Into each life some rain must fall — Boondock at Grey’s Landing

Thursday, May 25

We arrive at our new camp in the grassland between Route 93 and Grey’s Landing, Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir.

Here’s an illustration of our camp and its surroundings:

By noon I see the first indication in the clouds that rain is coming.

By late afternoon storm clouds charge across the sky.  The rain arrives.  Air temperature drops rapidly overnight.

Friday, May 26

Reggie and I wake to a cold morning!  I dash outside, fire up the Perfect Tow Vehicle, and turn the heater on high.

Reggie emerges from the warmth of the covers and shivers as he eats his small plate of chicken for breakfast.  Outside he does his business in a hurry.  I pick him up and toss him into the PTV.  He snuggles into his warm doggie bed under the blast of the heater.

I listen to country music (as long as I can stand it) while sipping hot coffee.

It rains, on and off, all day.  

A short distance away a signal tower sends 4 bars/4G to my Verizon air card.  I’m happy. Reggie contents himself by taking several naps and by playing with his toys, sending the recently rehabilitated Duck L’Orange and Chimpy on a fast track, return trip to ICU.

Saturday, May 27

I step outside to greet the morning.

Oh, it snowed up there!

The morning sun shines brightly; soon the clouds disappear.

I go inside to —

Stop, stop, STOP IT RIGHT THERE! Quit stalling, RVSue.  You’ve already told them about Memorial Day Weekend in the previous post.  It’s time to fess up.  Admit you made a big mistake.  Come on!  Enough with the scenic landscape and weather reports.  Tell them about The Incident!  Is this an honest blog or what?  — Conscience

“Okay!  Okaaaay!”

Here’s the story.  While Reggie and I were pulling out of Lud Drexler Campground to move camp to the grassland at Grey’s Landing, well, something happened that I never thought would happen.  Not to me.

We’re bumping along on the pot-holed dirt road out of the campground when …

CRASH!!!!

Instantly I hit the brakes.

“Damn!  It jumped the ball!”

I run around to the rear of the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  Sure enough, the coupler is off the hitch ball.  Part of the tongue of the Best Little Trailer is underneath the back-end of the PTV!  

What an awful sight — the BLT’s nose in the dirt!  The anti-sway bar in two pieces!

I remove the bar which is bent and broken.  

Oh, darn, the jack is damaged, too. The post of the jack is crimped on the bottom.

I have to raise the coupler to put it back on the ball.  The jack post is in the dirt.  Of course, I could raise the frame with my jack but I’d have to unload the PTV to retrieve it.  Note to self:  Put the dang jack where it can be located easily. 

I proceed to lift the frame by putting the cone under the tip of the coupler, cranking up the jack post, stacking wood under the jack post, cranking, alternating between coupler and jack post.  Only I don’t have enough wood to raise the couple high enough to back the ball under it.

Long story short . . .

A young couple comes along.  They have a jack handy in the bed of their truck.  While he’s jacking up the BLT’s tongue, I remark, “I’ve heard of this happening to other people and wondered why.  Now I’ve done it.”

The young woman offers sweetly, “It can happen to the best of us.”

“Nice of you to say that, but I think it happens to the worst of us, too.”

(More about replacing the anti-sway bar and repairs in a future post.)

RVSue:  “There, I told them.  They know about My Big Boo-Boo.  Are you happy now?”

Conscience:  “Yeah,  I’m clear.”

In the next post:

Reggie and Roger together again!

rvsue

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57 Responses to Into each life some rain must fall — Boondock at Grey’s Landing

  1. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Possibly first?

  2. Dawn in NC says:

    First?

    • Dawn in NC says:

      We have a TIE! Congratulations Cynthia!

      • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

        Thanks Dawn – we seem to be tying a lot lately. We must both be stalking our computers waiting for the next Sue post!!

  3. Betty-Shea says:

    We all have done Uh Oh’s 😃😃
    Love your honesty and we love you!!

  4. Dawn in NC says:

    Now that I’ve read the post, I am just glad that you are OK and didn’t seem to be on a crowded highway!

  5. Dawn in MI says:

    Wow. Glad that couple came along! So many good people out in the world. And I love the cloud picture.

  6. Kristi & Daisie (Nampa, ID) says:

    I have done something similar with a 22′ trailer. I can guarantee (ok, there are no guarantees) that I’ll never do it again. *crosses fingers* I’m glad you had some help to get it back up.

