Very first trip – learning opportunity number one

The trailer was loaded with 26 gallons of water, sleeping bags, hiking gear and the like.  The Xterra tow vehicle had the food, canopy and our clothes.  The A-frame was hitched up and we were off for a three-night camping adventure with friends in Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction.  I double-checked the hitch, fired up the engine and we began pulling out of the driveway.


It was the sound of metal on concrete.  Dianne gave me that look that bordered between concern and panic.

“Probably just the chains hitting the cement,” I assured her.  “After all, they are so long, they almost drag the ground.”

We heard it again when we crossed over a small speed bump going into our supermarket parking lot.  Chains again, I thought.

It finally occurred to me that it might be something more serious.  While Dianne ran in to mail a letter at the post office, I checked the hitch.  The sound we heard was the bottom of the front jack hitting cement.  I had only cranked it up part way.  I thought it was far enough away to clear the curb, but alas, it was not.

The bottom of the post had been scraped and instead of round, it was now oval.  I pulled out the caster wheel, and of course, it would not go on.  We now had a problem.

We immediately drove back home for redneck repairs.  I got out a hammer, and with blow after blow, I straightened it out to where the wheel would finally fit on.  I then cranked the post into it’s maximum up position and we took off again.  Lesson learned.

Back home after our trip, I ordered a new jack from Amazon.  It could have been worse.