Feb 232010

We woke up to wind and pouring rain yesterday morning, and it didn’t look like it was going to let up anytime soon. But we had an appointment at the Camping World in Mesa at 11:30 a.m., so I went outside and slogged through puddles of water to empty and flush our black tank, top off our fresh water tank, and disconnect our utility hookups. By the time I was finished, I was soaked.

With everything ready to go, I fired up our Cummins diesel engine, retracted our slide rooms and HWH leveling jacks, and we were ready to go. Well, almost ready to go. The indicator light and warning beeper said the right rear jack had not fully retracted. Sure enough, it was down about two inches. I hit the automatic leveling button to deploy the jacks again, and this time when I retracted them, they all came up fine.

It was only twelve miles to Camping World from Patio Gardens, so Terry drove the van behind me. After six weeks of sitting still, it was good to be back behind the wheel of our motorhome. 

RV in shop webI don’t think I have ever seen any Camping World as busy as the one in Mesa was yesterday. The entire parking lot was jammed, and Terry could not even find a place to park the van, let alone me the motorhome. I finally left it double parked and went inside to check in with the service department, and they pulled it right into one of the work bays.

Tire display webI have been shopping for tires and batteries for our Winnebago Ultimate Advantage, and had narrowed the tire choices down to the Michelin X7A3 and the Goodyear G670 RV. In my opinion, there really isn’t any real difference in quality between the two, and I have had a lot of RVers recommend both tires.

In the end, I chose the Goodyear tires, even though the price for all six, mounted, balanced, and out the door, was $200 more. My reasons may not make sense to a lot of people, but I have hated the Michelin Company ever since Vietnam, and Goodyear is an American company, as opposed to Michelin, a French outfit.

The only French things I like are fries, toast, and kisses. My not buying their tires will not affect Michelin’s bottom line one iota, but it was worth the extra money to me not to give them my business.

We also needed new house batteries, because the previous owner of our motorhome had installed regular starting New batteries webbatteries instead of deep cycle RV batteries. We went with Interstate batteries, which many RVers use and seem to be happy with. Since we don’t plan to do as much dry camping as we once did, we could not justify the price of absorbed glass matt (AGM) batteries like we had in our bus conversion. 

It had rained hard off and on all day long, but it finally started to clear up about 2 p.m., and there was quite a bit of blue sky showing. Of course, by the time they were finished working on the motorhome about 3:30, it had started pouring again. That lasted until we got the van hooked up to our Blue Ox tow bar, did our light check, and were ready to take off. Then the rain stopped. Go figure.

We had planned to boondock in the Camping World parking lot if it was getting close to rush hour when they were finished with our work, but the lot was still packed, and there wasn’t anyplace to park. So we drove 86 miles to Gila Bend, where we spent the night dry camping in the huge gravel parking lot at the Elks lodge. It was a windy trip, but we made good time, and at last the rain had stopped.

There were half a dozen other RVs at the Elks lodge, and when I went inside to register, we ran into longtime readers Bob Parker and Donna Huffer, who are also on their way to Yuma for our rally.

We will continue on to the fairgrounds in Yuma today, and get settled in so we can start working on the final details for the rally. It won’t be long now, folks!

Thought For The Day – I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. – Douglas Adams  

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “New Tires & Batteries”

  1. We’ve never had an appointment at Mesa Camping World in which it wasn’t 4-5 hours after our appointment time before they started the work. The last time we had service there, we spent 4 days in their parking lot to get our toilet replaced under warranty. Must be nice to have the “Power of the Pen” behind you!!!

  2. Rain is perfidious, and will always come at the worst times, unless you expect them to and plan for it. I think Kokopelli is in charge of rain, that little devil!

  3. Could someone please translate the previous comment for me? I certainly hope it is the penultimate comment of that genre.

  4. Two years ago we had our tires replaced by Camping World in New Hampshire, no tax in NH and that was a savings as well. We had an appointment and work was started 15 prior to that time. We also bought the Goodyear’s and this was after a lot of fact finding. We were mainly impressed with the G670 RV tire which has the UV inhibitor incorporated in the compound. Never gave it a thought about the French connection, but I whole hardly agree with you on that point. Remember we even gave them the grape stalks to replace there own infested stalks and now they think that their wine is better, ha, ha. Also we saved their country or they would be speaking German today.

  5. I understand what you mean about the French, but had to laugh when I read the title to yesterday’s blog: “Viva la Difference”. We have become such a homogeneous society (not a bad thing) that we probably don’t even notice when we slip in a little foreign wording now and then.

  6. What a coincidence!! We are across Main St at RV Renovators and have been here since last Thursday paying homage to the service gods. Great place but soooo busy, hope to get out of here by Friday so we can start laying out the geocasching extranvaganza. see you soon………………..Tom

  7. We had a tire blowout in Oregon last summer which was taken care of by the Goodyear dealer in Goldendale WA. When we called Goodyear to file a claim, they couldn’t have been better! We pulled into the dealer and he was expecting us as they had called him to alert them to our needs. They not only paid for the new tire but for the repairs to our slideout fender. Great customer service!

  8. Nick,

    I think you bought a good set of tires. They are the same ones I use. However I just thought I would share with you that the North American Corporate HQ for Michelin and several manufacturing plants are located in SC. They have been good corporate citizens and employed a lot of South Carolinian’s for many years. They have other plants spread across a number of other states. I would not be surprised if they do not have as many tires “Made in America” as Goodyear.

  9. I replaced Goodyear G59 tires with Goodyear G670 tires in June 2007. I also got a Pressure Pro monitor. The G59’s were about 7.5 years old, and looked good, no sidewall cracking, good tread, with about 40,000 miles. I had always checked pressure every day when traveling and once a week when parked. I still wonder if I replaced the G59’s too soon. I know what the “experts” say, but i also know that many RVers rarely, if ever, check tire pressure and low pressure is the prime cause of failure.
    By the way, as you may know, an expert is any ordinary guy who is more than 50 miles from home.

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