  7. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    Oh goodness, sounds like an “oopsie” or in more colorful language, an “Oh &%*$”!!!!! Did Reggie learn any new naughty words? Considering how much you travel and hitch and unhitch, I think you should give yourself a whole lotta grace – you don’t make very many mistakes. From your hint that Reggie and Roger are united again, I assume you made a u-turn and headed back towards Rogerson for repairs. So there is a silver lining in every cloud 🙂 I pray it goes smoothly for you and you’re soon headed back in the direction you want to go.

  8. Rachel says:

    Oh my! Glad your both okay. You and your conscience! Lol. Hope repairs are easy on you and gentle on your budget. Macha sends tail wags and lots of sniffs to Reg!

  9. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Oh DEAR! Whew that you had a new couple of RV SUE friends to help out!
    We had that happen with Pixie… on her way back to the junkyard, after I bought her…before I bought her again. 🙁 Long story… not important. LUCKY I was in the car behind Jimbo driving the truck… OMG I can shake just thinkin’ about it!

    Hugs from Hoquiam,
    To JUNE being a better month!!!
    Barb

  10. eliza says:

    So happy this all worked out okay. By that, I mean your conscience getting the better of you (joking here!)

  11. Pam from Wisconsin says:

    I’ve had three trailers jump the hitch in my 50 years with my family’s carnival. Sickening feeling when it passes you.

  12. Sandy in TX says:

    I can commiserate! Makes your heart beat very fast and blood pressure go thru the roof when doing 60 mph when it happens! We were on a “new” highway and encountered two horrible bumps on this ‘new’ highway about 4′ apart – sent us airborne and when we landed the Casita jumped off the coupler. Chains and brakes performed as designed and we got to a safe stop – ON A BRIDGE! Bad to worse!! Anyway, had no further problems and had Little House Customs check the hitch for us upon returning home (we live about 20 mins from them!) and they found nothing wrong. As they say, sometimes SH!T HAPPENS! Anyway, one more experience we can both add to our list of Adventures in RV’ing!! Glad you,Reggie, the BLT and PTV all are well.

  13. Susan in Dallas says:

    Just hate that sound(s) you hear when something happens to your vehicle/trailer when you are on the road. Ug, so scary! Glad you and Reggie are OK because that’s all that matters anyway. Love the labeled picture at the beginning of this post calling attention to the best parts of the picture, i.e. “cute hiney”.

  14. Mush says:

    I STILL remember my epic whoopsie and reading about another bloggers similar experience just before that. I told myself that only happens to the newbies. WRONG!

    Cut yourself a whole lot of slack for this one😘 Everyone has those kinda experiences, even those of us who are very experienced.

    BTW loved the labeling in the cute hiney shot. Reggie surely is a great blessing.

    Best from Mush and Teena Kitty💓💓💓

  15. Renee from Idaho says:

    Well you guys are fast. I’d been checking off and on all morning, I get to work, then check back again and bam! Ya’ll have a slew of postins’! Well, Sue, glad you are ok. Yes, those things happen to some of us sooner or later. You’ll have to update us on what the cause of it was and if it was one of those lessons learned kind of things. DH and I used to think that tire failures happened to others till it happened to us. Now we have our tires inspected at the start of every season and sure enough, at the inspection, a tire was failing and they replaced it free of charge. I’m not convinced though that it’s not the brand because we don’t speed, we keep our tires inflated correctly and we are not overweight. Looking forward also to Reggie and Roger together again.

  16. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Ya know what? 💩 happens and when it does…you don’t panic…and take care of the situation!

    All is well……Humans make mistakes and learn from them….carry on desert woman!

  17. Dawn in Asheville says:

    Okay…I’ll share my little ‘stupid’ JUST so you feel better. I’ve gotten tired of waiting for my handyman to come replace two outlets that I inherited (half out of the wall). I’ve already worked on 12v wiring, there’s youtube…how hard can this be?

    After a week of research and buying parts and reinstalling because I learned I needed to ground my box as well as the receptacle to be extra safe I had them in and ready to test. I’d bought one of those handy dandy little testers you plug into an outlet that tests regular ones and GFCI outlets.

    I plug into the house outside wall outlet – it’s a dedicated one and I’ve used it often before and no problem even testing and running the A/C. This time however, although I’d get two “correct” lights in the tester as soon as I’d go to pull it out and sometimes push it in – I’d trip that house GFCI outlet. DANG. The panel that the workbox is attached to is mighty thin and the outlets are stiff so I figure I must have some wires touching. I pull those boxes out it must have been four or five times, tighting, rescrewing, checking my work, retaping, carefully pushing those stiff wires back in, taking off the box grounding jumpers just to keep things simple…and I just couldn’t get it to work without tripping the breaker. I decided even those were two different breakers – I must have some bad wiring I inherited. After all, these outlets were already out of the wall…

    Mom – who is always right – tells the frustrated me – sleep on it. Something will come to you.

