From out of nowhere "KA-BOOOOOOOM!!!!!"
"This is Drifter 1, I have been hit and going down! I repeat, Drifter 1 is going down! Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!"
It really didn't happen like that but in the heat of the moment it felt like it. That moment I am talking about is our recent little trip down Interstate 4 in Central Florida. Traffic was heavy but then it is I-4 and there is always heavy traffic on it. Traveling from Tampa to Orlando when I hear a horrendous noise behind me. I look in the side mirror just in time to see a bunch of rubber go flying off our fifth wheel along with some other parts that used to be attached.
We have a tire pressure monitoring system and I didn't get an alarm or anything. But I know it was from our rig because all I see is bent metal and broken plastic. I turn on my turn signal to get over to the shoulder and quickly make an emergency landing. I get out to take a look and Lisa pulls up behind me. She thought I ran over something and then realized that it all came from us. She likes to follow pretty close in traffic so she had the joy of running over everything I just discarded. Luckily no flat for the Jeep.
Looking at it I can hear the tire hissing at us. For some reason I think of Star Trek and the Wrath of Kahn. "From hell's heart I stab at thee" the tire says in it's dying breath. That is why the tire pressure monitor didn't go off. The tire was still inflated but all of the tread around the tire separated.
|A bald tire.|
We find a place a little farther down the road that is wider so that we can get farther off the road. Florida drivers don't move over at all. They are passing us at 70 mph and each time a car or truck goes by, the rig rocks. One bad design about this fifth wheel is that they put the spare tire inside the lower compartment. There is a door on the other side but the tire doesn't fit through it. So we have to empty everything to get the tire out. We get the tire out and wouldn't you know, it is flat. My bad. I throw it in the back of the Jeep and head down the road to the next exit. I find a Marathon station and it has a working air compressor. Whoohoo! It would have been nice if I brought the tire pressure gauge. My bad again. Oh well I will just go in and buy one. I should have brought my wallet or some money. I am so bad. The air compressor takes quarters and there were some in the cup holder. Whoohoo! I should call Lisa and tell her I am on my way back. I maybe should have brought my cell phone. I am oh-so-bad now.
I get back to Lisa with the tire aired up. Whoohoo!
"Don't you have roadside assistance?"
"Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and we do have roadside assistance". We used it once to change a flat a couple of years ago when we were here in Florida.(Hey, I am seeing a trend here. Florida=flat tires) It took hours for them to arrive. 15- 20 minutes later we are back on the road. So many people recommend the Goodyear G614 tires. Very heavy duty and very expensive. So sick of our tire problems, we bit the bullet and purchased 5. Ouch! So if we have a problem with these, I will hunt down everybody that recommended them.
On a fun note we went to Sea World one day. That is always a fun park to visit. The rollercoaster that we like was not working that day but they have some new ones that were beyond our capabilities. So we took in some shows. The dolphins and the Shamu show which they will be ending in a couple years. Watch them now because they will be gone for ever.
|This Dolphin just kept swimming upside down.|
|View from the sky tower.|