The Day I Brought My Baby Home…. Part 2

Heather SkompThe Preamble to Living in an RV4 Comments

So, here we are again. It’s been a busy week! Getting the last bits of crap important belongings out of the house and into the storage unit is a seemingly never-ending task. Not to mention the mind-blowing creativity required to organize effective storage for the less crappy crap absolute essentials that must come with me, and therefore have homes found for them, in my new trendy “tiny living” space. But entertaining you with those inventions will be a post for another day.

Today, you get the gripping conclusion of the second day I brought my new baby home! In reality, it wasn’t a day, it ended up being an entire week of “bringing home baby”. Sigh. Nothing is ever easy, right? But it’s the challenges in life that make us older and weaker and waaaay more pissed off stronger, right? RIGHT!??!

unhappy-girl-in-a-pink-dressSo. Back to the sad day when Dan and I were turned away from the adoption agency RV dealership without bringing my handsome beast home with me. The stinker was the absence of the correct trailer hitch on my truck, if you remember. To remedy this outrageous and egregious abomination of customer service “misunderstanding”, on the drive home naturally I started calling around to the obvious hitch installation masters – the independent Uhaul agency.

Sigh.

I won’t bore you with the details of the interactions I had with the Uhaul agencies. Suffice it to say, Uhaul does not attract the best and the brightest. They have gorgeous trucks on which you can take out your rage for $20 a day and I can get on board with that, but when it came to correct hitch and wiring harness installation (4-pin? 7-pin? 7-pin flat? 7-pin round? WTF???) I decided to pass. Well that, and the fact that it just so happened to be the same week that all the OSU (Ohio State University) students were coming back for fall, and they all desperately needed Uhaul trucks and hitches installed to move all their even worse crap than mine stuff into their new living quarters, which meant that I was screwed they had no available appointments. Fall begins the first week of August? Who knew? Well, I sure didn’t.

I was getting pretty mad with my 14-year-old salesperson from the RV dealership at this point, if I already wasn’t before.

Thankfully, I ended up finding an independent guy whose sole purpose in life was to install hitches on big moving metal things, and hey! he could install my hitch on Monday. When I arrived on Monday for the appointment, the giant, shaved-headed mechanic asks me “so, do you have a problem with dogs?” Thinking I was about to meet my maker via the jaws of a snarling Rottweiler or pit bull or at the very least a miniature pinscher, I was terrified to be led to a waiting room, only to be greeted by this…

 

white-pug-puppydog

I am fierce.

 

I knew I had made the right choice.

Thankfully, the procedure only took an hour. Not only did this master install my perfect hitch, but he put on the perfect 7-pin flat wiring harness and my most perfect trailer brake system. Whoo hoo! Now I can roll at 80 miles an hour and not worry about stopping! Watch out everyone, I’m a comin’!!

HOWEVER. I did not escape from the experience unscathed. I mean, apart from the extra unanticipated $450 expense. Or the massive assault imposed on me by the unleashed adorableness of a tiny dog. What happened next inaugurated an entire week of panic and stress, and I was only just now emerging victoriously past the “yeah we can’t install your hitch” debacle. Would it ever end?

It started out innocently enough. Just as I was saying goodbye to Puggle McCutest whilst simultaneously emptying my bank account, Mr. ShavenHead said “so, do you need a hitch ball?”

As my credit card was starting to produce a strange burning smell, I responded with “I don’t know… do I? I’m getting an Equalizer hitch put on it.”

After which a menacing silence followed. And then, the blood-curdling words of

“Oh no you’re not.”

Que?

“Um, yes I am.”

“Oh no you’re not. Not on that vehicle.”

“Well, yes I am. That’s the plan anyway. So nah nah ne nah nah.”

No, the conversation didn’t end there, but that was the gist of it. Mr. ShavenHead was forbidding me to put an Equalizer hitch on my truck! What did that even mean???

[Now I respect the fact that most of you won’t even know what an Equalizer hitch is. It’s a special additional hitch that is used to stabilize big trailers and control sway. My trailer is on the cusp of being big enough for my smaller truck to need it, so I decided to go on the cautionary side and get one whether I needed it or not.]

