Mar 142011

Like a lot of RVers, we enjoy wandering around swap meets and flea markets, and one of the best ones we have ever found is the Arizona Market Place, here in Yuma. No matter what you are looking for, from tools to produce, clothing, or used books, you’ll find it among the vendors at this huge venue. There are also a lot of vendors selling RV parts and accessories.

Yesterday morning, we spent some time exploring the flea market. We weren’t looking for anything in particular, but just enjoyed browsing the various offerings. The place wasn’t too crowded, but we managed to run into several people we knew, including Luke and Judy Rinehimer, who were at our rally last week, and Nancy Lesser-Adamo, who was manning a booth selling LED lights for The Prudent RVer. This company also had a booth at our rally.

Yuma swap meet

Here’s Jan White, looking around to see where Greg has wandered off to. Maybe she should buy him one of those Pet ID tags advertised on the sign, so if anybody finds him, they can return him to her. And trust me, it won’t be very long before they will return him!

Yuma swap meet 2

When we left the flea market, we drove out to the Foothills for lunch at Mi Fajita, which Miss Terry said was one of the better Mexican restaurants we have been to in a long time. The service was fast, the food was very good, and the servings were huge. I don’t think any of us were able to clean our plates.

Back at the fairgrounds, we were all tired, and while I don’t know what everybody else did, I took a nap. My back has been hurting for several days now, and when I woke up, I was feeling a lot better, and more refreshed. I helped Miss Terry pack the storage bay where we keep our rally supplies, then we ran to Sam’s Club to return some extra cans of coffee we had left over from the rally, and to pick up a few things Terry needed.

Since we planned to leave Yuma this morning, when we got back from Sam’s Club, Greg White and I started checking tire pressures on our motorhomes. A while back Greg bought a neat air compressor from Sears, and I was so impressed after seeing it that I bought one too. Not because I’ll ever use it, but someday I may need Greg to fix something for me when his is not available. I’m always thinking ahead that way.

Greg airing up tires

The air compressor does an excellent job, even on our big 22.5 size motorhome tires. But we ran into a problem on one of my inside duals that even the air compressor could not handle.

A year ago, we had new Goodyear tires installed on our Winnebago, at the Camping World in Mesa, Arizona. From the very first day, I had problems with the valve extenders they put on the tires. We left Camping World, drove to Gila Bend for the night, and the next morning one of the inside duals was low on air. I topped it off, and we drove on to Yuma for our rally. By the time the rally was over, the inside dual on the other side was low. I fought this nonsense for several weeks, before Camping World admitted that the valve extensions they had installed were bad. They replaced the valve stems and extensions, but we have continued to have problems, either with the tires losing pressure, or our PressurePro tire monitoring system not being able to read the tires.

Before we left Apache Junction to come to Yuma, both inside duals were not reading on the PressurePro. I checked them with a tire gauge, and both were okay. But apparently, somewhere between then and yesterday, the left inside dual went low and the PressurePro could not read it. When we checked the tire last night, it was completely flat. Not only that, but we could not get it to air up. 

I called Coach-Net, our emergency roadside service company, at 6 p.m., explained my problem, and the lady I spoke to was very polite, and obviously knew her way around RVs. She said she would find a mobile tire repair guy and call me back. My call with her ended at 6:07. At 6:17 she called back and told me that the tire man would be calling me directly. He called at 6:27, and was here at 7:05. Fast, professional service in my opinion.

This is what he found when he jacked the motorhome up and took off the tire. I don’t know how far we ran on it before this damage was done, but I’m sure glad we checked our tires before we pulled out today.

Bad Tire 2

We didn’t see any evidence of a nail or road hazard, and given the problems I’ve had with the original tire installation, I’m sure it was caused by the valve stem or valve extension failing. I will never allow Camping World to touch my coach again! A monkey with a crowbar and a roll of duct tape could probably do a better job than the idiots they have working at the Mesa store!

So this morning the road service guy is supposed to return with a new tire, assuming he can find one in stock, and we’ll hopefully get on the road within a reasonable time. At least we’re plugged in right where we’ve been all along, and if we have to stay put until a tire can be located, we’re safe and off the road.

Thought For The Day – Eat a live toad first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.

Nick Russell

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

  13 Responses to “Swap Meet & Road Service”

  1. I wonder why the Pressure Pro didn’t alert you to the failure? It appears you were running on a flat tire for sometime! Makes me wonder about the tire monitors???

    Good luck


  2. Like Paul, I had the same thought. Hopefully your tire guy did or will check out your remaining tires.

  3. I had a similar experience at the Camping World store in Tucson. Everything they did to my rig was done wrong and I had to have it all redone. Like you, I will never use Camping World again for any repair work.

