Only an hour into the trip I thought the journey was over before it started. The Betty took a violent jerk and made a gut wrenching grinding sound. I looked out the side mirror to see a huge billow of blue smoke following me down the highway. My immediate thought; I had just dropped the transmission. I pulled over while the RV continued to jerk and spew smoke down highway 29.....I hadn't even made it out of Iowa. I jumped out and looked under the rig fully expecting to see a puddle of transmission fluid, but to my surprise, nothing. That's when I noticed the empty spare tire rack hanging from the underbelly. I looked back down the highway expecting to see the tire bouncing through traffic. The only thing I saw was a 3 foot wide skid mark leading to the car hauler.
A weld on the spare tire mount had failed, dumping the tire out the back of the RV and lodging itself under the axle of the car hauler. Over the years of traveling and pulling trailers thousands of miles I learned to keep tools handy. I had my 3 ton jack easily accessible and a couple of jack stands. After an hour of fighting the U-Haul trailer and holiday traffic I had removed the tire and was ready to go. There was no apparent damage to the trailer but the spare tire was shredded. I didn't find out just how bad the damage was to the
trailer until I had arrived at my destination. The axel was bent causing one of the tires to wear down to the wires. I had only miles left before a blow out and a potential roll over. I'm glad I spent the extra $35 for
insurance on the trailer so I didn't have to eat the cost of a new axle.
I headed across the street to a little café called Mona's for an over portioned but delicious breakfast while I waited for the store to open. I spent a few hours browsing, picked up a couple items and was back on the road.
I arrived at Tiger Run Resort in Breckenridge mid afternoon. Greeted by 6" of snow that had to be shoveled out of the lot. Even though I was wore out from the 800 mile trip, I would have been disappointed if there wasn't snow to shovel! With some help from the landlord we had the site cleared and I began to set up the camp site.