Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Free Travel Trailer

I went in for a chemo today and nothing has changed on the Cancer front so fortunately, there is not much to report there. But even so, it seems that some people like to hear about other adventures or - even better- mis-adventures. So I thought I would do an update so that I could tell you about my free travel trailer.

Let me start by saying that if anyone ever offers you a "Free" Travel Trailer, get your check book ready.

Short version is that for the price of one dollar, I was offered a 24' travel trailer that had been gutted and outfitted as a "man cave" for use on a promotional tour for a TV show. While it still has a kitchen and bathroom (sans toilet), it is no longer really a camper.

People have asked why I wanted this trailer. The answer is, "Because it was free".

So, they sent me the title for it, which I took to the town hall to get a plate for it. That was $200 or so. Can you imagine the government wanting money?

My brother then pointed out that I would need extension mirrors for my truck so that I would be able to see behind the trailer. $85 to Amazon.

Then I was talking to a friend of mine who asked me if my truck has an electric brake controller built in. He patiently explained that if you are cruising down a hill on the interstate at 65 mph and you try to slow down, it is not good if your trailer passes you. That was another $173.

Then another friend asked about a "Sway Control System". He explained that even if your trailer does not pass you, it is not good if it is swinging from side to side behind you bouncing back and forth against the two tractor trailers on either side of you. Another $212 to Amazon for a load leveling hitch and sway control system.

This came with a 2 5/16" ball, They told me my trailer expected a 2" ball. My neighbor and I had to use giant 18" plumbers wrenches with 5 foot pipes over them to get enough leverage to unbolt the old ball and put on the smaller one ($15). Later, I learned that the trailer in fact needed the original large ball and I ended up putting the big one back on.

Next I had to drive to PA (350 miles in each direction) to pick up the trailer. I combined this with great visits to friends from college and both brothers and their families, with Ken driving back to NH with me in case I got too tired during the 8 hours it took to get home. (I was fine).

The trailer is now positioned on my 25 acres of land near where I collect maple sap. I have a gasoline generator / adapter cord connected to it. The A/C seems to work as does the fridge. The water pump has been ripped out, but it looks like it would be easy enough to replace. The heating system has been ripped out and all the vents covered up. The wallpaper is peeling off the walls, but will be easy to stick back up. One corner of the trailer has major water damage, but I think I have a plan to patch this with little difficulty.

One friend has kindly pointed out that this will be much like having another boat to take care of. He is totally right. Thank you, Alec, for that thought.

(By the way, the boat is finally in the water and seems to be running, though we have not been out in it yet. Haven't had time, what with the time I have spent working on the trailer. . . )

Now, the question is what to do with this. One possibility is to take it "RV Camping". I have suggested this to Barbara and let's just say that she could show more enthusiasm. But she has agreed that if I really want to do this, she will come along as long I select only campgrounds that are very close to a Ritz Carlton where she can stay. 

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