and we’ll be on our way again sometime Friday.

These experiences have helped restore my faith in my fellow man, but maybe not so much in RVing.


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