 

Well, what it means is that he made an ass out of himself assumption that the RV I was going to be pulling would be way too big for my *relatively speaking* smaller truck to pull. He assumed – by definition – that if I was putting an Equalizer on it, the trailer must be HUGE. Which, as you have all seen, it isn’t. And, at the time, I was so agog at his attitude that I didn’t even think about the fact that he didn’t actually know what I was going to be pulling. I never told him! Aarrrrghhh!

Now. Why should you care about any of this? Well, you probably shouldn’t. No doubt you have far more important things to do with your time. But what it meant to me was, I began to question EVERYTHING about my choice of RV. My handsome beast! I was starting to doubt him! Oh, my aching heart!

I’m telling you, acquiring an RV is a process that can be fraught with peril.

Suddenly I was plagued with visions of me careening off freeway bridges, my trailer disconnecting from the hitch and passing me on the left side, my truck sitting at the bottom of a mountain unable to climb up and tires spinning and burning rubber. I was imagining my axles being yanked out from underneath me unexpectedly as the rest of the car kept on cruising down the road. I was hearing my transmission screaming at me to kill it already as I tortured it up an off ramp. None of these scenarios gave me confidence in the choice I had already made, and about which I was hitherto extremely excited.

And not once during all the violent mental imagery did I consider the fact that THAT GUY had no idea what I was pulling. No idea.

No idea that I was pulling a trailer that most likely did not even need an Equalizer hitch, never mind being well within the weight range for my truck to pull, and that I was just being overly cautious.

No idea.

Instead, I spent the next three days is a mad panic, calling other dealerships and asking for their completely biased opinions, mentally filing lawsuits against my dealership for selling me a trailer that was not even close to being too heavy for my truck to pull, getting ready to beg for demand my money back, and seeing all my dreams of cruising around the country in my rolling château (thanks Mike) go up in burning transmission fluid. I spent several evenings wasting time looking up lighter trailers that I didn’t want, I found out more about axle ratios than anyone really needs to know, learned more about GVWR, GCWR, GCVWR, GTWR, tongue weight, and payload than certainly my dog knows, and finally came to the conclusion that I was going to have the trailer that I really wanted dammit and if my fate was to end up at the bottom of a ravine surrounded by creative storage devices and an RV toilet then SO BE IT.

And there you have it. Defeated by my own insanity, the next day I did call my dealership to express my fears, in a small effort to calm my already fried brain. Thankfully, once I told them that I wasn’t interested in getting my money back – that I just wanted a trailer that was safe – they assured me that the trailer I had chosen was well within the tow rating of my truck but that if I really wanted to go with something lighter they would be happy to supply me with said vehicle. I gratefully declined.

So essentially, after days of madness, I was back to where I started. I had a truck with a beautiful hitch, electrical harness and trailer brakes installed, and gorgeous brand new badass RV trailer (with a slide out!) waiting for me to pick it up back at the dealership. Now what?

Well, we started again. I collected Dan (God bless Dan) and we journeyed another hour and a half back up to the dealership. This time, we got the princess service (’bout time). They washed my baby, got it all set up for me, gave me a rather fundamental walk through facilitated by a 13-year-old this time, and then CONNECTED IT TO MY TRUCK. Hallelujah!

The moment of truth was upon us. Would my truck be able to move? Would we get out of the parking lot? Would we make it up a hill? Would we make it home? Would I be able to park it?

We would find out.

And we did. We did all of those things. With no problems at all.

Well except when I parked under a tree and nearly took off an entire branch, but other than that, we were cool.

Maiden voyage next folks!

4 Comments on “The Day I Brought My Baby Home…. Part 2”

    1. Not sure yet Chris. I’m hoping maybe Feb/March. It depends on the weather really and how long I end up wanting to stay in the south. I’ve got another friend from Germany who is going to be in the area in Feb though so I’m hoping to be able to catch up with her. I will keep you posted for sure!!

  1. Heather I’m so happy for you! This is going to be an amazing journey! Thanks for taking me along through your blog!

    1. Hey, I’m thrilled you’re coming along with me! Well, vicariously at least. It’s wonderful knowing people are rooting for me! So thank YOU.

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