Saturday, March 10, 2012

New Tires and Braking System

While in the Service Bay at the Allegro Campground, we saw a problem with the right front tire.  The tread was coming loose and I was able to pull a chunk off without too much trouble.  The tires had only 56, 500 miles on them but more importantly they were 6 1/2 years old.  Time for new tires.

I called around and the closest place that sold Michelin's was Simmon's Tire Company in Shefflield, AL. Sheffield is about 50 miles from Red Bay and next to Muscle Shoals.

We arrived at 8:00 AM on Monday morning towing the Honda.  We parked and unhooked and talked with the owner about getting the new tires and having the alignment checked on the front and back end.  I also made sure that I was registered with Family Motor Coach Association.  They have a Michelin Advantage Program  that saved me $50 a tire.  With six tires to replace, it was worth my time to give them a call and get registered for the discount.

After that, we left in search of a Starbucks or McDonalds or something with a decent place to hangout.  We found a Jack's and I took a booth in the corner, had some coffee and checked into my company (I work part time about 20-25 hours each month).

While I got set up and started working, Pam ran some errands and then we had lunch at Jacks.  About 1:30 Simmons called and we returned.  I asked them to turn the two rear stems on the inside tires outward so I could easily get to them.  That sound make checking them and putting in air a lot easier.  I checked the air in the tires, we hooked up the Honda and paid the $4275.29 bill.

Ugh - this was another big one.  I was planning to replace the tires next year so that was no surprise.  We just had to do it sooner than I hoped.  While the bill is substantial we have had some good news to help.  My body shop repair bill was only $500.  We got an insurance claim check for over $1900.  Even if you add $400 in fuel for a trip from FL to Red Bay, there is about $1000 we were not planning on.  Then we had over a $1000 saved up for emergencies.  My work has leveled out over the last year which allows me to make over $1000 a month.  So in a few months we should be back on track financially.

Now to the next upgrade.  We were able to get squeezed into Brannon's schedule at Custom RV in Vina, AL on Tuesday morning.  We had him install an Air Force One proportionate braking system.  When we left Florida, we locked up the front brakes on our Blue Ox Patriot braking system.  Thankfully a lady at a stop light alerted us to it because of the smoking brakes on the Honda.  We took the Honda into a dealer and had it all checked out and they were OK.

But we had lost confidence in the Patriot system so we had Brannon replace it with the Air Force One.
It only took a couple of hours.
They have installed a lot of these systems so it was no big deal to them.  I like watching professionals who know what they are doing.
We also have been getting some readings from our SeeLevel gauges.  They checked out that and replaced the sensor on the black tank which reads '42' even though I know it should be reading '0' after I empty it.

They also pulled out the spray/clean end piece and used a 1/32 drill bit to add more spray holes and clean out the ones already there.  That worked like a charm.  He didn't charge me for the new sensor and only for 1/2 hour of labor so I was happy with that.  All told - it was another $1524.92.  That made it a $5800 trip to Red Bay.  But it was worth every penny.  We had the right folks get things fixed and we are good to go for a while.

I look back on our projections Full-timing expenses.  I was way under on my estimates for RV maintenance and repairs.  But it has all been manageable.  Hopefully some of this information you will find useful when comparing your estimates or expenses.  

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Until next time...


  1. We had to get tires on the MH and are Jeep this past year. WOW! We did plan for this, but the prices are outrageous. We then traded our Jeep in three months later...that hurt.
    Isn't Brannon and his crew great! We prefer him over Tiffin anymore. Hope that is all the maintenance expenses you have for this year. Enjoy your weekend. ~wheresweaver

  2. Just like a house...We gotta update a kitchen...Wonder what that bill will be??? (even if McGyver does most of it). Glad you are good to go...a great feeling for sure.

  3. By keeping up on what is called Preventative Maintenance will definitely help keep the overall costs down. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. that was quite the bill of $5800 but having piece of mind is more important! back to work you go!

  5. We just hade an AF1 system installed on our MH and Honda Element, too. Love it, the ease to hook up and no box to take in and out.

  6. Appreciate the financial information on maintenance and budgeting. Piece of mind while driving is worth the cost but still tough to swallow when you have to fork it over!