January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our worse day on the road - time to park it?

Bloomsbury,  NJ

We said our goodbyes to the Camp Directors Jenn and Lee  and NOMADS Susan and Mike, and got on the road shortly before 9 am yesterday headed to Bloomsbury, NJ where we planned to boondock for the night while visiting fellow bloggers Betty and Dave.

After driving maybe 60 miles and while in heavy traffic on I95 in Connecticut we heard a loud BOOM!  At first we thought it was the tractor-trailer next to us backfiring.   But immediately realized we had a tire blow out.  The tractor-trailer slowed allowing us to pull over.   There was no shoulder on the road but for about two feet then a guard rail.   The tire had blown so fast the Pressure Pro System gave us no warning.   The blow out caused the side of our trailer over the tires to rip apart.

We needed to get out of the road.   There was a spot about 200 yards up the road where we could safely pull over.   Len slowly drove the truck while I walked on the inside of the guard rail holding the metal that came loose from the rig.

To remove the torn metal, Len started the generator and got out a grinder and cut the large piece off allowing him access to the tire.   After changing  the tire, we got back on the road.    About an hour later we pulled into a rest area and grabbed some way overpriced McDonalds burgers.

We figured we could get to our destination by 3 pm so I called Betty to let her know.   At about two ANOTHER TIRE BLEW.   Again so fast the Pressure Pro did not give a warning.  This time we were on I287 with a wide shoulder.   This was the tire directly in front of the previously blown tire.   A little more damage was done to the side of the rig.  Fortunately both tires were on the same side so all damage was contained.

There are massive holes in both tires.

We were now in a situation with no spare.   We unhooked the truck and set off to buy two tires.  I put in a search for a Sears in our GPS.  She directed us to a location about 8 miles away.  NO SEARS to be seen.  A little up the road we found a Pep Boys.   They do not carry trailer tires.   A little more up the road a Firestone Tire Store.   They keep no trailer tires in stock - can order one and will get it by Wednesday.   They search on the computer to see if other Firestone stores in the area have what we need.  NO.   They tell us about a tire store about 4 miles away.   We go there.  It is closed.

Another search on the GPS for a different Sears.   She directs us into a residential area on a dead end street. No Sears there of course.    Back to the main highway - there is a Discount Tire Store.  No trailer tires.  They call the nearest Sears for us.   NOPE!  No trailer tires there either.   They call a tire store they know about.  No answer.

In the meantime I have been talking to Betty keeping her up-to-date on our situation.   Then I get an idea!   They have a 2010 Montana.  They have a spare!   Can we come get it and get our rig off the Interstate?   Sure.  

It is a 52 mile drive each way.  We get to their location at about 5:45.  They have their spare ready for us.  Back we go.  However first we get on I78 near where they are but we head the wrong way.  Almost into Pennsylvania we get turned around.   We then drive the miles back to our rig, Len gets the spare on and we head back to Betty and Dave's.  We get there close to 8 pm.   We have now been on the road about 11 hours for what was to be a 3 to 4 hour drive.

We park the truck and rig and open the slides.   Betty was outside and said she heard loud noises when the larger slide opened.   Later we realized that Len had wrapped bungee cords around the frame and connected them to the remainder of the piece of metal he had left from his cutting.  He did this so wind would not get under it and cause further damage.   The sound was the bungee cords snapping and breaking.  No damage we hope.

Betty and Dave then took our poor souls to dinner.

The day was trying.   We are seriously considering if we should continue on the road.  We had the accident last year which separated the back end from our rig.   Our four original tires on the rig were replaced this year due to either blow outs or they were obviously wearing.  The two tires that blew yesterday were replacements we bought in New Mexico in the middle of nowhere when we had a blowout of one of the originals and it was the only tire store in the area.  

We've had two very close calls in recent weeks when the drivers decided at the last minute to head to an exit and cut in front of us to the point to avoid a collision Len had to pull into another lane both times hitting the brakes and almost hitting another car.  Only because of his driving skill did we avoid a bad accident.  Had I been driving, the story would have ended differently.    And we have both had to deal with the death of our mothers in the last year.

As much as we love this life style, we don't know if we can continue with our almost constant stress of breakdowns and near misses.   It this worth it?

Today we will look for tires but it is Sunday.   We don't hold out much hope.   We might need to stay put a day or two.   Tomorrow we contact the Insurance Company AGAIN.


Sam&Donna Weibel said...

We had the same thing happen with our first 5th wheel, we replaced all four tires with a higher load range LT tire and never had another tire failure,We plan to do the same with this one before we hit the road. Glad you guys are alright, it is scary to lose a tire on the highway. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Jerry / Carol said...

