All the while he was searching in the manual he was also looking about my home with prying eyes, searching for something that was disarrayed or suspicious and I was feeling very much violated. I asked him what he was looking for and he simply replied that he was looking for something about seat-belts in the vehicle maintenance book.
I also have a Tioga motor home book, and he wasn’t bothering to look in that book. I was busily explaining to him, that it was a 1987 Tioga Mini Motor Home and that it was not equipped for that type of seat belt. He informed me that yes it was; and accusingly said that I had modified it or that the person I bought it from had modified it in some way and that it was my responsibility to make sure that the vehicle had the proper and legal equipment...
He then showed me a drawing in the book that showed that a 1987 Ford Econoline 350 Van, which is the base chassis for my Class C Tioga Mini Motor home, it did indeed show and over the shoulder seat belt, and so he was writing me a ticket!
I began to plead with him as if my very life depended on him listening to me. The vein of my very existence depended on it; please don’t give me a ticket! In my mind I was sure a seat belt ticket violation and repairs was not in the travel budget.
Suddenly to my surprise my tears began to flow down my cheeks. I really was not playing it; these were real tears of panic. He then sat down with me at the table and proceeded to make a bargain with me. The deal he proposed was that just up ahead was a town called Webster City and he knew of a RV Repair and Sales place and a Campground where I could spend the night.
The cost of the seat belt violation in Iowa is $129.00. If I agreed, instead of a ticket he would give me a warning so I could use the money to make the repairs. He explained that if I did not do the repairs then I would face doubled fines and violations if I was caught again. Did I understand?
What else could I do but agree and accept the warning and try to find a way to repair the improper, illegal equipment before I could continue my travels. He went to his car and when he returned, I accepted the paper that he had documented all that he had told me.
He pulled out on the roadway to block traffic so I could emerge back onto the highway safely and I began to look for the next exit. He had also written down the directions to the campground for me. How nice from the person who had in the matter of thirty minutes managed to ruin my entire day and probably cost me a small fortune.