  4. Paul and Terry – I would guess, not a PP expert by any means, that the tire was down near zero and the PP sensor shut off as it is supposed to. Battery life thing and all. And with the decreasing pressure, and the display turned off, it could go to zero and when turned back on – sensor turned off so no reading. With ours, I always make sure that I have a reading. Not saying that he did it (only Nick can tell us for sure), but after taking the manual reading, did Nick get the PP sensor back on right and tight??

    Some people even take the PP sensors off to ‘save’ battery life when not traveling for a while (not me but I have heard of it)

    I would really call Pat or Mike McFall and ask them. 850-294-0281

  5. I take my sensors off when sitting for any length of time, been doing that for about 4 years now. Since they replaced Nick’s stems i would be suspicious that the valves in the new stems were not the right length to make contact with the sensor, or that they got the sensors too tight. Either one will give you no reading.

  6. Nick
    Hope you checked the condition of your other tires before you set out on the highway. If one is that badly damaged I would be worried about the others.

    Keep safe.
    Rick Windsor, Ontario, Canada

  7. As I said, we were getting intermittent signals from the PressurePro. One day it would work and the next day it would not. If I moved the sensor to another tire, it worked. This was true of the sensors on both inside duals.

    Camping World, Mike McFall, and others all suggested this was due to the weak springs in the valve extension or valve stem that the sensor must engage. Which is why I checked it manually before we left Apache Juncton. I could get a reading on my tire gauge, but not the sensor.

  8. Howdy Nick,
    Glad Greg ‘decided’ to check the tires!!! Itz a wonder the other dual didn’t fail
    as much as that tire had rubbed… I think Jan’s just exhausted… The pic of Greg
    posing with the compressor is classic… One look at that tire gave me shivers..
    GOODYEARS???? GOOD LUCK!!!! I know they’re ‘supposed’ to be American made!!! Did GY adjust the tire???

    Smooth Roads & balmy breezes!!!!!

  9. We also never use Camping World for anything mechanical. I am sure their mechanics flunked school and this was the only place that would hire them. Sure happy to hear that you checked the tires before you left. I am also thankful that you did not have a blow out while on the road. Even though we have a pressure pro and love it, before we take off any where, Mike always checks it manually. Be safe when you do leave. We loved the pictures of Jan and Greg.

  10. We too have had bad luck with work done at the Camping World in Mesa. I had 6 new Michelin tires installed there in 2006. The “sand powder” compound they put in the tires for balancing worked well for balancing, but the “expert” tire installers there did not put in the proper air valves in the valve stems that are designed to keep the balancing material out of the valve seat so consequently I had several tires that kept losing air pressure. After talking with other RVers that had the same problem I learned about the proper valves. Camping World wanted to charge me for the proper valves. After a brief to the point discussion they gave them to me at no charge. In addition to that situation, they installed a wheel cover (secured by the lug nuts) turned in such a position that I was unable to access the valve stem to check the air pressure. This necessitated an additional trip back to Camping World to get this redone. They wanted to schedule me out about 2 weeks from my call to do the work. I drove over immediately and parked crossways behind the bay doors so they had to come out and spend the 15 minutes to redo the work they messed up. In all fairness to them, I had a KVH self-seeking satellite dome installed there and the technician ( a guy in his 50’s) did an excellent job on that. He had been well trained and knew what he was doing.

  11. I have had problems with valve extenders and PP. The strait tube style extenders with a push rod down the center are NOT suitable for PP use. They are not designed to long term pressure. The filler hose fitting pushes the rod that opens the valve on the tire for the duration of filling. The PP keeps it open all the time. I even tried blue locktite and broke the tire valve. Not fun!
    Alternatively, the braided steel extensions have a valve at the end and are made to hold pressure. These work.

  12. The Tire Minder system has been extremely reliable. Easy to install and use. You might want to try that one next time.

  13. Last year I went to Camping World in Mesa for a problem with my rooftop satellite dish. I had an appointment for 8 a.m. and was there 15 minutes early. I was told to park and come inside, and they put a paper with a number under my windshield wiper. 3 hours later my RV had not been touched. I went to the service desk twice and was told both times I was next. Both times I watched them take other RVs in next and not mine. I asked for the service manager and when he finally came out from in back he said I would be next for sure. Another hour went by and still nothing. I went to the counter and raised hell, and they mumbled a while and then told me they didnt even have me on the schedule! Even though I had the paper tag under my windshield! I left and never went back and never will.

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