So, October 25th, we are driving from Albuquerque, NM to Mesa, AZ (close to Phoenix). It’s about a 200 mile drive and about 40 miles across the Arizona border I look in the rear view mirror and see a car flashing its lights and honking at me. I look back and there are BILLOWS of white smoke coming from the left rear trailer axle. My first thought is the emergency brake (if a cable pulls free from the chain, the trailer’s brakes engage) has malfunctioned or come loose. But when I pulled over on Hwy 40 eastbound to investigate, I found the entire rear tire, wheel/hub, brake and part of the axle had disintegrated.
Very un-Paul-like, I did not freak out. The Old Paul would have lost his mind, but Melinda has turned me into a gentler, kinder Paul. Eh, who am I kidding? I just didn’t have anybody to blame or freak out about. We had Good Sam Travelers’ Assistance (like AAA for RVs), so we called them and waited. And waited. And waited. First they tried to find us a place to stay and/or get the trailer fixed. Then once they had a destination, they tried to find us a flat bed towing company. None of that is easy to do on a Sunday morning at 8 A.M. during Covid. Out in the middle of NOWHERE.
Finally, an Arizona State Trooper pulled up and after we updated him on the sitch, he gave us the name of a towing company in Winslow, AZ, which we gave to Good Sam, and an hour and a half later, they were towing the trailer to the nearest town, Holbrook, AZ (about 40 miles away). FIVE HOURS after the incident. They towed the trailer to a Goodyear in Holbrook and we parked the RV at the OK RV Park a few blocks away.
We knew we couldn’t get service on a Sunday, so we stayed there for 3 1/2 days because evidently that’s how long it takes to get an axle, wheel and brake in Holbrook. The only reasons that length of time was an issue was:
1.) we had reservations to be at an RV park in Mesa on the 25th
2.) Melinda’s new motorcycle was scheduled to be delivered that week, and
3.) it SNOWED the whole time we were there. Granted, it wasn’t a LOT of snow, just a good dusting every night that melted off the middle of the next day (barely). But it was more than I ever wanted to see again.
It all worked out, I guess. 3 1/2 days and $1700 later we were back on the road to Phoenix. That’s gotta be some kind of record: 300 miles in 4 days. I’m not going to complain though. We have been on the road for nearly two years and that is the first mechanical breakdown we have had. We’ve had a few mechanical issues (slide outs, etc.), but no vehicular issues. Now, in all honesty, that was a doozy, but no one got hurt, it cost us some time and money, but we got to Mesa in time to get her bike, and I didn’t go to jail for murdering anyone.
RV On The Road Yet? is a blog dedicated to the journey one couple has taken on the road to living full time in a Recreational Vehicle. Please keep in mind that we are not RV experts (or lawyers or doctors). We are just a couple muddling our way through this RV thing like anyone else. With luck, we may share something that will save you time or money, or just make you smile. We are primarily doing this so Melinda can keep her 65 best friends informed on our full-time RV adventure exploits. Sometimes humorous and hopefully educational, we will relay the steps we have taken as we travel down the former path of frontiersmen, Gypsies, retired people, and idiots.