Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “RV trailer”

Beau Helps Sugar

The Beau marathon continues. Here is another life lesson that Beau taught my wife, Sugar. I offer it so that you may avoid the problem she encountered.

Shootin' the Breeze

I regret that I cannot publish this as a photo-journalist.  Unfortunately, I was not present during the events described hereinafter involving my wife, Sugar, and dog, Beau.  This is what we scientists and anthropological researchers call an anecdotal narrative.

It is really Sugar’s anecdote, which she described for me as I listened with grave empathy.  I am writing this narrative about her experience in order to help mankind and add to the knowledge of the world for this and future generations.  Many cultures pass down stories as a way to keep an historical perspective.  That is my noble purpose.  My intent in sharing what happened to Sugar is in no way intended to embarrass her;  rather, it is for the greater good of civilization.

So Sugar was preparing our RV for a trip (while I was in town practicing law) and one of her self-appointed tasks was to stick a…

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Fixin’ To Travel

For some reason, Sugar, my wife and supervisor, believes that our travel trailer needed new fold-down steps, just because I drove away with them down and bent them by striking a post. And not only that, she was insistent that we replace the jack that some  folks say is preferable to using sheer might.   I don’t mind lifting up the trailer to put it on the hitch, but Sugar is just a girl and wants modern conveniences.  You probably think that I was somehow responsible for bending the previous jack.  You are correct.  Well, technically, I did not bend it, the concrete bump I drove over when leaving a gas station is what bent it.  You see where this is going — Sugar made me replace it.  So I did.

Sugar did not like our tires on the truck merely because of wear from a couple or maybe seven or maybe eight years.  So we got new tires.  Because I married a sissy girl.  Safety is a big concern for her so it is for me too.

Now let’s talk about glow plugs for the diesel engine in that truck with the new tires.  Sugar likes the truck to start on cold days.  I don’t mind spending a half hour getting it started.  Those old glow plugs and I understood each other.  But no, Sugar wanted new glow plugs.  So we got us some.

Get the picture?  You won’t be surprised that we got new stabilizer bars for the trailer.

So we are ready for our next trip.  I sure hope I don’t break anything.

A Hero in My Own Mind

A woman should not hitchhike alone.  It can be dangerous.

I knew that.  I hated the thought of Miss Sugar out on the highway in Wyoming’s strong November wind.

It was that wind which diminished the fuel efficiency of our Ford F250 pickup.  That and pulling the RV trailer.  I should have calculated those factors when deciding to try to make it to Laramie.

There is a 45 mile stretch with no service stations between our northern Colorado ranch and Laramie, Wyoming.  In hindsight, I regretted not filling up the truck before we left.  Sure they sell diesel less than a mile from our place, but it is cheaper to buy it in Wyoming.  Less tax.  Plus, it would be inefficient to backtrack nearly 8/10th of a mile out of our way just to fill up for peace of mind.  One must have confidence, living without fear.

I thought we could make it, so imagine my alarm when the fuel gauge showed empty while we were still 20 miles from Laramie.

Twenty miles is too far to travel on an empty tank.  It is also too far to walk.  Fifteen, even ten miles are too far to walk.  Going there and back doubles the distance.  I doubted she could make it back before nightfall.  Not with her bum knee.

I was worried about Sugar’s bum knee.  Walking that far wouldn’t help it none.  In a bad accident last year, one of her injuries was a torn posterior cruciate ligament.  Since then, she has been unable to run.  She even walks much slower.  Nevertheless, the choice was clear as to which of us should go for fuel.  Obviously, I was needed to protect the RV.  I have a gun and she does not.

Sugar’s mother, Italian father, and two brothers might not agree with that choice, but we’d all have a good laugh about this at Thanksgiving as long as Sugar was safe.  No harm, no foul.  Right?  As long as she could get back safely….

I would hate it if anything happened to my beloved wife.  I imagined that someone would give her a ride.  Hopefully, it would be a kind soul and not some badman or badmen.   It was a risk, sure, but that diesel engine can’t run without fuel.  Surely, someone would give her a ride back too.   Even a couple gallons gets heavy after a few miles of carrying it.

