By: Revanche

One bad turn deserved another: a road trip failure

June 30, 2014

Hello, Murphy, we meet again.

There’s just nothing like a few unexpected events to remind you that preparedness in ALL things isn’t a terrible idea.

An almost hilarious Rube Goldbergian chain of events left us near the beginning of a long road trip sitting to the side of whizzing-by traffic, having limped as far as we could on a completely blown out tire. And this is after our rear windshield had just been MacGyvered after being all smashed all to hell. Huge chunks of glass blew back at least 12 feet, so now that I think about it, it’s a minor miracle that no one was hit by it. Tempered glass or not, the force with which those little square chunks were flung would have meant major cuts.

Kind of like how your life might flash before your eyes in a near death experience, it suddenly occurred to me how many things were missing from our travel/car emergency kit.

* Duct tape for broken glass
* Gloves for dealing with any broken or pointy bits
* Something approximating orange cones
* A full med kit in case someone DID get hurt.

And if this had happened late at night, we would desperately have needed:
* A really good flashlight or even a lantern for hands free work
* Flares
* Blankets/pillows while we were waiting for help

We already had food, water, and a package of wet wipes for getting post-car repair grime off, and luckily we weren’t left waiting on the side of the road blocking traffic for too long, but it was definitely a bad situation that could have been much worse. (Though the surprise $1k+ in auto expenses is NOT going to be fun.)

I usually don’t think I need a AAA membership but PiC’s really helped out; we could not have singlehandedly swapped out the tire safely in under 15 minutes without that power car jack and an extra set of hands. PiC didn’t want me out on the road with him so he would have been dealing with it in the heat alone :/

This doesn’t happen often but if it happened with just me and Doggle, we would have had a struggle getting that tire changed out. It might be time to revise my opinion on a AAA membership.

What would you recommend for an emergency car kit?

Donna Freedman just wrote about this a short while back

21 Responses to “One bad turn deserved another: a road trip failure”

  1. Kris says:

    AND a blown tire! Girl. So glad you got home sage. Also, no more surprises.

  2. Karen says:

    It’s under $40/year to add you onto PiC’s AAA membership….
    I’d probably go with a headlamp, if you want light for working on the vehicle. It’ll direct the light where you’re looking. A lantern or hanging work light would need someplace to sit/hang. Moving around might cause shadows while trying to work (coast is better than energizer due to lumens).
    You could add some simple tools, 1 or 2 sockets and wrenches (mm most likely), standard and philips screwdriver (or a multi use tool such as leatherman or gerber).
    My emergency kit consists of…my AAA membership.

    • Revanche says:

      Just when I was seriously trying to cut down monthly and annual expenses! *scowl*

      That’s a really good idea about the headlamp, I hadn’t considered that. I was just thinking about setting out the lantern on the road to illuminate the surroundings but for work that may not be so helpful.

      Good call on the tools, I’ll have to think about what’d be most useful in other situations. The AAA membership goes a long way, I’ll admit to that now!

      • Karen says:

        Forgive me, I neglected to say, “I’m glad you guys are ok!”.
        I’ve probably worked on more things in dark places than you =) I guess if it was powerful enough (lumen) a lantern would work. Headlamp is smaller but if you’re on a dark, isolated road maybe you want a lantern to illuminate a wider area. You should stay off those kind of roads, lots of horror movies start that way…

  3. SP says:

    So, we have NO emergency kit in our car. I just got our home earthquake kit together (note: add duct tape because, you never know!), but you have inspired me to do the same in our vehicles. This is the kind of boring but “necessary” thing i just HATE spending money on. :/

    Glad you came out OK.

    I got a free AAA through work this year, but otherwise I wouldn’t consider it (generally speaking). I wonder the cost compared to an out-of-pocket cost for emergency roadside help? And if you don’t have AAA, who do you even call?

    • Revanche says:

      I had started one but hadn’t got around to the rest when I ran out of Amazon gift cards! 🙂 Still working on the home kit, as well. Totally hate spending out on these things but better that than regretting it later.

      A random person who offered road rescue services found us on the side before AAA arrived and gave us his card, he charged $40 for a flat change, so that’s one point of reference (equal to the cost of the membership it sounds like). But failing having a very handy person offering the services drive up, I’m not sure who you’d call if you’re not familiar with the area!

  4. Athena says:

    Oh Murphy! I am so glad you are okay friend! I myself don’t have a kit but I have a spare tire and some spark plugs. Since I travel a lot, I should probably take some precautions myself. Again, so glad you guys are okay! Tire blowouts are horrible!

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks! You travel more than I do – you probably should have a few more things, though I don’t usually see spark plugs 🙂

  5. Disco Diva says:

    Glad you guys are ok! I have roadside assistance that is included with my auto insurance…check that out before you get AAA!

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks! I will, I’m pretty sure our auto insurance only offers roadside at higher cost but I will confirm.

  6. Aaron @ HES says:

    My wife and I always bring along the same things whenever we travel; water, real maps, batteries, and snacks. With two small kids ANY travel delay can be a real nightmare; not too mention what would happen in a real emergency!
    Aaron @ HES recently posted…Frozen Elsa CostumeMy Profile

  7. I recently got the AAA membership for the only reason that it gives me peace of mind. We do have an emergency pack in the car (it even has that astronaut food!) but I haven’t checked it in a while…

    • Revanche says:

      Ok I haven’t seen a pack with astronaut food but I’m curious how it tastes 🙂 Do check regularly for expiring items, I’d say!

  8. This is crazy — we had a blowout (my first) on July 1 and I had many similar thoughts going on. Fortunately, we made it to an off ramp and had a peaceful environment in which to put on the spare…

    • Revanche says:

      Ah yes this was PiC’s first and my third. It’s never ever fun. Esp when you’re going quite fast on a super fast CA highway. So glad you made it off the road safely too.

  9. Amy says:

    Been thinking about packing one of these up for my car and my BFs…just figured out what to get him for Christmas! We both have new (like 2 month old) cars with road side assistance, but you never know!

    I’d also add in the numbers for any road side assistance (even if you don’t have plans with a provider, their techs are knowledgable), extra cell phone chargers and maybe a 12volt/AC converter. They work for pumps and charging the phones 😀

    Glad everyone is ok.
    Amy recently posted…Today I …My Profile

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