I have been a good driver all my life with the exception of having a penchant to drive over the speed limit, whatever was posted. Not really anything to be proud of. The Vilia experience has changed that. Completely. I’ve changed the Eagles song to be “Life in the Right Lane” I pass no one save the occasional farm tractor.
Yesterday, en route to New Mexico, I was on a downgrade heading east towards Durango to connect to route 550 to bring us to Bloomfield NM. BAM! What the heck was that? I look behind me and glimpse a line of a dozen cars as I try to hold at 45 MPH on downgrades and this was a 65 zone. We are 16,000 pounds and that weight loves to pick up speed downhill which I find uncomfortable so I pull in the reins. Cathy says pull over and I agree. We were fortunate to be in a wide section of road yet the shoulder was minimal and I had a few impatient souls sound their horn as they went by. A walk around quickly showed why the BAM! We had blown a tire on Vilia. Trailer tires are notorious for blow outs and we had our first. With two axles and four tires the ride was stable after the blowout, in fact I could tell no difference in the tow. But there it was, a faulty tire, with only about 4,000 miles on it, blown out through a thin sidewall. Gratefully, we were 8 miles from Durango, a sizable enough town that it had six tire shops. Four phone calls later, I had learned that there are no trailer tires made in the US anymore. All come from China. We waited about 45 minutes for our Triple A savior to arrive and put our spare on then went to the excellent Big O tire shop. The franchise owner helped us and was very knowledgeable about trailer tires. I already knew that I needed to buy four new ones. When one goes, you replace all four…$500 later we were back on the road. Our Big O man told me of an option. I could upgrade to a same size tire that is designed for over the road trucking. Many miles of tough weight bearing work. But, they are $380 each! And… I may consider them if we have another blowout with our new, designed for trailer, cheap Chinese tires.