Saturday, March 16, 2013

Meanwhile, back at camp....

When we left this saga, we had finally gotten the truck wheels back on the ground, the hitch off the truck, and the water connected and leaking. Please note that I had little to do with any of this except for the warning about the rear stabilizers that went unheeded and connecting the power (which worked just fine, thank you very much!)

We tried and tried with the water hose, but nothing, not even MEN, could get it disconnected. I pawed through the boxes from our tent trailer and finally found a Phillips head screwdriver and some pliers. I suggested that the pliers might help, but it was dark and wet so we just used water frugally.

Note: You don't want to lug a full tank of water. Each gallon of the stuff weighs 8.3 lbs, taking up part of your weight allowance which is much better used for musical instruments, yarn, fiber, books, clothes, food, yarn, fiber, music books, games, puzzles, books, fiber. You get the picture.

So we only had 1/8 tank or about 8 gallons. Not much for washing, toilet, and showers. Showers were the first to go, there was a bathroom right across from us, and who needs to eat anyway?  Early the next morning (and by early I mean around noon) we headed up to Warrenton (about 30 miles away) to go to Fred Meyers. I mention that only because we also needed food, something we had brought none of. Although we discussed the problem with the water, we did nothing about it until we got back to the campground. There we were able to purchase a new hose (Felipe and Jenny had determined the hose was the problem), a washer, and a cable for the cable TV. Priorities.

Using the pliers I so conveniently found, they were able to get the old hose off, the new hose on, the leak stopped, and water flowing freely into the fresh water tank. Those extra towels sure came in handy. Another obstacle bypassed. So we went to bed.

The next morning, eager to hit the road before the campground deadline of noon, we unhooked, unplugged, slid in the slides....oh, snap, one of the slides was stuck in the OUT position.  Since it had been quite windy, I assumed a branch or some such was stuck on top of the slide, but no way was I going to climb that little ladder on the back of the rig. Jenny was going to, but first we had to drop the carrier that will hold our bikes and the spare tire. This involves cotter pins, those annoying giant bobby pins that won't move. Finally, at last a use for the screwdriver.

But when we got the cotter pins out, the whole thing was too close to the bumper to drop down flat enough to let us put the ladder down. It can be moved. But not by us. Forget the ladder.

Now, this is where it helps to be in a campground when you first start out. A man in an adjoining slot came to help us. Just about the time I discovered that the rear stabilizers (which, you will remember, I suggested raising before trying to get the trailer off the truck hitch) should indeed have been raised.  They had come apart.

They weren't broken, they just weren't together in such away that part A could slide into part B. But there was about 11,000 pounds of trailer on top of them. Did I mention we have yet to buy a jack?

Enter the man. I'm not sure how he did it, but he managed to get part A into part B. Maybe because he's a man and he's used to that. Being lesbians, we seem to be missing a part. Not that I'm complaining. Just saying.  The stabilizers were then raised and Jenny started trying to re-establish equilibrium by leveling the whole thing. This is all done electronically but involves the ability to read small print on the interior of the basement, something I can no longer do. My job was to stay inside and push the slide button, while Jenny and now two men, fiddled with things on the outside. All I had to do was remember which of three unmarked slide buttons controlled which slide.

After about an hour of this, and by now a crowd of onlookers had formed, the men and the onlookers decided that they would push the slide in while I pushed the button. Success at last. Now all we had to do was put the trailer on the hitch and get out of Dodge. Did the trailer want to cooperate? Of course not. Our next hour was spent hitching up the trailer.

With a fifth wheel this is supposed to be an easy task, five minutes at most. Line things up, sort of. Back up until it clicks into place, plug in the electric brakes and lights, and drive off. It's not an exact science like putting something on a ball hitch. You can be off and the hitch will guide it in. In theory. Thank god/dess for all the men and women who now were really into rescuing us. (I did give them express permission to talk about us after we left.)

Again, we had division of labor. Jenny was driving. The men were supervising, reaching the things we couldn't reach, arguing with the hitch and each other, and telling me when to raise or lower the front stabilizers. This involves that small print on the interior of the basement, the small print I can't read, so I just pushed buttons until things seemed to be moving. Since the buttons have odd names on them, not intuitive at all, I moved that sucker all over the place until the men realized that a) I had no idea what I was doing because b) I couldn't see the small print and took over. The women were watching us and making commiserating noises and telling the men what to do. Did I mention it was raining?

Finally, with Jenny in the driver's seat, the men in all the places that required some clue about what to do, the women supervising the men, and me supervising the dog, the thing went in.

We immediately drove to Camp 18 to eat lunch and our next stop was Curtis Trailer where we dropped off the trailer to get the slide looked at, the leaks we'd found fixed, the spare tire/cargo thing adjusted, and whatever else. I can't remember.

But here's what we need:

A ladder so we can easily reach all the parts of the hitch.
A jack that will hold the trailer up
To read the damn instructions. (Well, I sort of read them, but they really don't make a lot of sense until you know what you're reading about, which you can't know until you do everything wrong.)

So, we did everything wrong, but we got home safely, and can't wait to go again.


  1. Being lesbians, we seem to be missing a part.

    The part you're missing is superfluous.

    However, glad it all worked out, and that you got on your way.

  2. This is just my opinion! but, if you have decided to moderate anyway, you could do without the word verification. It's deadly to comments.

  3. I would love to get rid of word verification. But I'm an old Wordpress blogger and have no idea how I got word verification in the first place. Didn't even know I had it.

  4. I would call it: learning by doing.
    About cats and dogs.
    There are many RV -cat owners. Here my observations. Some travel on their owners lab, others in crates. One of our friends has 8 cats. Each has it's own crate. All stacked up in the truck while driving.
    Some cats are insiders only, others roam around when at camp. (with the danger of being left behind because they don't come back in time). One of our friends ties an empty detergent bottle at the end of the leash to see where the cat walks. Others have them on a long leash tied to the trailer. Some have baby gates in their entrance door. Others a dog pen around the steps where they can venture around.
    All in all - it doesn't seem to be a big problem.
    We travel with one dog. (had two in the beginning). They were outside dogs, but they adapted well. Never did their business inside. The only thing: the younger dog had to learn to do things while on the leash. This took about 3 weeks. Now - she doesn't want to do it without us hanging at the end of the leash. :))
    They all will adapt well. Just relax and don't fuss to much.