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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Flat Tire in Milton Florida

Your Ad Here Yesterday, while dumpster diving for free shipping boxes behind Target, I happened to notice the outside rear passengers side tire was flat.

Hmmm, I wonder how long that’s been flat?

Having 4 tires on the back of the RV is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you can easily drive to a tire shop after getting a flat tire and a curse because you can be driving around with a flat tire for 100's of miles and not even know it.

I checked the pressure on the inside tire and noticed it was only 40 psi. It should be 63 according to Winnebago. I pumped it up to 60psi and then headed to the nearest Goodyear tire shop.

It wasn’t long after they’d jacked up the RV that the problem was found. There was a hole in the metal valve stem extender. It had obviously been rubbing on the rim since it was installed 8000 miles ago and wore a hole clean through the metal. Then, all the air came out of the tire. I should have taken a picture of the hole in the valve stem but I didn’t.

We determined that the rear tires were getting pretty “bald”. The tread was down to the wear bars in most locations. I could have simply put on a new valve stem and drove away. That would have been maybe $20 an 30 minutes total. Instead, I checked into the safer, more expensive and time consuming alternative of replacing the tires.

They gave me an $800 price for the 4 rears. I told him if I was going to do the 4 rears, I might as well do all 6… and then I said no thanks, too much money for me right now Let’s just put on a new valve stem and I’ll be on my way. They obviously wanted my business. The owner came back a few minutes later with another price… $852 for all 6 tires and labor.

Never agree to the first price you're given people. Always hold out. That 1st quote is a "feeler" to see how "easy" you are. There's a lower price just waiting for you if you can say NO. The more you say no, the lower the price goes.

That price sounded a lot better and after checking with Herman, we decided to go for it. After all, if we do sell or trade this RV, the new owner will appreciate the fact that it has 6 new tires. 

2012-01-30 13.33.52 2012-01-30 13.32.03

I took some pics of the brake pads to show the condition if/when we sell the View. As you can see, there’s at least 75% of the pad left. Maybe more? For those that don’t know,  the brake pad is the fibrous part that contacts the metal brake disc and slows the vehicle. There is a brake pad on each side of the brake disc. The harder you press the brake pedal, the harder these 2 pads squeeze the brake disc. The harder they squeeze, the faster you slow down.

You can see the pads here closest to the round metal brake disc. The thicker the pad, the more life they have left. These are original to the RV & have 29k miles on them now. Knowing that, I’d guess they won’t need to be replaced for another 30k miles or more.

2012-01-30 13.30.57    2012-01-30 13.31.33 2012-01-30 15.21.53

I set up my lawn chair and read some magazines while I watched the tire guy slowly do his thing. Slowly, was the key word here. He wasn’t in a rush but then, neither was I. Tigger kept an eye on him as well.

2012-01-30 13.32.13  2012-01-30 14.40.22

He preferred the shade though.

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They installed all new HIGH PRESSURE valve stems. These are used on any tire that has a PSI rating over 60. They’re good to 110 PSI.

2012-01-30 14.41.50 

Getting bored waiting for Jethro to finish up, I noticed some used RVs across the road and went to check them out. It was fun looking but they weren't my style. From talking with the RV shop guys, I did learn that the "Wineguard carryout" satellite dish is automatic, "in motion" (works while driving) and is portable. So, if you can't get a signal because of overhead trees (happens more often than you'd think), you can move the dish instead of moving your RV. At $599, that's not bad. I also learned that direct TV is not as good as dish network when it comes to TV services for RVers. Dish TV is better for many reasons and they have better customer service. Things to remember if we ever decide to go with satellite TV in our RV.

2012-01-30 14.00.32 2012-01-30 14.00.39

After about 3-4 hours he finally had the 4 rears done. Now just the 2 fronts to go.

  2012-01-30 15.28.332012-01-30 15.18.10

At about 5pm, they finally finished and I hit the road with the wallet $852 lighter. GULP.

About 20 miles away we were finally able to get on the highway and up to speed. That’s when I felt the front end vibrating pretty noticeably. Not acceptable. I called the tire shop and they told me I could go to any Goodyear to have the tires rebalanced. Rather than turn around and spend the night at the tire shop, I decided to shimmy on toward the Florida coast.

Today, I made it to Destin Florida where I spoke with the Goodyear shop owner there. He wasn’t thrilled about fixing another shops mistakes but told me to come back at 9 am tomorrow and they’d fix it.

So, we’re hanging out in Destin Florida checking out the sights. This place is cool. Not cool as in cold, cool as in interesting. It's been roughly 68 degrees and sunny all day. Can't beat that for the end of January.

The first real life kite surfers I’ve ever seen were here. They’re fun to watch. I got my little kite out and flew it just for kicks. I have pics of the kites on my camera. These pics are all from my cell phone.

2012-01-31 12.51.26 2012-01-31 12.51.38

I also stopped and smelled the flowers... something I probably don't do enough.
They smelled good.

2012-01-31 15.11.02


  1. Aww your View is all happy with it's new tires :)

    You seem to be burning across the country too...would take me 2 years to get that far :p

  2. Thanks for the info on the Wineguard Carryout Satellite Dish - I'm just beginning to think about getting one - I hate the price and then the monthly expense, but I haven't had much TV since I was on the road, and I DO miss it. I've saved your info to my file.

  3. Maria -I don't feel like I am moving too far too fast now. There was a time that I was doing 400+ mile days but now, I'm ok with 50-100 mile days in my quest to slowly get back home.

    M&MD - The carryout has a quick release ladder mount. The RV worker that I spoke with says that about 75% of the time he parks his RV in a place where the satellite "dish" can't get a signal. That means he has to jockey his RV around to a spot with nothing overhead... if that's even possible given his campsites terrain.

    With the carryout, he can pop it off the ladder mount and move it seperate from the RV.

    I really miss my TV too. I haven't watched my favorite shows... American Pickers, Auction Kings, or Pawn Stars for almost 2 months! Luckily, Antiques roadshow is on public TV almost everywhere in the country.

  4. my first thought as you were driving away was, "hmmmm, he didn't mention balancing the tires". Lived too long with my car guy husband I guess. Glad all is well that ends well.

  5. I can smell those flowers from here!! Lovely to see the colors. Glad the tires are done and now your safer. Ma

  6. Hi Don, glad it all worked out with the tires. And I'm glad too that you're slowing down a little. I know you probably miss Hermann and want to get home, but there's something to be said for stopping long enough to smell the flowers, no? :) Give Tigger a scratch and a pat, D