Taking a Spin, Part 1

It’s time.  No more stalling.  With the help of many new friends, my trailer issues should now be resolved.  The time has come to hook up my RV to the truck and pull it again.

I’m not gonna lie, the thought is still somewhat daunting.  But the alternatives would be to either stay here at Secret Spot Park forever, or find someone else to pull my Toy Hauler home for me.  Neither of those sounds like good options.

This is a perfect afternoon for Boy Scout Buddy and me to hook up the Toy Hauler to the truck and give it a whirl.  Bob stops by with a “step by step” list for me to try following.  After loading the dogs up into their respective areas of the truck, and moving the dog fence away from the side of the Toy Hauler, we begin.  The first thing is back up to the hitch.  There is no easy way to get it done right the first time.  But, with Buddy’s guidance, it’s just a few attempts before I’m dead on. Instantly we notice is how much easier it is to hook up with the hitch at a different level.  The sway bars are still not making it past the 2nd link, but at least I can get them on there without getting a hernia.  Once I visit the manufacturer and have the cargo rack moved, I won’t rap my knuckles any more, either. We pull away the chalks, raise the leveler legs, plug in lights, check, and check again all around to ensure antenna is down and hoses are unattached.  

It’s all good.

I get into the driver seat, Boy Scout Buddy jumps in the passenger seat, and I slowly accelerate away from camp. 

One of my many challenges is in knowing when to turn, so the trailer comes with.  He instructs me to pull out beyond half way across the road before turning in order to avoid having the trailer up on a curb, possibly taking out a sign or fire hydrant or something close to the corner.  Not easy to do!  But I manage to get us out of the camp area and down to the boat launch where we practice turning left and right and seeing what happens.  I am nervous, and full of anticipation of having problems.  There aren’t any.  After Buddy is confident I wouldn’t have taken out any imaginary curbs, people or items with my turns he says “Good job! Before you know it you’ll be an expert!”  We stop, get out and look at how things sit on totally flat level ground.  The truck and trailer are still not level, but it’s much closer.  The trucks back end and trailer front end is still dragging down quite a bit.

The next order of business is to test things out on the highway.  Big breath.  I slowly roll out of the boat launch, past the camp area, out of the park gate and down to the main road.  There is almost no jerking.  There is almost no shaking.  There is no trauma, drama, or problem.  We do adjust the break some, but not much.  It only takes a couple miles down the road and back to determine the feel is much better, but there is still something not quite right.  But it’s so much better than before.  We pass a couple gas stations and he tells me horror stories about different attempts to pull in to stations he’s had over the years.  I pay close attention to his warning and advice.  His biggest piece of advice is to go fill the gas tank without being hooked up whenever possible.  I can do that.  We turn around and head back to the park.

I’m sitting up straight.  Both hands on the wheel.  Checking the rear view mirrors.  Yup, the Toy Hauler is still back there. Feelin’ Groovy!  It appears I’ve got this licked!  We talk more about appropriate speeds, how to deal with fast moving traffic and busses.  He insists that before I know it, it will all be second nature.  We are back to the park, being greeted by a couple rangers in the entrance booth, giving me the thumbs up.

Back in the campground, turning around is not easy.  I need to drive up onto other empty campsites to manage it.  As I proceed to swing wide left and then turn to the right, Buddy says, “Let’s go to the dump station.”

“But why?  I haven’t been using the toilet or sink—there’s nothing to dump.” 

“Well, we should just run through the list of what to do so you know. You know?” He winks.

Ok.  I clumsily pull onto the cement slab at the dump station and try to line up to the tank hole.

Along comes Bob, asking how things went on my practice session.  The two of them begin my first formal introduction to and instruction on dumping the trailer.  Suffice it to say, crawling around under a trailer to empty the sewage is not my idea of a good time. Lucky I have my very stylish pink rubber gloves.  The guys burst out laughing. 

 Rule number one:  Always dump black water first, then “rinse” with the gray water. 

Ok.

So I hook up the hose to the RV and drop the other end to the dump hole.  Seems I need to get an attachment at Walmart to hold that end into the hole, but for now we hold the hose in with a chunk of cement.  As they talk me through the steps I keep saying there’s nothing to dump.  Ok, ready, set, go…I pull the black water handle. 

“FOOOIIISSSSHHHHHH!!!!!!!”  Something is gushing down that hose fast and furious. We’re talking heavy. We’re talking chunky feeling. We’re talking at least 90 seconds of hard core gushing.

“YOU GUYS! Oh my gawd!”  I am freaking out and grossing out.  Buddy and Bob start chuckling, eye rolling and “guy talkin” about how it’s bad enough that the dealer sent me out of the dealership the way they did, but they didn’t even have the common sense to teach me about dumping the RV plus they let me drive out of there with a full tank of…. well….heavy, chunky “stuff”.  And I am having the crude realization that someone’s “stuff” has been sitting in my black water tank all this time.  OH my gawd!  Yuck!  How disgusting!  The black water action finally subsides. Well, okay.  On to the gray water tank.

Same thing.  “FOOOIIISSSHHH!!” The gray water tank empties for a good five minutes.

We all look at each other.  No one speaks.  Heavy sigh.  I’m so disgusted.

Now it’s time to unhook the sewer hose, rinse it out, then tuck everything back in storage.

Buddy shakes his head.  “You know how much extra weight that was?”

“Yeah, how big is your tank?  Do you know?”  Bob asks.

No, I have no idea.

“That would probably explain why it still isn’t leveling.”  Bob adds.

I am so tired of being off the charts angry about the whole Toy Hauler purchase experience.  Well.  Now we can chalk up one more “crappy” thing that happened.

Bob offers to pull the Toy Hauler back in place at my site.  Yes please!  By the way, is it happy hour yet?

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