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This Is Another Fine Mess, Stanley.

Posted 01-09-2011 at 12:41 AM by LawChick

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Our first full day as ASers was fun, interesting, and frustrating!

We got our Excella baby home without any trouble at all. Prayed all the way and thought positive thoughts, and the Force was with us, because although her rust covered brakes were squealing like pigs, she followed us home straight and sure.

We parked the rig in front of the elementary school across the street and down the steep hill from our house. We will NOT be among those lucky folks who can put their beloved Streams beside the house or in the driveway.

Looked out the window all night to make sure we didn't just dream we had it. Then we spent a fun morning in the sunshine investigating, showing to family, etc. I don't know when I have ever been so thrilled about anything.

Because the weather predictions are for snow here, we decided we wanted to take her somewhere safe to wait out the storm. We can't stay on the school parking lot because school may be in session Monday.

So we took her over to my family home, where my daughter currently lives. My mom reminded us that they parked their own travel trailer there back when they had one. My late dad had installed a hookup (just 110) on his shop so he could have some power in the TT. So we take out across town to park Excella safely on my mom's property. It was semi-difficult for Ray to back her in across a busy street, and I kept getting out of his sight when trying to direct him. We got within about 8 inches of a post, but Ray skillfully straightened her out. He has driven a pretty large boat trailer, and isn't totally without towing experience.

After we got her in, we noticed she immediately sank more than we wanted, even though we were parked on what we thought was really hard ground. But, yikes, the front of our tv with it's big heavy diesel, wanted to sink, too.

We were worried what would happen when a slow snow thaw made the ground really squishy, but just the same, we decided to unhitch her and leave here there for the moment. Ready to get out from under her and start cleaning, etc.

Just unhitch her. Yeah, just unhitch the trailer from Red (our tv). Yeah, right. NOT!

About two hours later, after putting blocks under the jack stand and trying every trick we could think of, including taking off the sway bars, we gave up on unhitching 'er there.

Tired of messing with it and wanting to just get her safely unhitched and leveled until the snow passes, we decided the right thing to do was to take her to a KOA campground about a mile away and get her on level concrete. That would insure she wouldn't get stuck during the storm. We also thought (erroneously) that getting the rig level would facilitate getting the truck out from under Excella.the trailer.

We put the chains back on, locked the coupler back in, and towed her very slowly and carefully (no bars) to KOA. All the way, we were hearing scary noises from the wheels knowing we MUST get new brakes, shock absorbers, tires, bearings packed, etc., before we can go anywhere. Everything else seems to be in pretty good shape.

At KOA, we put her first on a concrete pad, but because of the way the drive-through site was made, the truck was pointed slightly downhill and we thought the upward slant pushing the back up some was making it harder to get the trailer off.

Oh, I forgot to mention, we had forgotten to get chocks, ramps, or anything. (I do no small amount of forgetting stuff!) So we asked at the camp store and the manager's husband found big wooden chocks for us to borrow. We carefully chocked her just like we learned in AS forums.

But no use. The *xx*&# thing wouldn NOT come off the truck. We removed the chocks, the jack stand, etc., and Ray carefully pulled out of the site. We found another, more level, and pulled the tv in so as to have it slightly uphill of the trailer, thinking it would lower the back.

Now, we thought, we're going to be able to get her unhitched. Another two hours later, we realized, ummm, maybe not. Then, as Ray is running really low on patience and I'm fearing a good ole manly temper fit during which inorganic objects could get busted, we called our daughter and asked her to pick us up and take us across town to our house. We had enough of watching trailer hitch rise, and truck ride accordingly. I know it wouldn't be this hard to lose her unintentionally!

Luckily, we have another vehicle and our food and beverage house to go to!

It was dark, cold, and we'd been trying, since early afternoon. I was feeling pretty low and unsure if we should have gotten ourselves into this - I mean, we cannot get our trailer and our truck unhitched, for cryin' out loud.

However, we called our daughter to give us a lift home. We got home, ate some nice Petit Jean chili dogs, talked things over, and got on the forums for advice. We got lots of good suggestions - some we'd already tried but others we are anxious to try tomorrow. Being able to come to the forums when one is stumped is such a good thing!

If it isn't snowing in the morning, we're going to go get her off that hitch, one way or another. (Ray has already resorted to jumping on it trying to break them apart).

We just wanted our tv and our AS to be a good match, but we DID NOT want them to mate for life. Geez.

So, are we wishing we hadn't gotten into this or afraid it isn't worth it? After all, we know there is considerable money to be spent just on running gear items.

Heck no! In spite of the frustration, we had a good time today. We worked together with only three or four mild to moderate disagreements, and got more exercize than normal, too. (That was during the period when Excella was parked in front of the house at the bottom of our steep hill and we were running up and down multiple times bringing things to the trailer or bringing the dog down, etc.)

Oh, the dog. We have a 10-year-old Bichon who is desperately unhappy wthout us, so he will be traveling with us. His name is Teddy. His best friend is our part Bengal cat, named Baxter, who will also not be left home alone. So we are letting Teddy acclimate to the trailer. I've attached his photo. He was snoring within 10 minutes of coming in and flopping on the sofa. He is at home wherever we are, although in the past we have had to medicate him because of car sickness. The cat didn't come in, but he will adjust, too, although he must be locked in back or in his carrier while we go in and out. He is a superb escape artist. I know they will be a bother in such a small place, probably, but I'd rather have that than spend time worrying about them every day.

By golly, our Excell-ent adventure has begun. And even after trying all day to solve one problem, we are happy as clams about our new AS and the new life she offers for us ole baby boomers.

Thanks for listening. And to all of you who had ideas about how to get our two favorite toys apart, thanks again.

We'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, don't sweat the small stuff. And remember, if our loved ones are safe and happy, it's ALL small stuff.

Next blog may be about the reasons we decided to take ourselves on this adventure. Or about my already changed mental outlook since we got Excella. Or not. Never know what I'm going to write until I do it.

Roll on, all you big silvers.
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