Brake failure!

Sunday, July 7

The crew and I pull out of Camp Aspen around ten in the morning, eager for our next adventure. 

To reach Ephraim in the valley one negotiates about seven miles of hairpin turns down Badger Mountain.  Fortunately the gravel road is wide and well-maintained.   The windows are down.  I’m listening for any strange sounds.  Why do I have this feeling something bad is going to happen? 

At the first place where I can pull off the road, I do so.    I get out and once again check the hitch, the chains, and the cords.  I walk-around looking for a problem about to happen.  Well, everything looks good . . .

I continue down the mountain in second gear.

At last the sign “Leaving Manti-La Sal National Forest” appears.  The gravel road becomes paved and I enter a neighborhood on the edge of Ephraim.  At a four-way stop I apply the brakes.  My foot goes way down, almost to the floor, before any stopping pressure is applied.  WHAT is this?

I move slowly toward the next four-way stop. 

I put my foot to the floor and it takes about three van lengths before we come to a complete stop.  Oh, man. This is bad.  Real bad.

No one is on Main Street.  Well, the good thing about it being Sunday is no jaywalker is going to jump out in front of me because everybody is in church.  The bad thing about it being Sunday is everybody is in church and nobody is around to fix my brakes.

My goal is Wal-Mart on the other side of town.

I’ll stop there and figure out what to do.  By the time I creep into the Wal-Mart parking lot I barely have any brakes at all.  Bridget and Spike know something’s up and pitch a fit.

“Okay, okay.  C’mon.  You can have a little walk.”

I put them in their suits and walk them around the perimeter of the lot.  My mind processes the situation as we walk. 

Well, isn’t this a fine mess. 

Sunday morning with no brakes.  I guess we wait until tomorrow to find a repair shop open.  I wonder if we can spend the night here in this parking lot. Thank God we made it down that mountain okay.  I should check to see how much brake fluid is in the reservoir.

As I’m walking the crew back to the PTV, a sixtyish man comes out of the garden center pushing a cart loaded with shrubs.  Hmm . . . looks like a local.

“Hi!  Excuse me . . .  That’s my van over there.  I came in here with no brakes.  Do you know if anything’s open today?”

“Oh, I doubt it.  Not in THIS town,” he replies.  “Let’s go take a look at it.  I’m no mechanic, but let’s pop the hood and we’ll see.”

The fluid level is above the minimum line and there’s no sign of leaks.

We exchange names.  He tells me his name is Kay “without an e.”  He says he’s sorry he can’t help.  I thank him and he goes back to his Toyota to load his shrubs.

Inside Wal-Mart I explain my situation to the manager and ask if I can spend the night in the parking lot.  He says that’s fine, that “people camp here all the time.”  After a pause he adds, “You know, the guy across the highway might be working today (Five Star Automotive).  I don’t know if he does brakes, but you could walk over there and see.”

As I come out of the store I’m surprised to see a man lying on his back on the pavement under the PTV.

A woman stands nearby.  Both look to be in their thirties.

Puzzled, I shout a friendly “Hey!” and wave as I approach.

Turns out that Kay drove across the highway and reported my situation to the repair guy.  The guy, whose name I learn is Brien (with an e), and his wife Desiree, drove right over to help me.  Brien is energetic and efficient, jumping in and out of the driver’s seat, looking under the hood, and asking me rapid-fire questions. 

Somehow, while Brien is a flurry of activity, Desiree notices the license plate on the PTV and reveals that she has two teenagers who live in South Dakota.  She and Brien have a little girl.

“What about your trailer brakes?” Brien asks.

I tell him I have a brake controller.  He immediately finds that the controller is off.

“With your controller off, the brakes on your van probably overheated coming down off the mountain because they were doing all the work.”  For heaven’s sake, why didn’t I think to check the brake controller! 

Brien continues.  “Here’s what we can do.  We’ll go back over to the shop.  You drive over there and when you get there, you tell me how the brakes are working.”

Brien pauses for the first time since I met him.

“Only one thing though.  I’ve got a guy over there . . . I’m working on his RV and he’s really grouchy.  He doesn’t think I’m getting the job done fast enough.  You may have to wait a while . . .”

