kshandra: "DONE!" written in purple stencil-font lettering at a 45 degree angle (Done!)
kshandra ([personal profile] kshandra) wrote2017-02-03 01:53 pm
Entry tags:

The saga of the Free Trailer Beowulf

As I mentioned last fall, [personal profile] gridlore and I have come to the conclusion that we are just Too Damn Old™ to keep fussing with a tent on-playa every year. So we did our taxes as soon as all of the paperwork was in, determined what our budget was (an attempt to apply for financing fell about as flat as I had expected, so we were strictly cash-on-the-barrelhead), and started searching in earnest.

Then one of my coworkers sent me a link to something he found on OfferUp - for a THIRD of our budget.

A blank canvas

It's little more than a bed with walls around it, but that was all we were really looking for, anyway. And we knew that with that low a price tag, odds are we were going to wind up putting as much money into it again to get it ready to use.

Little did I know just how much sweat-equity would be involved...

Tuesday, I decided to use my gym time to take advantage of our AAA membership and get the trailer registered at their DMV counter. Only the seller's handwriting was pretty crappy, and neither of the two things the license number looked like were coming up in the computer. So off I schlepped to the storage facility to verify the plate, and thence to the DMV proper (which was fortunately only a couple of blocks away).

Where the clerk informed me that the plate on the back of the trailer was nowhere to be found in their database. And they were going to need me to bring the trailer in to have a VIN (and a new plate) issued. Call the office, tell them I'm going to be out all day, and head home to switch vehicles. Doug was amazingly apologetic, but had to deal with money earlier in the morning (never his strong suit, and one of the biggest casualties of the stroke atop that), so his brain was rapidly heading offline, and I was on my own.

We had already known the trailer was missing two lug nuts (one on each side), and I realized I was going to have to replace those before I took it in for inspection. Wound up making three trips to two different auto part stores (one by home, one by storage) before I was finally able to pull one of the remaining nuts off, find mates, and get them all installed.

Hooking the trailer up and driving over to the DMV was a cakewalk. The inspection was easy enough, despite being assigned to a trainee; the hardest part was them finding the right code to enter it into the system once I was back inside. Had the foresight to bring the renewal paperwork for the truck with me, and got that paid off, as well.

And then I had to take the trailer back to storage and park the damn thing.

Did I mention that I'd only driven it once around the block before this, and had never backed a trailer up before?

Twenty minutes later, after jackknifing it twice and screaming myself hoarse, I parked the truck, unhooked the trailer, and manhandled the damn thing back into place. (My boss has since introduced me to the concept of a trailer dolly; the one I ordered on Amazon showed up earlier today, and my entirely-too-awesome coworkers are putting it together for me now.)

By now it was 5pm, and I'd been on the move since 9am with only a venti non-fat iced chai and a ham and cheese croissant. Fortunately, I was on the right side of town for Sushi Factory, where I promptly rewarded myself for a hard day of adulting.

I've got some serious New Relationship Energy for this thing, lemmetellya. We've got the exterior artwork planned out (I ordered a custom stencil for the back which turned out beautifully), and little by little I'm getting stuff together for the interior. Found a storage ottoman on Craigslist to brace the lower half of the bed (the head is permanently mounted, but the foot is a free-floating piece of plywood so you can convert it to a couch during the daytime); I picked up an area rug from Freecycle last night, but it may be a little too MOOPy (which is a concern for me even though it'll be indoors the whole time). My boss is going to spot-weld the trailer for us next week, and will likely help us replace the cracked plexiglass window. (Doug was highly amused by how this became a group project in the 36 hours we had it parked behind the warehouse before moving it to storage.)

As I was leaving dinner Tuesday, I recognized a group of people walking towards the restaurant - including my very first boyfriend from HS. Much to my amazement, he sent the rest of his party in to get a table, then walked me back to the truck, where he took my hands and asked my forgiveness for the way he'd treated me when we were dating. "I was an ass, and a beast, and to put it in AA terms, I'd like to make amends." As the saying goes, you could have woken up to find the Sphinx with a new nose and not been more surprised than I.
gingicat: drawing of me based on wedding photo (Default)

[personal profile] gingicat 2017-02-04 01:11 am (UTC)(link)
Use it in good health! (And extra good health wishes for Doug!)
amaebi: (Default)

[personal profile] amaebi 2017-02-04 03:00 am (UTC)(link)
Man, that sounds painful. I totally loathe backing trailers.

