A Familiar Journey, Part Three

So there we sat in the ’89 Winnebago, on the side of the turnpike…again, 40-miles east of Oklahoma City. Last year, it was a blown right inner dually tire. This time, the left inner dual decided to get in on the action. Which is so much safer to change, being completely exposed, just inches away from speeding semi’s bearing down in the right lane.

Downstream Casino, where our unending luck was consistent.
Downstream Casino, where our luck was consistent.

90-minutes later, roadside assistance arrived in a huge flatbed loaded down with everything you could possibly need to assist a disabled vehicle…unless you were driving a late model Winnebago. Seriously. The first words out of the guy’s mouth as he approached: “Just being honest – this is the first time I’ve ever done this.” Yikes.

No air-compressor, no impact wrench, a simple 2-ton jack, and not a single socket that would fit any of my gear. Perfect! No worries – this was still completely doable. The jack held, we removed both tires using my 4-way tire-iron, then headed back to try and remove the spare…and we tried…and tried…and tried to remove the spare.

During my blown-tire experience a year prior – where a gentleman arrived with all of the proper equipment needed – using his impact wrench, he made sure one would require (and I’m guessing here) somewhere around 50-thousand pounds of force to get that thing off the mount. We needed better gear.

So…are you ready for this? After a 90-minute wait, then 45-minutes of coaching a guy who had less experience than I when it comes to changing a tire…we had to put everything back the way it was, send him on his way, and request a better-equiped assistance provider. For real…

I thought I was frustrated. But then I discovered the true meaning of the word. On the phone, roadside assistance informed me that there was good news, and bad news. The good news – they’d found someone with the proper equipment to help. The bad news – it would be a 3-hour wait. WHAT?!

Downstream Casino. Staying hydrated.
Downstream Casino. Staying hydrated.

For the next three hours, I managed to irreparably warp a steel socket wrench and several other tools simply trying to MacGyver the spare off of it’s bolt. Three hours? Screw that. I was determined to get this changed myself; but the nut was torqued so tight, the entire weight of my body bent and mangled every tool I used. And so we waited…and waited…for a fellow to show up, turn on his air compressor, and change the tire in less than 10-minutes. Done.

That’s 5-hours of our lives we’ll never get back, on the side of the road again, in an ’89 Winnebago. THIS time in Oklahoma, where the wind and 80-mph semi’s come sweeping down the turnpike.

On a positive note, rather than continue driving past midnight, we decided pay a visit to Downstream Casino, seeing as they have full RV-hookups. On the downside, our luck with the slots mirrored our luck on the road. Oh well, apparently that just how we roll.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein.

[column size=”1/3″]
For Part One, click here
[column size=”1/3″]
For Part Two, click here
[column size=”1/3″ last]
[divider style=”dashed”]