It’s been awhile since we have blogged from trip and its because we had a big mishap! So we bought the RV and checked out all the possibilities we thought we could as new RV owners, except for one thing, weight on the wheels. We learned all about the tanks and what to hold and not to hold for weight on the road but after the 3rd wheel crack on our amazing trip home from Asheville, NC we knew our “cool wheel factor” was the problem.
Everywhere we go or even on social media there are many many comments thrown at us about how cool our wheels look so we thought the previous owner had something going on! Before I explain this last horrible day J.R. basically found out that these “cool wheels” can not hold weight over eight thousand pounds and our RV at max capacity is 15 thousand pounds which we already knew. We just thought why would anyone put low rated wheels on such a heavy vehicle especially when traveling around with special cargo such as your family?
So you already read about the first cracked wheel when we first received vehicle and just thought well it must have been sitting too long and just got a new wheel put on by previous owners since he had extra. The second cracked on our way to Asheville, NC and we thought “because the tanks are completely full and didn’t get a chance to empty” so we knew we had to always empty first before getting on the road. We thought this because it was always the left rear wheel cracking which is right underneath all the tanks (gas, water, grey and black tanks). We got it welded midway to Asheville which took many hours and some persuasion of the welding company to weld aluminum wheels which they did not want to do anymore. Unfortunately it was our only option until we got home. The aluminum wheel was transferred to the right rear side just in case and it traveled very well for us all the way until the last day of our trip.
We were about two hours outside of Asheville when I just thought to myself (that woman instinct) we should pull over and check the wheels and literally a few minutes later I see the tire blow in my side mirror. I am obviously in the passenger side so it was the same wheel we had welded that cracked and then blew the tire.
You can see the welded part at the bottom of the wheel and the tire tread is completely disheveled. For the next four hours we sat on major highway waiting for roadside assistance service. The first assistance that came thought Geico said Golf as in Volkswagen Golf not Gulfstream RV, so he just said he couldn’t do anything and just left us. Then the second assistance that came got the job done but didn’t have all the right tools so in my sight he used a lot of block wood pieces to jack the RV up. For four hours feeling the highway traffic wind constantly shaking the RV was a very uncomfortable situation and one we never want to be in again. We said forget the cool factor of these wheels and get safe ones! We were definitely very agreeable on figuring out how to keep us safe and others on the road.
About the last hour of sitting there an accident happened about 2 miles up so traffic started backing up which means we would have been sitting there still. Oddly enough this was the sign in front of us we just happened to pull over as our tire blew…
We don’t believe in signs but this seemed to be very convenient. The roadside assistance service put on our very old dry rotted single dually spare wheel just to get us safely to the camp site. J.R. went online and booked a night so we could research tire places nearby. We broke down on a Sunday so we thought it best to stay somewhere safe and not stress out more then we had to.
After we settled in at the campground we looked up all tire and wheel places within the 10-20 mile radius (because we didn’t want to travel further than that on a crappy spare) and we set an alarm to wake up early and start calling all the places we researched. From the 12 places we called only one seemed to be helpful and to keep it in our price range as best as possible. Discount tire in Salem North Carolina found us a wheel they freighted up to their location for us and put on two new tires and after four hours J.R. drove us the rest of our six hours home!
So we learned a lot from this incident:
- Know your weight limits on all aspects of the RV.
- Must have a durable spare or make it two durable spares.
- Must get an RV jack so you don’t have to rely on Roadside service who does not have a jack for any RV.
- Do not weld aluminium wheels!
- Being safe is always better than looking cool.
- Make sure you do this lifestyle with someone you completely trust and can get through these hard issues together!
I have had very bad past experiences with road travels but I have realized its not the bumps in the road that give you these bad experiences but the person who you are with. If you aren’t traveling with the right person who unites with you to keep stressful times like these calm then its that person and not just the journey. I definitely was very upset at first but J.R. kept everything cool which was inspiring to me and made me realize this is the person I was supposed to meet and live this adventure life with, no matter how many tire mishaps, breakdowns and so on.
So its been awhile since I have blogged because of this and we finally found our solution. To keep the same cool look and the same tires which are perfectly good new ones, barely used, we bought Military style wheels that can hold nine thousand pounds each per corner. I think they will do, haha! J.R. found them so he is not messing around and keeping us fully safe on and off road.
We just received them and will be sand blasting them to buffer them up a bit. These will fit the nice tires we already have on the old aluminum wheels that were on the RV when we purchased it. Then we will measure to get wheel adapters to switch from 8×170 in the front and 8×6.5 in the rear to 10 lug all around. We were going to work on these this weekend but there was an unexpected snow storm so I thought we would blog about it instead.
The person you travel with makes the journey, that has been my biggest lesson from this and I am excited to experience more with him!