Our RV Travels

Updates on our Full-Time RV'ing lifestyle. Feel free to add your comments, replies and stories of your own.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

In DuQuoin, IL

FTC Webmaster Tom Johnson, Army Major General Bill Johnson and Rendezvous First Timer at Scott AFB luncheon

We departed our hilltop location in Western New York on 12 September. Weather was nice for trip here, however as usual we had a few challenges on the way. First a noise coming from right rear truck wheel was brought to my attention at our first rest stop in Ohio. Discovered that a retaining nut from the wheel cover had come off. So I removed the wheel cover. We stopped at several truck parts departments and RV dealerships without locating one. We stopped in Greenup, IL for breakfast on our 3rd day. I had parked on a slight downhill but when we got ready to leave and I released the parking brake then rig did not coast. In fact it took a fair amount of power to pull away from the curb. So I pulled over to find that the right front trailer brake was locked up and the tire skidding on the pavement. However after backing a short distance it seemed to have released and would now coast.I

I stopped at the next rest area where I checked to find the wheel had been turning OK, but was almost too hot to touch. So I drove the rear wheel up on blocks and got underneath to let the adjustment off. However I could not find the adjustment wheel. I removed the wheel then inquired of some highway workers as to where I could find a good mechanic nearby. They directed me to A&H Equipment in Altamont where the mechanic was able to remove the brake drum which I would have been unable to do. We found that the adjusting screw had fallen out and jammed against the rear brake shoe, destroying both the shoe and adjuster. He got me in contact with a RV Service shop about 15 miles away in the direction we were heading. I told the Service Manager there what size brake shoes I needed and was told that he either had them or could get them locally.

We were told to come right down. So I disabled the brake and the wheel was put back on. We then went to S&S RV Sales in Farina, IL. The first thing they did was jack the trailer up and pull the drum again. Then they discovered they did NOT have the shoes nor did the distributor nearby. We were told they could get parts, but it would be a few days. This was on Friday and we were scheduled to be here in DuQuoin by Saturday. As our tow vehicle has plenty of braking power and the other 3 on the trailer work well, we came on in with that brake disabled. I verified that Gary Wheeler from Mor-Ryde was coming and tried to call to see if he could bring the needed parts. But he was already on the road. So I will order the parts and make repairs at a later date.

Gary Wheeler and I discussed the situation when he arrived here and he helped me get in contact with Dexter Axle for parts help. Also I had noticed a bolt loose which I was unable to get to the head to hold for tightening on out Mor-Ryde rubber pin box (part of hitch). Gary and I were also unable to get to the head of the bolt, so we removed the hitch box and completely rebuilt the Mor-Ryde box. It now has a new heavy duty rubber spring with captive bolts which should not come loose again. I also discovered a small water leak when I arrived here. After some searching I found a loose connection at the water heater which I tightened.

We had a great rendezvous even though it was rather small in attendance. Loretta is getting better all the time and participated in many of the activities too. She opted not to go on any of the tours, but I went on the tour to Scott Air Force Base. http://public.scott.amc.af.mil/ I rather expected this to be rather boring as it was to be a tour of offices and briefings. However, I was surprised as it turned out to be one of the best Military Base tours that we have had. Our thanks to our retired Air Force Lt. Gen. LeRoy Manor who arranges the tours.

This base is really operated by the Department of Defense and arranges all types of transportation for all branches of the surface by air, ground and sea. We were treated to a windshield tour of the base, then 2 of the facilities. In each, we were given a talk about the activities being conducted there by one of the Generals and allowed to mingle and talk with the operators as duties permitted. One of the activities they oversee in addition to equipment and personnel transport is airlift transport of seriously injured servicemen. Their record in that is very impressive with only 3 injured lost in over 13,000transported.

When the tour had finished, we returned by bus to the Scott Club where we were served a delicious dinner. I believe we were seated at 8 tables and an officer was also seated at each table. It sure was impressive to see so much brass in one room (they were all in working - camouflage outfits, so except for rank markings it would be difficult to know that). At our table was seated Major General Bill Johnson who had recently returned from a tour in Iraq. It was a pleasure to talk to him one-on-one and we found that what we hear in the news is not what is really happening there. In fact the outlook there is much more encouraging than the news media would have us believe.

That was our last full day of the rendezvous and the final program that evening finished our activities. The following morning, all who hadn't already moved on hooked up to leave. We headed to Beech Bend Campground in Bowling Green, KY for the rally of the Tennessee Unit of the Fleetwood Travelcade Club.


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