Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Caution for All RV’ers

Yesterday, June 19, 2011, it was announced on the RV Dreams journal entry that a couple from Kansas that had retired and begun to travel in 2006 had lost their Mobile Suites RV to a fire. From the details given, there was apparently a locked up wheel bearing or something that then created a blowout and the beginning of the fire. The owners tried to put out the fire themselves, but with the limited fire extinguishers that they had, they were unable to save the coach.

Here is a link to the RV Dreams journal entry:


And here is a link to a posting on the couple trip journal:


The reason I bring this up is because of the importance of being prepared and being conscious of the maintenance that our RV’s need. I have no idea of the number of fire extinguishers the couple had, nor do I know of their maintenance procedures in the past, nor can I say that they have done anything wrong to cause this terrible accident.

A number of forum commenters make the point of being glad they have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) or a detector that can tell the temperatures of the wheels and tires on their rigs. They tell stories of seeing a higher than normal pressure in only one tire on their TPMS system, thus having an indicator that perhaps heat has caused that increase in pressure.

Others write of walking around their RV with a device for detecting temperatures and checking every wheel and tire for temperatures, looking for one that is higher than all the others. That higher temperature would be an indicator of a possible bad bearing.

There may be other methods that RV’ers do to check their rigs, and it would be important to all of us to at least take note of those so that we can duplicate what they do on our own. It is also important to create a system of maintenance so that we have a knowledge of what may need to be checked or repaired or replaced.

How many have kept their tires too long and seen a blowout that severely damaged their RV? How many others have taken shortcuts and ended up seeing a failure?

I remember a topic where someone had checked their bearings and when putting things back together, they felt that the seals were still good. Later, that bearing began to leak from that seal, leading to a bearing failure. The gist of that discussion was that if one pulls a bearing for any reason, replace the seal, even if it not necessary to replace the bearings.

Marilyn and Ed were extremely lucky in that they suffered no harm themselves, but they have lost their home (the RV) and all that was in it. We can all offer our thanks to God that they were spared and that their lives get back to some form of normalcy soon.

Beyond that, let us all learn from the mistakes of others. When we are on the various forums, we need to pay attention to those threads that speak of maintenance of our rigs, especially of the “running gear” that includes the tires, wheels, axles, drive shafts, etc. It isn’t enough to just do a quick look-over and the get the oil changed.

I know that on a number of forums, some of the topics run to being careful to not purchase any tires that are made in China, making sure that tire pressures are maintained at the proper level, and to paying attention as to how old the tires are, not just how much tread is left.

Keep in mind that those things are the foundations of our RV’s and the loss or damage to those things may mean the RV sits at the side of the road, instead of being able to make it to the next repair facility. Being at the side of the road and trying to change a tire or bearing makes it dangerous should that tire or bearing be on the road side of the RV.

Also, with fires in mind, let me remind everyone that a coffee maker that is plugged in can be a source of fire. If you talk to some firefighters, you might be surprised as to the number of home fires that are caused by a coffee maker being plugged in, although not operating at the time.

Have an extra fire extinguisher or two available. The one inside the door of the coach may not be of any benefit because of size and any that are under the sink may be unavailable because the slides are pulled in.

As stated every episode on Hill Street Blues at the shift briefings, “Let’s be careful out there.”

And, speaking of axles and bearings, I think this guy has a lot to look after. It is a converted bus towing a 3-axle trailer in which they carry the full sized Cadillac Escalade seen parked in front of the bus. This was seen in 2008 at the Eleven Mile State Park west of Colorado Springs, CO.


OK. Since writing the above, Ed and Marilyn have updated their travel journal and what they had to say is pretty much what I mentioned. We all certainly need more than one fire extinguisher.

Also, I had an issue last night in that I tried posting this blog post but I kept getting an error message. We’ll see what happens today. I did post two yesterday, so I don’t fully understand unless there is something between LiveWriter and Blogger.


  1. As I read Ed's post about the fire, he commented the TPMS alarmed as he exited the truck and saw fire. The tire had already exploded. Makes one wonder on the response time of the TPMS. He did not get a high temp alarm. First he saw smoke from the driver's side front tire, he pulled over and stopped as quickly as possible, the tire blew while stopping. Sounds like he had one extinguisher. My next purchase before travel will be a larger extinguisher. Not sure he could have saved it with more fire suppression. Man what a mess.

  2. Ken,

    It may be that his TPMS does not give a high-temp alarm or even notice of high temps. Mine doesn't give anything with temperature other than to notice that the pressure would be rising within a tire, caused by a hot bearing or brake.

    Also, I read it from his post that he almost had the fire out when his one extinguisher expired. I plan on having about 5 when we hit the road. 2 in the coach, one in the basement or front compartment, and 2 in the truck with one on each side of the truck.

    His last post was that they were going to Springdale, Arkansas, which is where Wheels RV (DRV dealer) is located. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

    Stay safe, my Friend.


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