We publish several guides to help make the RV lifestyle less expensive and easier, including our Guide To Free Campgrounds & Overnight Parking Places, our Casino Camping guide, and the Guide To Public RV Dump Stations, to name just a few. They can all be found on our online bookstore, along with a lot of other great RV reading.
Another of our top selling publications is our Guide To RV Good Guys, which lists honest and reliable repair shops from coast to coast. I developed this guide because I know how hard it can be to find somebody to work on our RV or van when we’re in some strange town where we don’t know anybody to ask for suggestions.
Businesses cannot buy an advertisement in our Good Guys guide. The only way a business gets listed is if we have dealt with them ourselves and had a good experience, or if they are recommended by somebody we know and whose opinion we trust. I have a new business that I am going to add to this guide.
We want to replace the tires on our Winnebago motorhome. They have a lot of tread left, but they are seven years old, and that means it’s time to get some new rubber on the RV. Most RVers never drive enough to wear out their tires, but over time the sidewalls can weaken and crack, which can lead to a blowout. Having survived a front tire blowout on our bus at 65 miles per hour a few years ago, it’s not an experience we want to repeat.
The other day, I spent some time calling tire dealers in the Mesa and Apache Junction area, getting quotes for six new Michelin tires. One of the places I called was Fletcher Tire on Crismon Road in Mesa. The gentleman I spoke to there said they could not help us, because they don’t carry the big 22.5 tires we need, and our RV is too big for their equipment.
But, the salesman asked for my cell phone number and offered to make some calls for me and try to locate a couple of shops who handle big rigs. True to his word, he called me back a short time later with the phone numbers and contact information for two tire shops that stocked our size tires and can handle a big RV.
Now that’s service! He isn’t going to make a penny from me on my tires, he knows that I’m an RVer, not a local who might come in sometime for something else, but he still took the time to go the extra mile for me! You can bet that Fletcher Tire gets added to our Good Guys guide, and that if I ever do need tires or any service on my van, if we’re in this area, that’s who I’ll go to.
I’m still tire shopping, and I quickly learned that prices are all over the place. Big O Tires was almost exactly $1,000 higher for the six tires than a place called Copperstate Tire in Phoenix. When I told the guy from Big O that his quote was way out of line, he asked me incredulously if I was really willing to drive 35 miles just to save $1,000. Uh…. yeah, I am!
I’d like to get the new tires on before we go to Yuma for our Gypsy Gathering rally next month, unless somebody reading this has any leads to a good tire shop in Yuma I should call to get a quote from.
If the guy at Big O thinks traveling 35 miles is a big journey, he needs to talk to my pal Al Hesselbart, historian for the RV Hall of Fame Museum in Elkhart, Indiana.
While he was at the National RV Show in Louisville, Kentucky in December, Al was approached by representatives of the Chinese RV industry who invited him to come to a large outdoor lifestyle show in Hangzhou, China next month as their guest. They explained that they were inviting representatives of different parts of the American RV industry to discuss our system at their show.
Al told me Hangzhou is about 100 kilometers southeast of Shanghai, and he is scheduled to leave March 2nd, and he will arrive in China on March 3rd. He will give his 20 to 30 minute presentation on the growth of the RV lifestyle and its effect on the American culture to a group of government officials on the 4th, and to RV industry officials and show goers on the 5th, then the group will get an officially escorted tour of the Hanzhou area on the 6th, and will return home on the 7th.
Al said they are flying them business class, putting them up in first class hotels, and he will have an interpreter to help him present his program. Gee, and I thought my buddy had a swelled head before! Can you imagine what he’s going to demand if I want him to come to our Eastern rally in Elkhart this year to present a seminar? I may need to sell a kidney or something, just to cover his tab!
Thought For The Day – Never take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.