Wilson Tilts the Scales

The mist on the river almost obscured the geese that were swimming across the water. Koda played with another dog on the lawn area along the banks while I sipped a hot cup of tea as I chatted with the owner, a retiree from Iowa. Wilson stood alone alongside the large red restaurant. One of the rear tires looked a little low, so I tried checkIng them with my gauge. I couldn’t find the valve for the inside dually. I finally located it sitting loose vertically between the two tires. I pulled it down and the pressure was slightly low. When I went to inflate it with the compressor, the air wouldn’t flow in. I left it for the moment and we got everything stowed and headed down the highway.

A few hours in, we exited the highway near Scranton, PA and tried a truck center next to a Petro gas station. They had a two hour wait, but suggested a shop a mile down the road adjacent to the Flying J truck stop. We weighed Wilson on the CAT scale at the Petro center and we came in 800 pounds under our weight limit. 13,700 pounds of machine, gear and flesh. The rear axle just barely in the limit and the front with pounds to spare. Good to know.

From there, we drove over to All Star Tires and disturbed a good ole boy named Pepper who was in the middle of a late lunch. He finished eating and got started on the tire valves. No problem, just an hour or so to change them out. He got a service call and turned us over to his assistant, JD who was grooving to some country music in the service bay. A few hours of sitting around the lot in lawn chairs and Wilson had his Dually Valves installed and our Tire Minder pressure monitoring system back in action. The crack mechanics at Arlington RV were clueless and said the valves were made for big trucks or some lame crap they came up with to get out of honoring the promise to put them on. JD told me that the loose valve on the flexible hose that was flopping around between the dual rear tires had caused some minor damage to the sidewall. If we hadn’t brought it in as soon as we did, it would have destroyed the tire.

I’m all ears!

It felt good having the tires set up and the pressures correct. We also topped up the airbags and the ride was better than ever. By now, it was four in the afternoon and we were driving through an endless gauntlet of red, gold and orange trees as we traversed the Pennsylvania Wilds. PJ called ahead to the campground in Bellafonte I had scouted out earlier, but they and the others nearby were full for the weekend with Penn State fans out to watch the big game tomorrow. We decided to wing it and just drive until we were tired and figure out a spot later on. At around six, we pulled in at a rest stop to give the dogs a break and go online to explore camping options.

Some of the other patrons were talking about the big wreck up ahead and the fact that the highway we were on was shut down about 30 miles down the road in the direction we were traveling. We asked the yellow vested grounds guy at the rest area if he knew of any decent campgrounds nearby and he pointed us towards Holiday Pines seven miles further west. We called and secured a spot then had an easy drive through Amish country to the quiet little camp in the pines. Parked up the rig, cooked a couple veggie omelets then watched The Social Network on DVD, a movie about the creation of Facebook. All in all an interesting day on the road.

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