Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Flat Tire?? and Beautiful St. Clair River

Location: Algonac State Park (el. 640 ft); Algonac, Michigan 

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone

Stop # 5. Algonac, MI

I took my time in preparing to leave Maumee State Park since it was only a couple of hours of towing to get to Algonac. The dump station in the park could handle two RV's at the same time and the dump hose was provided by the park. This is rare, but I have seen it a couple of times before. Just as I started to dump my tanks, a lady pulled up behind me in a motorhome. I motioned to the empty dump station next to me but she hollered out the window that it was easier for her to wait instead of turning the motorhome around. OK then. 

I pulled out of the park about 10:00 with thoughts of arriving at Algonac shortly after noon. Going through Toledo, Ohio was a snap and I was through before I knew it. Detroit was next on the list. I routed myself on the outskirts as much as I could in hopes of avoiding any bad parts of town. That is the problem with going through large cities, it is hard to tell you're in a bad part of town until you are actually in the bad part, which then could be a little late. I have been in some large cities where I accidentally ended up in places where I knew I needed to get out of quickly. These have always been while exploring and not while towing Liberty. I was in one city out east, late in the afternoon, when a police car pulled up next to me at a red light. The policeman motioned for me to roll my window down. With a serious voice, he said, "Don't be in this neighborhood after dark, or you won't get out." I was going to ask him a question as to which way was out, but he rolled his window up and the light changed to green. Anyway, I consider Detroit one of those cities that I don't want to mess around in, especially while towing Liberty.

I have a Temperature/Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
on Liberty's tires. I added it after purchasing Liberty. There are large sensors that you screw on the tire valve stems 
That round thing on the valve
stem is the sensor that
unscrewed itself.
using a special device. The device is to keep any curious kids from taking them. They continuously sense the temperature and pressure of the tires and send the information to a monitor in Freedom. If any tire goes higher or lower, in pressure or temperature, than the range you program, an alarm will sound. I've 
This is the monitor that rides
in Freedom. The number on
the left is pressure and the
one on the right is
temperature. The black dots
represent the tires, including
the spar tire.
used this system for 3 years without any problems. I will admit, I pulled my hair out trying to figure how to set up the dang thing but once it was set up it has worked fine. On moving days, I turn it on while getting things situated for travel inside of Liberty. Within a few minutes, I know the pressure of each of Liberty's four tires. I did this before leaving Maumee and all tires were within a pound or two of the required 65 psi which meant we were good to go. 

So, I was approaching Detroit when the TPMS alarm went off. Of course it shocked me,,,scared me,,,, nearly gave me a heart attack captured my complete attention. I looked at the monitor and it showed a tire at 56 psi and falling quickly. When it cycled back through the tires, it was then at 54 psi. I was in the left lane of a three lane interstate because the right two lanes were rough as a cob. I found an opening and got to the outside lane just as an exit appeared. There wasn't anything at the exit except for about a dozen "oversized" escort cars apparently waiting on loads. I found a place to pull over knowing that I must have picked up a nail and was counting my blessing that the tire didn't blow. As I stopped, the pressure was down to 51 psi. As I got out of Freedom, I was glad those escort vehicles were there because this was one of those places I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I inspected the tire and didn't find any nails. Of course I couldn't inspect all of the tire so the nail could be on the bottom. I got my old style pressure gauge and TPMS special tool from the door of Freedom to check the pressure in hopes that the monitor or sensor was malfunctioning. When I put the special tool on the sensor, the sensor was loose and I heard a puff of air come out. I could unscrew the sensor without the need of the special tool. Wow, could I be this lucky? Apparently, the sensor vibrated itself loose and unscrewed itself just enough to allow air to come out as the sensor jiggled. Double wow! The escorts vehicles were preparing to leave so I quickly got my air pump and put 61 pounds in the tire before the pump stopped and needed to cool down. I said to myself that is good enough and reinstalled the sensor. I packed everything up as the last of the escorts left and climbed back into Freedom. I turned on the monitor and it showed the 61 psi in the tire. I quickly hit the on ramp and was back on the interstate. The monitor would give a reading for that tire about every 45 seconds as the system would cycle through all of the tires. I kept an eye on the monitor and the psi did not go down. It went up a few pounds which is normal as the tires heat up. I started looking for a truck stop but didn't find one and didn't like the looks of any of the exits, so I just kept going. The pressure held all the way to the campground so I was pretty sure I didn't have a nail and it was just the sensor unscrewing itself. Using my better air pump, I put 65 psi in the tire and it has held for two days, so I am satisfied as to the reason for the problem. I sure am thankful to whoever was looking out for me. I'm also very thankful they sent those escort vehicles to sit there for a while. And since I think everything happens for a reason, I need to figure out the reason. I will air up all of the tires before pulling out of here tomorrow.

The reason I came is was to confirm my memory as to the color of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River. I've told numerous people about the brilliant blue color of the lake since I first saw it 3 years ago. I also saw this campground that sits just across the RIver Road from the St. Clair River. I've seen two beautiful rivers in my travels. One is the St. Clair and the other is the Columbia River which sits between Oregon and Washington state. The blue color wasn't as bright this time because as some of the locals told me, it is a little dirty right now due to some storms.This color is more of a greenish blue but is still very nice to see. 

Algonac State Park on the left and the St. Clair on the right.

My campsite. The St. Clair River is in the distant background.

Some docks along the river. 

This is the size of a typical Great Lakes Freighter.

The Blue Water Bridges connecting Canada to the U.S. The ship on the left is an old Light-Ship that is open to tours. I toured it and wrote about in back in 2014.

This is great park located in Port Huron. The water is rushing by at a very fast speed. 

A very uncomfortable "thinking bench" but I took a picture anyway.

Just "Two ships passing in the ,,,,,,,,"

I'm only posting this one because of the gull. "Jonathon Livingston Seagull"?

I talked to these guys that were fishing. They said they catch salmon, pike, steelhead and a few others. They were saying the dirty water was going to make the fishing great. I didn't see anything caught while I was there.

A better "thinking bench" looking over the Black River as it empties into the St. Clair on the right. That is Canada in the background. 

Just a few of "cottages" on the river. If I win the lottery, I plan to buy one of these for a summer house. LOL
Tomorrow is moving day with another short haul. Tomorrow I'll be camped within a stones throw of Lake Erie. It is a state park located between Detroit and Toledo. Yep, that means I'll be backtracking through the Detroit area. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.



  1. You have hit on the issue that concerns me most about pulling a 5th Wheel. A blowout. I have not purchased a TPMS but plan too! Sure glad everything worked out. Enjoy!

    1. My TPMS is one of the best things I bought in preparation for traveling. It saved me this time for sure. I hope you enjoy your travel planning, it can be very fun.

  2. Scary! Glad you were safe. Beautiful pictures.

    1. Thanks Barb. You've posted some great ones too from Amish country over in Ohio. Be safe, have fun. Enjoy Niagra Falls area.

  3. Time for an update, Darrell. Past time.

    1. Hello Cat, Our minds must have been in sync since I planned to post this evening and also received your comment. LOL

  4. Asking questions are genuinely nice thing if you are not understanding something completely, except this paragraph gives fastidious understanding even.