Chevy High Performance Letters - CHP Garage


Towing Tactics
My wife Bonnie and I have attended all 16 "Roddin' on the River" car shows in Laughlin, NV, since they started in 1992.

Problem # 1, staffing issues at our office at the last minute required my wife to stay at the office through Thursday evening, so she booked an early Friday a.m. flight to Las Vegas and I would drive up and pick her up and return to Laughlin.

Problem # 2, I left home Wednesday morning at about 6 a.m. in my '66 Chevelle. I got to Phoenix for rush hour. That's when my electric fan decided to go on strike. I didn't know that was the problem, just that it overheated (and had never done that before). I sat along the side of Interstate 10 for an hour to let the car cool down, then turned around and headed back to Tucson. At speed, had no problem (other than I couldn't turn on the A/C). I decided to head for the house, load the car on my trailer, and tow to Laughlin. I've given enough people enough grief about not driving their cars that I knew I was going to hear about it.

Problem # 3, I opened up the garage to get the Tahoe out to tow with, and it wasn't there. My wife had taken it to the office. I fired up the '86 Monte Carlo SS and took it to swap with her, and went back home (a 50-mile round trip).

I loaded the car on the trailer, fired up my compressor, filled all the trailer tires to recommended pressure, including the two spares mounted on the trailer, and took off again. I made it to Phoenix just in time for the afternoon rush hour and made it up Route 93, through Wickenburg without incident. I was coming in to the little spot in the road called Wikieup, and decided to call my wife and let her know I was almost there. I told her not to worry; I wouldn't call to wake her up when I got there. It was sunset as I hung up the phone.

Problem # 4, As I left town and accelerated to the speed limit on the narrow two-lane winding, hilly stretch of road, I was a little surprised by the sound of a trailer tire blowing out. DANG! I found a driveway to pull off on. Fortunately, I had a floor jack, tire iron, and wooden blocks in the toolbox on the trailer. I changed the flat with a flashlight, loaded up the tools, and headed back out again. I called my wife to tell her my latest problem.

Problem # 5, This is when I noticed a vibration coming from the trailer. It's dark, I didn't see anywhere to pull over, and decide to keep going, at a reduced speed and prayed I could make it on to Interstate 40. It didn't feel like a flat tire, and I wondered if the spare could be that out of round? Maybe the wheel was out of balance, but the point is, I had no idea what was wrong? I made it to the truck stop, parked under the lights, and walked around the trailer. All four tires seemed OK, but I decided to swap out the spare with the other spare. As I was removing the spare from its mount, I noticed the trailer fender had a dent in it from the underside, the size of a softball. I looked at those tires again, and one of them only had tread on half the tire, the other half had slapped off from the fender.

I changed out that tire, and drove the other 40 or so miles through Kingman and over to Laughlin, again praying for no more flats. It was 9 p.m. by the time I got there and I was supposed to be there by noon. At that point, I sure was glad I had the cooler in the back of the Tahoe, had a cold one, and fell asleep for the night.

The following morning, as I told my tale of woe to the members of the host club, they referred me to one of their sponsors, a local tire dealer. I unloaded the car, and took off for the tire shop. They heard my story, mounted four new trailer tires (for cheap) and had me back out of there in 45 minutes.

The rest of the weekend went fine and I managed to pick up my wife, returning to the show for the weekend. We had fun with friends, and rode back to together in the Tahoe after the event without any incidents.


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