Drove to Grand Isle on Friday with my second load of inventory for the Saturday sale. When I pulled out of my driveway I could hear a loud noise coming from my front wheels. It sounded like my brakes but it didn't sound like metal to metal. Then the brake light came on. That got me worried. I couldn't understand what was wrong with my RV as I had driven it the day before to get gas and everything was fine.
Drove to my local mechanic's shop a few minutes away and he checked the brake fluid and it was low so he filled it and I took off. The noise didn't stop. As I drove through town and stopped for red lights, I could hear the noise getting louder when I pressed down on the brake pedal. Once I got on a long stretch of road the noise stopped so I continued on to Grand Isle.
By the time I got to my destination, 90 miles from my home, I was a complete wreck from worry. I knew that I now had a disabled vehicle. I parked in my usual spot at Pat's house and started unloading my supplies which were very heavy boxes and I'm sure put me over my weight limit for the RV. In my mind that was the problem with my brakes. I didn't think anything else could have caused that noise. So for a couple of days I put it out of my mind.
I set up the tables and chairs in preparation for the next day.
This was my second load of supplies packed into the back of the RV. Lots of heavy wood.
Saturday morning I was up at 6:00 and started putting my art on display. As usual, there is always someone who wants to shop before the sale begins at 8:00.
Everyone loved my dragonfly yard art but only sold a few.
I let my little doggies stay outside with me this year. They were very well behaved and loved seeing all the people especially the little children.
I tried to keep them on these chairs and out of the way.
We had lots of shade in the early morning.
The children's table was a hit.
My wooden paddles were hung from the oak tree.
That's a lot of stuff and about twice the size of my last sale.
Sold a few paintings.
I received many compliments on my large painting of Lafitte's Grand Terre Island. Sold the small print of the painting seen on the left. Sold all my books written about the area.
Waiting for the first customers to arrive.
These little girls were so adorable. Their father is from France and their mother is from New Orleans. These girls speak both English and French. Their English is perfect with no accent. I could listen to them for days.
As usual around 2:00 it was all over and I was exhausted and the heat was killing me. I drank water constantly but felt dehydrated and nauseated. Just can't handle the heat and humidity. I did not sell as well as I did last year but I was pleased to be going home with the $711.00 I made.
I waited till the sun went down and then loaded all of the remaining art into Pat's shed and went to sleep.
The next day I had reservations at the State Park so I left Pat's house and drove a few miles to the park. I was so sure that the brake problem was resolved now that there was no load on the RV but the noise was still there. I was booked for 3 days at the park but stayed only one. Entirely too crowded for me. Drove back to Pat's house and we tried to find someone who could fix the problem. There was no one.
I called Good Sam Road Side Assistance and spoke to a very nice lady who assured me that she could get me towed to my home town 90 miles away. After a lengthy discussion we hung up. A short time later she called and informed me that the tech she spoke with said it would cost me $1700 as I was so far away and it was a holiday. I told her that I was in a safe place and I did not need to be towed that day but could wait another day or so. She said someone would call me in the morning at 9:30.
The next morning, no one called. I called Good Sam back and got another friendly person who said she would call back once she found out what the other staff person wrote about my request. She called back and informed me that there was a mechanic on the island where I was and they had just spoken to him and approved him as a Good Sam provider. I did not need to be towed after all.
I was so relieved to hear that. Took my RV to him a few blocks away. Followed Pat who brought me back to his house to wait for the mechanic to call and inform me of the cost to repair. Received that call within the hour and he said that I had damaged my brake pads, rotor, and calipers. The cost to repair both front wheels would be $599.00 - almost everything I made in the sale. I was so upset. I approved the repair job and within the next 3 hours I was back in my RV with an improved brake system.
The mechanic informed me that in cases like this there is something picked up from the road that lodges between the calipers and the rotor and causes the brake to be engaged all the time. The caliper would not release from the rotor and that's why I could hear the loud noise even while I was driving and not only when I braked. He also said that there were some parts that were made of plastic that he replaced with metal and that I now had a better braking system than before. I thanked him 50 times and then returned to Pat's house to load up my remaining crafts and headed home.
I will be sending the bill to Good Sam and I hope to receive full reimbursement.
What an adventure!
It will be my last Garage Sale as I have officially retired from selling arts and crafts. It's on to something new for me. I don't know what but I do know that it will not require lifting of heavy boxes of supplies and being in extreme heat while I work.
Thank You and Bye Bye Grand Isle