Made It Through The Gauntlet (Kind of)

On Wednesday morning three rigs left our other RV friends at La Jolla Beach Camp and headed back to the good ‘ol U.S.A. The rest of the group (24 rigs) were moving on the same day but heading south further into Baja California. Some were going over to the Sea of Cortez at San Felipe while another group was heading further south to Playa Santispac to camp on the water front and do some whale-watching.

One group actually went across Rt 3 to San Felipe and the other group down Rt 1

Thanks to those in the group that had experience crossing back over the border at Tecate, we made it to the wall just fine. Driving north from La Jolla Beach through Ensenada just after rush hour made the trip easier than leaving earlier, but still a lot of traffic, a lot of potholes, and very light painted lines showing separation of lines. You gotta keep both hands on the wheel!

While we waited in line to cross – all along the side of the road are vendors trying to sell you snacks, drinks, and trinkets. This is just one of them. Most just walk up and down the street trying to push their wares on you through the window.

After about 45 minutes we finally made it up to the U.S. Customs crossing inspection gate at Tecate. They came in our coach and looked in our fridge where they then took our eggs and a yellow pepper. They couldn’t tell where these were purchased and they don’t want Mexico meat, eggs, or veggies coming back across the border.

Then the 3 rigs drove on another 20 minutes back to Potrero County Park to camp for the night. We all went out to dinner together, said our goodbyes and heading to our respective destinations (ours to our lease lot at Casa Grande AZ) the next morning.

Ron & Liz (from FL), Liz’ brother Matt (from NY), Jim & Luanne (from OH), and us

We made it back safely (6 hour trip) from CA to AZ stopping once for fuel along the way. And that’s another story – I gotta tell you about how we saved $.78 / gallon with our new truckers fuel card! – but that will be for another post.

When we got back the first thing I wanted to do was wash the rig. Here’s where I found a torn tire – oh no!

Turns out when we left La Jolla Beach I cut a corner a little too close and there was a jagged rock that cut into our drivers side rear tire. The hole is about the size of a quarter (or $10 peso coin) and at it’s deepest is about 3/8″ deep. The “flap” is attached at one end.

I called my local (Coolidge AZ) tire /auto repair shop. He services a lot of Border Patrol and prison buses and I thought he would have a tire in stock. No luck. Loren asked me if I could see the steel belts – my answer was no. He suggested that I trim off the “flap” and not worry about it. He’s had enough experience with heavy truck and construction vehicle tires that I trust his judgement.

But instead of cutting the flap off, I decided to use my Rubber Contact Cement to glue the flap closed so that the wind from being on the road won’t rip the hole any larger.

So we’re back at Rover’s Roost for the weekend and leaving Monday morning to head to Florida. This will be about a 1700 mile trip and will take a week or more to get there. We’ll spend the 2nd and 3rd week of March visiting friends and family in Florida and then the 4th week we will drive up to North Carolina where we will be working in a small privately owned campground right near the Blue Ridge Parkway starting April 1st and going through July 4th.

’til next time … take care and thanks for riding along.

So exasperating!

Sooooo, one of the things that the RV dealer supposedly did for me was to sell me and install tire air valve extensions.  ValveExtendersThese snazzy little hoses and such make it easier to be able to check the tire air pressure, especially for the inside rear dually.

He told me that when I brought it in for the trailer light controller, that the inside road-side tire was leaking air from the valve stem.  So I told them to replace the extender or stem that was leaking and decided it would be a wise investment for me to purchase one of the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)s.  This allows the driver to get  a real-time digital readout of the individual tire pressure(s) and temperature.

I got the coach back from the repair shop yesterday, and the TPMS I ordered from Amazon arrived today.  I successfully programmed the system, installed all the sensors on all six tires and “VOILA” the little LCD monitor screen showed all the tire pressures and temps.  AND GUESS WHAT ELSE?   The road-side inside tire had NO AIR IN IT!!!!

So glad I bought this system because there’s no way I would have known that tire was empty and, having been told by the repair shop all was good and that they had filled all the tires to 105 psi, we would be heading out Saturday morning with a flat (and dangerous) tire.

The coach has an on-board air compressor for the air brakes and the air suspension, so tonight I pulled out the hose and tried putting air in the tire.  I only heard air leaking out the back side, not sure if it’s a bad rim/tire seal or bad valve stem or stem extender.

But guess where it’s heading first thing in the morning?  Back to Galion (again).