Before I get into the totally boring stuff, I’ll put up a couple of pictures of the pretty Gila
Monster Woodpecker. They make a sound like a dog’s squeaky toy, and there are plenty of these woodpeckers in the park here.
Tired and Re-tired
Now for the fun stuff… (?)
Last week we had our rig in for major servicing, and while on the way to the service center, we pulled off the road to argue with the GPS. The dirt lot where we pulled over was very large, and there were a few semi’s at the far side. Normal enough. But when I pulled back onto the road, I heard a loud thump coming from one of the tires. I thought I’d had a flat. A few blocks later I found a safe place to turn off the main road, and checked all the tires. They all looked fine, and the tire monitor said all was good, so we drove on to the service place. As I drove on, the noise lessened. After the three day adventure at the service center, we drove back to our park, and the noise was only noticeable when driving slowly. After we got parked in our site, I found the culprit… a huge round metal thing imbedded in the front steer tire. If it was a spike, it would be 6 inches long or more! But the tire was still holding air! Mysterious…
The biggest problem was that our front tires are huge, and hard to find. I’ve read about folks having a hard time locating these tires, but now it was my turn. Dealers in Tucson had none, so I tried outlets that are nationwide, that ship tires to you. Nope. None. Michelin supposedly makes a run of these tires periodically, and Prevost and Newell and others buy up most of the run right away. I talked to Michelin, and they said they will do another run mid January… or late January. That didn’t help me now! Then I found a dealer here in Tucson who had two used Michelins the right size. He says the previous owner drove a munitions truck, and replaced the steer tires every year just to be safe. So these are “like new” and about a third the cost of new. So for the first time in my life, I bought used tires.
A convenient thing about motorhomes is that I can raise the front up far enough they can remove the wheels without needing to jack it up.
I’m showing lots of tire pictures here, because it seems we spent a lot of our week there! After both front tires were replaced (they were newer and cheaper so I did both,) when driving back to our park, they vibrated significantly from 50 – 55 mph. I called the dealer and said I’d come back to evaluate. On the trip north up the freeway, they seemed better, so I went to the shop and told them it was probably ok. Only later I figured out southbound traffic was slower, in the 50’s, and northbound was faster, and it doesn’t vibrate when in the 60’s. So a couple of days later we went to the shop again, removed the tires, rotated them on the wheels, rebalanced, reinstalled, and wasted all that time and effort because it didn’t help at all. So another day we went back and had balancing beads installed. This is a last ditch effort, because I can’t get new tires for a couple of months even if I wanted to, and we can’t figure out what else to do. The beads seem to help a bit, but not a complete solution. Maybe when we drive a long ways they will settle in better. At least we are driving!
Doing all the work a second time…
I said our tires a huge… I guess that’s a relative term…
When the damaged tire had been removed, I extracted what I’d thought would be a huge spike. Turns out it was just a heavy metal cap of some sort. It was driven as far into the tread as it would go, but didn’t go clear through the tire. I’m sure it weakened the tire, so I’m glad we replaced it.
Another project that needed completion was replacing our water hose. All of a sudden, when we arrived in Tucson, the water hose sprung two leaks. Little pinhole leaks that shot a fine stream of water six feet in the air. Kinda cute, but not really. The hose winds up on a powered spool, and I wondered how you attach it in the center of this gadget. So I called the company; you don’t. They do. I needed to replace the whole spool, with hose attached. Well, as long as I was going to do that, I got a bit larger one, so our hose is 50 feet instead of the 35 originally installed. I’d calculated we had the room, but hadn’t figured on how hard it would be to get it in there! I got it done, however, and now we have a pretty hose that’s also pretty long!
Another thing that has been bugging me is our water pressure in the motorhome seemed low. We have a pressure regulator that is supposed to keep it from getting dangerously high, but I suspected it was a little overly anxious. Wednesday morning I ordered a better adjustable one, with a nice gauge, from Amazon. They said it would arrive on the 27th. No good – we leave on our next excursion on the 25th. But for a couple bucks more, they’d have it arrive Same Day! I’ll admit, I doubted it would arrive, but at 5pm, here it came! Now our water pressure is perfect! Amazing Amazon. Just a few more jobs to be ready for the next trip!