Wednesday, March 29, 2023


There are still heroes on the highway

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

It’s one of those “feel your heart sink” moments: You’re tooling down the highway with your RV, and somebody rolls up beside you pointing back at your rig. It happened to us a couple of weeks ago – and the outcome was truly surprising.

We were rolling down Arizona’s I-10, headed for a convention in Phoenix, when a fellow in a pickup truck rolled up next to us – giving us the old, “point and shout.” The navigator rolled down her window and the fellow warned we were close to losing a roof vent. Our driver/mechanic was doing the mental head-scratch, trying to figure out what roof vent might be in trouble, as some were covered with vent covers and all had been rolled down on our last stop.

The truck got ahead of us, and we whipped off the freeway at the next exit. As we did, we spotted our flag-down man parked on the shoulder. We went on, completely off the freeway, and found a large parking lot. As I, driver/mechanic/worry-wart, climbed out of the cab, the she of our party started doing her own worry-wart act: Here came the guy in his pickup. Was this some kind of a robbery setup?

Driver hops out of his truck. “It’s your refrigerator vent cap,” he tells me. “It’s just about to blow off.” Sure enough, our rear-wall mounted refrigerator’s cap was inching its way over the edge of the roof. “Have you got a roof ladder – a solid one?” our watch-guy asks. Happily we did – and he simply climbed up the ladder for a better look. Two of the four mounting screws were AWOL, and the ones that remained were on the trailing edge of the vent, just begging the winds to bend the vent cap far enough over to break off, or fly off.

For me, getting up on the roof means a freestanding ladder. I had one – buried in the back of the pickup truck, and we were loaded for bear. Getting out the ladder would be a 15-minute operation on its own. Climbing those straight-up-and-down RV ladders is an “If I have to peek over the edge of the roof, maybe …” issue. But hefting my body up on the roof from that angle is the stuff that my nightmares are made of.

“Have you got a screw gun?” our new friend asks. That I do! Within a couple of minutes the remaining screws were relocated to the leading edge of the vent, and our hero was back down, safe at ground level, having done the job for us. I was too dumbfounded to even ask his name – the best I could manage was a stammer of thanks.

“Hey, no problem,” he says. “I got a toy hauler that’s given me the same problem. Happy to help!” And with that, he jumped in his truck and vanished.

If you’re reading this, we want to tell you: Wish there were more folks out there like you, Mister. And if you get by Quartzsite, stop in – We’ll buy you a cup a coffee.

##RVT911 ##RVDT1345



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2 years ago

I was on Rt. 19 in palm harbor FL. and a man in a tree trimming business pull up beside me and said you have a wheel bearing problem ,so I stop . And sure enough it was . Being mechanically minded I started to fix it but I needed new bearing and race I had greased. I unloaded the car to go get everything and guess what ? I met the same man that told me about the bearing. He offer help but I said I am OK thanks . But that was not good enough for him. When I got back to the motor home he showed up with his 2 boys and they fix the bearings got us fix up better than a garage would have WHY ??? He didn’t charge me anything for the job. It took him about 2 hr, I offer him and his whole family to RED LOBSTER ALL on me and he turn me down. But I wont forget him ,because I found information out on him and got his phone number. He will get his lobster diner. He was a God send in time of trouble.

3 years ago

I had something similar (but with a tire) happen last week. Going down I 81 and suddenly someone in the left lane started honking at me and then the guy in the passenger seat leaned out and started signaling me to pull over, yelling that I have a blowout. I pulled over and they stopped in front of me. Out jumped two guys and one woman all with lots of tattoos. I’m not a prude, but I’ve also heard of people doing that to rob. I got out of my car with my phone in hand and locked the car doors. Went around the car to the passenger side and sure enough, my rear TT tire was just a ruffle around the rim. I must have thanked them a dozen times. I asked if I could give them anything for doing what they did, but they declined. They went ahead of me up to the next exit that was less than 1/4 mile, they waved as they left. There was a Pilot right there, so I’m so greatful for their help. Also I read so many cases where the “china bombs” damaged the area around the blowout. The worst I had was a black stain on the area behind the tire and my TT is a Forest River.

Vanessa Simmons
3 years ago

I was driving through LA (the state) in Feb and pulled into a rest area. A truck pulls up beside me and the guy jumps out and says “You have something on your rear tire.” Sure enough a large grapefruit size bubble on the inside of the rear passenger side tire. I thanked him as he walked away jumped in his truck and took off. Thank you good samaritan.

The roadside service showed up expecting to find the tire blown, shredded and RV torn up…he had changed a tire on another trailer just a few days earlier that did that.

Don Fleming
3 years ago

My wife and I are going too be buying a RV soon and we have no idea what we are doing. I’m a retired truck driver so I’m not worried about the size but the what we’re and how.

karen g
3 years ago

We also had a similar experience in July. We were on US 15 near Williamsport, PA. A woman pulled up beside us and did the “point and shout”. We exited at the next ramp and she pulled in behind us. The storage bin on the motor scooter we sometimes carry had come open. My husband closed it and thanked the woman. Nothing damaged, nothing lost, just a good and caring person who didn’t want anything to happen. In today’s world, watching today’s news, it’s nice to be reminded that most people in this world are kind and caring!

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