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May Day 2009

 

 

 

 

 

You might recall our May Day blow-out (https://hscooper.wordpress.com/articles/may-day-blow-outs/) last year. On the open road and in need of RV tires is not a situation I’d wish upon anyone.

After we got settled in Virginia last summer, we decided to have all our RV tires replaced. In June we made a trip to the Camping World store in Roanoke. At the time we found a helpful staff member who went over the price, labor costs and taxes with us, as well as tire availability and appointment scheduling.

We told him we would rather wait until November when we were going to be putting serious mileage on again. He said it would be no problem for us to call ahead and we would be in-and-out in no time.

A week before we were planning on leaving Virginia, we decided to return to Camping World in Roanoke and schedule our tire appointment, as well as make a few purchases.

What a difference time makes!

What a WORLD of difference customer service makes!

Now the helpful staff were gone… no one would wait on us or several other customers.

Finally, after some grumbling, staff emerged.

When it was our turn, we learned that the company no longer made those tires. We questioned this so the staff member waved another employee over. Number 2 said he wasn’t even sure those tires were even made at all – ever!

Huh?

 We pulled out our CW quote sheet printed out in June showing they indeed had the tires at that time and that we were told this was pretty common for Camping World. So after getting the attention of yet another employee, we learned that apparently their Camping World rarely had sets of tires (that matched) in stock.

What?!

Number 3 said he could go look and see what they had in stock and took off.

A fourth employee arrived and suggested we order them from a RV dealer somewhere.

Okay…

So we took our money and headed out the door in search of a Goodyear dealer. We found a dealer, pulled in the parking lot, and told them what we needed and they said, “No problem”.

They said they could put them on for us when we left, however we weren’t crazy about the idea of driving our rig into downtown traffic at the start of our journey. It was decided that we would take the tires with us and they loaded them into our truck.

When we returned the campground we asked around and found a local garage that would be open early hours the morning we left. We went down and made an appointment and they said it would be no problem putting on our new tires.

That morning we didn’t even have to pull into the garage – the gentlemen did it right from the parking lot in a matter of minutes!

Our initial quote for tires at Camping World was over $1200, plus we had an additional $300 of items we were going to purchase during our trip. Camping World – the “Walmart of RVers” – lost our business that day.

If we need anything now, our first thoughts go to supporting small, local businesses. They know their stock and they know how to treat their customers. There is a World of difference in customer service at a small business.

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The tire is completely shredded!
Shredded tire on our fifth-wheel

May Day! May Day!

On May 1st we were travelling I-35  in Texas when we saw some RVers driving in the middle lane with their door assist handle jutting out. We were behind them when a semi truck passed them from the right outside lane and it caught our attention. It appeared the truck was just inches from missing it.

We manuevered  into the outside left lane to tell them about their door. After getting their attention, they thanked us and we maneuvered back into the far right lane. They then pulled off at the nearby rest area.

Imagine our surprise when an hour later we have some motorists get our attention, saying we blew a tire! Our fifth-wheel is 8 tons and the pickup is a 1-ton with Duramax diesel and it weighs a couple tons… and we never felt a thing!

We got over as quickly as we could only to discover our tire wasn’t blown – it was shredded. In fact, it looked like an industrial-size rubber mop! A quick assessment reveal damage to the trim, undercarriage and back slide (where apparently tire chunks hit). We got the spare on and made our way to the nearest tire center about six miles away.

They had one tire for us and it was at another store. So while we waited we had our undercarriage repaired. When the tire arrived from the other store, we had it put on and all the other tires checked. The techs said they were fine and asked if we wanted help putting the spare back underneath. We decided to leave the spare in the back of the pickup truck bed…

And once we were on the road again… Imagine our surprise again when on I-30 in Arkansas when a tire on the other side went (luckily no damage). We decided to ease up on our Travel Angel and dry camped at a Flying J until we could get our rig to a tire dealership the next day.

Our tires are checked constantly – a lesson we learned while travelling during the summer months in hot regions (we’ve seen road temps close to 140 degrees). And the tires were checked prior to leaving and showed no signs of danger. The tire techs were even stunned! One trucker who was waiting on tires even said he’d never seen any type of tire separation like that.

So May 1st will now be a memorable day for us!

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