Angles Curves and Mounds Part 1

Being behind the wheel of my truck pulling the Toy Hauler down the road, always feels so darn adventurous!  And wow, this time, I’m not the only human in the cab!  Cindy and I are on our way up north, where we will drop my trailer for the remainder of the summer. Buddy is curled up on half the back seat, Angel on top of the luggage on the other half, and Sunny Girl is between us, riding high on the CD bag. There’s something about the way we all seem to just fit.

Us girls always have a million things to talk about. Good thing the journey up north is almost 4 hours north.  Add another hour for pulling, and another hour for stops.  Six hours later, we finally arrive to the lake property. We were just up here a few weeks ago, measuring, calculating, weed whacking, and preparing for this trip.  The moment of truth has arrived—can I park my toy hauler on this property?

curves 005We stop about 75 yards before reaching her driveway to take a breath and talk through what is about to happen.  Droves of mosquitos are buzzing the windshield and windows.  We will surely die if we step out of the vehicle.

The entrance to this lakefront space is tree lined all the way in about 30 feet long, then it opens up to the “yard”.  That 30 foot dirt and grass driveway is on a pretty steady downhill grade, and barely 10 feet wide the whole way.  The main road is narrow as well, and there is no shoulder—the tar simply ends and the heavy foliage begins.  A large tree right at the entrance holds their wooden welcome signs, making this the most challenging effort yet for me to maneuver the truck and trailer in straight enough to not sideswipe the woods or signs.

If I veer too far over to the right, I’ll be off the tar road into who knows what.  If I don’t swing wide enough, it will be an absolute cluster to reposition for another go at it.

Cindy bravely gets out to help direct me. Clouds of blood sucking vultures commence a full throttle attack, and I quickly toss her a can of spray.   I watch her motion me forward and point and, it occurs to me, I have to just trust my own judgment and do what feels right.  I begin inching down the road, veering as far right as I dare, when suddenly I realize I need to remove my sway bar.

“Cindy!  I need to pull off the sway bar!”  I call out the car window.  ARGHHHH damn mosquitos!

I get out, get attacked, get sprayed, and we remove the sway bars together.  Jump back in and swat mosquitos in the truck.  Okay.  Now we’re rolling.  I get back to creeping down the road, my passenger tires now off the tar.  Cindy is worried and motioning me, but I ignore her.  I almost pass the driveway entrance, then swing hard left into the driveway, about 2 inches from their welcome sign.  Whoa, I pull the mirrors in, and creep down that narrow driveway.  She is hollering “You’re good!  You’re good!  Keep coming! Keep coming!”

To our amazement I was able to swing wide enough to squeak in on the first try!  That was the most rewarding experience ever since owning the Toy Hauler.

I got that monster into her narrow driveway.  It barely took an hour.

Dang!

She praised my efforts.  We laughed at how I didn’t listen to her. I pulled in so tight to the woods on the left I had to crawl out the passenger side. We took a break and unloaded dogs into the cabin before tackling the next phase.

Break is over.  We walk around the yard again, re-evaluating how and where to park.  Our calculations were pretty spot on.  The tough part would be turning the 40 foot worth of rig all the way around this yard to face uphill on the other side of the yard, plus back it tight enough against the brush.  Now my truck was pointing downhill to the lake, with 6 thousand pounds behind it pushing it forward.  Oh, and by the way, this narrow yard has a few little obstacles in it; like trees, a shed, a power pole a drop off….need I say more?curves 003

Cindy thinks I should be able to back up between the antenna structure and power pole, an opening about 12 feet across.  I am completely daunted at the idea of it and stall, trying to think of something better.  I re-measure and position blue tarps the entire width and length of the toy hauler to mark exactly where to park. It will serve as a target. It will help with weed and bug control too, as well as hopefully ward off torrential rains from sinking the wheels into the ground.

Truthfully, I was about out of gumption with maneuvering my trailer, so when Cindy asked if she could take a stab at positioning it on the tarps I was all for it.  She climbed in the driver seat, and decided to try backing between the poles.  Although she claimed to not be experienced with backing big trailers, she rolled with great confidence and minimal instructions from me.  Her efforts took about an hour, pulling forward, backing, slowly angling, pulling forward, back a little angle, until finally the Toy Hauler was backed along the side of the house, between those two immovable structures.

But there was less than 2 feet of play on either side, meaning it would not be so simple to just pull straight forward onto the tarps.  But we tried, and now it was my turn again.

I was able to pull out from the poles, but it caused the trailer to completely miss the mark on the tarps.  Cindy was right there, ready to guide me in.

“Pull forward!  Turn a little! Back up back a little!  You’re good, keep coming…now back up! Turn the wheel! Turn! Now pull forward, swing it wide left!  Left!  LEEEFFFFTTTT!”

“I can’t—I’m in the woods!  I’ll scratch the hell out of everything!”

I back acurves 004 little, pull forward……OH SHIT THE TREE!  In come the mirrors.  It’s been over an hour.  I get out and survey the situation.  I can’t pull forward to straighten out the trailer because the clearing curves around the building which is in the way.  I have to swing wider to the left, but we didn’t cut and clear enough woods for me to do that.  We get the tools out and chop away more woods for half an hour.

“Cindy?  Your turn again, girl!”  And she jumps behind the wheel like a pro.  After another hour of backing, swinging wide, and pulling forward, the trailer is positioned to back straight onto the tarps.  Curves 002I take the helm for this last piece, and inch back onto the blue.

“You’re good!  Stop!”

I get out and check my levels.  OMG, the trailer is completely not level—not only is this property on a downhill grade, but the sides angle to the center.  I need to raise the passenger side about 12 inches to have a rat’s ass chance at leveling.  Not only that, my levelers will not be long enough to reach the ground on the right side; I will need to put something under there as well.

With Cindy behind the wheel again, I prepare to drop boards for the wheels to roll up onto.  She has never seen this done, and is somewhat hesitant, but if there is one thing I do know how to do, its level my Toy Hauler. It only takes a few tries to get wheels up on the boards.

“OK Stop! Stop! Stop!”

In just over 4 hours, Cindy and I have successfully parked my Toy Hauler on this property.curves 165

“Beer?”

“Oh, hell yes!”

“Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?”

“Oh so much fun.  I know I will never ever own one of these. Ever.”

Long silence.

“You gonna unhook now?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Why?”

Long silence.

Our eyes meet.  Big breaths.  Heavy sighs.

Our shared looks of hot, bug bitten, exhausted victory melt into distain.

Oh, shit. The sad truth of the matter is that we will be pulling my Toy Hauler out of here in the morning up to Bemidji, to have the fridge serviced.

The adventure continues………………………………….

 

 

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