Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Care Free Travel Day, Not

Bedford VA. High 73, Low 47

Downhill From Here!

Judy and I were up early Monday so we could be packed-up/hitched-up and rolling by 9:00AM.  After a short stop at the dump station we departed "Twin Lakes" ACOE CG at 9:04.  I said to myself, "this is going to be a great travel day."

We were driving to Smith Mountain Lake SP in Bedford, County, VA.  Judy and I lived in Bedford after I retired from the USN in 1995 until 2003. I GCed our retirement home on 10 acres of beautiful land in the shadows of the "Peaks of Otter. More on this in a future post. Obviously, the retirement home thing didn't workout.

The trip was going great until the Pressure Pro TPMS begin to flash and give out a loud audible tone. It is never good when this happens. A quick glance at the display and I could see there was a problem with the roadside forward tire on the Cardinal. The display also indicated that the tire pressure was decreasing at moderate rate. I pulled over onto the safety shoulder and went and did a visual check. The tire was very "hot"to the touch compared to the adjacent tire.  I determined that I could make it to the next exit about a mile away.  Once there, I saw a Citgo station that had a large paved lot and in the rear three diesel fuel islands. That was good!! I pulled in and went into the store and talked with the attendant and explained my plan. I wanted to pull along side one of the fuel islands, run an extension cord to an electrical outlet and use my air compressor to inflate the tire to determine if it would hold air long enough to drive to a tire repair facility.  Judy and I work as a team, she got the extension cord out and plugged into the compressor and I got the air hose plugged into the compressor and inflated the tire. After inflating it to 80psi I could hear it leaking air. The store clerk gave me a recommendation for a tire service about four miles away. I got on the phone to Snider Tire service. The rep was great. He waited on the phone while I rechecked the tire pressure so I could determine the air loss rate. The tire was down to about 45PSI. It had been about 15 min so the tire rep and I thought I could make to the facility ok. He gave me the address, which I put in the GPS. Another good reason to have a GPS.

inflated the tire to 80PSI, quickly put the extension cord and air hose away and went in and thanked the store attendant. We arrived at the tire facility about 15 min. later. I was expecting a small tire store but it was a huge "BIG Truck " repair facility.  The company was Snider Transportation Solutions. I met with the service rep, Scott, who I had spoken with on the phone. He directed me into a large service bay. He showed Judy and I to a very nice customer lounge.  We felt a little out of place as we were the only non-18 wheeler drivers there!  Scott returned 15 min. later and told me the tire was leaking from the sidewall. That is not repairable. He asked if I had a spare and I told him I did and would get it out. In a short while he came and let Judy and I know the fiver was ready to go. He also told us there was no charge since the tire was not repairable!  I asked if I could "tip" the tech and Scott said that would be ok.  We had been off the road for an hour and a half but it could have been a whole lot worse!  Needless to say the fiver will have all new tires before we leave Bedford. This is the second time my "Pressure System" has alerted me to tire problems on the road. I am also glad I had an air compressor. I had purposely stowed it in an accessible spot just inside the basement in case I needed  it on the road.

I recommend a TPMS for all traveling Full-Timers
Glad I had my air compressor just inside the basement
After leaving Greensboro, NC we arrived at Smith Mountain Lake CG at 6:45PM. Later than I had planned but still happy it wasn't any later given the days events. I will be posting more info and pics of the area soon.

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Thur.


  1. Glad your tire problem wasn't any worse than it was. You're right about the Pressure Pro and compressor. I have both and consider them two of our most important purchases. See y'all next month in SC.

  2. Yes and yes to both. George wouldn't be without either. Glad you got to the tire place safely.

  3. Jim is the monitor to your Pressure Pro TMS as you have pictured above?
    We have a Pressure Pro TMS with a different monitor and have had two blowouts in four months without any warnings. I had even checked the tires before both trips and didn't even need to pull out my compressor.

    It's about time.