Recovery – Stage Two ~ Batten Down the Hatches

Wednesday, October 22. Day three. Early morning and I’m on my way back to Elvis. Gotta to ready him for 800 miles of highway. Before leaving Tennessee I had found a service center that was willing to pack bearings, swap tires and wheels, and check my running gear should I need it. More importantly, the shop was only 4 ½ miles from the trailer. Why make things hard on myself? OK, so I’m a wimp. I’m heading to Red Oak.The jack post was short and had sunk into the ground. Hitching was a bitch and proved impossible with my truck’s high ground clearance. So the seller backed his 4Runner into the alley and dropped the trailer on the ball. We took it to an adjacent church parking lot and transferred to my Titan using the Tradewind’s hitch. Parting words,

“You can bring it back here to the church for overnight, no one will say anything”.Red Oak Tire and Wheel is owned and operated by two Texas-sized gentlemen who must be angels from heaven. While they worked, I worked. I found aluminum tape and cable ties were my new best friends. To think the cable ties were an afterthought! These little zippety plastic strips are indispensable. I secured everything on the trailer that moved.. The most I could do with the vents was tape plastic sheeting over the interior and pray for dry weather. But alas, a storm front was moving in.

The two big angel men from Red Oak went over everything with me.

“Yes ma’am , there’s big black spiders in ’em but the brakes work fine.”

“Your running gear is safe for the trip. Here’s how to use this kind of towing system. We got the rusted parts moving again. You set the spring bars like this. That tongue jack is pretty old. I wouldn’t unhitch before you get home. We put extra wood in your truck bed for under the jack post. Have a safe trip ma’am.” I pulled out of the shop with renewed confidence and headed back to the church parking lot.

The wind had kicked up and black clouds billowed from the west. By the time we tried to put the Rubbermaid vent covers back on, there were 30 mph gusts. Elvis would have to brave the weather topless. I hoped the plastic taped inside under the vents didn’t become a built-in rain barrels.