“That’s okay,” I interrupt.  “Take as long as you need.  Without your help I’ll be waiting anyway, all day and all night in this parking lot.”

On the way to Brien’s shop the brakes work great!

I pull into the back of Brien’s shop and before I can get out of the PTV, he comes running out.  I give him the good news.  “I can’t thank you enough, Brien.   And here I come along right when you’re so busy . . . “ 

I glance over at the grouchy guy sitting in a chair by the door of the shop.  I offer to pay Brien for his time and, of course, he refuses.

“I knew you wouldn’t take any money.” 

I start to thank Brien again when he asks me where I’m going. 

“Ponderosa Campground up by Nephi.”

At that point Brien tells me to “hold on a sec.”  He runs into the shop and returns a moment later, paper in his hand which he passes to me through the window.  It has his name and phone number on it.

“That’s my cell phone.  I live about twenty minutes from Nephi.  I want you to call me if you have any problems.  I’ll come out to the campground and work on it tonight.”

At that moment Brien’s helpfulness and sincere concern for my welfare, plus the thoughtfulness of Kay to seek help for me, along with my immense relief that the crew and I are back on the road, is more than I can bear.   My eyes well up with tears.

“Brien,” I stammer.  “If you do one more nice thing for me, I’m going to break down and sob.”

“Oh, don’t do that.  Remember now . . . Call me.  If I don’t hear from you, I’ll know you’re all right.”

I thank him again and add a “God bless you.”

He hurries back to his customer’s RV.  I start up the PTV and make a tight circle to exit, passing Brien’s wife, Desiree, who is sitting outside reading a magazine.  She looks up.

“I think he’s a keeper!” I call out with a big smile.  She shouts back, “I KNOW he is!” and the smile on her face says more than her words.

To be continued . . .

rvsue

NOTE:  The day’s adventure does not end here!  I’m sorry for the delay in posting and the lack of photos.  Our present camp has no signal for internet.  I’m posting this in the parking lot of a Flying J. 

 I LOVE YOU, RVSUE SHOPPERS!  You can shop anywhere and yet you shop here.  Thank you!  Here are a few recent purchases:
Sunday Afternoons Field Hat
Novatel Wireless MiFi2200 Battery
Triple Strength Omega-3 950 mg, 100 Softgels
Health Valley Black Bean Soup No Salt Added, 15 Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
Fan-Tastic Vent Smoke Ultra Breeze Vent Cover
Hoover Windtunnel Air Bagless Upright

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99 Responses to Brake failure!

  1. Melinda says:

    So glad your brakes were OK, Sue. I love how you always seem to find these amazing helper angels on your travels. You’re restoring my faith in humanity. Safe travels!

  2. Mary Ann (Pontotoc, MS) says:

    Sue, by the time I finished reading your post, my eyes were full of tears of thankfulness. If he had done one more nice thing for you I would have been sobbing too! Thank you for letting us know you’re okay. I have no doubt you would have a search party out looking for you if we didn’t hear something soon 🙂 God bless Brien and Kay.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary Ann! Brien is quite a guy. I’ve paid a lot of money over the years for service that didn’t include one bit of caring, and look how much concern Brien showed for free.

      BTW, now that I’m in my summer travel mode in mountainous areas, it is more likely I’ll be out of internet signal, possibly for days at a time, so don’t send the search party! 🙂

  3. So glad you got off the mountain all right. There are a lot of wonderful people in this world. I just wish everyone was like Kay and Brien. Being kind and helpful isn’t that difficult and the personal satisfaction is a great feeling.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m very thankful (and that’s an understatement!) that Kay and Brien were around to help. And Desiree had a sweet attitude, willing to go along with it all, instead of grumbling about hanging around in a hot parking lot and repair shop.

  4. Richard Myers says:

    Glad you are safe. My brother and sister-in-law live in Utah and I have visited many times. I am always overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of the people I have met there.

    Rick

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree with you, Rick. Everyone in Utah has been exceptionally polite and kind. Even going into a convenience store is a pleasant experience due to the attitude of the cashier.

