After yesterday’s exhausting flat tire escapade, our main priority for the day was replacing the tire. Daniel and I were now driving on our spare. While it is a fully functioning tire, we don’t know how good of a condition it is in. Plus, it means that we have no spare should we encounter another flat.
We were also out of groceries. So, we planned a visit to Woodman’s Food Market in the afternoon for a resupply.
The Great Tire Hunt
Thus began a long morning of tire research. As is the case with pretty much everything on the Rialta, replacing our tires was not a straight-forward process.
Our 2000 Rialta is built on a Volkswagen Eurovan chassis. This means that it takes a size 15″ tire. The Winnebago motorhome on top of the chassis makes the vehicle heavy for its size. This means the tires must withstand a heavy load capacity. Apparently most other motorhomes have much bigger wheels than ours.
Daniel and I consulted the Rialta Owners of America Facebook Group and the consensus was as follows: ignore the specifications that come with the owners manual. Those are wrong. We needed size 215/70-15 tires with a 109 load index. Also, good luck finding any place that sells them.
Surely, it couldn’t be that hard to find these tires, I thought to myself.
Two hours later, I had called most tire shops in town with no luck. Not only did they not have this tire in stock, it couldn’t even be special ordered. The shops I didn’t call were closed because it was Saturday.
So I went back to Facebook. Where did the other Rialta owners find this mythical tire anyway?
The answer surprised me: Wal-Mart.
The New Plan
Wal-Mart’s online store does, indeed sell the correct tires for the Rialta. They have five kinds to choose from, in fact. Huzzah!
We could order new tires for delivery to the nearest Wal-Mart and get them installed at the automotive center. Well, technically the nearest Wal-Mart Automotive Center (in La Crosse) was still shut down due to the Coronavirus. But the one in Onalaska was open and only located 10 miles away. So that would work fine too.
There was only one problem. The tires would not arrive until Thursday. That was five days away. What were we supposed to do in La Crosse for five days?
Normally I wouldn’t mind some downtime, but we had just taken a long break. I was itching to get back on the road. There were only so many days of summer left after all.
So I did some more research. I soon discovered that we could get the tires delivered to the Portage, Wisconsin store on Wednesday. That was a whole day sooner! Plus, Portage was located near the Wisconsin Dells which I wanted to check out anyway.
And that is how we ended up driving to The Wisconsin Dells for an unplanned four-day holiday.
Woodman’s Food Market
Before leaving town, Daniel and I stopped by Woodman’s Food Market for some groceries. Good lord! I have never seen anything like this place before. The prices are reasonable and the selection is insane!
I leave you with the following photos from our adventure at Woodman’s. Apparently it is a local chain store. Hopefully we’ll run into it again.
Where are we now?
Date: August 22, 2020
Great American Road Trip Status: Day 48
Starting Location: La Crosse, WI
Ending Location: The Dells, WI
Miles Traveled: 90
Total Trip Mileage: 4405.3
For more details on our Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip, see my previous posts:
- Day 47: Flat Tire at the World’s Largest Six Pack
- Day 46: A Visit to the Twin Cities: HmongTown, George Floyd Square, Lake Minnetonka and lots of Sculptures
- Days 42-46: Rest, Research and Repairs
- Day 41: A Jaunt along the Superior Hiking Trail
- Days 36-42: Duluth Interlude