We're off and by the end of the first 36 hours we have a new understanding of the concept of adventure. We have the rig set up now to tow the Honda CRV. It will give us more flexibility to anchor somewhere and explore. Rod has hauled a trailer with the rig on his annual trek to Las Vegas for the NASCAR races, but towing a vehicle has a whole new set of ground rules.
It has something called a proportional brake that senses when the motorhome brakes are engaged and applies the Road Master brakes to Honda. Just outside of Laytonville a car in front of us decides to make an unannounced left turn ~ you know the kind: stop, start turn, signal, tail in your lane. Rod applied the brakes; the message to the Honda was slow down, but instead of that the brakes locked making it a momentary 4,500 pound anchor. We must have left a 100' of rubber on Highway 101 and a cloud of blue smoke that swallowed the car behind us. The parameters and settings were supposedly checked before we left Johnny Franklin's in Santa Rosa. Me thinks they muffed it. We pulled over at the next rest stop and re-adjusted the unit which sits on the floor of the driver side in the Honda with an arm attached to brake pedal. From there on no problems.
We pulled into our campsite at Emerald Forest north of McKinleyville and unhitched the Honda to drive down to our friends house for the evening. The minute we got on the Freeway it was "Houston we have a problem". Major vibration, sounded like a freight train. Being NASCAR fans we understand the concept of "flat spotted tires" when a car skids it scrapes off the rubber. Oh boy!
Fortunately Tom and Linda are good friends with Pat, the manager of the Les Schwab Store in McKinleyville. Linda called his house (this is Friday night) and left a message with this wife explaining the situation. On his day off he met us at the shop at 8am and had his guys to get us in first. Four new Honda tires $1,000 ~ friends and customer service ~ priceless.
On the road again by nine, destination Sublimity, near Salem, OR for Rod's Pop's 94th birthday party. We had expected to get in by mid afternoon, but that was not in the cards! We're just south of Cottage Grove, OR on Interstate 5 when we hear a loud rattle-clank, thwappa, thwappa. We pulled as far off the road as possible on the paved verge, which left about 2 feet to the slow lane. Scary! Big Rig drivers are the best, if they had room they moved over to the fast lane to pass us.
Problem: the inside dually tire had lost its tread, which was wrapped up in the wheel assembly and ripped the mud flap loose from it's outside mooring. Fortunately the core remained inflated. We called Good Sam, and it took about an hour before they could get a tow truck to us to change the tire. Nice kid did a great job and we were back on the road in a couple of hours. We pull into Sublimity about 11pm, set up and call it a day.
I went to get something out of the closet and everything spilled out onto the floor like a waterfall. The clothes rod brackets had given up the ghost somewhere along the way. Omne Trium Perfectum. At this point there was nothing to do but laugh and get a good night's sleep!
There's a Les Schwab Store just down the road from Pop's. They got us in first thing Monday morning and replaced two tires, rotated fronts to back and replaced the spare. $400 for 2 new rig tires ~ again customer service priceless.
Next stop the Narrows for a couple of days at Malheur and Harlan Lakes south of Burns, OR. We are enjoying being unplugged and using each day to the fullest. That said you may need to wait for the rest of the story, but I'm taking good notes and lots of photos. Stay tuned.