I left Fairfield, CA and Camping World at 6:30 AM yesterday and drove to the San Bernardino Camping World, arriving at 3:00 PM. When I arrived at the store, I asked about how long it would take to drive to Blythe, CA where there is a Flying J. When I found out it was three hours, I decided to boondock in the parking lot.
At 6:30 this morning, I purchased gas and left for Tucson. I passed Desert Hot Springs and many warning signs about gusty winds ahead. I'm sure the signs were referring to new and improved gusty winds rather than the 30-40 MPH winds. Half the surface of the desert seemed to be crossing the road and the sand made visibility poor. I was going to pull over and wait, but since I had no idea when or if the winds would calm, I pushed on.
Generator door before
At 10:30, I arrived at the Flying J in Ehrenberg, Arizona, just across the state line. I climbed out of the rig and turned to go into the restaurant. I was astonished: half the door covering my generator was gone as if a giant animal had chewed it off and spit it out. The backing board was sitting on top of the generator and both door locks were hanging loose, as was the door itself. Once I closed my gaping mouth, I went for the duct tape. I used what was left of the roll and knew I needed more.
Generator door after
The store had duct tape and I went to the store counter to ask about how to receive a discount on my gas purchase. I've had a Flying J card for a couple of years but never used it. It seems I was in luck: with a $10 purchase, I received 3 cents off per gallon of gas or propane. The more I spent in the store and restaurant, the more I saved in gas. So I had breakfast, receiving a senior discount too.
I put more duct tape on the door and sealed it quite well (I thought). Then I filled up the RV with gas and left for Tucson.
The Arizona desert was just as windy as California and my hands were cramping as I fought to keep the six-ton RV in the lane.
When I arrived at the college and the parking crew found a space for me, I left the rig and surveyed the door. All the duct tape was there. The door was there. The backing board was gone and the remaining piece of the door was bent. I sighed. I peeled off the duct tape and smoothed the panel. Then I started the generator. Whew! It still works. Now I have a few days to decide how to repair the door until I can find a new one.