Airstream Travels

There’s just so much out there…..

A “flat” out good time

Our good friends Ted & Dawn and Ron & Carol invited us to Orlando this weekend so we took them up on it. Both couples have large Class A motor homes and we’ve been their guest in the past. It was always understood that when we got ours we would join them. Ted told me a few weeks ago that they were planning on staying at Tropical Palms RV Park. It’s just a few miles as the “see Disney from the air” helicopter flies. It’s the same distance as the crow flies as well but no self respecting crow wants to share the airspace with the “see Disney from the air” fleet buzzing back and forth. They were having a car show next door at Old Town (which is not old at all but actually an “old looking” town of a few blocks of wall to wall amusement park/shops/clubs/eateries.) You get the idea here; there’s a tourist or two in residence.

They got a day head start on us but we pulled down on Saturday morning. An uneventful trip really. It was our first time on the highway with LuLu and Hank (at highway speeds) and they did great. The Turnpike Authority was glad to see our 2 extra axles, so much so that they had a separate price list just for us. We exited on 192 in Orlando and had a front row seat of all the people who just couldn’t wait to get to the Mouse House. No one cared that we weighed, oh I don’t know, 5 times what they did in their mini vans and SUV’s,the monorail was pulling out of the station and time was a wastin’.

At the park.

After we passed the main entrance to Disney we found the RV park in short order. Our site was next to Dawn and Ted with Ron and Carol on the other side and after setting up Margo pronounced LuLu ready for the reveal and we showed her off.

Living room

Monkey business

We all took a trip to Camping World since it was right down the road, and our wallets weren’t lightened enough yet, then we got down to what we came for. Food and drink. Ted was flying the colors, tending to the clams on the grill while Ron had the 5 gallon cooking pot turned up to full blast with shrimp, crawdads, potatoes, polish sausage, clams, and corn. This was ceremoniously dumped out on a newspaper covered picnic table and we ate like it was 10 minutes to closing at the Golden Coral Buffet.

Flying the colors on Ted and Dawn's honkingly huge RV

Ron - feeding the masses

Afterward we took in the car show at Old Town, walked the shops, watched the bungee jumpers fly though the air, and just generally did the tourist thing in the land of the $1.99 Snicker’s Bar (the small one, not the double size).

A restful night in LuLu ensued then a pancake breakfast in Dawn and Ted’s coach. With the food gone and check out time approaching we all packed up and headed out.

A cold front was coming through so the winds were starting to pick up. As we headed down the turnpike I could feel it pushing but actually it was not as bad as I had envisioned. We were cruising along at 65 and Margo said she smelled rubber burning. I didn’t and dismissed it but she said that she could smell it. I thought, ‘okay, if we have a tire going down how could she smell it at 65 with the said tire behind us’. I reassured her that all was well at which time someone in a car pulled up along side and motioned to me that we had a problem. Hand gestures, lips forming the phase “blow out”. I hadn’t felt or heard anything. I pulled off and sure enough the curbside (right) front tire had exploded.

Now we knew LuLu needed some new flip flops but the tread was okay for short trips. The tires are about 4 years old and looked good but that isn’t always the case. We got really lucky though. We stopped in time that it didn’t shred and do damage to the wheel well or water tanks. We were in a place where we could be seen at least a mile ahead of time and were able to get it off the shoulder partially into the grass. I had previously checked the spare and aired it up so that was not a problem and had gone over the steps to change it. I got out my leveling blocks and backed her up onto them so the flat was able to be removed. We called Dawn and Ted who we knew were about 10 minutes behind us to let them know not to be alarmed when they saw us on the side of the road. They pulled in behind us and Ted helped me change it out. We were back on the road in no time no worse for wear.

Stepped on a pop top - blew out a flip flop

Look Ma, no jack

Ted and Dawn - watchin' our backs

As has been the case in all of our trips we learn something new and find out more about ourselves each time.  We had the opportunity to experience a blow out under the best conditions and that helps to make us more competent and confident when and if it happens in the rain on a cold night in the mountains. I’m going to check into getting some remote tire pressure sensors for LuLu so I can monitor things better. It really is hard to know what’s going on back there. The windy conditions today (which didn’t pose a problem) masked things though. The truck is so big it just powers through so I think if I have some sensors back there it would be a good investment.

A well used Goodyear Marathon

In the end it was a great weekend and thank you to our friends for making it so; and watching our backs.  Oh yeah, Margo, you were right – there the whole internet heard me……


February 19, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. LOVE your blog, Kevin! And so nice of you to ‘immortalize’ us in print 🙂 It was great RV’ing with you & Margo for the first time and we look forward to many more such trips! Carol & Ron

    Comment by Anonymous | February 24, 2012 | Reply

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