When my Gut is Right

Ever get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that says life has been so good lately that something bad is bound to happen? Just how bad, I never know, but my gut is usually right.

April 2018 – We had a fabulous month hanging out at Lake Powell. As a matter of fact, it was one of our more enjoyable stays anywhere, which was totally unexpected. Although we’ve visited Page, Arizona, on several occasions in the past and always enjoyed our visits, we didn’t have any high expectations for this excursion.

sunrise at Lake Powell

the view from my RV – a beautiful sunrise over Lake Powell

Over the years, I’ve noticed when I am super excited about a certain trip, my expectations are rarely met. Yet, when I have low expectations, I’m usually pleasantly surprised and sometimes whelmed beyond my wildest dreams. And such was the case this past April.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t what I’d call a perfect trip, which we all know doesn’t exist, but it was still awesome. We’re still trying to rid ourselves of all the sand we accumulated during those sand storms while camping on a beach. Even a month and several vacuumings later, we’re still discovering sand in various nooks and crannies. Ah, but it was so worth it!

camping at Lake Powell

camping at Lake Powell

On the one hand, we were very sad to pack up and leave, but on the on the other hand, we were ready for a change of scenery as well as moving closer to our children.

It was the end of April and a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. After dumping our tanks, we were rolling down the two lane highway by 8:00 a.m. Al took the lead in the F-250 pulling the 5th wheel while I followed behind in the Toyota Tacoma.  With my Tom Petty CD playing, I settled into the drive while admiring the view. That contentment didn’t last long as I was startled by the sound of a loud boom followed by debris flying in the air.

highway 89 in northern Arizona

A beautiful day for travel – Heading south on Hwy 89 in northern Arizona

Only thirty minutes into our drive, a tire on the RV blew. (This post contains affiliate links). Fortunately, I was following far enough behind the RV that I wasn’t hit by any flying debris. I quickly radioed Al to inform him of the blown tire, which he seemed aware of but was glad for the confirmation.  We quickly found a safe spot to pull over and began to get to work.

Flat tire on a 5th Wheel RV

Al retrieves the spare and rolls it over to install

Sure we have roadside assistance, but it was a Sunday morning and who knew how long the wait might be for help to arrive. Plus Al and I were on some sort of roll. During the past month, we’d spent a fair amount of time exploring some remote back country on some rutted dirt/gravel roads. In so doing, the bed of the Tacoma was loaded with emergency provisions. In other words, we prepared ourselves for a flat tire, breaking down, or getting stuck in any number of ways. We do our best to be self-sufficient.

using a mobile air compressor after changing a flat tire on the RV

Spare tire installed. Al makes sure it has the proper inflation

This is the second time our Viair Portable Compressor has come in handy. We normally keep it stored in the belly of the RV, but because of all the off roading we had done during the previous few weeks in the Tacoma, the air compressor, hydraulic jack and lug wrench were all in my backseat and easily retrieved.

changing a flat tire on a RV

Al and his supervisor.

I’m not sure why we maintained our jovial spirits, but we did. Five years ago when we first started this journey, I would’ve been near tears and concerned when confronted with this mishap. Today? I view it as a mere inconvenience that had me recalculating the schedule of the day. And when you think about it, a flat tire is so much easier to deal with than engine trouble!

Highway 89 in northern Arizona

On the road again! Highway 89 in northern Arizona

Less than two hours later the spare was installed and we were on the road again heading south on highway 89 in northern Arizona. We had about a three hour drive in front of us, but we had planned to break up that drive by pulling over somewhere for lunch …. which was all prepared and waiting for us in the RV refrigerator. Traveling with your home in tow is the best and the only way I like to travel these days.

The rest of the day was uneventful and smooth sailing, thank goodness. When we pulled into our planned boondocking location near Cottonwood, Arizona, we snagged a nice slice of land to call home for a couple of nights.

Black and White photography of Verde River near Cottonwood Arizona

Verde River near Cottonwood, Arizona

Two days later, we hit the road again and an hour later we pulled into our summer ‘home’ (with the spare still on the RV). Fortunately, our one hour drive went without incidence.

