Collecting our caravan after the small problems had been rectified, we left Hamilton to drive on down to Taupo, where we would spend a couple of days before heading home and returning to work. Just south of Tirau we heard a funny noise. “Why are you driving on the rumble-strip”, I asked Robin. “I’m not”, he replied. We were exiting the round-about and the car was handling badly, shaking and shuddering. Robin managed to pull over onto the hard shoulder of the road and we jumped out to see what on earth was wrong.
No wonder we had heard those strange noises – the left rear tyre was shredded and almost off the rim. Oh dear. Robin fossicked in the back of the 4WD to find his bottle jack. This didn’t do the job terribly well and I suggested that we phone the AA for help. Just then a car stopped, and a young man came to see if he could help. Assessing the situation he told us he would return home to collect his trolley jack and come back to lend us a hand.
Sure enough he returned promptly and using his much stronger trolley jack the car was soon jacked up, the ruined tyre taken off and replaced with the spare. He told us his name was Kyle, and he had stopped as he was also enjoys using his campervan, so was happy to help fellow enthusiasts. We sent him home with a couple of Robin’s bottles of beer as a thank you.
It was too risky continuing our trip without a spare so we stopped at Putararu, the next town, to replace our tyre. Our vehicle still had the original directional pattern tyres. So that we would have the same type of tyre on the same axle we had to purchase two tyres, oh the expense! The young men at Firestone made it all look so easy fitting, balancing and replacing two tyres using their specialist equipment. Thanks guys, great friendly service.