Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee


Last week Lisa discovered that one of the tires on the Big Orange Van was flat. She put on the spare and took the van to Hanneman's down the way to get the tire patched. Turns out that the sidewall had failed, which is not repairable. On Monday, we called Big O Tires in Sparks (these were Big O tires) and, as Lisa expected, they had to special-order the huge tires the van uses, and they said to come in on Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, I got work cleared sufficiently to leave a little after 3 and we drove into Sparks. Pulling in to Big O, we discovered that another tire had gone flat, with the same sidewall failure. Big O only had the one special-order tire, which they used to replace the one that had just failed. They ordered another tire and said we could get it on Wednesday. Alas, neither tire was under warranty. The pair turned out to be from 2006 and were installed in Oregon. The two other tires we had put on in 2011 here in Sparks shortly after moving here are still okay. I paid for both tires ($515 for the pair!) and we decided to make the best of things by doing our in-town grocery shopping. Including stopping to have dinner at the Atlantis (where for a change my keno ticket showed a profit, winning $8) and at the Sparks Nugget to make dinner reservations on for Thursday (our belated wedding anniversary) and using the $5 slot credit I'd earned there (which won $6.60 in actual cash), we were pretty late getting home.

This afternoon, we did another trip to Sparks to get the other tire. A fairly decent rain storm was passing through, so Lisa just had them replace the bad tire (which had been hanging on the spare tire bracket) and put it back on the bracket. She'll deal with getting the tires back the way she wants them herself on a dryer day.

Trips of this sort are non trivial. The Big Orange Van gets worse mileage than the Rolling Stone, and the larger of its two fuel tanks isn't working, which severely limits its range. It takes about $20 in fuel to do a round trip from Fernley to Reno/Sparks, and last night we had to refuel in Reno to have enough gas to get home. It probably has a range of less than 120 miles right now.

It's possible that the Big Orange Van has been sitting still too much. Lisa says she'll need to try and use it at least once a week or so, probably for short trips such as to the grocery store in Fernley, to keep it exercised. This is easier in the winter when the lack of air conditioning is not a factor; besides, those big tires make it very sure-footed in bad weather.
Tags: lisa, van

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