Sugar would hate it if anything happened to our new used RV.  She has worked so hard to get it ready for the trip.  Some of you have read about our prior disappointments when we had to cancel our maiden voyage.  She had so looked forward to this weekend.

So, knowing she would hate it if anything happened to the RV, I vowed to protect it.  I was thankful that the RV itself has heat and a warm bed because it could take a long time for my wife to return with the fuel.  Maybe time enough for a movie since it is equipped with the DVD and TV.  It is important to be comfortable while worrying about a loved one.

I am a lucky man to be married to such a trooper.  She is quite a gal.  I made a mental note to get Sugar some Mace for the future.  Like I always say, “Be prepared.”

I love her so much that it hurts me to disappoint her.  That is why I was wise to not let her know when I noticed the fuel gauge showed empty while we still had those twenty miles to go.  I did not tell her of my worried thoughts above.  And that is why I was relieved when, miraculously, we made it to a service station in Laramie.  No harm, no foul.

What she don’t know won’t hurt her, or me.

I guess God did not like the idea of Sugar walking along the highway.  After all, she is one of his favorites.

Be Prepared

A woman should not hitchhike alone.  It can be dangerous.

I knew that.  I hated the thought of Miss Sugar out on the highway in Wyoming’s strong November wind.

It was that wind which diminished the fuel efficiency of our Ford F250 pickup.  That and pulling the RV trailer.  I should have calculated those factors when deciding to try to make it to Laramie.

There is a 45 mile stretch with no service stations between our northern Colorado ranch and Laramie, Wyoming.  In hindsight, I regretted not filling up the truck before we left.  Sure they sell diesel less than a mile from our place, but it is cheaper to buy it in Wyoming.  Less tax.  Plus, it would be inefficient to backtrack nearly 8/10th of a mile out of our way just to fill up for peace of mind.  One must have confidence, living without fear. 

I thought we could make it, so imagine my alarm when the fuel gauge showed empty while we were still 20 miles from Laramie.

Twenty miles is too far to travel on an empty tank.  It is also too far to walk.  Fifteen, even ten miles are too far to walk.  Going there and back doubles the distance.  I doubted she could make it back before nightfall.  Not with her bum knee.

I was worried about Sugar’s bum knee.  Walking that far wouldn’t help it none.  In a bad accident last year, one of her injuries was a torn posterior cruciate ligament.  Since then, she has been unable to run.  She even walks much slower.  Nevertheless, the choice was clear as to which of us should go for fuel.  Obviously, I was needed to protect the RV.  I have a gun and she does not.

Sugar’s mother, Italian father, and two brothers might not agree with that choice, but we’d all have a good laugh about this at Thanksgiving as long as Sugar was safe.  No harm, no foul.  Right?  As long as she could get back safely….

I would hate it if anything happened to my beloved wife.  I imagined that someone would give her a ride.  Hopefully, it would be a kind soul and not some badman or badmen.   It was a risk, sure, but that diesel engine can’t run without fuel.  Surely, someone would give her a ride back too.   Even a couple gallons gets heavy after a few miles of carrying it.

Sugar would hate it if anything happened to our new used RV.  She has worked so hard to get it ready for the trip.  Some of you have read about our prior disappointments when we had to cancel our maiden voyage.  She had so looked forward to this weekend.

So, knowing she would hate it if anything happened to the RV, I vowed to protect it.  I was thankful that the RV itself has heat and a warm bed because it could take a long time for my wife to return with the fuel.  Maybe time enough for a movie since it is equipped with the DVD and TV.  It is important to be comfortable while worrying about a loved one.

I am a lucky man to be married to such a trooper.  She is quite a gal.  I made a mental note to get Sugar some Mace for the future.  Like I always say, “Be prepared.”

I love her so much that it hurts me to disappoint her.  That is why I was wise to not let her know when I noticed the fuel gauge showed empty while we still had those twenty miles to go.  I did not tell her of my worried thoughts above.  And that is why I was relieved when, miraculously, we made it to a service station in Laramie.  No harm, no foul.

What she don’t know won’t hurt her, or me.

