Rough starts are what build character, right?
Let us enumerate all of the things that have gone wrong, but that we have somehow managed to get through consequence free.
- The hitch: Sooo…we installed a hitch and a ball on the RV, but we neglected to get the ball tightened properly onto the hitch. Not doing this is only a problem if your goal is to arrive at your destination with all of the equipment you’re towing; it’s also helpful if you want to not kill anyone. Luckily, we caught this mistake before it cost a life, though not before crossing the San Mateo Bridge. When I realized what the problem might be (because oh my gawd what an awful noise it makes), I could turn that nut with my hand a dozen times. Damn trailer was moments from flying off the RV and careening into traffic. The good people at East Bay Motorsports fixed our issue, even with the fully loaded trailer still attached to the hitch. A guy from the service department came out with two GIANT wrenches and sent us on our way free of charge. Thank you for that, kind sir. And that look you gave us when you saw just how loose that nut was…we deserved that.
- The tie-down process: In order to properly tie down motorcycles to a trailer you need 1) the right equipment, and 2) practice. We had almost all the right equipment and zero practice. We had to buy fork braces and rubber bungees to help keep everything where we wanted it without damaging the bikes. We’ve already lost one fork brace to the road gods because we didn’t have the bikes ratcheted down quite enough. The good news is that we now have a lot of practice and an extra fork brace, so things are looking up.
- The trailer: A very important part of the trailer – a part that is crucial to the process of keeping the bikes from ejecting themselves at the first sign of turbulence – is not looking very secure.
We either need to go buy a different trailer or find a welder who can reinforce this. Luckily for us, my dad is a welder. He’s also an electrician, which is coming in handy for our next issue. To wit:
- We could kind of use power: The RV itself is having some electrical problems. The auxiliary batteries that keep the fridge running and the lights on aren’t charging from the main engine when we’re driving. It is supposed to do this. So after two days we were out of power. We spent the following two days at a mechanic’s trying to figure out a solution. As near as we can tell, the dealer where we bought the RV from in Texas didn’t hook up the house batteries correctly. There seems to be a number of parts missing, including something called a solenoid, which I will be learning a lot about tomorrow.
I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “Self,” you’re thinking, “why didn’t they take this whole rig on a test run before giving up the apartment in the City?” This is a fair question.
The RV did get a test run, when it was purchased in Texas. Ryan’s parents drove it from there to San Francisco and had no power problems. As for the trailer, well, we didn’t have anything to hitch it to since the RV was in storage, we lived on a hill, and we had jobs and stuff. Probably we should have prioritized the practice run.
Anyway, we’ve landed in Southern California to have my dad take a look at our situation. It’s not that big of a deal in the end. We’re both alive, we have people nearby whom we can impose upon for hospitality and expertise, and neither one of us has to be on a conference call anytime soon.
We are not where we had planned to be. My hands and shins are scraped, bruised, and bloody. I am exhausted.
I am happier than I’ve been in a long time.