  5. Deb from NJ says:

    I have been following your blog for a few months now and have gone back and read your beginning entries. I have only commented once and I believe it was on your 500th post. I love reading about all your adventures and the people that you meet. By the time I was done reading today….I was in tears! Its great to know that there are wonderful people out there willing to help when you need it. You are doing what a lot of us are planning to do in the future and are living through your experiences for now. I have approx. 6 years before I can retire and follow in your footsteps. Just want you to know that I love your blog, enjoy your travels and I am learning so much from you. Thanks for the adventures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Deb, for commenting again with such a sweet message. And thanks for reading my blog from the beginning. I remember when my retirement was six years away. It seemed like an eternity to wait! But here I am. And you will be, also. 🙂

  6. AZ Jim says:

    The minute I started reading today I said to myself, hot brakes! Sue, always remember you can heat up your brakes with overuse. When going downhill use lower gears to slow you down, not all braking. Riding the brakes really heats ’em up. Keep the emergency brake in mind as well. If you do suddenly lose brakes, low gear and emergency brake. It goes without say to keep your trailer brakes controller on. Also that controller should start gently applying your trailer brakes before your vehicle brakes. The reason is you have the trailer applying some slight braking which keeps the ptv running straight down the road when braking because the trailer is “pulling you” and not pushing you. I towed trailers for years and learned some hard lessons.
    Glad you got some super friendly help from some nice folks.

    • AZ Jim says:

      PS You don’t even want to think about hot brake fire but it can happen!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Jim!

      Okay. Here’s the deal. I use 2nd gear going down hill. This particular mountain road is extremely steep with one switchback after another which means tapping the brakes more often than usual is necessary for control on the turns. (I never “ride” the brakes!)

      Re: brake controller . . . I had the guy install it under the dash to the right of where I sit. Unfortunately he didn’t install it waaaay over, probably because he was imagining the seat being pushed further back. Well, I’m not tall and I like to apply brakes with a bent leg, so I drive with the seat pulled forward. Long story short, my knee sometimes makes contact with the brake controller. I had checked the controller, but apparently my knee pressed against it and pushed it out of adjustment. That’s my theory anyway.

      Up until this incident, the brake controller had the trailer brakes applying just the right amount of “help.” Brien adjusted the controller for me when he found it was off.

      I appreciate your ongoing concern for this old lady and her dogs!

  7. Cherylyn says:

    So glad for your safety and the kind people who helped.
    The brake controller was not working? Studying up on parts for my adventure. Is there some kind of on/off switch on a box or was something not connected tight enough?
    Adding info to my need to know file:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cheryln!

      Read my reply to AZ Jim above re: the reason the brake controller was off. Put in your “need to know” file to watch the installation of the controller so it is mounted exactly where you want it.

  8. Tawanda says:

    Amazing how things work out isn’t it, the experiences with these wonderful people you cross paths most especially in such times of needing assistance helps to restore my faith in humanity. Living in the big city that goodness seems to get lost in all the hustle and self preservation of the masses…
    Thank you for sharing and so glad all is well, looking forward to the rest of the story 🙂
    T~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Tawanda!

      I know what you mean about big city people. When I think of the rudeness I’ve encountered over the years . . . oh well. Sometimes I wonder if the good, caring, helpful people are put in my path in my times of need just so I can report it here and give city folk some hope! LOL There are some really good people in this world.

  9. Jeff says:

    Hi Sue,
    I think if it was me I would have the brake fluid changed out as it may have absorbed water over the years and thus boil causing the pedal to go to the floor.

    • Lew Johns says:

      This.

      Lew

      • Pen says:

        Agreed, good idea. As you alluded to, brake fluid is hygroscopic (meaning it likes to absorb water). With a higher water content, it boils faster (at a lower temperature). So while the brake controller being off (and Sue driving as she normally does, since she expected it to be on) is obviously today’s main culprit, I agree with you and would probably have the brake fluid changed as well (that is, unless it is known fresh, still seems good after today’s adventure, etc.).

        Sue, I love reading about your encounters with “strangers.” I’m a bit of a loner too, but not outgoing in public like you are. I’d like to be more like you that way!

