I haven’t written about jack shit for far too long, so I figure I’d write write about, well…jack shit.
The way I see it, if you haven’t done something stupid with your rig, you just haven’t been full-time RVing long enough.
I’m not too proud to share our latest idiot maneuver, with hope that others may never repeat it.
After enjoying near solitude for nearly two weeks while boondocking for free near Big Bend, Texas, we stowed everything and hopped in the truck. We had never detached from the fifth wheel since there was nowhere for us to go anyway there in the middle of nowhere. But we’re just using that as an excuse to justify not following proper departure procedure protocol.
The truck was in 4WD when it first wouldn’t move after releasing the brake. Only after dropping it into two wheel drive, and barley moving when applying the gas did the two of us realize what we had done. The second we turned to look at each other, in unison we yelled Fuck!
I jumped out and sure enough, the jacks were down. And behind them were a couple of trenches, a couple feet long and a couple inches deep. They were deep enough to make retracting the jacks impossible. After digging out both jacks from the hard desert rock with a screwdriver, and using a socket wrench to slowly ratchet one of them back up, we were finally on our way.
What a way too complete such a beautiful stay. But you know what, neither of us freaked out. If you choose to live the nomadic lifestyle, you must learn to cope with one hard truth. It is what it is. Shit happens.
Some of that shit you can avoid, if you think about what you’re doing and keep on your toes.
Maybe we’ve learned from our mistakes. Or, chalk it up to complacency.
In our previous life, Rene once told me that the majority of motorcycle accidents involve bikers who have been riding for more than ten years. Now I know this is true for Full-time RVers too.
The second time I ever hitched up our trailer at the curb of our old sticks and bricked, I backed into it with the stabilizer jacks down. The legs on our brand new trailer bent slightly forward. No real damage was done. It was just enough reminder to always remember to raise them first.
Until about seven years later, that is. Maybe we need to start using our pre-flight check pin ribbon.
What have you done that you’re not to ashamed to share?
Replacing the jacks was easy enough.
The harder part was getting replacement trailer stabilizer jacks that matched the bolt pattern exactly to avoid at trip to the shop for a welding repair.
The hardest part was swallowing my pride while doing the repair.
6 thoughts on “Seasoned RVers Make Stupid Mistakes”
Oh boy! I must say, it stinks that it happened with your jacks, that’s rough. But we can totally relate in a way. I can’t count on one hand how many wheel chocks we have smashed to smithereens because we forgot to grab them after we’re hooked up. Truth be told, we’ve even smashed a few when we used them on the pick-up wheels during quick touristy stops too. Ooops! Oh well, live and learn … and live and learn… and live and learn. 😉
Live and learn, indeed. Learn to live…thanks for the comment!
Wow, I’ve never done anything stupid like that…well, almost never. I once left the TV antennae up. After that, I started leaving my RV keys hanging on the antennae crank so I would have to touch the crank in order to get my keys. I have a friend who left the slides out, hooked up and started driving away when other campers ran out and stopped him. A new meaning to the term “Wide Load.”
Don’t feel bad, Rene & Jim. You have a lot of company.
Thanks Bob! 🙂
Once forgot to chock the wheels and the trailer shifted as soon as I’d lifted it off the ball. Scared the beejeebus out of me — I was between it and the truck.
Reminder to myself that I need to go slower and more obsessively, especially after long days or fatigue.
Great reminder, thanks John!