Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Free to good home: Tire covers

We are still at Galveston Island State Park, enjoying the gulf, and the beach, and going through "stuff." (We also had a nice dinner in town tonight, at Landry's along Seawall. We rode the scooters, of course.)

Part and parcel of making the scooters more accessible for quick jaunts is emptying as much of the rest of the junk as we can out of the motorcycle scooter bay. That includes some things that we've been keeping there because it was the only "safe" place to do so: the one-gallon can of Coleman fuel for our portable camp stove and lantern; the stove and lantern themselves; a one-gallon jerry-can we use for gasoline or diesel as the need arises; some carb cleaner -- you get the idea. The "garage," as it were, was intended to hold gas-powered vehicles, and so we designed it per ANSI 1192 requirements to do so, with a door to seal it from the rest of the coach, metal tread-plate flooring, and two large vents out the bottom for any gasoline vapor to escape.

In an effort to get these things out of that bay, it occurred to me that the other safe place for them is the LP ("propane") bay. This is a very small compartment where we keep the two minuscule 2.5-gallon LP bottles. It's oddly shaped, and the LP bottles take up most of it, and, moreover, block access to whatever is behind them.

And what has been behind them for three full years, without ever being moved, have been three brand-spanking new pairs of Polar White, Ultra Tyre Gard brand tire covers, in the extra-large 43"-45" size for bus tires. (Here's a link to them at Camping World, where we bought them.) We actually bought these five years ago, when we were both still working and thought we might be storing the bus for several months at a time while we figured out what to do, but we never ended up using them, or even taking them out of the packages.

Now I'd love to tell you I have six pristine tire covers to sell give away. However, the LP compartment turns out to be a rather dirty place. For one thing, there's a huge hole in the floor, which provides the required venting in the event of an LP leak (and the reason why I'm planning on moving the gasoline there). Even though there is a screen over the hole, to keep the critters out, copious amounts of road debris including dirty water, asphalt oil, and what-not, manage to enter through the hole. And despite the hole, which is pretty much in the middle, the rest of the floor pan does not drain well, especially if the bus is at all tilted, and so any water, oil, or other fluids that make it into or spill in that compartment tends to sit in puddles, sometimes for a long time.

And thus it was that the three otherwise new packages of Ultra Tyre Gards had their cardboard boxes literally disintegrate around them. And whatever parts of the tire covers that were at the bottoms of the boxes then steeped in primordial goo for indeterminate periods of time. When we unwrapped the whole mess today, we found two of the six covers were, essentially, clean and untouched (due to the way they were packaged, with one cover of each pair inside the other):

The other four have stains, either on the outside vinyl, or the inside cloth lining, or both:

Now, I don't know if these stains will come out. It's possible that they will, with the application of a suitable chemical, such as bleach, or TSP, or whatever. But, since we're getting rid of them anyway, as we haven't used them in five years and can't foresee using them ever, I'm not willing to make the effort even to find out.

That being said, even if the stains don't come out, they won't affect the performance of the covers for one of their intended functions: keeping harmful UV light (sunlight) off your expensive bus tires while your bus is laid up. Actually, they'll also work fine for protecting your tires from other things, too, like chemicals, etc. They just may not look the best while they're doing it.

Our first thought was to march the whole lot of them over to the dumpster here at the park, and be done with them. But I realized that some of our readers might like to have these -- if not all six, then maybe at least the two relatively good ones. So I offered them right here in this post to the first person who emailed me willing to pay the packing and shipping, and linked the post over on the bus boards, and, voila, they are now spoken for. Actually, I was a little surprised at how many people wanted them, and how soon the first requests came in.

I now have a short list of folks who'd like them (all six) -- enough so that if the first person on the list doesn't take them, I still have plenty of people who will. And if you were one of the early birds, but not early enough, I apologize -- I only have the one set.

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