Thanks for all of the great advice... We made it!
Well, the newbies picked up their 2008 Safarie SE 20 yesterday and made it safely home. Let me tell you, though- it was a rite of passage. We got it hooked up all right- thanks to the couple we bought it from- and after taking a couple of deep breaths, we pulled out of their (steep) driveway and headed home. It was 185 to our home, and we set off with about as much anxiety as it is possible to accumlate for two people. Would our Ford Explorer implode the first time we went up a grade? Would we take out cars, trees, freeway signs and little old ladies? Well, none of those things happened, and we actually started to relax and enjoy the ride from Carmel Valley to Santa Rosa. We stopped at a Camping World and spent about $50,000 on hoses, gadgets, and "must-have" items before hitting the road again. All was well until we reached (on 4th of July Weekend) San Francisco. A downed motorcycle (surrounded by about 25 of his friends, also on motorcycles and blocking all lanes of traffic) had traffic tied up for about 10 miles. This did not make for a simple Maiden Voyage. Negotiating through gridlocked city traffic pulling a 20 foot trailer for the first time is not for the faint of heart. Did I mention that it was about 95 degrees? Did I mention that when we got stuck in traffic for 2 hours we had only 1/4 tank of gas left? Did I mention the miniscule size of the lanes on the Golden Gate Bridge? A drive that normally takes about 3 1/2 hours took 6. We finally made it home and, I am proud to say, managed to BACK our new trailer into our little driveway without taking out the neighbor's car. Thanks for all of your wonderful advise that made our Maiden Voyage far less terrifying than it would have been. You are all great!