I feel your pain and anxiety. You post makes me think about my tires as well. Glad you made it safely to Betty's. Please don't let this be the end of your dream. Travel safe.

Jessica said...

Oh Phyllis!! :( Harry and I are so sorry to hear that you guys had such a hard and trying day!! I hope today is a brighter day.

Laurie and George said...

OH! I'm so sorry to hear about your trials on the road this time. Please don't give up...I'll be praying for you guys.

Judy and Emma said...

What an awful day you had! I hope things look better for you soon.

Kenny And Angela's Adventure said...

We are sorry to hear about the very bad day you had.Glad you guys are ok.

Hang in there.

Bob said...

Through all of this, nobody was hurt. Something to keep in mind. Don't you think that any day living life as you do, in your RV, is better than being tied down to one spot?
If your whole direction is in need of a review, then so be it, but everyone has bad days, it's bound to happen.

Merikay said...

I came to your blog by way of Betty's. As stressful as having two blow outs was, you are both fortunate that good driving skills and a calm hand was at the wheel.

We have just bought our first RV. We are held hostage by a large house, but hope to begin part time travel in a few months

Stories like this scare me!

Happytrails said...

The "blow out" issue has always stressed me in the MH. It is very scary. I am so thankful that the two of you remained safe through this awful day. It could have been so much worse!! Hope today is a brighter day and you can find the tires you need. Sending hugs your way!!

Kimberly and Jerry Peterson said...

Yep, always a chance of not the greatest circumstances while on the road...but to trade it in for a stationary house...nope, not an option for us. We LOVE this lifestyle way too much, but we have also been blessed as far as problems on our travels. Hope the stress finds it way into the background as you continue to enjoy this lifestyle.

heyduke50 said...

that sounds like no fun whatsoever... we head to Connecticut tomorrow on I95 - hope we don't encounter the problems you two faced...

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

OUCH OUCH OUCH... we had two blow-outs once in a 60 mile stretch on our older Coachman motorhome. We learned FAST about *dating tires* that day. Turns out the good looking fully treaded tires were THIRTEEN years old! NO kidding. We stopped overnight in front of a tire store, and bought six new tires the next morning before continuing on.

It was an expensive start to a vacation, for sure!

Please be sure to get the *date codes* on the tires they are selling you, to be sure you are not going to be sold old tires that have sat in a warehouse for a few years!

And like Sam said, get higher load range tires now and travel with peace of mind----

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Terry said...


You got good advice on watching for the date codes as to the date of manufacture. Also, I suggest looking to make sure that you do NOT get any tires manufactured in China. On a number of forums that I participate on, Chinese tires are just short of being "of the devil."

Please do not give up yet on the RV lifestyle. Good luck with your travels.

Terry and Jo
(Fellow RV Dreams forum participants)

Rick and Paulette said...

That was terribly bad luck to get two blowouts in such a short time. I guess you'll be checking the tires on the other side? Maybe you could post the tire brand when you get a chance.

JOJO said...

As I started reading I was thinking you just bought those tires. That is awful and finding the date code is so important. I read another story about old tires it wasn't good. I think I will be needing new tires on my mh when I get home, I will be sure to check the date code.

Maybe if you find a nice place to park for awhile without working and relax and take a few deep breaths you will feel better.
Good luck and stay safe.

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Hey guys, its Donna....So sorry for all that you went through....afraid I'm a worrier and an incident like that would have me also seriously considering the lifestyle, but think you got good advise from several about the tires. Also think of the alternatives, were you happier tied to a brick & mortar home, or a mobile home?
As far as idiots on the road, I drive 80 miles round trip to work every day, you have no idea how many close calls I have, so if you stay stationary, you could have a very bad accident just driving your 4 wheeled vehicle to the grocery store. You've had a long rough few days between the nomads work and the driving, you will probably feel much better after some rest and introspection.
Hang tough.
Donna W.

Randy and Pam Warner said...

Sorry to hear of your blowouts! Hang in there. Hopefully you will get fixed up soon.

Donna aka Froggi said...

You've already gotten good advise on checking the date codes, moving to a higher rating but don't forget to get your rig weighed. You'd be surprised how this can help you not only chose the best tire but the best tire pressure.

We've only had one tire blow and it was due to a wheel bearing freezing...I know how NOT fun that is. We were lucky in that it was a middle tire (we have 3 axles) so there was no body damage.

As to traffic, we try to avoid peak hours and large cities whenever possible. Helps remove some of that stress. If I had my way, we'd never do cities...LOL!