Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tough Travelin' Day!

We got an early start this morning, around 9:00, but ran into difficulties on I-10 westbound heading into Phoenix.  We heard there were traffic problems on EASTBOUND, but we thought we'd be ok westbound. Nope! No, siree! The westbound lanes became clogged and totally stopped as we got on the other side of Phoenix.  After an hour of stop and go traffic, a highway worker stopped his truck and got out to wave traffic off the highway completely. He said an officer had been shot and killed this morning on I-10....Nobody was moving on either side of the expressway for miles......We found out later that there had been a suicide jumper on the overpass, and another police officer motorcycle accident. Traffic was a mess and I-10 was shut down for much of the day in that area.
California border inspection station-got any contraband, Eldo?
Soon after we got past the accident scene and back on I-10, our new tire pressure monitoring system showed a red light flashing, but no beeping. It said the rear left inside tire on the motorhome was having problems. But, no beeping was occurring, so we kept going....the flashing indicator for that sensor was inconsistently showing something wrong with the rear left inside tire. A few miles farther, the red light was still flashing and all of a sudden the alarm went off and it showed 0.0 psi's....OMG! Tire blowout!!!!?????? We gotta stop now!  Where are the four way flashers? Heck if I know...we didn't familiarize ourselves with that detail until AFTER we got back into the coach when it was all said and done. NOW we know where they are and how to use them! We pulled over to the shoulder and Eldy got out to visually inspect the tire and check the pressure,  the shoulder is NOT a good place to look but we didn't want to be driving on the rim....the tire looked ok...the pressure on the manual tire gauge read 90 psi. Whew! We had tire pressure at least....scared us half to death!

Because the red light continued to flash, we pulled into the next rest stop which was just a few miles from the shoulder stop. We checked the tire pressure again...still 90 psi. Luckily, there was a truck repair service guy working on a semi right next to us.  We asked him to check our tire pressure for us...he said the pressure reading was about 80 psi, which is below our baseline pressure for a cold tire on the motorhome. He was kind enough to add air for us. In the meantime, I got on the phone and called the Tire Traker people. Darryl Lawrence, the owner, was extremely patient with me and talked me through switching around some tire sensors to see if it could be a bad sensor or a problem with the valve stems...when you put on a sensor, it pushes in the valve stem briefly while making a connection. After about 15 min. of talking us through different solutions and placements of tire pressure sensors, we concluded that the inside tire valve stem pins on both sides of the motor home are not making good contacts with the pressure sensors. When the sensors lose connectivity while on rough roads, (which can happen) sometimes the monitor reads that as, "Uh-oh! You don't have any tire pressure in that tire!" And that's what is happening, that's why the monitor said we had 0.0 psi's. Once we switched the sensors around the inside back and outside rear tires, the light went off and we went on our way....we're still going to need a tire shop to check those valve stems if we want to use our tire pressure monitoring system for all our tires. The system is monitoring the car tires great, so no problems there. It's a cool system, really! Tells you the temperature of the tires as well as the psi's on them. Valve stems can be tricky with a tire pressure monitoring system.....the company is doing a wonderful job of supporting us as we work through some of these issues, and we're very happy with them......they'll do whatever it takes to make things right, we can see that....

slides are in, we can still move around
As a result of the tire problem today, and increasing wind velocity--35-45 mph winds and bad dust blowing around, with the winds getting worse this afternoon, gusting to 55 mph, we decided to cut our trip short as far as our destination of Aguanga, CA. Instead we stopped at Indio, CA at the fairgrounds there...full hookup for 20.00 a night, great price for full hookup...interesting place...Arabic designs on their buildings, the buildings have the "mosque" look, and they are located on Arabica Street off highway 111. It's pretty quiet here, there is only one other motorhome in the fairgrounds, so hopefully Eldo will get a good night's sleep if the RV isn't rockin' and rollin' too much! We didn't put out our slides because of the wind, but we can still get back and forth in the living room and to the bathroom and bedroom.....see you in the morning.....
One of the buildings at the fairgrounds


  1. I installed a Pressure Pro system on my truck. Never got around to putting the sensors on the 5th wheel because I kept having faulty readings on the truck tires. Pressure Pro was a big waste of $700 in my case. O did have a blow-out on one of the 5ver's tires on southbound I-95, practically no shoulder, but I handled it well and got off the road. I didn't have any problem steering over to the side, nor in slowing down & braking. I'd never buy another one, but I hope you can figure out what is wrong with yours.

  2. We have the Truck System Technology TPMS on our 5er and it also monitors tire pressure and temperature. So far we're very pleased with it. Don't think I'd want to be without some system.

    Selene, NC