Here is the story I promised you a few days ago Katie.
We woke up early and had a great Breakfast. Jeanie set on the bed with her folding hospital tray in front of her, playing Pop -it on Pogo to go and instructed me in the fine art of Garvey making. We had sausage,Biscuits and gravy for breakfast.
Junior and the guys were finishing the last of loading up. We got hooked up to the new trailer just a tad after noon, said good bye to the Waco Gun club and Junior and company. We made a short hop to Ed's Truck stop for another chicken fried steak with fried okra and sweet tea. Next a Stop at the Little Czech Bakery for more Kolaches http://www.czechstop.net/home.php before getting serious about the drive to Ft. Worth gun club
Life was good, We were off with our long awaited new trailer,full tummies and a bag full of Kolaches.. We had just pasted the Abbott exit on Infernal State 35, home of Willie Nelson, and were discussing Willie. I completely missed the Abbott Truck wash, where I had intended to get the RV and trailer washed.
I was in the middle lane running about 65 when I felt a sharp jerk. I looked in my left Mirror.... HOLY CRAP... the trailer was at about a 30 degree angle to Jeanie's Bottle in the left lane. I hit the Jake brake, and Jeanie went OHHHHH, there was another jerk and the trailer was in the right lane Jeanie went OHHHHH and another jerk and Jeanie went OHHHHHH. Every time the trailer changed lanes and Jerked Jeanie went OHHHHH looking from right to left and left to right. It's funny now but at that particular moment I didn't have time for it to be funny.
I had the Jake on and working the brake and accelerator trying to get this pending disaster under control. Every time it jerked I accelerated a little to pull it back in line then break to slow down just a tad. After what felt like hours I felt a steady pull on Jeanie's Bottle but the trailer was still swapping side to side just not as much. I knew when I felt the steady pull that the brake away switched had kicked in. I continued to gear down and brake and accelerate until I could get on the shoulder. The tongue jack dug in to the asphalt and then the bottom of the tongue dug in.Things were pretty steady at this point.
It had taken about 2 miles and a unknown amounts of OHHHHH's before we were stopped on the shoulder. I looked in my Mirror and the closest car in sight on the North bound Infernal State was at least 1/2 mile behind me. One guy in a pickup truck went by and honked and gave me a thumbs up.
My spring was still wound tighter than an 8 day clock. That's kinda how I am, I can handle just about any kind of emergency and stay calm and cool but later I shake like a leaf on a tree. I unlocked Jeanie's wheelchair lock down, told her everything was ok and went to see how bad I had just lied to her.
I was shocked as I walked around the trailer and didn't see any damage except to the Tongue and rock guard. I expected to see the Texas Troopers pull up at any second or someone with a smashed car. I started the generator and got Jeanie's computer going so she could play Pogo and calm her nerves. I told her I didn't know how long this was going to take but just call if you need me.
The pictures below were not taken on the side of the road. I was to darn busy to think about pictures right about then.
This was the culprit, a defective coupler.
The problem as I saw it right off, was I had a trailer with the coupler flat on the asphalt and a tongue jack with a 90 degree bend in it.I needed to get the coupler 19 inches off the ground to get it back on the ball and get the heck off the Infernal State.
These saved the day. That small hole where the hook connects to the chain is where the safety latch was before the coupler came off the ball. if these safety chains had come off, the trailer would have been history.
I always carried 3 different size bottle jacks. I blocked the wheels and put the smallest bottle jack under the right frame rail. The smallest jack is about a 1 1/2 ton jack. It was moaning and groaning to lift the trailer. I finally got it up enough, to get the 10 ton medium size jack under the frame rail. I was on a roll now. Once I got the 10 ton jack under the frame rail, the trailer came on up until I could get the 30 ton big jack under the front frame rail. The 30 ton jack wouldn't raise the coupler to 19 inches.
The totally demolished break away switch. The break away switch is a safety device to lock the brakes on the trailer if the trailer becomes unhooked from the tow vehicle.
I got 2 wooden 4x4 blocks out of the trailer. I put one block under the 10 ton jack and extended it all the way up. Then I let the 30 ton jack down, until the trailer front frame rail rested on the 10 ton jack. I put a 4x4 wooden block under the 30 ton jack and extended it all the way up. Still a no go and I didn't have any more blocks. What now Coach????
Jeanie called and said she need something to drink, that sounded good to me. I hadn't notice but I was soaking wet with sweat. I went in and got Jeanie a bottle of water and 2 for me. I gave Jeanie a progress report and chugged a bottle of water. On the way back out it hit me, Just take a tire off the trailer and put the 4x4 wooden block on the wheel laying flat on the ground. I jacked up the front tire on the trailer, took the tire and wheel off and used it under the block. It worked, the trailer coupler was now high enough to clear the ball.
The inside of the coupler was packed with asphalt. I took a screwdriver and hammer and made short work of getting that stuff out. Now comes the tricky part. I have to back the RV up until it is a perfect fit for the coupler to go over the ball. No second chances at this one, if I back up to far and hit the coupler I am back to square one with the trailer on the ground.
I am in a bit off a hurry to get this done before a State Trooper shows up and I have to explain the 50 foot long gouge in the asphalt on the shoulder. It took 3 shoots because I was very cautious.I got the coupler on the ball and used a short piece of chain to secure it around the hitch. I thought it would be just long enough for the coupler to be able to turn but not enough to let it come off the ball, we would see shortly.
Time to move the 10 ton jack and let the 30 ton down. I put the tire and wheel back on the trailer, loaded up the jacks and tools and hooked it. In this case hooking it was at about 25 MPH for about a mile to the next exit. For those of you who haven't experienced the Texas on/off ramps, They appear to think you should almost stop before you get on or off. Those ramps are almost 90 degree turns. Once us ole Texans see how the California boys did it we wonder, what was them ole boys thinking when they built these.
At any rate I stopped when I was at almost 90 degrees on the exit road and frontage road. The chain on the coupler could stand to be a couple of links tighter. No traffic in sight on either road so I took up a couple of links. With that taken care of , I reconnected the trailer lights and brake wires.
Mangled trailer light and brake wires
We set sail for three more miles at a pretty good clip just to test the rigging out. I didn't put the lock pin in because It didn't work the first time and I was somewhat sure It wouldn't work this time. When we got to the next exit, we took state 22 east for 28 miles to the Manufacturer. I wanted to be setting at their gate when they opened.
Right corner of the rock guard
Rock guard rolled under at the bottom all the way across the front
The C & M Factor has struck again. For My New readers who are wondering what the C& M factor is. It is the Clinton & Mc Cain factor.... you know the best laid plans yada yada yada
We had a two day wait for the trailer to be repaired. We just kicked back and enjoyed ourselves and joked about the OHHHH,OHHHHH,OHHHHH every time the trailer swapped lanes.I told Jeanie if had not been so busy with the happenings at the time I might have thought she was having a sexual experience. :-))
Tomorrow on to Ft. Worth then OKC, Amarillo and COOL Colorado
I plan to have a great day, I hope you will join me
Thanks for stopping by to check on us