Archive for May, 2011

Sixteen Tons

Friday, May 13th, 2011

This little missive is more about people that try to take it all with them when they go camping, and less about that classic song with the same title.

Two weeks ago, a trailer came in for repairs to the brakes and new tires. This in itself wouldn’t normally trigger a blog entry, but the fact I had to go find a pallet and forklift to unload the camping gear out of the trailer before the trailer was light enough so the floor jack would pick it up would. The highlights of the cargo included 6 complete sets of china dishes, and three boxes of utensils. The trailer also sported 4 cases of RV antifreeze at 6 gallons per case, and eight 70 quart totes full of towels, sheets, and blankets. The bed was groaning under the weight of 3 televisions resting on no less than 16 pillows.

After I spent an hour unloading all this treasure, I found the jack still struggling to lift the trailer, and took a look in a couple of cabinets. The galley cabinets were crammed top to bottom with canned goods, and the ones under the kitchen sink had hundreds of pounds or pots and pans. After another trip to find another pallet,  I finally off-loaded enough stuff I was able to get the trailer off the ground and perform the work it came in for. New brakes and new tires all the way around. While I was finishing up the trailer, Pop came wandering out to see what I was voicing my opinions about so loudly. He asked what the problem was, and I told him. “There can’t be that much stuff in that trailer! You’re exaggerating!” he opined. No, far be it for me to bother exaggerating. Look at that stuff you’re sitting on, Pop. Now look behind you. Now look at that pallet next to you. That all came out of this trailer. “!”, he said. Actually, he said more than that, but I try to hold my blogs to a PG rating…

So, we got all the stuff loaded back in the trailer, and the late-middle-aged couple came by later that day to pick up their trailer. It turned out they don’t travel with anybody,  and that load of anvils was for them, in case they needed it one weekend. I guess if they came across a lost Army platoon at a campground, they would be able to provide provisions for a week or two.

It’s good to be prepared, but sometimes you can be over prepared.

Economy in Motion

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

This latest entry in the life of Lug comes to you courtesy or some really, really, I mean REALLY cheap RV manufacturers.

First up, a trailer came in with a severe water leak in both slide outs, but only when the slides were extended.  After some investigation, I found that the manufacturer hadn’t bothered to put any seals or gaskets around the slideouts in this trailer. I can only guess they thought the trailer would only leak when used, and who would use it? The manufacturer saved quite a bit of money on gasket material, probably all of a hundred dollars, and it will only take several thousand dollars of the customer’s money, and probably the better part of a week’s work to rebuild the damaged slideouts and install the gaskets it should have had in the first place.

Next, we have a trailer that had no brakes. No, really, it came with no brakes. The drums were there, and the brake wires were there, dangling in space, but there was no brake hardware on either axle. I guess it was the guy that installs the backing plates day off when that trailer went through the assembly process.

Then, I had to replumb a trailer whose bathroom sink drained into the fresh water tank. I guess they thought they were saving water as well as plumbing materials when they built that trailer.

Last, a new trailer came in with the LP detector screaming bloody murder, reeking of that LP additive smell, and a non-functional furnace. On that one, they saved the cost of some copper line from the LP manifold  to the furnace. They also saved the cost of a cap to block off said manifold as well.

All these trailers were what are called “SOB’s”, or Some Other Brand than Airstream. Next time you hear complaints about the quality of Airstream products, you can remember these rolling testimonials to quality control, and smile…

About the Author

Lug Wrench is a long-time mechanic, multiple Airstream owner, and dyed-in-the-wool pragmatist. All tales guaranteed 100% true, although names and certain details may be altered to protect the guilty.