Returning to Livingston a month in advance turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
First off, it gave Dad a head start in contracting to have his 2010 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic converted to a trike by CutNShoot Customs in Conroe, TX. Because of “supply chain/labor” issues, he learned it will take a minimum of 8-10 weeks for the axle and body to be shipped from the manufacturer to CutNShoot, and tire/wheel supplier TrueSpoke is quoting 90 days for shipment of the tires he ordered! So, Dad will be lucky to have the trike by the end of the year!
Then we encountered additional mechanical problems with Suite Retreat which Dad discovered quite by accident when installing J-rated Continental tires and wheels. Why was he installing tires again when Goodyear just reimbursed us for 4 spanking new G114 H-rated tires, you ask? Because Dad’s confidence in Goodyear’s quality had diminished after experiencing the tire delamination due to manufacturer defect. Furthermore, we knew through Escapees Smart Weigh Program that we were less than 200 pounds below the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for each of the tires. Traveling that close to maximum tire load was too close in Dad’s estimation. So, he upgraded to higher rated tires and blew Mom’s “budget” yet again. (Quite frankly, we have always viewed Mom’s budget only as a “guideline”. Hence, we have NEVER been on budget in the 10 years since we started this lifestyle. Yet, each year she establishes a new budget and records all expenditures—a fine example of insanity if I ever saw one). The Continental tires are rated for 6,000 pounds per tire instead of the 4,800 pound rating of the Goodyear G-114s. So, we can run the tires at a lower pressure, keeping the ride smoother and cooler. Anyway, back to the additional mechanical problems discovered. As Dad was installing the new tires, he found one of the independent suspension springs had sheared a connection bolt. It took several conversations with Mor-ryde to get them to ship the correct size bolts, but they did provide them free of charge.
|Photos show damaged spring where bolt sheared off.|
Can you see the difference between the old and new spring?
|New spring installed.|
Additionally, Dad detected that one of the brake calipers had a bent retainer clip. Upon researching the problem further, he learned that DRV was in the process of doing a safety recall for this issue. He called the vendor Kodiak Brakes. It took a few weeks, but eventually they shipped new clips. We sure were fortunate that we did not encounter any problems on the road with either of these two safety issues.
|New clips installed|
Coming home early also provided us an opportunity to catch up with Escapees friends Sherry/Matt and Nina/Jack, who were passing through Livingston in late September. We broke bread and shared great conversation for 3 days, including a visit to Livingston’s Whistle Stop Café. It is a cute eatery with downhome atmosphere and local memorabilia adorning the walls.
Yes, Mom screwed up our travel plans royally and made us return to Texas earlier than anticipated. But, in the end, everything happens for a reason.
Talk to you again soon!