When we had our little tire problem a couple of weeks ago, I thought we should be set for smooth sailing for a while. Alas, not so.
We departed our campsite near Kalispell Montana, and headed for a planned rest stop boondocking spot. Montana is one of those States that allow overnight parking at rest stops, and it makes for a very convenient, easy-off-easy-on place to stay. We arrived uneventfully, and settled in for the evening. I started working on dinner preparations while Jeff did his customary rig walk around and inspection.
While pulling out salad fixings, I plucked an avocado from the bag of 3 that was out on the counter. Except, now there were only 2. Uh-oh. One had obviously escaped! I even checked my grocery receipt to verify that there had, indeed, been three originally. I peered around and under everything, to no avail. During our travels, it had bounced out of the bag on the counter and rolled its way into some obscure crevice in one of our retracted slides, out of sight. I had visions of a rotting, stinking, ant-inviting avocado in some inaccessible corner of our rig. Yikes!
While I was contemplating how to break the news to Jeff, he stepped into the bus with a much bigger problem – one of our steer tires was dangerously worn, with steel wires showing. It had escaped notice because it was on the far inside edge of the tire, invisible unless you kneeled down and really looked underneath, and felt with your hands. With just over 10,000 miles on the bus, it never occurred to us that one of the tires could be worn out. Responding to some insistent inner prompting, Jeff just happened to really look at the inside edge of the tire, thus discovering the problem.
Should we have noticed before it got to this point? Maybe. But we had JUST had the bus in for service (oil / lube) and those mechanics didn’t spot it either. It was clearly caused by an previously undiagnosed alignment issue, resulting in premature tire failure.
So, now what? Do we drive carefully on the tire to our next campground and deal with it there? Find a tire store and drive to it, hoping they would have the right tire? Or do we stay put and call roadside service to have the tires changed right where we sat?
Taking the conservative route, we opted to call roadside service. That tire was a ticking time bomb and a blowout with a steer tire is Not Good. In fact, it can be Very, Very Bad. It simply wasn’t worth the risk. So, once again, we called our Coach.net service. The next morning, they were able to dispatch a truck tire service with two new tires, and mounted them for us right at the rest stop. $1300 later, we were on our way, only an hour or so delayed. Better safe than sorry! There is a Cummins/Spartan repair facility on our way to Utah, so we’ll schedule the alignment to be done on our way south.
On two brand new steer tires, we traveled uneventfully to our current camping site in West Yellowstone. As we carefully extended our slides, we discovered the errant avocado lodged in a crevice under the bed slide.