I’m starting to not like travel days. It seems that some kind of problem always surfaces. We’ve had tires replaced (on an emergency basis) at a rest stop. On our last trip we had our toad air brake line disconnect, leaving us without brakes in the mountains. We managed to get that line re-connected, but not without some angst. At an over night rest area stop, we attempted to deploy our satellite dish, only to experience a “motor fail” code. Jeff had to extract our 15 foot ladder, deploy it (in freezing rain), and climb up onto the roof to make sure the dish was completely down before it was safe for us to move. (The replacement turret motor is currently in a large box in the back seat of the truck).
We already are sort of on Plan B for Memphis. We were originally going to stay at a park right on the Mississippi River, just for a couple of days to visit Graceland. But, while in Santa Fe, we noticed a water leak at the top of one of the living room windows. We were experiencing high winds and rain was blowing under our slide topper and pooling just above the leaking spot, which is not a normal situation. But, still, the window shouldn’t be leaking! It is likely a problem with a seal somewhere. So, we identified an RV dealership just south of Memphis that just so happens to have a very nice RV park next door. We booked there, extending our stay to almost a week, to deal with the repair and have ample time to explore Memphis, which we’ve never visited before.
We knew we had a long drive day (for us) from Bentonville to Memphis, so we packed up the night before and only had to make final preparations and hook up the toad. We left in good time and headed east. After a fuel stop, I had identified a likely rest stop for a lunch break. However, before we could reach the rest stop, Jeff suddenly noticed in the rear camera that the truck was swaying dangerously behind us! One of the tow bars had disconnected! (Red Alert!) With no time to even reach the next exit, Jeff managed to quickly, but safely, bring us to a stop on the side of the interstate. We hopped out to discover that one “wing” of the Blue Ox tow bar had completely separated in two, partially disconnecting the truck from the motorhome. That is NOT supposed to happen!!! With some maneuvering of the truck, we were able to get the other bar in position to be able to disconnect entirely. I had no choice now but to drive the truck separately to our destination.
With semi-trucks whizzing by inches from the bus, the side of the interstate isn’t the most comfortable (or safest) place to be. So, as quickly as possible, we readied the truck to drive separately. We hopped into our respective vehicles and carefully pulled back onto the highway, intended to pull off at that rest stop in a few miles and re-group.
However, I had just reached highway speed when I heard a strange noise and glanced in my driver side mirror. Horrified, I watched as Jeff’s bicycle detached from the rooftop carrier and somersaulted over the cab into the rear truck bed. (OMG!!!) Once again, I quickly pulled over onto the side of the interstate highway, as Jeff and the motorhome receded into the distance ahead. Jeff phoned me a few moments later and I explained what happened. When I hopped out, I found that somehow, miraculously, the bicycle seat had caught underneath one of the motorcycle straps, which restrained the bicycle and held it to the truck bed instead of catapulting out into traffic behind me. Could you just imagine? Not only would the bike be scrap metal at this point, it could have killed someone! I wrestled it out of the truck bed, removed the front wheel, and managed to jam the bike into the back seat (working around the giant satellite TV turret motor box). Whew! Meanwhile Jeff had pulled off at the next exit and texted me his location. I carefully pulled back out onto the highway and made it safely to the rendezvous point. The incident created a few scratches to motorcycle and truck, but everything was otherwise intact.
We did stop at that rest stop a few miles up the road, to allow our adrenaline rush to subside and get a bite of nourishment. Sincerely hoping that bad things DON’T come in three’s, we saddled back up for the remaining 100 plus miles to our RV park, the one conveniently located next to the RV repair shop.
Thankfully, we are here for a few days. Hopefully long enough to fix the leak problem. And the satellite dish motor. And the tow bar. And the bike rack. Sheesh!
It could have been so much worse though. A bit of a scare, a few scratches, but nothing really major. Our guardian Angels really worked overtime on our behalf!
All’s well that ends well. Until the next travel day ……
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