        Pen

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Even though the primary reason was the downhill drive with no brake controller, that’s excellent advice. Thanks, Jeff!

      • Lew Johns says:

        Wrong! The service brake pedal does not go down abnormally far without reason and that reason is assuredly NOT hot brakes. Absent a failure of the Master Cylinder or a Wheel Cylinder (not indicated here because [1]the condition was temporary and [2] there was no loss of brake fluid) the only reason for temporary low pedal is boiling brake fluid. It will happen again and if the next time both brake circuits boil you will have NO service brakes.

        Lew

  10. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    People in Utah are some of the best. It helps alot to have the big guy upstairs on your side too. So glad you and the crew are still doing well. Love your way of telling a story.

  11. cinandjules (NY) says:

    As soon as I read the title……….I thought to myself…oh no..this isn’t good!

    Glad you made it down the mountain safely. It was so nice that the manager at Walmart was so helpful. Kay to be concerned, to look under the hood…and then take the time to notify Brien. Brien and Desiree were just as kind to take the time to help you. What wonderful people indeed….and to give you his cell phone number in case you have any further problems.

    The generosity of strangers whose paths meet for a reason is simply amazing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It was an incredible experience. I’ll never forget coming out of the Wal-Mart to see a guy I’ve never met and never asked for help, lying under the PTV trying to figure out a way to help me. Gee, thinking about it makes me start tearing up again!

      Always good to hear from you, cinandjules!

  12. Don’t you love it when you meet wonderful, kind and generous people? And to think they are everywhere, all over the country. God bless them all!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Martha! I agree with every word you wrote, and I’ll add this . . . God blesses all of us with those “wonderful, kind and generous people.” 🙂

  13. Lew Johns says:

    We had a similar experience with totally [temporarily] losing the service brakes on a Toyota/Dolphin motorhome. I had to stop on a mountain grade with just the emergency (parking) brake. I had been remiss about changing brake fluid and as a result it boiled going down Alt 14 in the Bighorns (12% grade for about 12 miles). After cool down the brakes again worked normally. As soon as I could I changed the brake fluid and had no further issues. IIRC brake fluid change is needed about every 5 years. Most people ignore it and get away with it but most people aren’t towing on mountain grades.

    Lew

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gosh, Lew… pretty scary! I’m happy you’re here to tell the story. You know, I bought a can of brake fluid a few months back and, being the procrastinator that I am, that full can of brake fluid is probably rolling around somewhere in the back of the PTV.

      Thanks for the reminder. Your experience is a great motivator to “git er done!”

  14. Reine in Plano says:

    Welcome to the world of normal where we slip up and forget stuff. Overheating isn’t good for a lot of things, brakes, people and chocolate being some good examples. Glad the brakes cooled down and you were able to continue to your next campsite. I think the help you experienced is the “real’ America rather than the junk we see reported on the news. Keep on telling us about helpful folks. It brightens all our days to be reminded that tough situations happen to good folks and other good folks help out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Reine!

      You’re probably right. Almost everything reported by the media is bent and twisted, so why should we believe that most people are like the ones the media reports…. I’m glad my blog can show the goodness of people .. .

  15. Brian says:

    All I can say is Wow!
    Nice to hear about good people.
    Glad you are okay Sue.

  16. Marsha says:

    You sure meet the nicest people!

  17. AZ Jim says:

    Ya know Sue, for all your hermit proclivities YOU are a “nice person” and that is why you meet so many other nice people.

  18. Dawn says:

    I think the majority of people are good. You sure ran into a string of goodness, that’s for sure. Glad it went so well…and can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Dawn!

      And I ran into this “string of goodness” on the Sunday of 4th of July weekend! Who wants to deal with a lady with automotive trouble on a holiday . . . yet these good people stepped forward to help.

  19. Mimi551 says:

    If you do good things for others it will be returned to you. You have done a lot of nice things in your travels and it is being returned. It is uplifting to read about these good deeds and know some people genuinely care for others:-)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Mimi! Nice to see you here!

