Tuesday afternoon we took our last ride on the bike in Florida for awhile and once back at the 5th wheel I loaded it onto the semi. Our plan was to head for Texas and start our work for this winter so we can fill up the money barrel again :-).
Wednesday morning we hooked on and pulled out of Dade City and headed North on I-75. We made good time and soon made the turn west on I-10. Hard to imagine this interstate goes virtually from coast to coast. We will be taking it all the way to Houston Texas and I'm sure we will have our fill of it by then :-).
I had scoped out a possible stop for the night in Alabama and thought the timing would be about right. That is until we got to the 174 mm and a rear tire on the semi decided to expell it's air "forcibly". KABOOM! I had my window open and my arm hanging out enjoying the ride and just about soiled my underoos when that thing let go. Rubber was flying everywhere and the noise sounded like the truck was coming apart.
Rudee followed me as I eased off onto the berm and we stopped to survey the damage. Not too bad, some paint missing on rear panel of the semi, 3 clearance lights, some black marks on the front of the 5er as well as my side to side level was broken. :-(
There was an exit ramp less than 1/2 mile away so we limped along the the berm. There was a gas station with a large lot at the end of the exit ramp so we were very fortunate for that.
I called our emergency road service and since I did not have spare they would only offer to tow the truck leaving the 5er sit. Nope not gonna do that when a tire store can do a service call and mount the tire right here.
I got the number of the wrecker they would use, called him and he gave me a local road service dealer, called him and he had the correct tire and would be there in 30 minutes. Fantastic!
Rudee pointed out that the license plate on the truck was no longer "on" the truck. I hopped in the Dakota and went back to the scene of the "Ka-blewey" and looked around but could not find any sign of the license plate or any of the clearance lamps.
I was only gone about 15 minutes and when I got back the tire guy was there and had the tire already off the truck!
He made short work of changing things out and we were back on the road about an hour after pulling off.
We paid the road service tab and will send a copy of the bill to our provider and see of they will reimburse us or not. I was not too impressed with them on the phone, she did not seem to know what a 5th wheel RV was. Not good for a place that markets to Rvers.
Back on the road we decided to boondock at Wal Mart and ended up in Crestview Florida at a super center. There was an Applebee's nearby so we had their 1/2 price appetizers as our evening meal. We also rented a Red Box movie which we watched before turning in for the night. The movie, Hall Pass, was a real hoot but there are a couple of graphic nude scenes so be warned.
Thursday we were back on the road headed west on I-10. I was still a little rattled by the blow outs and was hearing every creak and rattle the rig was making. I finally settled down some only to read a sign in Mobile Alabama that said "tunnel ahead" .... hmmm wasn't aware of a tunnel, Oh well no biggie, just drive on through.
I entered the tunnel and this thing goes straight down. As in, into the gates of H. E. double toothpicks down! Yabba! On top of that we no more get into the tunnel and Rudee calls me on the CB and says she is having a panic attack and needs out of here. NOW!
Well no where to go but up .... and out. Thank goodness the tunnel was not too long, I don't think Rudee would have made it. OK, note to self, no more tunnels for Rudee.
We actually ended a long travel day with the same tires we started out with! Seems like a first for us so far. :-)
We are set up at Gulf Coast RV Resort in Beaumont Texas a very nice Passport America park ($17.50 per night). We paid for one night but will probably stay tomorrow night as well. We need a break :-). I'll keep you posted.