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Old 06-23-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
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My first RV experience; 24 hours of "Oh my God what have I done!""

I swear it's not buyers remorse. I'm just tired. Sleeping 6 hours in a 72 hour period does that to me.
I have an odd sense of humor really. I absolutely love irony. I don't think I'm cynical but, perhaps a bit jaded. Life tends to do that to a person.
I currently live in Seneca SC. It's a tiny upstate SC town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. I'm not from here. In fact, when people ask me where I'm from, I'm never quite sure how to answer, so many times, I find myself replying "oh, here or there", or "everywhere!" or ""Which year?". So it certainly seems appropriate for me to buy an RV. Strangely enough, I bought one so I could have a bit of stability. Ironic?
I've spent the last few months scouring Craigslist, Facebook's Marketplace, the Find Any RV at Twitter and countless other sites looking for the right "one". When the money finally presented itself, I find I must budget for a measly $1500. This includes, RV, costs in transporting RV, registration and insurance.
I find one that fits my needs, and budget, on Craigslist residing just over the Alabama border for $1200.
Yesterday, June 22nd 2012 (wow!, was that really just yesterday?), I left at 10:30 am after planning to leave at 8 am (my faithful companion, a 4 1/2 year old female Border Collie accompanied me). But who really leaves at their planned time?
With the exception of a minor "I don't know what that strange blinking light is on the back of that truck" on the Atlanta freeway, the trip TO the Travel Trailer was uneventful.
I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone here that $1200 doesn't buy anything NEW. In fact, it won't even buy anything with in the last 2 decades.
It just so happens, this trailer is from 1973. These days I feel as old as that trailer. Oh, wait I AM that old! Okay, so I'm only one year younger but we're already kindred spirits; both of us are quite out of shape. I have to say though, I think she may be in better shape then I am. Unfortunately, for her, it's money that requires sleek athleticism. So, I suppose, I will achieve that before she does. I did say, 8 years ago that I would compete in a Triathlon before I turn 40.
I own a 1993 Ford F250 5 speed that is also quite out of shape, I suppose we're a matched set. The Three Musketeers. Unfortunately, for Whitey (the truck), it's girls only so I must say adieu and find a female truck (another story for another time).
I think I need a name for her... the trailer that is. She is an Impala, so I could name her Deer or Dear or Dearheart. Dearheart, is perfectly ironic since I see her potential as a sleek ultra modern sophisticate.
1 1/4 tanks of gas later I arrive at my destination. She, Dearheart, is ungainly, pealing, rusty and a bit musty but, I see her as extraordinary. Parked on an incline with a bit of a ravine underneath her at the end of a curvy, long and narrow dirt driveway, I ponder my trucks abilities to move her. Maybe she's one of those dependent type of women who like following a man faithfully around. In this case, I certainly hope so.
She had a bit of furniture, but I don't need it, so we removed it. They sold her to me for $1100 instead of $1200 since I drove 265 miles and had to go find an adapter plug for the brakes and lights. Apparently, the truck is wired incorrectly because the lights on the trailer don't turn off when the truck is off.
The previous owners helped with hooking her to my truck. I've had relatively little experience with trailers. An open stock horse trailer here a flatbed with an excavator there, but no solid experience. Once they hooked everything up and added air to the tires, he pulled her out of the ditch. My turn.
I found the driveway to be much more simple then I had anticipated. I also had worried over some of the curved declines I had noticed on my way to pick her up. I shouldn't have worried though really, it was the ascent that was more an issue. I have to say, I've never appreciated a granny gear more. I can also attest to having a double axle on a trailer as being a life saver. I didn't experience any sway, at least not until I hit the freeway. But I did get to experience heavy rain and wind. It was dusk, the worst possible time to rain. An impressive show of lightning too, and I wondered how much of a lightning magnet a trailer might be. Luckily we weren't hit by any stray bolts and we managed to stay in between the painted lines but perhaps crawling at 30 mph made a difference. I'd like to mention here, that earlier, when it was still sunny, the clamp to the driver's side window regulator on my truck finally let loose thereby, dropping the window into Alice's rabbit hole. I didn't mind really, the A/C in my truck doesn't work, the shower was actually quite refreshing.
I made the Atlanta outerbelt around 11 pm so traffic was okay. When I hit 85 my allergies kicked in, it's been a bad year. At this point I was fading fast. Another 30 miles and I couldn't focus my eyes anymore, time to take a break. I exited at Winder GA and found an easily assessable parking lot across from a musically inclined sports bar but I was so tired I didn't care. I let my dog out for a potty break, unplugged the lights/brakes. Ate the sandwich I had bought on my way up but couldn't eat. Closed my eyes and fell asleep immediately. I don't know how long I slept, maybe 20 minutes but it helped a bit.
I thought the loud bang was the very low, heavy steel bumper of the trailer hitting the asphalt parking lot as I was leaving, it happened once already. I was wrong. I also thought the sign that said 85 also said North. I was wrong. I didn't discover the later until I was back in Atlanta. I didn't discover the reason of the loud bang until I was 30 miles from home. Thank you mister semi-truck driver to alerting me. I did see a smattering of sparks for a split second. I thought the rear door hatch for the electric plug in was open. Once again I was wrong. I walked around to rear of the trailer. I looked under the trailer. It was so dark I couldn't see much of anything. I walked around to the other side of the trailer in the grass, I think I stepped on an ant hill, I'm not sure, I was still sleepy. I do have a few marks on my feet. I checked the passenger side of the trailer, the doors, the windows. Everything looked good. Then, I looked at the tires. Oh wait. What tires? There's only one, where'd the other one go? Perhaps that was the cause of that odd grating sound. I mean, I did have the windows down and the radio up to help keep me awake. My truck often makes that same sound, it's just the loose heat shield on the catalytic converter. Of course, I'm in the middle of nowhere. I didn't bring my GPS since the power point isn't working.
I call my boyfriend since he often has masonry jobs in the area. He's pretty sure he knows where I am. I tell him I can't do anymore damage to the rim it's already shot. If I can make it to Toccoa, I can find a gas station and sleep.
I need to mention that we sold our F350 flatbed, his other F350 is sitting on blocks at home with a bad rear end. And I have the only truck left. He spent the night on the sofa at the store where we both work from.
I managed to get a little bit of sleep. The allergy med I took helped. But the bench seat in my truck is not very comfortable in the best of times, worse when you're sharing 54 by 30 with a dog. On the bright side, or maybe I should say, shady side, I managed to park under a giant billboard I didn't know was there.
When the early sun woke me up I bought us some ice water and a chicken biscuit. Then I noticed the second tire on the same side was flat.
My Boyfriend has a job nearby and used the truck of one of the guys that works for him to deliver to the job site. He was then able to buy 2 new wheels for the trailer. I didn't know tractor supply stores carried wheel sets for trailers. Note to self. replacing two wheels and switching one with the flat. I was finally on my way. It's 2:40 pm. I've been at this for more than 24 hours now. But I only have 30 more miles to go. I have to stop at work to pick up my other Border Collie, I'm so glad now I didn't bring her. I might have slept on the dirty hard floor of the trailer if both dogs had been with me.
After I got home I parked and left it to brush my teeth and take a cold shower. I thought I would try taking a nap but I don't have A/C in the house either and it was too hot.
Decided to get an iced coffee from McDonalds and hang out at work where I keep my laptop for such occasions as and writing stories on forums and keeping cool when it's hot. It took at least an hour to get the trailer tongue off the ball hitch. It's a bit rusty so I need to find a way to make that easier.
So here I am. It's 9:19 pm June 23rd 2012, a newbie RV'er, newly broken in. And not so gently.
Echo R.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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Yikes, what a story. I'm glad you got home OK and in one piece.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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I think I will have to buy different tires though. They aren't rated for very much weight. I mentioned that to the BF.... he says "they'll be okay". Ha! I'm the one who has to tow it, why should he care?
Worse, I read up on the tire codes after reading the thread about tires....the previous tires were P215/70R14... car tires!
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum and rving. I don.t know if you write for a living but you should. You are very articulate able to find the humor in adverse situations. It is quite a gift. I'll bet you even know the difference between their and there. Write something else please....
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:37 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum and rving. I don.t know if you write for a living but you should. You are very articulate able to find the humor in adverse situations. It is quite a gift. I'll bet you even know the difference between their and there. Write something else please....
You forgot they're!!
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:46 AM   #6
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they're ? ....show off
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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If I want to do a progression story while remodeling my Travel Trailer with pix where should I post it?
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:06 PM   #8
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I enjoyed this adventure also, forgot what i had started reading.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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If I want to do a progression story while remodeling my Travel Trailer with pix where should I post it?
How about the vintage forum?
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:28 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum.