      I don’t know why I’m the recipient of go0d deeds and kindnesses, but I’m certainly glad I am. Oh, the thought of spending the day with the crew in that hot parking lot and then overnight and sitting around a repair shop… ugh.

  20. CT says:

    WOW! What a great story – so glad for the happy ending. I’ve spent time in Utah & always found the people to be very helpful & kind. How wonderful that all these angels showed up at just the right time to come to your aid!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi CT!

      It is enough to make one believe in angels! I hope Kay, Brien, and Desiree are visited by their own angels whenever they need help.

  21. Timber n' Rusty says:

    We’re glad that the Lord kept you and your babies safe and put the right folks in your path to help and keep you going, Have a Beautiful Blessed Day Sue. ,,,,,,,,,,,,Rusty n’ Timber

    • Marsha says:

      Well said Rusty.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, Rusty… very well said. Thank you for writing, and a “beautiful blessed day” to you and Timber. I hope to write about your new home soon!

  22. cozygirl says:

    Oh to be so thankful for the blessings that touch our lives…”there are good people out there!” I’m go glad Brien and Kay came your way….angels of help! A good reminder for everyone to offer whatever small thing we can….I’d been in tears too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi cozygirl!

      To think I didn’t even have to ask for the phone number in case I needed more help… Brien OFFERED it to me. That really got to me!

  23. Good Karma…… or whatever you choose to call it. What goes around comes around!
    I am so thankful to all who helped you! Chuck and I have found the folks we meet out on the road when we have an emergency arise, to be the nicest, most helpful folks! So we try to be the same when someone needs us to help them.You just never know but you always trust that God knows who to put in our paths!
    Now, enough of the cliffhanger ending…… I’m ready for part II of this brake adventure!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri! Great comment!

      I’m answering these comments while sitting in the PTV parked in a residential neighborhood. I hope the two snoozing canines sleep long enough for me to finish!

  24. BuckeyePatti says:

    Wow, just when I think there’s only schmucks out there in the world, you restore my faith in mankind. You must have a lot of good karma built up, Sue, because it’s obviously following you!

    P.S. Another lesson for us newbies, this one about brakes. Thanks for sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Patti!

      I’m happy to have my readers learn from my mistakes! Well, if it’s karma, I hope I don’t run out . . . Thanks for writing. Ignore the schmucks.

  25. Glenda says:

    Oh darn it…………I can’t read my computer screen as I have tears welling up in my eyes too. Thank the lord for such people as Kay and Brien…………..how amazing these people are. Warms your heart to know that there are so many people out there that will help at the drop of a hat, bend over backwards to help etc…………waiting expectantly for the next instalment !!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Glenda!

      I thought the crew and I were in for one, big, horrible day. It turned out to be a blessing for us and for the readers of this blog. What good people there are in this world.

  26. Nivrapa in AZ says:

    Whoa, Sue! A little excitement in your tales keeps us sittin’ on the edge, but maybe that was a tad too much excitement? I’m sure it was plenty for you! The Big Guy upstairs was watching out for you, for sure. So glad you made it off that mountain without a serious incident.

    Yesterday, I took a ride over to Maple Canyon and then up to Nebo Loop Drive to scout out your next camp (via Google Earth), trying to guess where you would end up next. Maple Canyon was too much rock wall leaving internet access doubtful. Nebo Loop Drive looked more promising. Ponderosa Campground looked inviting and pleasant, but it is a public campground and I know how you like things a bit more private so I’m wondering if you didn’t press on following Salt Creek Canyon Road and find you own little camp on a spur with greater elevation. I’m sure wherever you landed, it will be another slice of heaven on earth for you and the crew.

    When you’re ready to fill us in on the continuing saga of your adventures, we’ll be here waiting for you. Safe travels to you and the crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Nivrapa! Great to see you returning to comment. Love that!

      My posts are a bit irregular these days because of camping in canyons. I’ll be posting today. It’s all written. I’ve driven to a place where I can pick up enough signal to post.

      You’re a pretty good private eye… Your Google search is pretty close! Thanks for the kind message.

  27. ronaldesears says:

    There are so many out there that will take advantage of people on the road. I am glad that you found a two guys wearing white hats to get you through your brake problem…be safe..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Ron!

