Early Wednesday morning I hear back from RV Travel World, the repair shop where the fifth wheel sits with it's broken king pin box. The recommend replacing it as they are uncomfortable with welding. They've found a pin box from the manufacturer located in Elkhart, IN and it will be $247 plus $150 freight and will arrive in two weeks.
TWO WEEKS!!! We're leaving in 6 days on Tuesday and I need the trailer home this weekend to get things ready. I can't wait two weeks without seriously screwing up our vacation plans. There must be some other alternative.
I had only been at work for about 15 minutes when I got this news. I immediately told my boss that I was leaving and explained the situation. I went home, changed clothes, grabbed my tool box, and headed to the shop. I removed the pin box and set out to see RV Doctor George who has a small junk yard full of various used RV parts. He did have 5 pin boxes but none matched mine.
RV Doctor George recommended I see his buddy at Baze Welding in Rio Linda. George Baze took a look at the pin box and did say he could fix it if I tracked down a new king pin. However he was busy and the earliest he could get to it was Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Well that's better than two weeks but still not optimal.
Next I headed to Allied Trailer which is a repair and parts shop that's been in business for around 50 years. They had the king pin but were not willing to do the welding due to the risk involved. Now I've got two places suggesting a new pin box instead of repair. I guess I better heed the warnings and just get a new one.
Allied Trailer called their parts distributor but they did not have a king pin box in stock. That meant back to calling manufacturers back east and they were already closed for the day.
I got up the following morning at 5:00 am so I could begin calling at 8:00 am EDT. I called Trailair who makes an aftermarket pin box with an air ride cushion. They had one and it was $930. OK, I need it now. What are my shipping options?
Regular freight was only $40 but then we're back to two weeks. Third day air was $329 and that would get it to me some time Tuesday. Second day air was $429 and I'd get it some time Monday. Overnight gets it to me on Friday for a mere $539. I finally settle for second day air with Saturday delivery surcharge for $439.
The part arrives Saturday afternoon around 3:00 pm, too late to install today. On Sunday morning Earl and I install the pin box. I brought my portable air compressor as I knew I needed to inflate the air spring. I plug it in and instead of air, I get smoke coming from the compressor. Fuck! What next?
I decide to tow without the air as it's only about 8 miles home. I stop at Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) and get a new compressor while discarding the old. Now I have air.
I'll shorten things up here by just saying that I worked my ass off Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday getting things ready and testing the new setup with truck, fifth wheel, and boat. I am completely exhausted but we're finally ready to on Wednesday morning. I just hope the problems are over...
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