Nine hours into their trip, in the great state of South Carolina, traveling down I-95, going 60 miles per hour, one of the wheels came off the camper, rim and all. At once, the camper dropped to the road, skidding, screeching, and sparks flying. The wheel decided the rest of the party was going too slow, and it took off ahead of the camper and headed for an even bigger camper, a huge motor home.
As it reached the front of the motor home, it decided to make an abrupt right turn and cut right in front of the motor home. Not knowing this little tire was loose on the highway, the motor home ran directly over the wheel, sending it into reverse towards the side of the road where it came to a stop. Its rim bent from the impact. My friends had already made it safely to the side of the road without flipping their car and my camper.
I don’t remember all the details, but I remember them telling me the motor home had to pull over and access damage. The camper, my camper, of course, made it safely to the side of the road, and my dear friends got out of the truck and ran to the owners of the motor home. Everyone was fine. No one was hurt. My friends felt horrible about what happened. I didn’t feel bad at all. I couldn’t -they never called to let me know what happened.
Problem – it’s late in the afternoon, they’re in South Carolina in the middle of nowhere, and no one nearby is open to get a replacement rim and tire. My poor camper had come to a standstill, and her momma was 600 miles away. Who would have thought a brand new wheel would work its way off the axle going down the highway.
How, you might ask?
The tire guy failed to secure all the lug nuts properly when he put the new wheel on. To this day, I still get a little nervous when I have tires changed or rotated, I can’t help but think back to the camper. I always as them if they screwed the lug nuts on tightly, and of course, they turn up their brow at me.
Well, my friends were able to find another wheel and rim. After repair, they jumped back on the road and headed north to their destination.
After a week went by, they pulled up in my driveway with my camper. I was so excited to see they made it up and back in one piece. Of course, I had no idea what had happened. I ran outside to greet them. I was full of questions for them. So, how was it? Did the cable system break? When do you want to borrow it again? Did you have fun? Isn’t camping great??
I was met with a disappointed look and some receipts. My friends looked at me and said, “No offense, but we’re never going camping again. Not in this camper anyway.” And with that, they explained everything that happened. My camper had worn them out. They needed a vacation from the vacation. I offered to pay for the new wheel, but they politely refused. They mentioned the motor homeowner might be calling them once he got back home if he noticed anything damaged or out of line. To this day, I never heard another thing about it. I know my camper had issues with wheels, and that’s for another time, but I did feel bad for them. But I was so thankful no one was hurt.
Often, things happen to us unexpectedly, Sometimes we know what to do and how to handle it, and sometimes we don’t. The cool thing about this was when they were met with a challenge, God was right there beside them. He provided them with everything they needed. The owners of the motor home were very nice and understanding. No one else on I-95 was affected or involved in the accident. The tire place was understanding and did a great job. My friends didn’t give up, and although the camping experience was more than they bargained for, they stayed steadfast and made it through.
Psalm 136:2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his loyal love endures. 136:3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his loyal love endures, 136:4 to the one who performs magnificent, amazing deeds all by himself, for his loyal love endures, 136:5 to the one who used wisdom to make the heavens, for his loyal love endures, 136:6 to the one who spread out the earth over the water, for his loyal love endures, 136:7 to the one who made the great lights, for his loyal love endures, 136:8 the sun to rule by day, for his loyal love endures, 136:9 the moon and stars to rule by night, for his loyal love endures…”
Father, thank you for your endurance. It’s a great example for us. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
In His Service