Tuesday, May 26, 2009
What A Trip Across Town...
I have to share this with you! It was just too nerve racking not to...
Many folks not familiar with cities the size of Houston just can't imagine what going across town means. From my house to where I needed to go to pick up my trailer is about 24 miles. Getting there involves taking the toll road, then highway 288, and finally loop 610. A lot of freeway driving indeed.
Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but this time two things sort of complicated the situation.
First, it was a holiday weekend and the police were out in full force checking for drunk drivers and such. Secondly, the tags on the trailer expired in July 2008! I just knew that if I hooked up that trailer with the expired tags, started across town on three freeways during a holiday weekend with the police out in all their glory...I was going to get my very first ticket!
Oh, and the best part was that I have never, ever pulled any type of trailer with my truck and I have never pulled this particular camper before, so I had no idea what to expect, ya know?
But trying to stay positive about the whole thing, I went down to the auto parts store, bought the wiring harness and trailer ball and spent the day hooking everything up. Then I loaded myself and the nephew in the truck (Yes, he sorta volunteered to go after I twisted his arm ) and off we went on this adventure!
We managed to get across town without incident, backed up to where the trailer was, and hooked her up! The lights all worked, except for one burned out bulb. I had no spares. The trailer hitch, after sitting for a year, was rusty and didn't want to co-operate...some WD-40 was in order, but I had no WD-40! Naturally, after I talked to the hitch in my calm and persuasive manner (and the nephew gave it a good kick!) the hitch went right on!
The only concern I had was if the tires would hold up. I had a spare on the trailer, but again I forgot the plugs and the air compressor in case we did have a flat! Just another case of poor planning on my part!
So, hooked up and tested we set out onto the network of Houston Freeways, on a holiday weekend with police crawling all around, towing a trailer with expired tags, driving my truck never tested with pulling a load of any kind, while trying to remain positive about the whole thing!
Guess what? The trailer towed like a dream, the truck pulled like a champ, the tires held up fine as did the hitch! We were passed by at least two police cars that paid us no attention at all! The traffic was extremely light, not at all like a holiday weekend. The nephew didn't even say anything about the hundred or so times that I told him how easy the camper pulled!
All in all, I'd say it was another very good day! The sun shone on us and that was a good sign. In short, the muses that watch out for ill prepared folks like me decided to smile on me this time!
"Just a warning this time" I could hear them say! I believe them! I learned another important lesson today. Double checking isn't enough, triple checking isn't enough...there is no such thing as checking enough! As for me...POINT TAKEN!
Camper is home, loading starts tomorrow, the tags will be updated as well...and the truck goes in the shop for the final road check. I'm pleased, I'm tired, and I'm a nervous wreck!
Now, my friend, let's get a cup of fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a while, OK? I could use a break and a bit of a rest!