Monday, May 11, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

Well, the adventure did begin today, but it wasn't exactly the adventure we were hoping for. I really didn't think I'd have much to write about on the first day, but boy was I wrong.

We spent most of the weekend loading the trailer. Then this morning, all set to go, I started to hitch the trailer to the truck. Oh oh, the landing gear, which are the motor-operated front legs on the trailer which raise and lower it so it can be hitched and unhitched, didn't move. The fuse box on the trailer is conveniently located in a place that requires the slides to be out and a heavy chair to be moved to gain access. I slid and moved, and checked the fuses, but they were all okay. Double uh oh.

Next, I placed a call to the dealer in Shoemakersville, PA, which is about 80 miles from here. The service manager said he wasn't sure where it was, but there was certainly a fuse, not in the fuse box, but somewhere near the motor that raises the landing gear. So Penny and I started tracing wires from the motor and finally found a fuse holder a couple of feet from the motor. As a former boy scout, I am well-prepared for most emergencies, so I retrieved my fuse kit, but lo and behold, the fuse that needed replacing isn't a standard size automotive fuse like the others on the trailer. So, I hopped in the car and went to the closest auto parts store...about 6 miles away. Now I know a lot of restaurants close on Mondays, but auto parts stores? Yep, this one did. So I then drove 12 miles in the opposite direction to another store. They had the correct fuse. Yay!

Back home I installed the fuse and the landing gear worked. We'd be leaving a couple of hours late, but still in plenty of time to reach our first stop in western PA. I closed up the fuse box, moved the big chair back into position, and pressed the button to slide the slides back in. As the living room slide slid, it apparently hung up on something, splitting some decorative trim, damaging some other pieces, popping some nails, and sounding like something was definitely amiss. I slid it back out and looked around for obstructions. Nothing. I slide it back in, more damage. Triple uh oh.

Another call to the dealer. "Gotta bring the trailer in so we can see it." At this point we didn't know if it could be fixed right away or if they would need to keep it for a day or more, so we really couldn't go out there with the cats not knowing where we would be spending the night. We decided to delay our departure, bring the trailer out there, and leave it until it was fixed. So, we're home and the trailer is in Shoemakersville. The technician said the roof of the living room slide apparently bowed, causing it to hang up on the body of the trailer when it was slid in. He couldn't say why, other than that things in trailers can move around and break due to the bouncing caused by bad roads, and we've certainly driven on some of those.

The trailer will be ready tomorrow, so we'll pack up the cats in the truck, and since the dealer is 80 miles west, we'll start our real adventure from there, just a day late.

Oh, and the repair probably isn't covered by my service contract since the damage was probably caused by wear and tear, and I'm estimating at least $500. Plus an extra 160 mile round trip. so, the great adventure begins somewhat inauspiciously.


Blogger Carol said...

Gee, and I thought I was the last "local" to see you leaving town today! I made a right on red out of the Bank America on Pittstown Road at about 12:40 PM, when I realized that I was directly behind your stone colored truck pulling a "Cardinal" trailer. I was heading to Rt. 78 East and you must have been going to 78 West. So, if you were wondering who the nut was behind you that was waving at you, it was me. I probably won't see you tomorrow. I have no more banking to do!

Happy trails!

5:22 PM  
Blogger jettybeach said...

So good to hear from you!! Congrats to both on your retirement. Can you believe it? Na, too soon!

What a cool way to keep everyone updated while on your grand adventure.

That was an auspicious beginning, but I'm sure any kinks were worked out at the dealership.

Enjoy the ride! Be safe. (thems orders.)

8:52 PM  
Blogger Brianna Suarez said...

I dont know what prompted me to check out your blog this morning, but i'm glad I did! Geez, I thought I was having a bad day yesterday but you have me beat! I hope all goes well for you today. Best of luck!

6:57 AM  

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