Our Travel Blog

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Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our other wheels. When we are not vacationing check in for updates, although less frequent, about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Monday, February 26, 2024

Expect the Unexpected

We had quite the experience on our way to our boondocking spot west of Tucson. A trailer axle broke!

We were turning onto the last couple of miles of dirt road when a rancher pulled up beside us and told us there's trouble. Yup - stopped and the axle was broke. At that time the tire was still on, but as we moved a few feet off the road for safety, that left us too.

We called AMA and eventually a large tow truck came. The photo below is after Don and the driver secured everything to be moved. As it was a Sunday there was no where to tow us to, and the trailer was able to move a short distance. so the driver led us to a spot by a gas bar to spend the night, intending to return the next morning and get us to a repair shop.

We spent the night there and as promised the town truck was back on Monday morning. I called Freedom RV in Tucson on advice of a group of ranchers who stopped by to ensure we were safe. I must say while on the road with this breakdown we had many local folks stop and ask if we were ok and even offer us a place to stay. That was so kind of everyone! Anyhow we pulled to Freedom RV to assess everything, and checked into a hotel. Not too long later they called and said we could pull it to a near by RV park but no further. The axle was ordered from Elkhart Indiana and overall the timing was 12 - 17 days! UGH I may not say this but if you know boondockers it is about NOT being on paved RV sites and NOT having your neighbor at the end of your awning. BUT no choice in this.

Some points to ponder:
We have the best RV AMA (Alberta Motor Association) coverage you can buy, BUT accommodations and meals are only covered for 72 hours;
AAA (American Auto Association) and AMA don't agree on what a tow is. A flat tow is only covered to $500 US but costs approx. $1700 US.
Some bitterness may be noted:)

When we purchased this trailer last summer the trade in experience was far below par. I won't go into all the reasons why but one of the factors was the arrogance of Arkann RV about ALL the work completed pre purchase and the value of it. So much so that they provided a lengthy report along with their costs for the work. Of course this was to increase the value of it. One item on it was repacking the bearings. In the case of our breakdown the bearings were not done correctly and hence our little adventure. After a lot of back and forth Don and Arkann agreed they would reimburse us for the full cost of the repair. A slight $2700 US cost. We do appreciate they stood behind their business that way, we don't appreciate a poor bearing job.

The axle arrived faster than expected and by Wednesday the 21st the trailer was fixed. We had paid for the RV site for 2 weeks, and since Tucson had been our planned stop for those 2 weeks, we stayed in the park.

Amid all that adventure while in Tucson we still enjoyed ourselves. We met Ron and Bev at the Circle S Saloon and then Bev and I enjoyed some shopping, Don and I had a great hike at Saguaro National Park, a drive down through Nogales and Tubac, and a visit to Ivan while he was at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

On my birthday Ron treated us to beer and dinner at the River Bottom Bar and Grill. Karaoke and all! I wanted Don and Ron to reunite on stage to sing Dusty Old Farmer, but no go. Bev and I enjoyed the music though!

Once it was time to leave Tucson I won't say we weren't ready! Enough memories there for the year.

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