      I think the people who are out to take advantage of others are mostly in city areas and places where poverty is rampant. There’s very little poverty in this part of Utah, at least it doesn’t look like it. But bad guys can be anywhere, as can the good ones!

  28. Ruth (TN) says:

    AZJim is right! You meet nice people because you are nice people! Glad you and the crew are OK. Can’t wait for what comes next in the Sue and Crew saga.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Ruth!

      It’s funny how new material for my blog keeps popping up! I’m glad I could share an uplifting story with my good readers like you.

  29. Cheryl Ann says:

    Sue, you sure do meet the nicest people! Glad you are okay…I noticed you hadn’t posted and I, like others, was worried. Take care~ Looking forward to retiring in about 5 years myself!
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cheryl Ann! So you’re on the five-year countdown . . . Then you’ll be living instead of reading about adventures on the road!

      Don’t worry when I don’t post for a few days. I’m moving into areas with poor signal. Thanks for writing!

  30. Rita from Phoenix says:

    So many things to remember…I’d make a check list. In my old age I make a list even just to go to the store. Someone commented on your blog with the mishap of not chucking the BTV and it rolled on you this past winter ‘that’s why pilots have a check list.’ So glad you and the crew went down the mt safe and sound. What wonderful folks you came across when needed help the most…an angel must be watching over you. Be careful & safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Rita!

      I’m terrible with checklists. I forget to read them! My strategy is to do everything the same way every time so it becomes automatic. What gets me is the out-of-the-ordinary happenstances, like bumping the controller with my knee. I’m going to check it more often, from now on!

  31. gingerda says:

    I’m so glad you made it safely into the Walmart parking lot, and then to meet such nice people to help you. I thought you might be writing that you camped out for a couple of days getting your brakes fixed.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Ginger!

      I am SO glad I didn’t have to write a blog post about a day in the Wal-Mart parking lot!

      I appreciate you stopping by to comment often, Ginger.

  32. Barbara B says:

    Sue,
    So thankful you are okay. God bless you and all the wonderful folks you have met along the way. Have you posted anything regarding my request? I have tried to catch up all of the postings, but had quite a health scare about 2 weeks ago and my mind & research have been involved in that issue. If I missed the answer to my email question, can you post it again? Thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, now I’ve forgotten what your request was. I’ll check my old emails and get back with you, Barbara. Sorry about that.

      I’m also sorry to hear you’ve had a health issue to deal with. I hope everything is under control and you’re on the upswing!

  33. Cari in North Texas says:

    You mean fulltiming is not all pretty creekside campsites, picturesque views, and quiet mountain air???? LOL I held my breath when I saw the title of your post and said a quiet Hallelujah when your two angels appeared. Small towns are full of kind people, I lived in one for many years.

    I’m glad it wasn’t anything seriously wrong, and like others I’m adding this to my mental notebook for future reference.

    • Cari, I lost my mental notebook years ago! LOL, rely on real notes now! I tend to remember better if I write it down!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Cari!

      Like any blogger I like to write a title that draws interest in my blog, but I didn’t want to scare anyone too badly! I figured “well, they’ll know if I’m writing a blog post, chances are we didn’t plummet off the mountain.” LOL

  34. Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

    Sounds like a life and people affirming day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were the norm for people being that helpful and kind?

    Why is it having people be nice to us, brings us to tears? Is it that we don’t see enough kindness from others in our lives? Or are we are so used to having to take care of ourselves that someone helping out without us asking makes us cry?

    I recently read a quote that kind of explains it. “Crying doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you have been strong for too long.”

    I’m so glad things worked out so well and that everyone and everything is okay.

    • Mary Ann (Pontotoc MS)) says:

      I loved that quote, Donna–so true!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting comment, Donna. I think the unexpectedness of kindness from strangers is what really gets to me… even though I’ve received a lot of it. Thanks for sharing that quote.

    • Cari in North Texas says:

      Thank you for sharing that quote, Donna, it is very appropriate for me right now.

