Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spring Wine (Or Spring Break)

Lovely Scenery - Terrible Roads!
For those who are not RVers, the trailers and Rvs I am writing about are basically houses built on a steel truck frame. Some of the real classic trailers like the Airstream are built with an aluminium, frame, and some like the Boler we had are a nice fibreglass shell mounted on a steel frame. The Boler was an amazing trailer, light, strong and well designed, but it looked like two fibreglass bathtubs pop riveted together with some windows and a door cut into the sides. Modern RVer, insist on oak cupboards, flat screen TVs, arm chairs, and microwaves. In other words they want a “Home away from Home”, and they want it to look and feel like home. The result is a big square wooden structure like a house attached to a truck frame. But of course to tow it behind even a big truck it has to be light, the result is a compromise, and it results in shifting, bending, and breaking. Nothing ever broke on the Boler in years of service, but so far , we've bent a wheel, the back venetian blind has fallen down twice, one light fixture fell off, and two cupboard door handles have fallen off. Oh, yea, two of the springs that keep all this “homeyness” rolling down the road have broken.

Looking back, I suspect that the loud bang we heard as Regis was coming down the twisty narrow mountain roads in Yosemite National Park was one of the springs finally giving up and snapping, but I didn't notice it then. The trailer was making a lot of noise, but it does on bumpy roads anyway, so we didn't worry about it. However in the morning as I was checking everything over prior to leaving San Francisco to drive up the coast, I noticed that one spring was broken in half, with just one end holding the axle in place. We were not going far with that. We had a spare, but dad must have cleaned that out when getting ready for the trip. We went to the local RV shop, but although he could get the part, he could not do the work today. I elected to pick up the part and do it myself.

I got everything apart, and in the process discovered that a spring on the other side was also broken but not so bad. Fortunately I had bought two springs just in case. When I went to put the nice shiny new spring into place, it would not fit. A measurement revealed I was sold 26” springs and needed 23” ones. A phone call informed me that 23” ones were not in stock and would have to be ordered – a two day wait. We reregistered at the campground, put things back together (as good as the stripped threads, and bent brackets would allow), and went back to the site.

So with two more days in San Francisco, we have decided to take the rest of the day to just relax here. I worked on a walking stick, Regis tried to keep up on her reading for all her book clubs back home, dad took a nap, and Sharon found some temporary “Grandkids” Next door to make a fuss over (Sorry Jasmine, Nicki, Alex and Drew). Tomorrow we will leave the trailer here and go up the coast in the truck and visit some of the California Napa valley wineries. Life is tough!

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