Because the trailer was already five years old, before taking the trailer camping I wanted a number of things done, checked over, repaired, changed, or installed, and I had a whole raft of questions. I found a great RV shop relatively close by, Wescraft RV, family owned and operated since 1996. They do not sell or rent RVs; the only thing they do is work on RVs (and school buses and the like). That’s all they do and they are professionals.
So I needed to tow the RV to them .. on a real street .. in traffic. The trailer was stored south of Puyallup and the RV shop was just north of Tacoma, so I had to tow the trailer through some significant city traffic. Yikes. I was nervous to say the least. Rather than use smaller, back roads with less traffic but with no shoulder, and rather than get on I-5 and really scare myself, I decided on a route that took me through some snarly traffic but was on slower city streets that had at least two lanes in each direction and a parking lane and lots of options to get off the street entirely if I needed to. I figured if either the truck or the trailer broke down, then other traffic could still get around me.
Enough already — let’s just go!
How funny we humans can be. I was so worried about the trailer staying behind the truck while I was towing it. Where did I think it would go?! During this first tow, I had a friend go with me for moral support and to keep me focused. I think I watched the center rear view mirror inside the cab of the truck (seeing, of course, only the front of the trailer through the truck’s back window) more than I watched the side mirrors .. just to make sure the trailer was still there. Well, of course she was there, she knew exactly how to behave, as did the truck. They didn’t really need me at all.
So in April, 2017, I finally completed my first real tow outside the storage lot’s parking area by towing the trailer from the storage lot, through Tacoma, to Wescraft RV. It was completely anti-climactic. Nothing happened that was anywhere near noteworthy. We didn’t even take photos.
Ok, another list or two coming up here.
The partial list of chores that Wescraft RV was going to do for me was: re-seal and/or re-gasket all roof seams and vents and running lights and roof A/C unit, install Equalizer anti-sway system between truck and trailer, replace cracked grey water valve and pipe, check tires and brakes and suspension, check propane system for leaks, grease wheel bearings, install one 120v outlet on each side of the bed, install large grab handle outside the door, repair broken bed frame, install an exterior “catch” to hold the door open (there wasn’t one!), open and inspect awning, etc.
I also asked them to teach me (once the work was done) about the electric brake system, the A/C system, the propane system, the battery charger, how the refrigerator works and how it changes automatically between 12v and propane, etc.
The offset ballmount I purchased was replaced with this super serious anti-sway system that helps keep the trailer directly in line with the truck in spite of cross-winds or large semi trucks barreling by. I’ve kept the other ballmount for times when I’m towing just a short distance and not getting on a freeway.
The dark plastic pipes on the right above are the drains and valves for the grey water tank and the black water tank. A new grey water tank valve and some pipe were replaced here because of a crack in the original.
The photo left shows the brand new large grab bar/arm to the left of the door. When we’re under way, the arm folds securely flat against the trailer. Also, with the door open in this photo, you can see part of the “catch” that holds the door open, bottom right.
The awning is electric, push-button operated, requiring just a few manual twists of two tightening bolts, or the awning can be manually cranked in or out if needed. It was in perfect shape but sported a bit of green slime so the RV shop cleaned it nicely for me.
One amazing thing that I keep forgetting to mention is that the previous, original owner left every manual sitting on the table in the trailer, for every system and device in the trailer, all in a neat packet. Gosh, that was great of her. I wish everyone would do that.
With the trailer now at Wescraft RV getting all of this and more fixed up, the next blog post will be about improvements to the truck. And I promise! I really do! I really am going to go camping. Just hang in there a little bit longer folks. 🙂