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Arizona Adversity to Overcome

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Friday morning, January 20 started with a beautiful sunrise at Kim's home in Prescott, AZ. It had snowed during the night and our rig was covered with a light layer of two inches. We'd planned on a 9 AM departure, but getting the snow off the three retractable slides of the trailer was required before bringing them in. The extra time to accomplish this sweeping delayed our departure for Tucson, AZ. We said our goodbyes and were on the road by 9:20 AM carefully pulling the fifth wheel down the icy road. Once we made it to the more heavily traveled State Route 69 heading south to US Interstate 17, the road surface greatly improved and we made great time to Phoenix, AZ. The traffic was manageable through the city and the 17 eventually hooked up with US Interstate 10 as we continued south towards Tucson, AZ.

Our trip was proceeding smoothly and we were making good time for our next overnight stay at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. We stopped for diesel fuel at a TA Fueling station in Eloy, AZ. About 12 miles north of the town of Marana, AZ , and just south of Picacho Peak State Park we observed a male driver in the left lane pass us frantically attempting to get our attention. Oh no, was our ladder or portable sewer tank loose? He changed lanes to get in front of us, so I followed him keeping a safe distance. He slowed and pulled off the highway on to the shoulder. We stopped and he runs back to our truck and tells us something was dragging from under our rig throwing out sparks. Not a good report. I thanked him for getting our attention and he proceeded on his way. It was almost 2 PM. I reluctantly walked back towards the rear of the fifth wheel to investigate the cause of his concern. What I found made my heart sink.

The fresh water tank was on the ground behind the undercarriage on the passenger side of the trailer. The two supporting steel brackets, front and back had snapped off the frame. causing the source of the sparks. The underbelly liner was torn off under the tank and water was freely flowing out onto the asphalt. Karen got out of the truck to see what the calamity was all about and found me unhappy but calm. Now what to do?

Karen got on the phone with AAA and I tried calling Alliance RV customer service back in Indiana. By the grace of God we were able get a message to the Alliance customer service department during business hours and 10 minutes later Leslie phoned to start our case file. Within 30 minutes she had Tim, an Alliance technical rep, calling to arrange for a local mobile RV Technician named Scott to come out to help us. Scott called and told us he was en route and would arrive within the hour. So we waited on the side of the highway in our beach chairs and ate cookies... because we deserved some comfort food!

By 4 PM we were on the road again with our fresh water tank removed from under the rig, dangling equipment components strapped up for travel and Scott following us from behind as we limped into the Valley of the Sun RV Park 12 miles down the highway. Destination plans now changed and at a different RV park with full hook ups, we started counting our blessings: no accident, quick discovery of the problem, RV still drivable, prompt response by Alliance and the local RV technician, an available RV site at the last minute, and many more.

Scott, our RV Tech and his wife Holly were God's provision for us. These two helped us get settled Friday evening and he returned Saturday morning to rewire the broken electronic leveling jack motor damaged by the dropped water tank. He took some additional photos and sent in the parts request to Tim at Alliance. Now we wait, spending some unexpected additional time visiting friends and sightseeing. God is keeping our hearts peaceful as we trust Him for the timing. We are learning to surrender our plans and embrace God's presence through these trials!


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Howard Duque
Howard Duque

I have been watching the travels of another couple in their RV. They sold their business and went to retire on the road. It was non-stop problems. They even turned in their new bus for another new bus. But the problems never ended. I don't mean to be a spoil sport, but $250,000 can buy an awful lot of motel rooms. They opted to but a house (mansion) in Georgia. I'm waiting for Artie to be on the toilet when the bottom drops out of the loo. Good times. 8-).

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