Fairgrounds RV Park Prescott Valley Arizona

Our ‘home’ for the summer. I love watching cattle and antelope graze in the open field across the street. Prescott Valley, Arizona

I had concerns that I wasn’t going to like my RV site since the RV Park wouldn’t confirm which site they intended to assign us when I called a few days earlier to confirm our reservation. Turns out, they did assign us the site that I requested. This was one time I was glad my gut was wrong. I’m super pleased they were able to accommodate my request.

Yep, this’ll work nicely for the next few months while we tend to some maintenance on our equipment as well as some dental issues. Oh and did I mention my son (who lives in Phoenix) is getting married this August? The wedding planning is in full swing and I love being only an hour away so I can join in on any preparations or festivities. Should be a fun summer!

RV Fairgrounds Prescott Valley Arizona

Sunset seen from my RV site in Prescott Valley, Arizona

Products we used during the day of our travel. Note – affiliate links

Viair RV Portable Compressor Kit
Two-Way Radio
Hydraulic Jack
Lug Wrench

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72 thoughts on “When my Gut is Right

  1. Still one of the best blogs on WordPress I see – I cant keep up with your volume of posting but I do still enjoy catching up – fantastic – the opening shot of this blog is a belter. Scott

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  2. Pingback: Wandering Wednesday | Live Laugh RV

  3. I’ve learned it’s how we handle situations like this that can make or break the day or lifestyle. So glad you’re enjoying your site this summer. Feelers out for openings in some of the UT state parks and some county parks near Ft Collins.

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    • Hope a new workamp situation pops up for you. Doesn’t look like that 416 fire will be totally contained anytime soon – so sad. Keep me posted!

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  4. This post supports my philosophy that today’s disaster is tomorrow’s great story 🙂
    I would definitely be in a panic if that kind of problem happened to me, but obviously you are VERY well prepared. I loved the little carpet to make ground work a tad less uncomfortable 🙂

    Enjoy your ‘home’ in Arizona for the summer (omg, I’m sweating at just the thought of it!) and best wishes for your son’s wedding in August!

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    • Fortunately, it’s all about elevation in Arizona and since our RV Park is located over an hours drive and about 3,000 feet higher in elevation than Phoenix, our temps are usually 20 degrees cooler. But due to the impending wedding, I find myself visiting Phoenix almost every weekend where temps have been over 100 … BUT it’s a dry heat 😆 Even an oven is a dry heat!!!

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      • I was going to laugh at the dry heat remark, but since Toronto is notoriously humid in the summer, I think I might welcome a dry heat for a change!!

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  5. It’s great that you guys are so well-prepared and had all the tools ready for a swift and professional tire change. I know very well what you mean about that feeling in your gut. Unfortunately, I’ve been having it a lot lately, and it is related to the RV (which we had/have a lot of bad luck with in regards to our windshield and body work), our business (which has caused so many years of stress already), and our health (which remains to be seen later this month when check-ups occur). I hope my gut feeling is wrong, especially in regards to our health, but it’s about time that our luck returns.

    I’ve been meaning to ask you, where did you buy that petrified wood bracelet, Ingrid? I looked for something similar when we were in the Petrified Forest NP, but didn’t see anything but expensive one piece necklaces in souvenir stores. I probably should have checked in the park itself.

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    • Hi Liesbet – I tried leaving a follow-up comment on your blog about the bracelet, but you don’t have your settings set for additional comments and my response wouldn’t go through. I bought my bracelet near the south entrance visitor center. Across the parking lot is a art gallery and gift shop and it was in the gift shop I picked up my bracelet for I think $12 (under $20 for sure).

      I do hope your luck turns around for you and soon. I can relate and it can be disheartening and depressing to be hit negatively from all directions. 🙏

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      • Thanks, Ingrid, and for letting me know about the follow-up comment. I’ll have to check that out. I know exactly which souvenir shop building you’re talking about, but we didn’t go in. We were so exhausted and it was so hot, we just wanted to get settled in the shade at the free “campground”. I hope to go back, though, since we didn’t get a chance to do the main walk I hoped to do, near the South Entrance visitor center.

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  6. Great idea to install water line protection! Whenever we pass a fifth wheel we comment on how vulnerable the sewer and water lines are to a blow out! Your site in Prescott looks great, where are you staying? Not at the fairgrounds?

