Coeur d'Alene - Leaving Immediately!
Saturday, September 4
I got up early this morning as I couldn't wait to get on the road. I had things packed up, trailer folded up, truck hooked up, and everything ready to go by 8:00 am. Denise walked over to the phone to call her cousin in Boise, ID to advise him of the progress of our trip and to expect us in a day or two. As I was making my final inspection before pulling out, I noticed that one tire was flat. Shit!
My mind briefly analyzed the situation but there was no way out of it. I had to change the tire. To make matters worse, the truck was already hooked up and blocking the road out of the RV Park (I told you it was small). So I decide to move the trailer out of the way before changing the tire.
OK, I know there is a spare. I can see it tucked up under the trailer. The owners manual says to use the crank (I find it) and locate the square receptacle under the rear bumper to lower the spare. I don't see any goddamed square receptacle! Sweat is pouring down my face. My blood pressure is about 220 over 150. Denise is hiding in the truck reading a book. It's now after 9:00 and the dealer is open in Colfax so I call. There's a small door on the right side of the trailer near the rear under the water heater. The square receptacle is located in there. Great owners manual. I'll remember it next time I'm looking for paper to start a campfire.
All right, I take the crank and attempt to slip it over the end of the square receptacle. It almost fits but not quite. Fortunately, I have my entire tool box with me and fabricate a crank with a 1/2 inch ratchet, extension, and 7/16 inch socket. It's not perfect but at least I'm able to get the tire down.
Next, I get my 8 ton bottle jack out of the truck. I place it under the axle and begin to raise the trailer. It's about 1/4 of an inch too short. The only good thing that's happening today is that I'm not doing all of this on the side of a busy highway. So I examine the jack and find that it's low on fluid. I happen to have some transmission fluid which works in a pinch and fill the jack. It works much better now.
So now it's 10:30 and the tire is changed but we don't have a spare. We're still quite a long way from home so we head into town and find a Chevron station that can fix a flat. The mechanic fills the tire with air and puts it in a water tank to determine where the leak is. It's not the tire at all but actually a weld on the rim that is leaking. There is no way to fix it. I need a new rim.
But there's an RV repair place down the street. They might have a rim. We drive there (after several wrong turns) just to find that they're closed for the Labor Day weekend. Denise is nervous about driving without a spare. I would be more concerned if it were the truck but the trailer comes off. I tell her that if the worst happens, we just unhook the trailer and leave it on the side of the road. FUCK IT! It's insured. At least we can find the next town, phone, bar, whatever, and then deal with the trailer.
She reluctantly agrees and we finally get the hell out of that God awful town.
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