Saturday, June 9, 2012

RV Tutorial

In preparation for our upcoming camping trip, my aunt gave us a tutorial on how to use my mom's RV/camper. First things first, we had to learn how to mount the hitch to the truck and then attach the RV to the hitch. My aunt couldn't help with that; we used the instruction book instead, AND a lot of patience.

We worked on the attachment in spurts. We'd get pieces in place only to discover that we were missing hooks or tools. Then we'd go in search of those and figure out the next step. In all, it probably took an hour of sweating in the sun, but we did it! The truck was attached. 

We got a quick lesson in how to do the pop-outs and the awning, and then we were off!

We took the RV on a test drive down country roads so we could get a feel for what it will be like to pull it. The ride was smooth and prompted us to start gushing about all the things
we want to see and do at Natural Bridge.
After my mom and my husband both took their turns on roads with no shoulders, we headed back to my mom's house and my husband impressed us with his parking skills. He backed up and parked the RV like he was born to it. We debated leaving it there, hooked up, until we leave in a week then decided we couldn't. We needed to gas up the truck and get an oil change. So we started to dismantle the hook-up and took everything apart, but couldn't get the ball cover off of the hitch.

My husband decided that we'd have to pull the truck forward onto lower ground since we just couldn't raise the tongue anymore. It was as high as it would go. So we re-assembled the hitch and were congratulating ourselves on our new skills; we could now do the whole thing (okay -- by "we" I mean mostly my husband) in about a minute. We were like an Indy 500 pit crew!

So he pulled the truck forward about 6 inches and we started dismantling it all again. But we still couldn't get the hitch out from under the ball cover.

As luck would have it, a farmer who helps out at the farm stopped by. He walked over to say hello and flipped a safety release on the ball hitch, innocently thinking that we'd just forgotten to. Nope. We never even knew it was there. Then he asked us if we wanted him to put the cotter pin back in? Cotter pin? What was he talking about?

You know - the pin that locks the hitch and cover into place so that it can't come undone while you're driving. The pin that keeps the trailer attached to the truck. The pin we knew nothing about!

We confessed that we'd been driving all over those back country roads without one. Then we all shook our heads. Boy, had we gotten lucky! All I could picture was a cartoon where the trailer starts racing down the hill next to the truck it's supposed to be behind. Those cartoons never end well...
We might have been done with RV camping forever before we'd ever even taken our first trip.


  1. Hey! that's a good looking red barn in the back-ground!! Nice paint job.
    The trip to Natural Bridge sounds exciting and I'm glad that you two know what to do!!!!! Really.

  2. That IS a good-looking red barn. Glad no one hit it! :)

  3. Reading you blog, I felt the difficulty you had in hitching the RV to the truck. Anyway, that’s one thing that you would have to be used to when you have RV. It's been some time now since you bought your RV. How is your skill with hitching? I bet you got better by now. Good luck on your trips! :)

    Rosalinda Rudloff