I guess God did not like the idea of Sugar walking along the highway.  After all, she is one of his favorites.

RVing further

Back in September, I posted Stinky Slinky and Miss Sugar, which described our adventure renting a camper trailer (RV).  We, and by we I mean Miss Sugar, decided to shop for RVs.  She is the chief executive and I am in a role of giving advice and consent to the decisions.  So we went together to shop for RVs. 

We found a real good deal.  By purchasing our used RV trailer “as is,” we not only lowered the purchase price but slyly avoided the complication of bringing it back pursuant to a warranty.  We prefer to pay for repairs ourselves and leave out the middleman. 

I have previously described my vast experience of hooking up horse trailers, so you will not be surprised that I waived any assistance from the dealer when we paid for the RV trailer.  What kind of a cowboy would accept advice from an RV salesman concerning the proper manner to hook up ANYTHING to MY PICKUP?  “Just point me the way,” I says, “and I will hook up and head for home.”  Which, by the way, I did, pretty much successfully.  I say pretty much successfully,  because Miss Sugar pointed out one petty little failure on my part, which was that I left the little wheel below the hitch where it was.  Well, not where it was when it was on the ground in the dealership lot.  I raised it a few inches above the roads so we drove home  on the Interstate Highway without it scraping the highway at a high rate of speed.  However, I did not properly calculate the height necessary to drive over a speed bump in the McDonalds parking lot, nor the portions of our very own lane where a wheel placed where I had placed our trailer hitch wheel scraped bottom.  But in case you are wondering, I did not even bend it and, anyway, after we got home, Miss Sugar figured out how to remove it during times of travel. 

That was not the only thing Miss Sugar figured out.  She studied the the owners’ manual and joined an RV forum on the internet.  She cleaned the trailer and contacted a man to come show us how to work all the RV devices.  In case you are worried that I did not pull my weight, let me recount that it was ME who carried a mattress to exchange with the mattress in the trailer and it was ME who hooked up the water hose and plugged in the electric cord.  It was the handy man, who, in demonstrating how everything worked, uncomfortably pointed out that not everything did work.  Who needs the water pump to actually operate?  We decided that we did, so we paid our new friend to replace it.  And we also elected to replace the corroded battery cable and fuse socket.  As I said above, we preferred to pay $500 for those repairs rather than, as fools do, use a warranty. 

And another thing, had we not bought the RV “as is,” the dealer would have cleaned out the “black tank.”  For the uninitiated, the black tank is the self-contained sewer of the RV, if you will.   What this means is that rather than allow the dealer to deal with the waste of those who traded in the trailer, we got to empty it.  Now in an RV park, there is a place to hook up the stinky slinky hose.  On our ranch we neglected to install RV hook up facilities.  Consequently, Miss Sugar gladly emptied the fecal matter of strangers into buckets so that we were able to fertilize a portion of our property.  Most RV buyers don’t think of that bonus.  They are not professional negotiators such as me.  I am a lawyer.  I have been around you know.  I can sling the sh-t, figuratively and literally.

I am available, for a reasonable fee, to serve as a consultant for those of you contemplating the purchase of an RV camper trailer.  I will help you get a real good deal.

Stinky Slinky and Miss Sugar (and me)

For all of ya’all who have been awaiting my next blog with bated breath, you may unbate your respective breaths because I am back.  I am back from where I have been, which is The Black Hills of South Dakota, USA.

Miss Sugar and I made reservations at a private campground which shall, as they say, remain nameless.  Now when I say “remain nameless” I am not exactly accurate because it is not nameless at all.  I am not going to tell you the name in order to protect the innocent.  It has a name and Miss Sugar and I know the name and we went there and camped.  We ran into some difficulties there, however, some of which I am fixin’ to relate to you, gentle reader(s).

First off, understand that we do not own a camper aka RV trailer or any other kind of RV.  What we done was rent one, which was costly.  Let us say one can stay at a pretty nice motel for $130 per night, which for three nights is approximately $390.  On the other hand, one can pay $300 to rent a trailer, plus a $45 set up fee, plus a $500 deposit, which is approximately $845.  Which is a better deal?

