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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Travel to Hot Springs, AR for TRVN Rally

or non-Tiffin motorhome owners, there exists a forum on the internet for Tiffin motorhome owners which is managed by the owners.  The Tiffin company has no connection to it.  It provides owners with an opportunity to exchange a lot of information on the Tiffin brand rigs, and a lot is it is very valuable to other owners.

Frequently, they have rallies around the country.  On Oct 3—7, they are having one at Catherine’s Landing campground in Hot Springs.

Since we haven’t been traveling in a while, I looked and found a scenic route to get from home to the Hot Springs area.  We decided to travel north to Oklahoma to the eastern part of the state where there are some mountains.  We will take the Talimena National Scenic Byway

Our plan is to arrive in Little Rock on Thursday (with reservations at the North Little Rock RV Park) where we will stay until Sunday morning.  We will be baby sitting our third grandchild, Rachel, while her parents will be painting and doing other stuff on a new house that they are having built.  Sunday morning we will check into the Hot Springs RV park for the rally, where we will stay until the next Sunday.  After that, we may do some more baby sitting, or we may head home…… not sure!!

We left Victoria on Tuesday, and drove to Mt Pleasant, TX where we overnighted in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  We left this morning about 9:00am, and drove through some scenic and mountainous countryside.

About 50 miles from the scenic byway entrance, on a very remote highway, we heard a muffled “boom” and my tire monitor went ballistic. When I had time to look at the monitor, I found that the passenger side outer dual tire had blown out.  The very remote road that we were driving on had a very narrow shoulder….. about 18”.  I limped at 10mph for about 2 miles, and was finally able to pull over into a gravel pasture entrance.   I got out to check the damage, expecting to see the wheel well fiberglass shattered, but there was no damage other than the blown tire.

I went back inside the Bus, and called the roadside assistance that we subscribe to, and got the started on finding us a mobile tire service with a used tire of the correct size.

While they were doing that, we drove at 10mph to find a better place to pull over.  We made it to the little town of Snow, OK, which had a post office and a “community center” about the size of a double-wide trailer.  That was the whole town, but we were able to pull into the parking lot shared by both facilities without being in anybody’s way.

About the time we stopped, the road service called back and had two choices……… One was a new tire for $700 and a 2 hour wait and the other was a $100 used tire and a 30 minute wait.  I chose the latter, because the new tire was not the same as what we have on the Bus.

Here are some pictures:

Narrow shoulders…….

Hot Springs TRVN Trip 024

The tire being changed out…….

Hot Springs TRVN Trip 002Hot Springs TRVN Trip 003Hot Springs TRVN Trip 013Hot Springs TRVN Trip 016Hot Springs TRVN Trip 020

The blowout happened at about 11:30am, and we were on our way at about 3:30pm.  This included two tire changes, because the first tire that the guy brought out had a big hole in it.  At least when he came back, the tire he brought was much better than the first one, and a very good used tire.  I think he felt bad!!

We decided to not take the scenic byway (about 56 miles of mountainous and curvy road) today, and to wait until tomorrow morning.  We drove to the Talimena State Park, which is located about 3 miles from the scenic byway, and got a campsite for the night.  They only have about 12 sites, but we are the only ones here.  It is very remote, and very quiet!!  I forgot to get pictures before the sun went down, but will post them tomorrow.

Until then…………

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