Jul 282014

I love getting e-mails from RVers and wannabes and I try hard to answer their questions if I can, or else point them in the right direction to get the information they need. But sometimes I get one that just makes me shake my head in wonder at the things people ask. As a cop once told me about an oddball case I was interviewing him about, you can’t make this stuff up.

I’m constantly amazed at what people will do to save a buck. They really do prove the old saying about being penny wise and pound foolish. I got an e-mail from a lady who said that she and her husband had recently purchased a used motorhome and that the sidewalls of the ten year old tires were weathered and cracked. She wanted to know if I thought they would be safe. I referred her to Roger Marble’s excellent RV Tire Safety blog and told her I wouldn’t want to drive the motorhome any further than the nearest tire store.

A couple of days later she wrote back to say that after pricing tires for their 38 foot diesel pusher, her husband wanted to know if they could safely get by with just purchasing four tires, two for the front and two for the rear, and if so, should they have the rear tires mounted on the inside of the dual axle or the outside. I replied that they would still be stuck with two very old and possibly dangerous tires on the back and she quickly assured me that he wasn’t going to use any of the old tires, he planned to only put two new tires on the back in place of the four the motorhome was designed for. She assured me that her husband planned to drive very slowly in the right hand lane. Like I said, you can’t make this stuff up.

I was reminded of the MCI bus conversion owner who manually pulled up and chained his tag axle to keep those two tires off the pavement when he drove through Chicago to avoid paying extra tolls, since they charged by the number of axles. He admitted that the bus drove squirrelly because it was designed to have the tags down except when the driver needed to put all of the weight on the drive wheels for extra traction to get going in ice and snow. And he added that he had a lot of arguments at the toll booths because they still sometimes wanted to charge him for three axles instead of two, but damn it, he saved money! How much? A couple of bucks? Five at the most? Was it worth all the hassle?

A few years ago when we were planning a trip to New England, somebody we know was appalled that we were going to use the Indiana Toll Road and the Ohio Turnpike and pay all those tolls. They suggested an alternate route that would have added close to 125 miles to our trip, much of it through small to medium sized towns. Sure, we’d have probably spent just as much money on fuel, but we wouldn’t have to pay any tolls!

On John Huggins’ Living the RV Dream Facebook group the other day, somebody wanted to know how much an RV payment was. John replied that there was no single number because RVs can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand, so she replied that she just wanted an “average” payment. There’s no such animal!

I had an e-mail the other day from a couple who want to spend next winter in Yuma, Arizona, asking me which route to take from Jackson, Michigan, where to stay and eat along the way, where to stay in Yuma, and how much fuel was going to cost. Not general suggestions, these folks wanted the names of each campground to stay at along the way, which place to stop for fuel, where to eat, and then where to stay in Yuma. And I guess I was supposed to look into my crystal ball and predict fuel prices several months in advance too. As Miss Terry said, I’m good, but I’m not that good!

Oh well, what can I say? My e-mail keeps things interesting.

Thought For The Day – Women marry men hoping they will change and men marry women hoping they will never change. Invariably, they are both disappointed.

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Nick Russell

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

  11 Responses to “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”

  1. I can’t believe what people will do to save a dollar that will cost them so much more in the end!! I don’t have a crystal ball either, but I can surely see a BIG problem heading their way!! I also see you advertise for B & H Photo in New York … GREAT store! I buy everything from them … I’ll go through your blog from now on!!

  2. You must have some very interesting e-mail. Do you save them for a rainy day so you have some good laughs?

  3. yup, it’s amazing what goes on out there… keeps life “interesting” for sure! Speaking of tire, our friend once brought his Safari to a place for new tires… told to come back in 2 hours. He did, only to see his entire motorhome sitting up on the three hydraulic leveling jacks in the air… NO tires on it! Out in the parking lot because they couldn’t fit it in the bay,… They didn’t change them one at a time, no siree…. they took off ALL the tires, and after mounting the new tires on the rims, they had to take them somewhere else to spin balance them! So his rig sat for a couple hours, precariously balanced on those three little jacks. ACK! Gosh can you say “lawsuit waiting to happen”?

  4. Nik, I always have to laugh at the Toll Road comments that I hear from RV;s and just 4 wheelers about the tolls. We travel toll road ALL THE TIME. we are usually pressed for time since my wife’s career has not ended. We have a EZEE Pass from the Ohio Turnpike (ohioturnpike.org ) we travel in IL, OH, VA, PA, IN and more. The EZPass will save you 35/40% on tolls against paying by card or cash. It really comes in handy when you get off the Indian Toll Road and there is no attendant at night. We have one in the coach (class 3) and one in the dingy (class2). if I go through a booth with the class 3 and the dingy is attached they change it from a class 3 to a class 5.The only way to travel. “streamlining” down the pike so to speak. The passes are prepaid and it is replenished at the rate you want on your card. We are always on a roll thru the booth of life with out he 150 more miles LOL

  5. Hubby and I thank you so much for the chuckles you gave us to start our day!

  6. Sorta scary that some of those who ask you such things are maybe actually out there on the road isn’t it?? I guess you could feel somewhat complimented too, Nick…by the person asking all those questions about their route…they must think you are very intelligent as well as very informed (which you are…but maybe they see you are even moreso?)

  7. LOL, you can’t fix stupid, but you knew that. 😉

  8. My mouth is standing open! What are people thinking? I hope you are saving these emails and the other outrageous ones you get. There’s got to be a book of these, “500 stupid questions that new rv’rs ask”, or something like that. The thing is there are ALREADY people out there on the road pulling a 38′ 5’r with a 2500 or other wacky scenarios. On the rv forums do people really want an answer to “what 5’r should I buy?” or “which rv is best?”. How did they live all these years, did someone tell them what house or car to buy, or what route to take to work?

  9. Well, people are weird, you know….and tight!!!
    The book I won in your giveaway was in my mailbox today. So far I’ve just skimmed here and there, but it looks like an excellent read. Thanks again.

  10. I agree with Elizabeth.. These people are out there driving with us!

  11. And they might be breeders too!

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