Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Not Only Has It Rained, It's Been Pouring

Rain is more than just the physical amount of water. The rain I am currently referring to is the deluge of repairs that have happened all at once.

First the van I tow my vintage travel trailer with got stuck with the shift lever not a gas pump while towing the Amerigo. A knight in a dirty work uniform arrived in a tow truck. He disassembled my steering column and did everything he could to get the shifter unstuck. No Success at all. After telling me it was the shifter cable, I asked him to disconnect the cable from the thingamajiggie that it attaches to and to show me where it was. I had a previous vehicle that was on it's last legs and when the shifter cable went, i simply shifted it by hand under the hood.

Three gruesome rainy days of having to get under the van and shift it by hand to start the vehicle and then move forward were not a lot of fun. and they were rainy days.

The good news was that it wasn't the shifter cable, it was merely the brake safety switch. That repair and the gas to get to the mechanic were under $100.

At the mechanic's shop, my travel trailer tire went flat. I carry a small cigarette lighter socket powered compressor. It comes in very handy since I like to camp all by myself in the woods. The tire was aired up and it had a leaky valve stem. I barely made it back to my parking spot 30 miles away.

The darn tire went dead flat. To make matters even worse, I was tired, hot, and dusty when I pulled in so instead of backing in, I just pulled in forward.

The compressor cord wasn't long enough to reach the tire.

It has been a comedy of errors or what not to do when parking.

I had to move a vehicle and work around a big tree right next to me on one side of the van and a stand of cedar trees with a fence on the other side. It took lots of moving back and forth and getting out to look to get the van out from in front of the trailer.

The tire was still flat, flatter than a pancake with no baking powder in it.

 A big thunderstorm was coming in, and the vent cover to the top vent in the trailer was missing from the previous owner. The makeshift temporary cover on it blew off on the highway. Oh and I am a very petite woman without a lot of physical strength since I live with Multiple Sclerosis. Where there is a will ( and the thought of how much repair would be needed if the torrential rain got in the trailer), I thought quickly.

Like any person who has a camper or tent, I have a heavy duty tarp, a very useful item. Simple solution, throw a tarp over the back part of the trailer. Simple solution if you are not a really short woman, have no ladder, and no way to get on top of the trailer safely. I threw a heavy rope over the trailer. It took three tries. I tied the rope through the corner ring on the tarp. I almost wish someone had had the smartphone handy and videoed the comedy of errors.  The tarp is heavy, very very heavy. It took a lot to pull the tarp over the trailer. I used a second rope to secure the back of the tarp.

I had checked the weather forecast and it was for severe thunderstorms with gusts of wind and the possibility of damaging hail. As you can see the trend of my day, I am sure you will laugh at what happened next. A strong gust of wind caught the tarp before I could secure it and lifted it almost all the way off the trailer. I muttered a few choice words and got it back on top of the trailer, tied it to the tongue in front and the frame in back.

The next day brought even more fun (not really). The turn signals and hazard flashers in the van stopped working. I was finally able to get the relay switch and install it. It doesn't work. As I went to go to the store last night, my headlights wouldn't work. I used the brights, went just to the store and back.

I now have a extension for the lighter socket power plug. That was actually not a very expensive thing. It was about $12 at the auto parts store.

Tomorrow I will deal with inflating the tire. Today was just too much running around to try to resolve things. I am going to take each one of the fuses out, check it, and replace any blown fuses.

I have scheduled an appointment with my trusty mechanic to do the brakes next weekend.

I won't be doing a lot of traveling this month. Gas on top of these repairs is just not happening.
Used vehicles and Vintage Trailers always need some repairs. Just not usually all in the same month.

I am hoping to get the propane tank this month and finally use my stove/oven and light my Humphrey's light. I can manage without the running water until next month.

So.... I am curled up in YEP, another rainy night, in my trailer. I am very tired and I will probably sleep like a baby. Since the tarp held well in the thunderstorm and gusting winds last night, I am not worried about the gentle rain tonight.

Off to bed I go, aren't you glad you didn't have my day?

At the top of the blog is a donate button through PayPal. You don't need a paypal account, any regular credit or debit card will work. Please Please Please, put what ever amount you can help with to defray the costs of all these darn repairs.

Keep your dreams alive, and hang in during the tough times. My worst day in my travel trailer has still been better than many days in a apartment.