Roadside Assistance

Flat TireWe were about 50 miles east of Portland, up near Government Camp when our tire blew. It’s one of the more common mechanical issues in owning a bus but at $600 a pop, not the best news. Craig maneuvered off of the road and assessed the situation while I made dinner. The tag axel (back passenger wheel) had blown and Craig figured he could raise it up with a jack and potentially link the chain to hold the tire off of the ground. Our hope was to continue driving down to our destination and deal with it once we were in town. However, after a several tries and tired hands he found the jack just wasn’t strong enough to hold up the rig for as long as he needed. And so, we decided to make a call to Good Sam road side assistance. We’re members and have had to use them once before with good results. They call local towing companies on their roster and the truck comes out to help us change out a tire or tow our vehicle if needed. This time around, the lady on the phone took our coordinance and said she would call us back with information on the towing company. About an hour and a half went by, during which Craig did end up managing to get the tire chained up off of the ground. The lady called back and explained that she could not find any vendors in the Portland area willing to come up the fifty miles? I chuckled lightly, thinking how silly it was that no one would come up to help us from Portland. However, I let her know it was OK, that we had a temporary solution and we were going to begin our trek down the mountain.

That’s when a whole Portlandia episode emerged in our heads. We had a good laugh about how the towing companies in Portland were probably bicycle towing companies and they only work in a 10 mile radius. Their bikes would be outfitted with large baskets and the trailer behind the bike would be more like a wheel barrow. We imagined the phone call placed to the company and the hysterical conversation that would ensue about coordinance of the broken down vehicle (or bicycle) and the process that the tow driver might take to help the wayward bicyclist.

Anyway, it was all in good jest, as we love our friends in Portland. Thank goodness for the simple solution and the hospitality we did find when we arrived at our dear friends, The Maes home. The added bonus was a Bus garage right around the corner.

It’s good to be rolling again.


Published by

Jana Holland

4 thoughts on “Roadside Assistance”

  1. If you did break down, do you have a plan in place to get help? Roadside assistance programs can give you that stability and are very reasonable these days. Make sure you have some plan in place to help you out if you break down, lock up those keys or have a wreck.


  2. When we lived in Seattle with our 1984 Southwind Class A, we’d often break down out in the boonies somewhere. We’d try AAA, we’d try FMCA, we’d try anybody who claimed they would tow and RV. But it would be comical on the phone. “You need to bring the BIG truck.” Well, it’s just a camper, right?”

    “Well, it’s 40′ long, weighs over 25,000 pounds, and it’s actually broken a couple of small trucks. The people who built it believed in real wood and real steel.”

    Then, hours later, a medium-sized truck would pull up. The driver would get out, shake his head, and call for the “Big Rig” truck. That usually meant another 3-4 hours.


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