Saturday 10th October 2009, St George.
Yes I know I said we were going to Lightning ridge today, but we got about 40K down the road and had to call a tow truck to take the van back to where we left from. While getting along very nicely, tail wind and all, I glanced down at the trailer brake controller and it was flashing an error message, not remembering what it was now, and not knowing what it meant at the time, I mentioned to Linda that we may have a problem with our brakes, then the car began to get a little sluggish so I looked in the rear view mirror to see a great cloud of smoke billowing from one of the caravan wheels, then the tyre blew out but as I was slowing down for a stop. We walked back to the van to see what the damage was to find a grass fire had broken our below the offending wheel, and it was quite obvious that the whole wheel was absolutely red hot. We struggled to find one of our fire extinguishers to douse the fire before we lost the entire van. What actually caused the problem is at this stage unknown, but I suspect either the brakes somehow come on slightly, we did once before drop off a retainer spring on the brakes causing something similar, or a wheel bearing failure, but I can’t see how a wheel bearing would cause such a dramatic failure as that which occurred. The next problem was that we were out of mobile coverage area, so the trusty CB radio was put to use and I got on air and asked if anybody close by might have a phone to make a call for us. A semi driver responded saying he was not far down the road so he would stop when he reached us, and a couple of minutes later he arrived. He had a car kit fitted to his rig which gave him coverage and he indicated that I could make my call to RAC from his phone. It goes to show that truck drivers, even though they hate caravans, will stop to assist when one is in trouble. The call was made and arrangements were made for a tow truck from St George to come and collect us and take us back to where we came from, so here we are set up again, in the same place as we were yesterday to wait for repairs to be done so we can continue on our merry way. I have no doubt more on the story will follow later as after the quite hectic day we have had I am quite ‘Buggered’ at the moment and work are not coming easy.