Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blow Out!

I got to within 70 or 80 miles of my goal today and heard a loud explosion. I pulled onto the shoulder of I-95 South, and sure enough, my right rear tire on the 5th wheel had blown. I made a call to Good Sam Emergency Road Service right away and was told help would be there between 90 minutes and 2 hours. Two and a half hrs later I called again to find out the tire service was only a few miles away. By this time the sun was going down and I don't drive well in the dark, so I was relieved that it only took a few minutes.

According to Good Sam I could have had my spare put on or purchase a new tire, and the tire man would bring the proper tire with him in case I decided to go with a new one. While I was waiting for the service to arrive, two very kind gentlemen drove up and offered to change the tire for me if I had the tool to get the spare down from where it is bolted. I had no idea and just opted to wait. When the tire service arrived he said it looked like I had to release the tire from somewhere inside the rig. At that point, with heavy traffic whizzing by and after waiting all that time, I opted to take the easy way out and buy the new tire. I believe I will soon be buying three more tires to round out the set, and I will definitely figure out how to release the spare so it can be checked.

When I was first making the call to Good Sam a state patrolman stopped and talked to me for a few minutes - he said I would be safe sitting inside the truck, but to buckle my seat belt and keep the flashers on. I can't believe he came by just when I needed to see a friendly face. And the kindness of two strangers made me feel good as well, although I ended up having to wait quite a while. The tire man, when he got there, got the switch accomplished pretty quickly. He also told me that from how the tire looks, it hit something, although I certainly didn't feel or hear anything other than the loud explosion.

I had a blow out once with a small car and it took a lot of effort to keep it under control and coast to a stop. This time, other than the noise, I wasn't sure what had happened. I briefly took my hands off the steering wheel (really, really briefly) thinking that if it was a tire I would feel the pull. The rig pulled a bit to the right, but there was absolutely no problem with controlling it, or with bringing it to a stop. I am certainly grateful for that.

With all that time to wait I phoned Natasha (Mary) who is now in Kansas City. She had told me about an RV park that would be on the way to Savannah should I need to stop, but she spent quite some time looking for alternatives for me, and since I was about 2 miles from SC Exit 33, she discovered a KOA at Exit 33! I know some folks think KOA is too expensive, and it sometimes is a little pricey, but a KOA has always been there when I've been close to rock bottom and really needed one. This was yet another of those times, so I can't say enough good about KOA.

And I can't say enough good about Natasha! I was ready to bawl when I reached her, and she just took hold and kept talking to me while trying to get info on where I could find an RV park close by. Friends like that are a treasure.

Back pedaling to yesterday afternoon, I decided to go ahead and try to hitch up. I had problems with it which I won't enumerate, but I ended up jogging down to the office to catch Rex as he was out the door and leaving for the day. God bless that man, he came back, solved the problems with the hitch, and hitched it up for me.

I realize I have been the recipient of a lot of kindness in connection with this oddysey of mine, and I can't express how much I appreciate it. But there comes a time when one has to ask "Why is this happening, and what is the message for me, or what am I to learn from it?" I am bombarding myself with these questions and when I figure it out I will certainly let you readers know. I don't think I should quit just yet, and while I would love to exchange this 5th wheel for a different kind of RV that would be easier for me, the economics of it are such that I probably couldn't afford something in a late enough model to warrant trying to change. So I will continue to ponder this dilemma and go deep into my heart to try to figure out what is the right thing for me to do. At least I will have three months at Fort Pulaski where I will be able to just park it - that is to say, if I can get the damn thing backed in properly!

As I mentioned to Natasha on the phone today, it's like the old gambler says - "you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run..." At this point I just don't know but it seems like it's between hold 'em and walk away.


  1. Gypsy - I'm so thankful you are okay. Blow outs happen in this lifestyle of ours and they happen to everybody. We had our first one on the interstate going through Phoenix and we were in the middle lane. Nobody wanted to let us get over. But we survived. Second one was in North Dakota just as we hit the exit so that worked out okay too. But I think these things happen to teach us something we really need to know - like where the jack was and how to release the spare tire. So please don't give up. We're all pulling for you and will do anything we can to help you.

  2. OH Gypsy, I am so glad you are safe and sound in a campground and in good shape after your blowout!

    My wish for you is that out there is someone in a well-kept motorhome in the size and condition you desire, and they want to trade even up for a fifth wheel and truck! Now wouldn't that be something??

  3. Hang in there Gypsy. The right decision will appear. Glad you are OK and recovered from this "experience".

  4. Gypsy, good job managing that blowout and getting back on the road again. Buying the new tire was smart too, because putting on the spare would have left you with what? No spare tire and you would have had to buy one anyway. Like you, I find nothing wrong with KOA's, we stay at them all the time and have been very satisfied with most of them - just like any other campgrounds.

  5. Well Gypsy, you are quite a trooper. Here I was thinking you were probably safely tucked into a nice cozy campground somewhere but there you were out on the highway blowing a tire off your rig. I think we all have much to learn from your stamina & determination. Your future RV decisions will come when your mind is ready for them:))

  6. So glad you are ok and that many guardian angels came your way.

    You are such an inspiration to so many of your fellow full-timers and RVers. Hang in there...this too shall pass.

    Take care!!

  7. I was looking for your arrival Blog several times today. So glad you made camp now. Hope you will be able to sleep well and that no more bad things happen to you.

  8. Gypsy, thank goodness you are OK. That is the main thing. Sounds like you did a great job today with a near disaster. Nothing wrong with a KOA if that is what you are comfortable with...and you are. Many of them are close to the hwy. with good access for you. Go for it.

    Don't "fold 'em" yet. You've just had a couple of months of rough times.

    RE: my post on complaining...you are NOT complaining. You've just told your day's story, which was the truth. Frustrating, scary, exhausting is what I'd call it. Hang in there!

  9. Gypsy...you are, hopefully, now safely in Pulaski!...great that you had good help. Blowouts stink!

    Hope you are safely settled in!

    Hope to meet u and see your rig!


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  11. glad you are okay..just a bad day..remember that a bad day RVing is better than a good day at work..you are very lucky that Mary was only a phone call away!!..your glass is half full!..safe travels to you!!!