I first went to see Tom Hanks in the Money Pit while I was stationed overseas. My buddy and I had heard good things about it, so we decided to take it in at the post movie theater. To this day I can’t remember laughing that much for so long. My buddy Jeff actually memorized the banana fana song (the name game). “Two weeks! Two weeks! You sound like a parrot!” Good times!
At the time, as a young man who had never really owned anything of consequence, I didn’t understand what Walter Fielding was going through in that movie. Fast forward thirty years, and having owned a home for the past 20, I really thought that now, I could finally relate. That is until we bought the trailer.
To be clear, the comparison between the condition of Walter Fielding’s home and my trailer are slim, at best. My trailer was in a liveable condition when we got. It just had a few . . . issues.
For starters, the decals had baked in the sun for so long they were barely identifiable. They looked more like damage than decals. My brother Larry and I spent many days and quite a bit of time and money scrapping and rubbing off the decals. Of all of the repairs I’ve made to the trailer, this one was the most time consuming and labor intensive. It was also the least necessary. Which explains why it was the first thing I did.
For the sake of my sanity, I didn’t record the time or expense of the other repairs I made. For simplicity, let me list them here for you:
- Removed decals
- Repaired leaky sink
- Repaired leaky shower
- Repaired leaky hot water tank
- Repaired bent window frame
- Repaired broken arm on bedroom slide out
- Replaced broken TV in bedroom
- Installed TV arm mount
- Replaced broken DVD player
- Replaced broken awning arm
- Cleaned and scrubbed awning
- Replaced roof vent cover
- Repaired broken locks on storage cabinets
- Repaired numerous window shades
- Replaced shower head and faucet
- Removed broken stationary lamp
- Replaced mattress for sofa bed
- Replaced five tires
- Repaired spare tire holder
- Repaired broken jack motor
- Repaired some trim around windows and the slideouts
- Re-installed the sheet metal around the king pin
- Replaced two deep cycle batteries
- Installed power inverter
- Installed 2 -100 watt solar panels
- Installed battery/solar panel power meter
- Replaced all lights with LED lights
In addition to the above, we also purchased a tripod king pin support, two 2,000 watt generators (because one wouldn’t run the AC), chock blocks, leveling blocks, propane tanks, a pop up canopy, and untold items to help with cleaning and storage.
We have taken the truck and trailer out five times now, and the last excursion was the only one not to have any major incidents.
The first time out our jack motor broke.
The second time out the jack motor broke again and we also had a flat tire.
The third time out we became infested with ticks and we forgot to bring just about everything we needed. To add injury to insult, we got stuck in the mud trying to park the trailer and we nearly killed Larry when the tire caught a brick and flung it at him. Thank goodness his leg jumped up and took the worst of it. The doctors think he’ll learn how to walk normal again, and real soon.
The fourth time out the trailer rolled over the chock blocks and nearly gave Bonnie a heart attack. Although it only moved six inches, it was enough to prompt a visit to Amazon to buy some uncrushable chocks.
The last trip out was . . . uneventful. Finally. We have one more shakedown trip to make before we take the rig up to the sequoias in August. I can hardly wait.
So, in reality, I don’t think that Walter Fielding and I have that much in common. I think I can more closely relate to Mr. Blanding when he built his dream house in the country. I think I look more like Cary Grant, too.