How very weird about the HS boyfriend. If I saw my first paramour approaching I would be disappearing instanter.
amaebi: (Default)

[personal profile] amaebi 2017-02-04 03:37 am (UTC)(link)
I'm a major fan of repentance, so I wish everyone involved well.
johnpalmer: (Default)

[personal profile] johnpalmer 2017-02-05 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
Well, if he's sincere, I hope he meets success with only the proper amount of difficulty - and I really hope he recognizes that an apology is given for the benefit of the other person - and if that's not happening, it's time to accept it and scoot. But I (like [Unknown site tag]) am also a fan of sincere repentance.

Good luck with the trailer - gads, I envy you your Playa relationship sometimes.
murphymom: (Default)

Given he referenced AA...

[personal profile] murphymom 2017-02-09 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
...I am sure he knows that the part about "making amends" also says "except where to do so would harm them..."
digitalsidhe: (Default)

[personal profile] digitalsidhe 2017-02-04 05:34 am (UTC)(link)
Just wanted to let you know, I get the Free Trader Beowulf reference. In fact, <nerd level="huge">when I first saw the re-release of Traveller with the "help is on the way" response, I nearly cried.</nerd>

Also: wow, it's so cool to get heartfelt apologies.
digitalsidhe: (Default)

[personal profile] digitalsidhe 2017-02-04 08:32 am (UTC)(link)
For me, I'll admit it was just a raw, honest burst of total schmoop over the fact that someone was finally sending help for that poor, lonesome distress call.

In fact, someone on TV Tropes seems to have gotten that, too, although they were subtle about it. Scroll down to the gray folder bars, just open up the "Tabletop Games" folder, and you can probably get out of there without getting trapped.
Edited (added 2nd hyperlink to relevant content) 2017-02-04 08:36 (UTC)
claidheamhmor: (Default)

[personal profile] claidheamhmor 2017-02-08 11:14 am (UTC)(link)
Very cool caravan!

Interesting one on the ex-boyfriend; must have taken a lot for him to say that.
murphymom: (Default)

[personal profile] murphymom 2017-02-09 03:33 am (UTC)(link)
(running through boyfriends in my head and not sure who was first)
notalwaysweak: Rainbow rose with words 'love as thou wilt' below in white lettering (Default)

[personal profile] notalwaysweak 2017-02-09 10:38 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my gods I am dying to see how this turns out -- what a beautiful blank canvas you have there!

Also, wow, the HS BF thing = super weird. I actually googled mine on a whim sometime late last year and the only thing I could find was a dating site of some description where he'd come out as bi. I was not terribly surprised.

[identity profile] kevin-standlee.livejournal.com 2017-02-04 12:36 am (UTC)(link)
Well done! Congratulations! In our case it was needing to get the bad tires replaced, the air conditioning repaired, and a steering stabilizer installed so I could actually drive the darn thing, but I can definitely relate to the challenges of acquiring an RV.

When are you coming up to Reno again?

[identity profile] kevin-standlee.livejournal.com 2017-02-04 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
Well, darn. If the weather permits, I will be in the Bay Area that week, driving home on the Saturday, so I guess we won't get a chance to get together after all.
ashbet: (MatureWitchQueen)

[personal profile] ashbet 2017-02-04 01:45 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations!! I hope that you really enjoy it!

And, wow -- that's really nice that you got an unexpected apology like that.


-- A <3

[identity profile] browngirl.livejournal.com 2017-02-04 06:35 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations! *cheers*

[identity profile] gaeln.livejournal.com 2017-02-04 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Will there eventually be pics depicting the renovation? I love seeing things go from ok to wonderful especially where exterior stenciled artwork is involved. I hope it all comes together exactly how you see it in your mind's eye. In other words, perfectly.