We left Georgia for our drive down to Lake Griffin State Park in Fruitland Park, Florida. Our goal was to get there and setup before our daughter (and the little man) came to visit. We’ve discovered that it is easier to get your fuel or to park for a quick break at a larger truck stop so we usually make a note of the Pilots or Flying J travel centers prior to our leaving.
We pulled down past Jacksonville and then got on I-10 heading west. At US 301 we turned south and stopped at the Pilot at the intersection. It was full of trucks with no place for me to park so I stopped toward the back of the lot, got out and went inside our 5th wheel to “take care of business”. We pulled out and headed down the road and I felt that the rig was a bit sluggish. About that time someone pulled next to me pointing to the trailer and Mary also called from her car behind to tell me there was smoke coming from below.
I pulled off to a safe area of the highway and got out to see one of the trailer wheels smoking. I could tell it was a locked up brake and it smelled great. We looked everything over and then decided to call our roadside service to see what they could do. We were not encouraged by the young lady at the other end of the phone – she kept asking all sorts of questions that let us know she did not have a clue what a 5th wheel RV actually looked like. She asked questions like “So does your trailer have 5 wheels?”…needless to say we assumed we would be enjoying the beautiful Florida weather on the side of the road for a while.
While we were waiting for her to arrange someone from Jacksonville to come out to help I happened to glance at the breakaway cable and saw that it had been pulled partially out of the switch. The purpose of the switch is to lock the breaks of the trailer in the event it were to separate from the truck and therefore keep it from becoming a runaway. The cable would take a really good tug to be disconnected and obviously we didn’t do it. We just wonder if it was some warped sense of humor from one of the “real” truckers at the Pilot station that thought it would be cool to cause a little chaos. I guess we will never know.
Meanwhile I called the lady back and cancelled everything, plugged the switch all the way back into the housing and everything was fine.
We are getting an education.