Boondocking Bumps in the Road Family General How to/ Mods/ Tips & Tricks RV Tips

Boondocking Fun and Roadside Assistance

After spending 2 nights at Ramblin’ Pines Campground in Maryland, we packed up and continued our trek north. Just 130 miles up the road, we stopped over at Cabelas in Hamburg, PA. We had stayed at this Cabelas a couple of times in the past and its location makes it a perfect stop-over on our way to see Mark’s parents in Syracuse. The fact that it is also right beside Cigars International is a huge draw for Mark.

We were treated to a beautiful sunset and later enjoyed a fireworks display! You never know what you might see when boondocking.

The next day our destination was Green Lakes State Park near Syracuse. Thanks to a fellow-motorist, 30 miles outside of Syracuse, we noticed one of our tires was smoking. A car drove by and the driver frantically pointed to the back of our rig. Mark was able to maneuver us safely to the side of the road where we called our Progressive roadside assist number.

After waiting 3 hours for them to send someone, we googled “towing service near me.” Within 15 minutes we had found someone 10 miles away who was willing to come to us and pull our tire off. The bearing was burned up but we were then able to limp along and follow him to his garage. We left Old Glory in Walt’s competent hands at Doody Brothers Garage in Tully, NY. We gathered a few necessities from our home on wheels and drove to Mark’s parents’ house.

We love you Walt!

This was on a Sunday so no work was done on it till the next day. On Monday we heard from Walt bright and early. He needed to order a new axle ???? and a couple of new bearings and they estimated a completion date of at least a week later. So we returned to Doody Brothers to clean out the fridge in the RV and pick up a few more necessities.

Bad Bearing
Baaad Bearing

Soooo a couple of thoughts here:

  • When your whole life is in an RV, have a plan for when it needs to be worked on.
  • Roadside Assistance is not always the best option. If we had googled and contacted a nearby garage first thing, we could have avoided a 3 hour wait beside the road.
  • This specific incident was absolutely the best possible situation with a wide shoulder to pull over, proximity of reputable garage and ability to stay with family during the repair.
  • Prior to this we had traveled about 140 miles on a severely bumpy, poorly maintained highway. We believe this contributed to the bearing failure.
  • In the future we will be checking each tire with our infrared temperature monitor at every rest stop.

The repairs were completed as promised – and our insurance company came through, determining that this was due to poorly maintained roads and not a mechanical failure of our rig. We probably will not use our Roadside Assistance again unless we absolutely can not find a garage or tow service ourselves. We are very pleased with our Progressive full-timers RV policy and cannot recommend them highly enough. Also huge Kudos to Doody Brothers Garage in Tully, NY and Walt specifically who rescued us on a hot Sunday afternoon on the side of route 81. He kept us up to date through the entire process of ordering new parts. Once all the parts were in, they had Old Glory repaired in amazing time. We were able to tow her to Green Lakes state park and stay the final 3 days of our original reservation.

Our next post will be more about our time in Syracuse with family. Even though there was a rocky start, we had a great time with our sons, their sweethearts, Mark’s parents and brother. The fact that Old Glory was out of commission did not affect our family time at all!