Road Worthy, Again

Upon finding out that Camping World of Calera pulled one over on this newbie (new to RV’s), I decided that I needed to get my Airstream road worthy, again.  After picking Sterling up from the plumbing work I had done by Glenn of Alabama RV in Adamsville, AL, I decided to take it straight by Gamble’s Automotive in Bessemer.  I already had it hooked up and I knew that once it got back home, the tires would go flat again.  It was time to get this straightened out once and for all.

The Gamble family is well known in the area and they have a locally owned and operated business.  I had heard some positive things about them and decided to see for myself.

I pulled my 31 footer into their parking lot and immediately started to get visitors to stop and look.  The owner, Donnie Gamble, came out to see what I had going on.  I told him how I had learned that the tires on the Airstream (installed by Camping World of Calera in July of 2015) were “P” rated tires.  He immediately said that for a camper this size (length), this was not the tire that should be on it.  He also pointed out that my valve stems were rotten and that I was missing lug nuts.  WHAT?  Who doesn’t replace valve stems with every set of tires?!

Since the installation of the tires by Camping World, I had driven a total of 70 miles on these “P” rated tires.  When installed in July of 2015, I pulled the RV home to work  on the remodel, and then later to Adamsville, AL for the plumbing repairs (April 2016).  All of the tires lost a ton of pressure and one went entirely flat.  Since I was in the remodel phase, I didn’t worry too much about it at the time.  Little did I know about the rotten valve stems that they never replaced.  I just didn’t know to look for this type of thing.  We live and learn, right?  The wheels where quite rusty, so this could have also been an issue with the tire pressure.  Why didn’t Camping World replace the valve stems, ensure the lug nuts were all put back on, and ensure that I had a good seal…and use the right tires?  My purpose for taking in to Camping World in Calera was to get it road worthy.  At a cost of $2,586.27, you would think that I could have received sufficient and adequate work.  More on this later.

For the work to be done at Gamble’s, we decided to have the wheels sandblasted and powder coated black back to their original state.  They were heavy duty and worth keeping.  I would get 4 new tires installed.  I would also get a new wheel with a spare tire.  All of the tires would be ST rated tires (10 ply tires adequate for the RV and the turning motions).  I would get new valve stems, as well as replaced lug nuts.

Within a few short days, Sterling was ready to pick up, all safe and sound and ready to drive home!  Cost was $922.83.  Well worth every penny knowing it’s now safe to drive.

Now that I had the diagram for the towing connections (thanks to Glenn), I needed to figure out why my left blinker was causing the breaks to engage.  I took my connections with me to pick up Sterling from Gamble’s Automotive.  As a group effort, we determined that 2 wires were crossed up in the connector that I purchased from Amazon.  Mr. Gamble corrected it for me and we tested it out.  Works like a charm.  Well, my left blinker isn’t working, but the breaks don’t engage.  The left blinker issue could be wiring.  They said to bring it back over one day and they will check that out.  Who knew?  Right in my area and such great customer service on my RV when all I thought they serviced was cars and trucks.  They have a new customer who will sing their praises!  From the dad, to the son (Donnie), to the grandson (Trey)- they are wonderful people to do business with.

The 4 tires that Camping World installed were placed inside my RV and I’ll deal with them and my reimbursement.

BEFORE- rusty wheel with the wrong tire installed by Camping World.  Notice the missing lug nut and the old valve stem ready to fall off.IMG_7714

Dropped Sterling off for another set of tires and wheel work at Gamble’s Automotive.NMIMG_7715

New tires and refurbished wheels with new valve stems and replaced lug nuts.

NOTE:  There is only one bearing buddy because Camping World only installed one.  Go figure!  I’m very proud of the work that Gamble’s Automotive in Bessemer, AL did!  Great customer service and excellent work.  Very trustworthy!

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