In the first four years of full time living in Shiny we were accident free. Lucky, I have no doubt. That came to an end at the end of last December while we were on our way to Poverty Point World Heritage Site in Louisiana.

It is said that bad things happen in three’s. True or not I don’t know, but I can say we had three bad things happen in the span of two months.

Bad Thing #1

While towing Shiny I always drive a little below the speed limit (and never over 65 mph), that way there is seldom anyone close in front of me and I can see and react to unexpected situations. When traffic is heavy, keeping the lane clear in front of me is difficult and one reason we almost always have our guidance device set to avoid highways. This time however, we needed to get through Jackson Mississippi and I20 seemed the best way.

Someone passed me on I20 in the middle of busy Jackson then they immediately pulled in front of me and applied the brakes. I’m sure this has happened to everyone at one time or another and I’m also sure you all were thinking “what a damn idiot” like I was. As it turned out said idiot was trying to avoid a giant chunk of truck tire. It came spewing out from under his vehicle but I was so busy trying to avoid him I could do nothing but try to straddle the debris, which I did. As I drove over the debris I knew that it was not going to be good.

We pulled into a rest area and sure enough the plastic tube that held our sewer hoses was gone. Nothing but the mounting bolts and small pieces of the tube brackets remained. I imagined the well used sewer hose wrapped around some unfortunate motorists windshield. That would make for a very unpleasant surprise for somebody.

After we arrived at Poverty Point I drove to a Walmart and purchased a new sewer hose so we could at least dump our tanks. Later at John & Marcia Beland’s home in Sierra Vista, AZ I installed a new tube.

This incident could have been worse and we are thankful that is wasn’t. Just the same, it was the first time Shiny was damaged and that hurt.

The recap tire industry claims that recap tires are safe. I have my doubts about that. I’ve seen far too many “Road Gators”.


Bad thing #2 was the biggie.

We drove into the local Discount Tire store and had them install 4 new tires on Shiny. On the way back to John & Marcia’s one of the tires on Shiny came off, instantly creating nearly $10,000.00 worth of damage to Shiny.

My first thought was that I had run over a dog. But then I looked in my mirror and saw the tire bouncing down the road. We pulled over and while Sue chased down the tire I made sure all the other tire lug nuts were tight. The local USPS Rural Carrier saw Sue struggling with the tire and stopped and grabbed the tire and drove it down the road to me. Thank you Rural Carrier!

Sue and I were both heart broken let me tell you. We hadn’t driven 8 miles on those tires!

Discount Tire paid for the damages but we were two weeks without our home. One week we spent with my sister Carol and her husband Denis in Scottsdale. Thank you Sissy! The 2nd week we rented a Airbnb in Patagonia, AZ, at the expense of Discount Tire. By the way, we just loved Patagonia. We will write about that in another blog post I’m sure.

Side Panel Replacement


We were attending a small Airstream Rally at McDowell Mountain Regional Park in February. We had a wonderful time but I did something very stupid. It was dry camping at this rally. Meaning that there were no hookups. No electricity or water. Not a problem for us as we are well prepared and actually love this type of camping. Out came Genny our Zamp 160 watt solar suitcase.

Someone was parked close to us blocking the sun so I put Genny up on the tonneau cover of Blue. This worked out great but I should have taken it down and set it on the ground before we went to bed. I didn’t and a gust of wind came up in the night, blew Genny onto the ground and shattered one side of the panel.

After The Fall

The worse part of bad thing #3 was telling Sue that I had messed up and that we were going to have to buy a new solar suitcase. 😳 Not fun.

Good As New
Shiny After The Repairs

On a much happier note, Shiny is all back together and good as new!


  1. Oh no!! It’s rough when something happens to your sweet traveling home (we’ve had some misadventures over the years, too, so we understand). But I’m so glad that all is well, that you weren’t hurt, and that Shiny is as good as new. And you even got to enjoy Patagonia! We love that little town. Stay safe!

    1. Jeezum, Larry! You’re scaring the heck out of me. Tomorrow we go and get our Cozette out of storage and now I’m wondering what will go wrong! Last year the cover on the electrical connection broke. The design dictated that the cover could not be replaced so we had to get a whole new outlet. Otherwise, so far no big problems. Not good to have your home damaged, but you can rationalize that it’s no worse than having your house furnace fail in February at -20! (No, it didn’t happen to us but I handled many claims like that) You seem to really be enjoying the traveling life. In case you haven’t heard, Old Time on the Onion is on again this year. I’ll send you R.D.’s email in case you haven’t already seen it. Safe future travels!!

      1. Have fun camping this summer. We will be mostly west of the Mississippi except for a trip to see Connor around Thanksgiving…that’s the plan at the moment, anyway!

    1. Thanks, Bennett. It wouldn’t be an adventure if it was all a bed of roses, right?? Love seeing your pictures on Facebook

  2. You sure did have some rough moments, yikes!! I hope you will have carefree travels from now on!

  3. Things such as this cause big reactions and sadness for me. Not warm fuzzies. Especially when it is caused by others. Hope your equilibrium is restored until the next adventure.

    1. Don’t worry, Jim, we really had moments of feeling utterly vulnerable. It is our home after all. But then, what’s really essential?

  4. A ding or two on faithful Shiny won’t stop your adventuring! See you next winter. Have fun in the meantime!


  5. Your positive attitude shines through! You two are on a wonderful adventure, and thanks for this blog!
    I was thinking about our friend Mike Jarboe today after seeing a Smith’s Reel video- nothing but good memories!

    1. Thanks, ya we’re back on the road having fun. I think of Jarboe often. Miss the bugger

  6. All except #3 could have been much, much worse. We admire your courage and pluck to manage under difficult circumstances. Smooth sailing henceforth. Cheers, George

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