Tale of the three wheel Jeep….

Tale of the three wheel Jeep….

So after Benson, we headed out towards Texas with the plan to drive through New Mexico and stop overnight in Texas then head to Fredricksburg Texas for a short stay before moving on to our month long stay at Lazy L&L Campground in New Branfels.  Well, if you follow us on Facebook you know our plan did not get executed. In Las Cruces, NM, a truck pulled up along side, flashing his lights and pointing to the side of the road, telling me I need to pull over.  I glanced in the rear view camera and did not see anything as I eased it onto the shoulder.  I got out and went to the back of the RV and was treated with this sight….

So so where the hell is the tire and fender, and how long had I been dragging the axle on the road!!!

Another truck drove up and said, hey buddy, I got your tire.  Just a little over a mile back he saw the tire rolling on the side of the road and stopped and picked it up, he figured he would see who lost it and came upon us pulled over on the shoulder with the tires that matched the one he came across..

So we were lucky it happened in a busy place where someone saw the wheel come off and got my attention to pull over.  We called our insurance company, USAA, to get a tow truck since the hub had no lug nuts and the disc rotor was all but destroyed, putting the tire back on to get off the road was not an option….

The tow truck arrived within 30 minutes and we were able to get it to a nearby garage to determine how bad it was…needless to say, the jeep had more damage than I had expected, the shock mount was ground off, some of the suspension was rubbing on the ground and this was not going to be a quick fix as I had hoped….

note that the disc brake is supposed to be round, not ground flat on the bottom….

USAA assigned an adjuster since it was considered damage caused by a part failure under our comprehensive auto policy and he was able to get to the garage that day to create the estimate which you need to hold your breath for….about $8,000.  The biggest expense is the need to replace the entire rear axle housing to the tune of $3,500 and guess what, it is too big and heavy to get it overnight via fed-ex, it has to be truck shipped once we find one.  That was turning out to be a near impossible task and it looked like there was *maybe* one sitting on the west coast… Being a clever Nuc, I found a optional idea to install new shock relocation brackets that can be used to raise up the shocks that hang lower on the axle and catch on rocks when off roading.  I can use these in place of the ground off shock mounts….I was off to help order these aftermarket parts and overnight them to Las Cruces, so we could start the repairs in just a few days vice several weeks waiting on a replacement axle.

Wheel is trashed, must have been wobbling awhile before it came off


Shock mount completely ground off, down to the control arm…
on the opposite side you can see how much was ground off….
Missing fender and liner will get replaced later

There was a nearby rental car company and a very nice RV Part nearby, so we had wheels and had a place to stay while we figured things out…

Hanging out at nearby Hacienda RV Park

The following week we got the needed parts and started on the repairs…

Cleaning up the metal…
Ready to paint and install new shock bracket
New shock brack in grey, bolted on to the axle
Replacement shock installed
Both sides with new shock mounts.

It took about 3 days to rebuild, replace all the wheel studs, rebuild the rear end, new brakes, new axle and backing plate for the damaged ones.  Overall, B&G Automotive did a superior job in the repairs, and we celebrated getting back on the road by going to a nearby St. Clair Winery, a outstanding place for dinner…

After a week delay we got on the road to Fort Stockton, TX and stayed overnight at the Walmart with about 10 other campers using Walmart as a stop over…

And finally we made it to Lazy L&L Campground in New Braunfels, Texas for our November month long stay…Time to connect with friends and get a few upgrades and repairs made….

Overall, in light the the potential for the jeep to be totally trashed, wrecked, damaging the motorhome, we feel we got off lucky, got it fixed in short order and back on the road without too much fuss.  We are happy to get settled into a familiar spot and I can finish the repairs and get a few RV upgrades completed.  Amazingly we are coming up on our two year anniversary of getting on the road, so I plan to do a post to remark that milestone. The onlt negative is we are still trying to sell our townhouse in Maryland and need to get that completed soon.  Hopefully, we can find that buyer would actually wants to put in an offer and purchase the place.  Crossing our fingers, this has been going on too long.

2 thoughts on “Tale of the three wheel Jeep….

  1. Wow, what a crazy thing to have happen. But how lucky you guys were! You ran into not one, but two nice truckers who helped you out, there was no damage to the motor home, the Jeep could be fixed, you weren’t in the middle of nowhere when it happened, there was no damage to any other car, and your insurance has been great. I’m sure it was stressful and all, but it could have been SO much worse. Glad it worked out and you’re back in business. And yeah, 2 years went by fast, huh? So much more to see and do. We’re just looking forward to 2018 being over. This has been a tough year for a lot of us.

  2. What an unbelievable tale. So glad neither one of you were hurt. You could have been killed if that would have happened while you were actually driving that Jeep. I guess that’s why Consumer Reports doesn’t rate the Jeep so high in its ratings. Stay safe and know you are loved!

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