A Really Bad Day – A Repost from 2015

May 4, 2015

First up, I want to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and good wishes. It means a lot to us that we have so many friends. Thank you again.

After our momentous yesterday, it would have been nice to sleep in, but that was not to be. We were up about 7:30 because Affinity RV where we’re parked here in Prescott would be opening at 8. I figured things would start rolling about then, so I wanted to be up and ready.

Stan, the Service Manager, showed up about 8:15 and ask if I had a spare tire. When I told him I didn’t, he said our rim was OK, and they were going to put a temporary tire on our rig so that they could move it to a more permanent location where we’ve would still have 50 amps and water, as well as now being able to put our slide out.

While they were working on the tire, I called National General Insurance and put in my claim for yesterday’s unpleasantness. I had already talked to my agent Chris Yust, of C and C RV Insurance to set things up so I didn’t have any problems.

About 10:30 we made our move and got parked and set up in a very nice area behind one of their buildings. We even have a spot to set up our satellite so Jan’s happy.

Affinity Parking Site

And there’s even a blue boy nearby to take care of our grey tank. We can go two weeks on our black tank and I hope we won’t be here that long.

They’re having an 18th Anniversary Expo Sale here at Affinity RV this week, and part of that is that they have a food tent set up with breakfast (breakfast burritos) and lunch (BBQ Pork, BBQ Beef, and BBQ Chicken, along with the fixin’s. So around 12:30 I walked over to pick up lunch for Jan and I.

While I was there, I ran into blog reader and friend, Jim Hamm. He was there with his RV club helping out to serve the food. We first met Jim at a rally a few year back, and he recognized me. He had not yet read this morning’s blog so he did not know that we were here. As for us, we’re always happy to see a friendly face.

Although today was forecast with heavy thunderstorms, all we got was a lot of dark clouds and some drizzling rain. As far as the rest of the week, we’re looking at high’s in the mid-60’s and low’s in the 40’s.


Now back to yesterday.

We left the Las Vegas TT at 7:30, stopping about a mile down the road to take on some diesel. When we got here two weeks ago, diesel was $2.57, but today it was $2.93. Bummer!

While I was filling up, Jan, who had followed me in the truck, went next door to the very convenient Jack in the Box to grab us a couple of breakfast sandwiches. Yum!

Then finishing up, we drove another mile or so down to the Wal-Mart on Boulder Hwy where we hitched up our toad and hit the road.

Our trip was smooth with some crosswinds, but nothing too bad. A ways outside Kingman, we pulled off in the parking lot of a filling station for a bathroom break. While there I was surprised to see this sign.

Medical Cannabis

I guess that gives new meaning to the term, “Convenience Store.”

Then about 80 miles out of Flagstaff on I-40E our trip came to a quick stop.

I saw something come out from under the wheels of a passing semi and tumble across right in front of me. And then there was a big BOOM! and the rig headed for the ditch.

Luckily, I was driving my usual 55mph which probably helped. Conventional blowout wisdom says to accelerate to straighten out and then slow to a stop without using the brakes. I didn’t accelerate because that would have just gotten me to the ditch faster. But instead I let off the gas and was able to wrestle the coach around until it was heading straight down the wide shoulder. From the time of the BOOM until we came to a stop was probably about 30 seconds.

The kitchen area looked like an avalanche zone. Both the coffee maker and the toaster/convection oven fell to the floor and then was covered up by all the stuff, spices, bottles, etc., came down until we had about a two foot pile of debris blocking the walkway back to the bathroom.

I was kind of involved at the time, but Jan said Mister freaked out. He had been lying on the floor just behind our chairs when all the stuff started raining down on him. She said he started jumping around, from her chair, then up on the dashboard, and back down again.

She also said, “I think he was screaming, but then again that may have been me.”

Or maybe both of them. And if I hadn’t been so busy, I might have been screaming too.

After catching our breath, I went outside to check out the damage. The first thing I noticed, besides the shredded tire,

BlowOut Tire

was diesel leaking out from underneath.

BlowOut Fuel Hose

BlowOut Fuel Bracket

BlowOut Fuel Tank2

The blowout had ripped the hose off between the fill nozzle and the tank. It looks like we lost 3-5 gallons before the level fell below the tank input.

At the front of the wheel well there was a bunch of wires hanging down where a wire bundle had been shredded.

BlowOut Wire Bundle2

The only other damage I saw was the bottom mirror on my rearview mirror had fallen off,

BlowOut Mirror

and the wrap-around AstroTurf step mat had been ripped off.

That was about it.

Based on some of the stories I’ve heard about blowout damage, i.e. side panels ripped out, brake and air lines torn up, suspension components bent, etc., we were very lucky.

Coming back in, I got on the phone with Good Sam ERS. The closest place that had something big enough to haul us was down in Prescott about 90 miles away, and he was out on a call. A little while later, I got a text message giving me an ETA of 3:09pm.

The guy got here at 3:15. Pretty accurate ETA.

BlowOut TowTruck

It took about an hour to get things set up, and then I just drove the rig up onto the flatbed, and then we were on our way.

BlowOut TowTruck 2

Dennis, of NASTOW Heavy Towing in Prescott, took us to Affinity RV Sales where he knew the manager and had arranged for us to park for the night in their lot.

Getting there, I just backed the rig off the flatbed and around the corner and into our spot. We didn’t have room to open our slide, but we did have 50 amps, so that was great.

Presott RV 1aa

Bob Bean, the manager, came by a little later to check in on us, and to see if we needed anything. Really nice guy.

Right before I put the rig up on the trailer, Dennis and I were looking at the tire and I saw something embedded in between the shreds of rubber.

BlowOut The Culprit

It was what I had seen bouncing across the road, a metal truck tire valve stem, about 4 inches long. I guess I was just unlucky enough to hit it when it was sticking up and not laying flat.

Finally, about 8:30, Jan and I headed over to an IHOP to have a late dinner. Between what happened, the long day, and the late meal, we were both kind of shell-shocked.

But we sure slept good.


Thought for the Day:

Washington, D.C. – 68 square miles surrounded by reality.