  35. RVSue:
    I’m a relatively new RVer and blogger; somebody gave me your address to check out all the learning experiences you’ve had. I spent 4 and a half months earlier this year in Mexico in my ’93 Toyota Dolphin with my Standard Poodle, Lacy and two cats. I fell in love with RVing and RV lifestyle. So I’ve just bought a (new to me) Fleetwood Flair and will be leaving the 1st of August for at least a year of traveling around this great Country, Canada and maybe some more of Mexico. I’ll check out more of your posts and may have some questions for you. Check my blog too.
    PS: Really I think the only thing we can do when we meet people like Kay and Brien is PAY IT FORWARD. What a wonderful story – with brakes too!
    Mary-Pat

    • stan watkins says:

      Mary pat. I had a 1990 Flair on a Ford chassis and my brakes overheated easy until I had them flushed and refilled. I also installed the best pads I could. Even if it has low miles, have thr fluid changed. Enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very glad to have you with us, Mary Pat! I’d love to visit Mexico! Wow, that was an adventurous trip… I wish you angels in your path when you take off on another adventure come August. Thanks for writing, and please feel free to ask questions!

  36. Beverly says:

    It’s amazing how the Universe literally puts someone in our path when we need them the most. I was traveling with my boys years ago when we had a flat tire in Colorado. We were on a narrow winding mountain road and it was hailing. We pulled into the first parking lot we came to and ended up parked in front of a tire store! I have never forgotten that.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      If you’re going to have a flat tire, have one in front of a tire place! Good advice, Beverly! 🙂

      Yes, life is a mystery. Some events are hard to credit to coincidence, serendipity, or happenstance. Always nice to hear from you!

  37. Mark Watson says:

    2 things… get acquainted with your emergency brake. Emergency braking is very seldom needed, and as such, that functional piece of auto hardware is totally forgotten about. Grab the emergency brake lever every now and then and apply a little braking just to get in the habit of using it, if it should every be REALLY NEEDED.

    Also, I manually activate the brake controller to test for trailer braking very time I connect up the trailer and pull away .
    I hope you do this too. If you don’t test your trailer brakes after connecting up , then may I say… attention all shoppers, do not travel in front of RVSUE, she may not have full braking capability and may not know it. 😉
    Travel safely

    Mark Watson

    • Phyllis says:

      Good suggestion for all of us RVer’s to be or newbies. I will put this on my checklist!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for caring enough to write, Mark. Believe me, since my journey has taken me away from the flatlands of my former life, I am well acquainted with the emergency brake. Some days I use it several times because I have this fear that Bridget will knock the PTV out of gear, which is next to impossible, but anyway…

      I use the emergency brake whenever I park on an incline with the BLT hitched on. And often when it’s just the PTV. I also use the emergency brake when I’m backing up the PTV by millimeters to line up the hitch ball with the coupler (to prevent rolling a tiny bit).

      I promise I will check the brake controller more often!

  38. Pauline says:

    Immediately the term “angels unaware” came to mind. I truly believe the Lord was right there looking out for you and sending the right people at the right time. That is why I pray for you every night. So glad you are ok. Love you, Sister!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Pauline, for your nightly prayers on behalf of me and the crew. I love you, too.

  39. Cherie from OH says:

    I was always amazed at how “lucky” Tioga George was every time he had a problem. I assumed he was just one of those people with a magnetic personality that drew people to him and made them want to help. Now I see it happening with you too, Sue. So is it luck, a magnetic personality, guardian angels, or just plain good people? I don’t know, maybe all of the above. I’m just very grateful that you and the crew are okay. I send a heartfelt “thank you” to all those good folks out there and most of all to God.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Cherie, I can tell you one thing for sure: It ain’t my magnetic personality! LOL

      I thank God as well for the good people He puts in my path. Thanks for writing!

  40. Regina says:

    Sue, You run into the nicest people. Probably because you exude niceness too. I’m glad everything worked out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Regina…

      I may exude stuff, but I don’t know that it’s always nice! Haha! All silliness aside. . . I appreciate your sweet comment.

  41. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi Jean!

    I’ll post the rest of the story today… promise!

  42. wheelingit says:

    A wonderful blog about the kindness of strangers. So happy your brakes were OK!
    Nina

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