Yesterday really had me questioning myself and my current situation. It was a really, really bad travel day.
Here’s the deal. My van is going to be a high-maintenance affair. A lot of little things are going to remain sources of constant worry. Today? I aired up my tires at the truck stop and, when I got on the freeway my van started swaying. I mean, out of control swaying! I pulled off the next exit, called my friend Dale, and he came over in a jiff. The verdict? Not enough air in the back tires. But Dale, they’re at the recommended max, my tire gauge says so! He scratched his chin when I showed him. We both agreed they looked low, and he recommended air them up from 40 psi to forty-three psi, no more than that. Wow.
And guess what. I went back to the truck stop, took them up to 43 psi and, while the van still had it’s moments for awhile, over-inflating the tires actually did the trick. This is a rather precarious situation. Additionally, when I was looking around under the van, I found the leaf spring bolt rubbing against another item, this time an emergency brake cable. (This, after I had Les Schwab make another adjustment to the leaf spring. This is another issue entirely, one I’m not ready to deal with, yet). I was starting to get grumpy.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that dealing with this sort of thing would all be a part of my wonderful adventure. One major oversight, though. Jeepers. After I sedate him, he is a ticking time bomb. Really. It’s always a race against time that has me on edge constantly. When he begins to stir, I’m in trouble if I have a long way to go. An hour-and-a-half delay is devastating. I never have the option of slowing down to deal with things in a relaxed manner. It’s very, very difficult for both of us and I think having him along is going to be impossible in the long term. It’s not fair to either of us. But as of yet, I still don’t have a solution. When I put him on Craigslist in Redding, I didn’t get a single response.
What’s going to happen when we have a real breakdown?
Over 5 hours after departure, I finally arrived at my destination. I’d stayed here in the past in the van, but always during the off-season apparently. I can’t even bring myself to say out loud the rate I’m paying for the next couple nights. Even as a rookie full-timer, it’s embarrassing. I’ll call this a vacation or something. Terrific resort, but still…
At that point I became even grumpier. Then I hit a tree…
Yup, I still can’t back a trailer. I’d resigned to pulling forward and bringing it back around to align all my hookups just right. I took the corner a little too sharp. There is damage, but I believe it’s minimal.
My new friend? Mike, my neighbor. He managed to get me out of the jam and gave me some tips on learning to back a trailer. He also suggested I level the rig. Admittedly, it wasn’t level from side-to-side. But what’s the big deal, really? Besides, I was extra grumpy and just wanted to hook up and take a nap at that point.
Okay, being a little unlevel isn’t a huge deal. Being a lot unlevel is. Doors don’t stay ajar and standing up is a constant minor strain. So, later in the evening I unhooked everything and recruited my new best friend Mike to assist me. What would I do without my neighbors?
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