Sunday, March 16, 2014

VERY STRESSFUL DRIVING DAY TODAY

The wind started last night – so much so that I had to bring my slides in – and that makes for very tight living quarters.

Then the thunder and lightening started.  I don’t know if Bennie is more terrified of the sound of the thunder or the sound of the pounding rain on the roof.

My little guy is not much of a cuddler – he likes his own space.  But when he’s scared he can’t get close enough to me.  So I got him on the couch with me and covered him with a quilt.  It helped him a little.

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The wind was still very high this morning but despite that, I looked up the next Wal-Mart on my route and it was only 40 Miles away.  It was NOT pleasant driving as the winds kept trying to rip the steering wheel from my hands.

Once I reached there, had something to eat etc. I looked up the next Wal-Mart and that was only 68 Miles away.  I decided to go for it.

About 1/2 way I heard this loud BANG – well actually it was more like a very loud THUD.  After I recovered from a HEART ATTACK, I immediately looked at my new Tire Monitoring System (that I don’t quite trust yet) and it wasn’t warning me of anything.

I glanced at the two side mirrors and saw nothing.  A few minutes later another LOUD THUD.  HOLY CRAP !!  What is it ??

I got off the Interstate as quickly as possible and got out to check the tires, under the rig etc. etc.  I couldn’t see anything wrong.

Back on the Interstate again I go and within a few minutes another LOUD THUD.  WTF !!??  Thankfully there was a Rest Stop 1 Mile away so I pulled off again.  I got up on the roof this time to check things out.  Now remember it’s VERY WINDY as I’m crawling around on the roof.  Too windy to even stand up.

I noticed a screw had come off one of the A/C’s covers so I climbed back down to get some bungee cords to secure it until I could do a more permanent solution.

Problem solved - Back on the Interstate again.  Minutes later another LOUD THUD !!  Off the Interstate again and  I gathered numerous different things and shoved them in my pockets, to secure whatever the hell was loose up there.  Did I mention how COLD it was !!

I figured the bungee cord had perhaps come off ?  NOPE.  I crawled around the entire roof and checked everything.  Nothing (other than the AC I had already secured) was loose.

These THUDS were very intermittent – not constant nor consistent.  And I have no idea what was causing the noise ??

I drove the remaining few miles and when the THUDS happened I tried to zero in where they were coming from.  Best I could tell was just ABOVE me around the slide-out area which is just behind the driver’s seat.

Even though it was only just after Noon, I pulled into Wal-Mart, at Sweetwater, TX never so relieved to get off the Highway.

The wind kept up quite badly the rest of the afternoon but no THUDS.  So whatever it was only happened when I was driving.

Tomorrow the weather is going to be MUCH more agreeable – back into the 70’s.  So before I get on the road I’ll go over everything again.

I’m also going to look for a place around Abilene, TX to pull in for a few days.  The weather is going to be nice and I still have almost a full month to get back to Canada.

Anybody know of a place in that area ??

Never a dull moment when Sassy’s On ‘Da Road huh !!

16 comments:

  1. Couple thoughts on the noise, slide toppers or awning caught by the wind then retracting to cause a thud. Other thing is possibility of tire cap coming off in spots, close visual check of tires would show that.
    Mickey

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    1. Thanks Mickey ! I thought of the slide topper because that's exactly where the THUD seemed to be coming from. I will check that and the tires VERY carefully tomorrow morning.

      I eliminated the awning because 1) the noise wasn't coming from that side and 2) I have the awning well secured with Velcro straps.

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  2. I would really be double & triple checking that awning. We had a big Kansas cross wind do a number on our Class A's awning back in the Fall of 08. If there is no wind tomorrow & the thumping has stopped I'm guessing it was the wind fighting to pull that awning out. Or maybe one of your window awnings if you have them on the driver's side. Wonder which side of the rig the wind was beating on..........

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  3. Al, I don't have any window awnings on my rig. But the THUD was coming from the driver's side - where the main slide-out and topper is.

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  4. I agree that it's the slide awnings billowing open just a bit and then the spring slamming the fabric closed. I've experienced that several time while driving in high wind conditions.

    You can bungee the slide awning to keep it from billowing, wrap a bungee cord around one end and secure it so it is tight.

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  5. Ugh! Years ago we had strong winds (aftermath of tornado) rip open our awning. Ever since then we always bungee the awning poles. I'm guessing it's your awning but what would I know. I'll send you via email some places around Abilene.

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  6. Those are sure not fun travel days. Good luck with finding the source of your thuds.
    Travel safe and relax for a bit.

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  7. I was thinking during the night, THUD, came to mind, because of the wind, wind generated noise comes to forefront, but slide topper or awning wouldn't create a THUD, in my opinion, but more of a snapping of fabric as spring roller wound back the fabric tight. Was the THUD more like hitting a pig in the road, ( imagination required here, unless you've actually hit a pig) I get that sound in my ford explorer periodically and relate it to the overdrive hard shift in the transmission, my Volvo did the same thing so my deduction is pretty clear and accurate. Hope that isn't the case with you. I still drive the Explorer and live with the periodic noise but only drive short trips. Seems to happen when I release the accelerator quick while accelerating but that isn't always the case.
    Good luck, I know what problems are as I blew an engine on a class a driving cross country,
    Mickey

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  8. Without hearing it - Jim agrees that it could be your slide toppers snapping in the wind. Sure hope you figure out what is wrong and quit driving in the wind. How is the little car towing? Glad you're going to sit still for a couple of days and let Bennie's nerves settle down.

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  9. Hope you find the problem. I HATE to hear noises while driving. After all these experiences we had on the road - it freaks me out!

    Not looking forward to going home either. Too cold and snowy, but there is no way around it. UGH.

    Molly doesn't like the noise on the roof either. She figures: heavy rain = likely thunder and starts whining.

    Stay safe!

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  10. Check your storage tubs in the slide, sometimes they come lose and check to make sure the doors lock down good and tight, but it's prob the awning.
    Scott

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  11. Stay off the road in those winds!!! You have time on your side; take it.

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  12. Might be your roof antenna lifting up a few inches and slam back down due to the high winds

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    1. Mike, Thought of that also. But again the THUD was coming from the opposite side of the rig from where the roof antenna is.

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  13. There doesn't seem to be much near Abilene. I see there's a Corp. of Engineers campground called East Fork Park NE of Dallas near Wylie, TX that has 50 RV sites. I like COE campgrounds. Do you have a program called Map N Go? It has info on most public campgrounds in North America. No longer published, but I could get a copy to you. Happy Trails Sassy! Larry M.

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