Things do go wrong. Sometimes seemingly all at once. We had stopped for gas about fifteen minutes after we pulled out for the day. We had done the walk around before leaving but missed this one thing. Doing another check at the gas station my wife discovered extreme wear on one of the rear tires. The tires are relatively new so I knew something was wrong. Doing a quick Google search I discovered there was an RV repair shop just twelve miles away. I made a call and was told to bring it in. Within about twenty minutes we knew what was wrong.

If you have been following this blog you might remember me writing about the lift we did on Pete. If not, you can find it at When we arrived in Minnesota, we discovered the lift blocks were not sitting right on the axle mounts. My son-in-law and I had some plates made to go between the mounting brackets and the lift blocks. This took care of the problem. It seems though that while the blocks shifted on the rear axle during the trip from Michigan to Minnesota it put enough strain on the axel to bend it. The bent axle was the problem. An RV axle is apparently a part that is not readily available at least in central Kentucky. John of Central Kentucky RV Service began searching for a new axle.

The axle was a Lippert and Lippert said it would be two weeks before one could be shipped. Dexter was a similar story. After exploring a number of options an axle was finally discovered in Cincinnati, Ohio. I made the 75-mile trip to get the new axle. I took the old axle with me so they could get all the measurements correct. The axle does not come with the mounting brackets and they have to be welded on so they measured the old axle and welded the brackets on the new one. John had recommended an RV park in Frankfort, KY and the park owner was kind enough to allow him to work on Pete there. So, we returned to the Elkhorn Creek Campground with high hopes that we would soon be back on the road.

The next morning, a Saturday, John came and began the work. He had to take the hub assemblies off the old axle and install them on the new one. Once all that was done, he was ready to install the axle. But he discovered that Haskins Hitches, where we had purchased the axle, had welded the mounting brackets an inch off. The axle had to be returned to Cincinnati.  Let’s just say I was not happy. It would be Monday before we could get the problem corrected.

In addition to the axle problem we discovered we had a leak in the roof around our new Maxair fan. Yes, there is even more. When we arrived at Elkhorn Creek Campground and I went to raise the TV antenna it would not go up. So, I setup the ladder and climbed up to take a look. Turns out the antenna was not there! Sometime between Shelbyville and Frankfort we had lost the antenna! Mary had asked before we left Shelbyville if I had lowered the antenna. I assured her I had. I remember doing it. But I must have not gotten it all the way down. So, John had plenty to do. Axle, roof, antenna, surely nothing else would be discovered.

Early Monday morning John called the axle people and arranged for the fix. Once again Mary and I made the 75 mile journey. With the axel repaired we got back to the campground and John began the work. The axle went on beautifully and is working perfectly. He also patched the roof. But by the time he got to the antenna it was beginning to rain and it remains in a box. Hopefully at our next stop I will be able to install it. I should be able to do it without climbing on the roof, which I do not do.

Tuesday morning, we left Frankfort for a two-day trip to Savannah, GA. So far everything is still working.

We were prepared for problems. We knew they were inevitable. However, we didn’t really expect them quite so quickly. We feel however, that the timing and place were providential. I don’t believe we could have had a more capable repairman, John of Central Kentucky RV Service. He makes what he calls the “transient RVer” a priority. His goal is to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. From all I have read from other RVers that is rare. He worked extremely hard just to find an axle in a timely fashion. He made three separate trips to the RV Park to work on the problem. On top of that he is a really nice guy. When he told me what I owed him it was less than half of what I was expecting. He was more than fair with his price.

Bo, one of the owners of Elkhorn Creek Campground couldn’t have been nicer. He gave us a prime spot and a fair price and seemed genuinely concerned over our predicament. Elkhorn Creak is a really nice RV Park lying along the banks of Elkhorn Creek. We had a full hookup site with a paved parking spot, a wood deck, fire ring, and picnic table. The bathhouse was large, very nice, and most importantly clean. There is a putt-putt course, playground, and pool. There are laundry facilities on site. Bo even allowed us to have packages delivered there.

Haskins Hitches were mortified over their mistake. They apologized over and over again. This family owned business is in it’s third generation of ownership. They volunteered to reimburse me for any costs I was out because their mistake. When I gave them the amount, they actually gave me more than I asked for. Let’s face it, mistakes happen, it’s what you do after the mistake that really matters. Because they treated me so well, I would not hesitate to give them more business in the future if need be or recommend them to others.

We were forced to alter some of our plans, like visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but other opportunities came our way. During the time we were in Frankfort we got to spend time with old ministry friends, Jerry and Clara and worship with them at Pleasureville Baptist Church. We also got to spend time with Herb and Peggy who were also ministry friends. Herb had served as my field advisor when I was working on my Doctorate degree which I would not have completed without his help. It’s another reminder that in the midst of difficulty there is blessing.

When all was complete, new axle, two new tires, TV antenna, repairs and labor the cost was under $1,000. We were astonished and truly blessed!

3 thoughts on “THINGS GO WRONG

  1. I’m thinking God stop you in the perfect place with perfect people. A broken axel and blown tire on a highway doesn’t sound safe. Keep those guardian angels all around you!


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