Congrats on the new rig. I'm glad you got home OK without anyone getting hurt. It sounds like you're doing your homework on safety. IMHO, you'd be best served by getting advice on this forum instead of your BF who thinks those underrated tires will be "OK".

Most of the many, many things that can go wrong with our RVs are inconvenient and/or expensive. But, those related to safety can be deadly serious and need to be addressed as such.

Best of luck.

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Old 06-24-2012, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
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If I want to do a progression story while remodeling my Travel Trailer with pix where should I post it?
Probably a blog, which can be accessed from the menu.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forum.

Congrats on the new rig. I'm glad you got home OK without anyone getting hurt. It sounds like you're doing your homework on safety. IMHO, you'd be best served by getting advice on this forum instead of your BF who thinks those underrated tires will be "OK".

Most of the many, many things that can go wrong with our RVs are inconvenient and/or expensive. But, those related to safety can be deadly serious and need to be addressed as such.

Best of luck.

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Besides, when I move to Greenville, the BF isn't coming with.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:32 PM   #13
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I think I will have to buy different tires though. They aren't rated for very much weight. I mentioned that to the BF.... he says "they'll be okay". Ha! I'm the one who has to tow it, why should he care?
Worse, I read up on the tire codes after reading the thread about tires....the previous tires were P215/70R14... car tires!
For your own safety and the safety of those who share the roads with you, get the correct tires before you do anything else.

If he cares so little for your welfare you may want to take a closer look at this man before you get any deeper involved with him. Seriously.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:03 PM   #14
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If he cares so little for your welfare you may want to take a closer look at this man before you get any deeper involved with him. Seriously.

It's about over anyways..... lol
In fact we were together for over two years and I am surprised it's lasted that long. I'm not much of a relationship chick.

RanCarr, I swear I met your twin yesterday when she let me borrow her 4 way tire iron since mine from my truck was a little too big!
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