Tight toll booths and a wide RV

Before…

I can hardly contain my excitement because we got a new side mirror for the RV!

It’s been bothering me for a while, that passenger side mirror. I’d look over in it’s direction when I was driving and it would just be taunting me, a stupid reflection on its face but never an explanation for its snide looks.

I had reached my limit with that thing and just couldn’t take it anymore. As I was passing through a toll plaza in east Texas on Monday morning, I knocked that bastard clean off, leaving it dangling by a cord and surprising the heck out of the gate agent.

“Your mirror!” she exclaimed.

“Oh that thing?” I responded. “Don’t even get me started.”

“Ok,” she said. “That will be $3.50. By the way, the wide lanes are on the outside of the booth.”

And I drove on, my mirror dancing in the breeze and dollar signs racing through my mind.

I pulled off the tollway at the next exit and took a look. The mirror looked fine, and so did the mounting arm attached to the RV. All that was broken was the ball mount that connected the two. I had dodged a bullet and called Newmar to see how much the ball joint would cost to replace. It looked like a $40 piece, at best, to my expert eye.

That was until Newmar informed me that the mirror comes with the ball joint installed in the mirror and it wasn’t possible to replace just that piece. I would have to buy the entire mirror.

The entire mirror costs $825, plus shipping. Ouch.

Immediately I realized I would have to stop giving Melody a hard time about accidentally throwing away a $20 DVD I bought for the kids.

The good news is, I’ve become quite proficient at changing lanes without a right side mirror. Melody and the boys, following me in the Jeep, clear my lane changes for me by walkie talkie before I make my move. It’s a real team effort.

I’m expecting to meet up with my new mirror tomorrow in Little Rock. I’ve learned an expensive lesson that driving a gigantic RV isn’t the same as driving a car.

And I’ll be taking that right lane through toll booths from now on.

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