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    • If Al hadn’t installed that extra blocking after the last time we had a blowout, I’m sure our waterlines would’ve been damaged again. This time, we incurred just minor damage to the tire skirt and lost some insulation.
      Yep, we are at the Fairgrounds again. It’s not the greatest, but it works for us. Thus far, since arriving in Prescott, we’ve spent just about every weekend in Phoenix staying with one of the kids. I’m sure they’ll get sick of us soon 😄

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  7. I am sure glad you all were able to change the tire and get on with your plans!! Thankfully nothing was damaged and all turned out well.
    What a beautiful site to call home for the summer!! A wedding….how fun is that!!!!!! Enjoy!!

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    • The wedding is the main reason we decided not to travel much this summer…. perfect decision. I’ve been having fun!
      Yeah, blown tires aren’t fun but I’m glad it didn’t turn into a major ordeal.

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  8. Bummer about the flat but glad to hear you did not sustain any damage to your rig. Do you guys have tire pressure monitors? If so, did they go off? We installed some on our truck and rig and was informed of a puncture on our truck tire long before we would have realized it.

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    • No we don’t have monitors but do check pressure before driving day. I guess that’s something we should look into. First, it’s new tires 🙂

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  9. I’m glad you managed to maintain your jovial attitude during this mishap. You’re so right that a flat tire is less of a hassle than engine trouble. Good that you ended up with the campsite you requested. Congratulations on your son’s upcoming wedding! 🙂

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  10. Glad you guys were able to replace the blown tire and continue on without major damage. Just out of curiosity, do you have a TPMS installed on your rig? I didn’t see a mention of it. I realize that no TPMS will prevent a sudden blowout of a tire. Just wondering.
    I began carrying the Viair compressor last year. I love that little guy.

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    • No we don’t have a TPMS installed. If we had a motorhome, we definitely would. With that said, we are contemplating the monitors. In this situation, I’m not sure it would’ve worked as the tire didn’t blow any pressure …. still filled with air. The rubber unraveled – very weird. Yep, that Viair compressor has come in very handy for us.

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  11. It’s a great thing, Al Mcgyver and his lovely sidekick were on hand to fix and get you rolling. Having been on the road for several years now events like this is just a drop in a bucket full of adventures and memories. Enjoy your summer in Prescott Valley.

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    • Yes, having a McGyver around is very handy especially during these mishaps. We have a great RV site this summer – much better than last years.

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  12. Isn’t it funny, the two times we had blowouts started the same way! Glad no serious damage and no injuries. We have to be prepared – for the unexpected don’t we?!?!
    Excited for your upcoming wedding! We’re heading to one in July. I love how the young people today are creative with their weddings.

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  13. So many people I have known who have had flat tires on their rig had lots of rig damage as well. Although it is never good to have a flat, it sounds like you dodged a bullet. Glad you had no further damage.

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    • Fortunately, Al McGyvered a protective layer after our last blow out four years ago. The wood blocking worked like a charm and protected our waterlines. I’m pretty sure the desert heat/sun is the culprit for the tire issues on the same side of the RV all the time. Even though we use tire covers, we know how brutal the desert can be.

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    • Sometimes these little mishaps are all part of the adventure. Good luck with your move to Phoenix. AZ offers a lot of things to do with a very diverse landscape – we love it!

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  14. Oh my goodness, it could’ve been so much worse than it was. I’m happy to know there wasn’t any other damage other than a blown tire! Good thing you happened to be following behind Al that day & could alert him right away.
    How do you always manage to snag the most awesome sites? Every one of them is jaw dropping. Sounds like you’re going to have a wonderful & active summer with family. Enjoy!

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    • Last summer when we stayed in this same RV Park, I requested this particular site with a few others as a back up. The park is under going some management changes and I was concerned we wouldn’t get this site but so glad we did. And that spot at Lake Powell was the best. Now if only I could’ve had hook-ups then I may never have moved 😄
      Love having views!

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  15. So glad the tire repair was easy! Looks like your spot at the Yavipah County Park was close close to our old spot..have fun!!

