I’m reflecting on Robert Burns poem “To a Mouse.” The context is this: a man is plowing a field and turns over a mouse hole. The man feels sad for the mouse, because the mouse worked hard to make his house, only to have it be destroyed in the cold autumn by a plow.
Burns says that people too suffer misfortune: thus “The best-laid plans o’ mice and men gang aft agley.” No matter how much we plan and work, things go wrong. All our planning can be wiped out in an instant,,,, and the tire goes boom!
When it comes to living on the road we try to do things right, including the purchase of a truck sized for pulling a 7,700-pound travel trailer. Just the other day going up a steep grade I asked Deb, “I wonder if the truck can make this hill pulling the trailer? Deb’s response, “If it can’t, we’ll get a bigger truck.”
During the past eighteen months in addition to regular maintenance we have done a number of upgrades to both the truck and trailer. One of the upgrades was the purchase, and installation of a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This was a great improvement. Several times before setting out on a move day the TPMS signaled and identified a tire with low pressure. It’s a pretty slick instrument. You can set parameters for low and high tire pressure, and also tire temperature settings. If the valve stem monitor detects a low or high reading, an alarm sounds on the receiving unit which is inside the truck cabin. Great idea, great plan.
Did you know manufacturing dates are imprinted on tires? The tires on our rig are three years old, with less than fifteen thousand miles. The drive from Apache Junction, AZ to Payson, AZ is only eighty miles. Of course, we were all set for an easy move, and then hiking in the high country.
We did our walk around pre-trip check, including the tire pressure. About fifty miles into the move, BOOM goes the tire, and then the TPMS alarm sounded. Great planning, sometimes things just go wrong. In addition to the ruined tire, the septic dump valve mechanism was wiped out. Fortunately, the holding tanks were not damaged. I figured it would be quicker to change the tire and keep on going, as opposed to waiting of our road side assistance team.
Coming into Payson Deb searched out a RV repair service. Uncertain when they could help us out, Brian the owner, instructed me how I could fix the system myself. The following day I bought some parts, and bingo bango we were back in business, to do our business.
After coming to grips with our situation and leaving “On The Road Again RV” we landed at Pineview RV park in Payson, unhooked and set up the trailer. Determined to keep our joy we found a local trail system, and went for a long hike.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System, (TPMS)
Damaged dump valve repair