Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sometimes Your Brakes Fail -- Day 55

Riding high off of Star Wars weekend, and seeing friends and family, life is cruising along at a comfortable speed -- and then the brakes fail. Literally.

Driving a 34’ motorhome has been a learning experience with it’s own share of scary moments. Remember the time a passing truck was so close to us that we bumped mirrors? Well, that was was nothing compared to our drive home last night when our brakes failed. It is a very uncomfortable feeling to step on the brake pedal and have a dashboard warning light turn on that says, “BRAKES” and notice that you are not, in fact, stopping. Fortunately, we were approaching a not very busy red light, and I was able to maneuver into a right turn down a side street. Also of note: when you have a brake failure, hills are not your friend. This side street that we turned down was a down hill to a short flat area and then an uphill to another flat area, where I was able to coax Fezzik to a full stop.

Breathing may now recommence.

Here are some tips, if you are thinking about becoming a full-time RVer:

  1. Have roadside assistance. I highly recommend this to anyone driving any vehicle. AAA, Good Sam, or through your insurance provider. You never know when you might need it, and it can really save you.
  2. Know where your roadside assistance information is stored. While this sounds like a no-brainer, I didn’t know where our packet was. Fortunately, Anya did.
  3. Get a Randall. If you don’t know what a Randall is, I’m not sure that I can help you. An invaluable resource, that makes my life so much easier.

Also helpful, if you are planning on breaking down in any way, you should probably do it during business hours. We had our brake failure at 8pm, which was really inconvenient for the service departments, the towing companies, and us. We had to wait an hour for the first tow truck to come, only to find out that he had the wrong equipment. He left without a word, and I had to call his dispatcher to find out that he was getting the bigger truck. When my roadside assistance provider called 45 minutes later to ask how the service was going, I had to tell them that we were still not being towed. An hour later they called me back to let me know that it was too late for anyone to come out and we would have to call back in the morning.

I’m not mad, really.

This is where your Randall comes in handy. Everybody should have that one person that you can count on, any time of the day or night. For some, it's a close friend, others have family. We have Randall. To call him a friend would cheapen the depth of the relationship that we have. He's more like family, only not the kind that gets on your nerves. He's the guy that would use his last dollar to buy you lunch, give you the clothes off his back, and insist that you sleep in his bed while he takes the couch. I love him completely.

Not only did Randall drop whatever he was doing and forsake whatever plans he had for the evening, he drove 30 miles at midnight to our location, and took Zoe out for chicken nuggets while we were waiting for the tow truck. When they said we were going to be stuck here, he offered to watch Zoe and Muffins until we could get the situation sorted the next day. Zoe was thrilled because Jason and Randall have the coolest apartment to hang out in, and we didn't want her to miserable all night on the side of the road.

Now we’re sitting here, 12 hours later, still waiting for a tow truck. But we’re safe, alive, happy and together.

Life is still good.

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