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    • Thanks Nancy and we’re in the same row that you were in, but at the opposite end. We really like it! Haven’t seen you guys on FB. Hope you’re enjoying your travels.

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    • Oh, Al and I do have some dental issues to address but fortunately nothing serious. And now that our RV is seven years old, there’s some normal maintenance issues that we’ll need to tend to as well. So sitting still for a few months will be nice.
      We do intend to spend Oct, Nov, Dec in Phoenix again and possibly longer. A Texas excursion is still in the air. So be sure and give me a heads up if you’ll be rolling through Phx this winter.

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  16. Well, gosh, you were in my neighborhood when you camped in Cottonwood. The Verde River is beautiful, isn’t it? Prescott Valley for the summer? I recommend Lynx Lake if you want to get out on the water. They also have a good German restaurant which is perfect for lunch. Great photos, as usual!

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    • Yep, I was just down the road camped off Thousand Trails Road. That’s our go-to spot when when we need a day or two of rest. We’ve also tried Road 525 but that gets real dusty. Lynx Lake is a fav of mine especially during the heat. Love all the pine trees.

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  17. Glad you weren’t derailed (or worse) by the blown tire. I’m curious what kind of tire it was. Many rigs have been outfitted with Goodyear Marathon tires which in some corners have received a bad rap, deserved or not. I imagine you have changed tires since you bought your rig and wonder what you were riding on and if you’d been careful to watch the inflation pressures for current conditions as well as the weight of your RV.

    BTW, Goodyear has not too awful long ago released a new trailer tire called the Endurance which is what my RV was fitted with from the factory. I wonder if releasing this tire was in response to the crtical opinions online about the Marathon. I also wonder how well the Endurance tires will perform. The Endurance, BTW, is made in the USA whereas the Marathon, if I’m not mistaken, is/was made in China, FWIW.

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    • Four years ago we put on 10 ply Carlisle tires which have held up fine. Our tires seem to always blow on the same side and we think it’s due to sun/heat exposure. Sure we use tire covers, but the desert is still brutal. We planned on getting new tires next year anyway but guess it’ll be this year. Since we’re sitting still until the end of September and the afternoon sun beats down on those tires, we’ll wait until late August/early September for those new tires and will be sure to check the dates. I think I’ll do some research on those Endurance tires. Thanks for that tidbit of info. Keep me posted if you come across any other tire info.

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  18. Scary! It sounds like you two are like boy scouts, always prepared! Preparation helps calm the nerves. Not so sure I would’ve done so well……

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    • You are very right …. I think being prepared kept our spirits up. Plus this wasn’t our first rodeo when it comes to blown tires 😏

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    • Yep, adventure comes in many forms. After our last blowout (4 years ago), Al had installed some safety blocking protecting our waterlines. Worked like a champ!

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    • Fortunately, the tire blew before we started heading through a pass where there would be no place to pull over. Thus, we counted our blessings and got to work on that tire …. (well, Al got to work 😄)

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  19. Good morning, Ingrid,
    Thanks for the recommendation of the(se) two-way radios. I’ve been thinking that they – or some like those – might come in handy for may and me when we do our bicycling. It had happened quite frequently that we were out of service for our cell-phones. Not that that has been a real rpoblem yet, but you never know. Some time it might be necessary to get into contact immediately.
    Enjoy your trip,
    Pit

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    • We love using the 2-way radios …. much better and safer than trying to communicate with our phones. I could see how a couple of radios might come in handy while the two of you are out and about cycling. Much better than yelling especially if you’re far apart 😆

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  20. I agree, a blown tire is so much better than engine trouble. And you’re lucky it didn’t damage underneath. Our friends had a blow out in their RV and it took out the underbelly and ripped out wiring. That wasn’t a good thing. Enjoy Prescott, glad you got the spot you wanted.

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    • The last time we had a blow out was four years ago when we were meeting friends in Moab and boondocking. That blow out damaged our water lines. Talk about bad timing! So Al replaced all the original waterlines and put up blocking so we wouldn’t incur damage during a future blowout … success! However, that wood protection did splinter and fly and will need replacing but all mechanicals are fine. Live and learn!

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    • We love using the 2-way radios. We can call each other without taking our eyes off the road. We feel much safer using the radios than our phones.

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