I know what you are thinking — it is about the same if you get the security deposit back.  That would be true, provided the security deposit is returned, which it was not in our case.  Not yet, anyways.

Another difference is that the campground charges too.  In our case, the charge was $35 per night.  If you are keeping up on the math, that is $115 added to the $845, which is approximately $960.  I say approximately because due to circumstances on our trip, I paid the RV park manager another $20 for helping us get in our trailer after one of us, a very attractive person, broke off the key.  The resulting circumstances were that we could not get inside of our $960 trailer.  Of course we could have just looked at it and enjoyed the view, but we actually desired to sleep, so our choices were to break in or stay at one of those $130 motels.  We chose to enlist the assistance of the manager of the RV park, who helped us break in by removing the lock from the door with his power drill, hence the extra $20 expense in the form of a tip.  Consequently, we could get in but we could not lock the door ever again.  Nor can anyone else unless the folks who rented us the trailer fix the lock and replace the key, which they will do and take it out of our security deposit.  We don’t know yet how much that will be, but our $500 is no longer intact.

That might not be so bad, you are thinking.  However, you do not know the rest of the story.  Part of the rest of the story is that one of us, a pretty big guy with little finesse in things mechanical, despite having hitched up trailers hundreds of times, this time broke off the handle for the jack which raises and lowers the trailer so it can be attached to or unattached from the hitch on the back of the truck hauling the trailer.  Our predicament was that I could not unattach our truck from their trailer without the jack operating correctly and it was not operating at all.

Since we needed to either leave our truck with the rental company or self-tattle, the rental company is fully aware of the broken jack handle and has the power to deduct  from the deposit the cost of repair of the jack and replacement of the handle.

Now, those of you who have stayed at motels likely have never been required to perform any plumbing tasks at the motel.  When one rents a travel trailer with a bathroom, one must not only return it clean without benefit of maid service, but also empty what we shall call sewage.  That task is performed by hooking up a sewer hose running from the trailer into a sewage dump or drain, which I done did without pleasure.  The seven children who occupied the Class A motorhome parked next to us informed us that they call the sewer hose a “stinky slinky.”

Our rental company expected us to return our sewer hose/stinky slinky with the trailer.  We fully intended to do so.  But alas, we did not.  The stinky slinky is cleverly stored in a hollow bumper and each end is supposed to be capped off.  We put our stinky slinky in the bumper and capped each end.  Then we drove 300 miles.  When we returned the trailer and confessed to breaking the key, breaking the jack and handle, and damaging the lock, we did not confess to losing the stinky slinky because we were unaware that it was no longer in the hollow bumper.  The rental person checked out our returned trailer and discovered the loss.  No big deal for her.  She has a $500 deposit, you will recall.  We left without the deposit but still hoping some of it will be returned.

Guess what!  We were driving back on Highway 287 when Miss Sugar saw a big hose on the side of the road and claimed it was ours.  So I got out, risked my life crossing the highway, and picked up the large hose.  Sure enough, it was our stinky slinky.  So we drove back and returned it, quite proud of ourselves.  Our pride was diminished by the lady’s unenthusiastic reaction.  She said, “I still have to charge you for it because someone ran over the hose.”  Apparently, dented hoses are unacceptable.  Therefore, the deposit will take another hit.

So what have we learned from this camping experience?  We had so much fun that we are talking about purchasing our own trailer.

P.S.  The manager of the RV park who helped with the lock was wearing a holster on his hip which contained a handgun.  He explained that he did not need a concealed carry permit because his pistol was not concealed.  Indeed it was not, hence the tip.

P.P.S.  He also introduced me to his wife, a lovely woman.  He shared with me that this is his 8th wife.  It has been done before.  You have heard about Henry the 8th.

P.P.P.S.  While sitting in his workshop as he worked on the lock by removing parts in order to ensure it would never lock again, he generously brought out a bottle of actual moonshine.  He showed me his copper tubing and still.  I had never had moonshine before.  I learned that it is to be drunk from the bottle and passed back and forth.  He seemed pleased to have me as his new friend.  He said, “You and me could get into some trouble.”  I reckon so.  I can get into trouble with or without him.

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