We ran into a little construction where the lanes were narrowed down with those cement barricades lining both sides of road. Just before entering the construction a larger class A motor home passed us running 70+ MPH and then changed lanes abruptly into our lane. He was going too fast and his maneuvers were too abrupt for that large a vehicle. He was driving that big RV like it was a small sports car! Right then the construction area started and as I was slowing down to give this moron more room the lanes shifted and his motor home begin swerving in his lane towards the barricades. Rudee yelled "look out he is going to hit" and sure enough the rear end of his motor home scraped along the barricades. Somehow he got control and moved back into the travel lane and away from the wall. He never even slowed down! Luckily we were far enough back to miss any carnage but would rather not have a front row seat to watch it! Luckily this guy was not towing anything or it could have been a lot worse, so if your the couple from Minnesota in the Class A traveling north on I-35 yesterday morning who now has a large scrape on the right rear of their coach .......... SLOW DOWN!
We stopped for fuel at a Flying J north of Austin and Rudee made us a quick lunch while I filled the rig up. Continuing north we exited at SR 31 in Waco and once out of town this turned into a really nice 4 lane road with almost no traffic at all. We passed through a couple of towns but really enjoyed this part of the trip. We arrived at M&G shortly after 4pm and they showed us where the hook ups were located. That's when we noticed "the problem". I always walk around the rig at every stop checking on the tires, tow bar, bike straps etc. I did that at the Flying J and all was well. When we got here the bike seemed to be leaning back away from the rear of the motor home at more of an angle then I thought it should. Rudee agreed and we started looking at the lift and found this.
That is a 1" tear in the steel on the lift (to the left of the hitch pin in the photo) and if it continues the bike, most of the lift and our tow car will all three tear away from the motor home. This is not good!
We have been having trouble from day one with the lift going up and down and they told us all we had to do was shake the lift to get it to work. They said it must have some dirt or a metal burr causing problems and we were planning to take it back to have that issue fixed. Obviously the problem is a lot more serious then dirt! I told them I would be bringing the lift back and expected a full refund and would have to rent a trailer to transport the bike now. I also emailed them photos of the damage. They seemed concerned and acted very suprised the steel was actually tearing. Hopefully they will have no issues standing behind a defective product. Their lifts are supposed to hold 1000 lbs (bike is a little over 800) and allow you to tow a vehicle weighing up to 6,000 lbs (our Dakota is under 5,000) so we are within the advertised operating specifications of the lift. The tear is at the point where all the stress' of the bike bouncing caused by bumps in the road are centered so I just don't think their lift is as capable as they advertise.
We have located a U-haul trailer nearby to rent for the bike and will see about picking it up later today. We will go ahead and get the new brake installed on the Dakota this morning,, load the bike onto the U-haul trailer and will then start towards Indiana. Right now we are not sure what we are going to do in regards to the motorcycle. We can buy a trailer and tow it behind the motor home but that puts us back into two vehicles again and we were trying to avoid that. Plus we would have yet another vehicle to maintain and insure. We have talked about letting the bike go and not have a motorcycle anymore. This is a tough one because motorcycling has been a big part of our lives for over 20 years and we do enjoy it but does it fit into our "new" lifestyle? We don't know what decision we will make, right now we are focusing on getting everything back to Indiana where we can relax and discuss our options. Is this another crossroad in life? I'll keep you posted.