Inger and Jeff Latreille
~Saturday, November 27, 2021~
Though we do a ton of hiking, I’m missing my daily 3-mile walks with Sadie. So I made a decision to get back into it today, and what better motivation than 75-degree, sunny Tucson weather to get me going. I’d like to think I have an excuse for getting out of this healthy routine, but I’m not gonna go there, since it would be a lame one. Jeff prefers a more moderate pace as opposed to my brisk 4.5 mph (I’ve always been a fast walker). So he’ll be sitting those out. Other than raising my fitness level, it also brings a boost to one’s social life. Sadie and I made 2 new friends who apparently snowbird here for the winters…...Kris, who is in our row and a frequent visitor to the park. She’s working from the road, and eagerly waiting to retire in March 2022. She and her husband won’t be staying this time around the whole winter, but may be back the same time we plan on returning to Diamond J (late January). Very nice lady! We also met another full-timer, Ralph, who equally spends his time between here and Iowa where the family is. He and his wife are in their sixth season of wintering at Diamond J and have claimed their repeated primo desert-view spot for all eternity. As he says, someone has to die for you to get one of these. He was eager to hand out his business card with a photo of his “setup”, which consists of a 20,000 lb. 5th wheel, towed by a big rig cab (which he stores on the property for free), and a smart car ramped up between the trailer and the cab when he’s traveling. He’s also great friends with the owners of Diamond J, and helps out with maintenance stuff on occasion, likely in exchange for those homemade Vietnamese egg rolls they normally sell at the office? We’ll have to give them a whirl one of these times.
While Sadie and I did our laps, Jeff was in the thick of changing the trailer tire. Initially he tried using the jack from the truck, but he wasn’t able to get it high enough to get the right angle to turn the wrench. And then, it got stuck. It wouldn’t go up OR down. Our neighbor Wally happened to be outside, so Jeff asked if he had a beefier jack, which he didn’t. Somehow, Jeff was finally able to lower the jack to do Plan B: Hitching up and backing the trailer up onto the ramp (just like we did the other day on the side of the road); basically the whole breakdown procedure was required. The ramp would allow the tire to be lifted higher off the ground to switch out the tire. I think Jeff was done in about 30 minutes. But what we discovered was not good.
When Jeff removed the old tire, he discovered that the wear was in the same place as the other front trailer tire, revealing bubbling and some of the steel. What’s perplexing is why they’re wearing on the inside of the tire and about 7-8 inches around on each, not on the whole circumference of the tire. We certainly were on borrowed time with that one as well. Sorry to bore you with tire issues, but we’re just trying to help our fellow RVer’s, in case they run into the same issues. If you ask most people, they’ve all had tire issues at one time or another. Trailer tires are a whole different animal in the way they're constructed with the different load bearing factors, the thickness of the side walls, the ply, etc. We’ve learned so much. At least we can take comfort in knowing the tires that came with the Lance, and the ones we have on order in Napa, are superior tires. It is probably THE most important part of your rig. The difference between crap and quality could really make or break a trip. We’ll be posting more about our tire experience once we get to Napa, so stay tuned.