    Sure enough middle of the night I wake up. WAIT – this is a CGFI tester. It has a button you push on it when plugged into one of those CGFI outlets that trips the outlet. That’s how you know it work. No..could I have been pushing that button every time I went to manhandle it in and out of the outlets? Noooo. I couldn’t have could I? I mean I tested it on two other outlets in the RV and they didn’t trip…

    Next morning – set back up – and sure enough – it was my thumb on that dang button!!! Apparently the other two outlets, being one high up in a cabinet, and one low down under a dinette, I didn’t grasp the same way to pull out of the outlets! It’s a small button and you can’t even feel it when you depress it and it’s right there where you naturally put your thumb to pull a sticky plug out of a tight socket.

    FACEPALM!

    It was a happy ending but boy was I kicking myself for a lost day – grin. Hope that makes you feel a little better 🙂 And like others I sure hope this isn’t a major and expensive fix for you and just glad you are okay.

  18. The coupler jumped up off the ball? Is that possible? Don’t they have a provision for a small bolt or padlock to keep that from happening? I’ve had some type of RV most of my adult life and weird stuff does happen sometimes 🙂

    When we parked at the wilderness area for our first dental adventure to San Luis Rio Colorado (Mexico), our 33′ fifth wheel was low on the port side. We have two beefy aluminum ramp chocks, so I put one in front of each tire on the left side and pulled forward a bit.

    It raised that side nicely but our gooseneck adapter was reluctant to come up off the ball. Instead of taking a few minutes to think about what was happening, I just kept feeding the juice to the electric landing gear legs. When it popped loose, the adapter moved left and to the rear and landing on the bed of our truck (no damage there) but the left leg was bent at a 45-degree angle — not good!

    After a few attempts at jimmy-riggin’ it, I finally removed the damaged leg and for $100 total, the great folks at the RV shop near the truck stop (southwest corner of town) were able to combine our good parts with some from a different brand of leg and make it work. I did all the R&R labor myself — and no doubt saved a few bucks there. A new leg (if we could even find one for our ’94 rig) would have been $240 plus $110 for one hour of shop time.

    All to say these things happen — even to those of us withI’ many decades of experience. I’ve learned the hard way that whatever I roll my trailer tires up on needs to be fairly flat on top . . . no more parking on ramps! 🙂

  19. Pat from Mich. says:

    That happened to me once. My MIL’s road was so full of holes and ridges, it wasn’t safe over 5 MPH! I was pulling my tent camper along it when I hit a pothole and the trailer bounced off the ball. The chains caught it (not big enough for swaybar). Luckily for me, the trailer was small enough I could lift it back on. Lucky some helpers came along for you!

  20. weather says:

    So , your mistake… not making sure the coupler was securely latched onto the ball in locking position? I’m guessing you’ve hitched up so many times you could do it in your sleep by now. You must have had a lot on your mind while doing it that time, or been tired or distracted.

    It sounds like you were at least able to re-hitch without needing another way to tow the BLT until the repairs were made. I don’t mean to make light of what was an upsetting problem, yet am very glad it was just equipment that broke, and not human or canine parts.

    We all make mistakes, Sue, oh well, it’s great to have the ability to roll with it and even laugh about it together later.I loved the way you began this post, describing quick solutions to chilly air and brightly shining sun…then, switched to being real with us! I hope whatever you’re up to, wherever you are now, is nice.

  21. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NJ says:

    Hi Sue,
    So glad that your mishap occurred where it did, that is if it had to happen at all. I am a little stumped, can the hitch come off the ball by itself? The hitch on my tiny trailer has a lever that locks the hitch on the ball. I secure it with a padlock and it never occurred to me that the two could part company voluntarily. I guess I better check this out on my new trailer when it is delivered.

    Meanwhile, enjoy your quiet and beautiful camp until the next one.

  22. VictoriaEP formerly in Estes Park says:

    Ok. I’ll add my big “whoops” to the list. I was really excited that I was able to snag another week in a really nice campground (Elk Ridge, in Ridgeway State Park in CO). It was a different site, but no problem to just scoot over to the new site — except that I didn’t pull in the awning on my motorhome. My dog shook for hours after the big crash after I hit a tree branch. My deductible on my insurance wasn’t too bad, but boy, my insurance premium sure went up on both the MH and my car.

  23. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Blogorinos!

    You’re all very kind in your reactions to my “incident.” 🙂

    To clarify, I think this is what happened. When hitching, I lowered the coupler onto the ball. It looked like it was seated properly. I brought down the latch on the coupler and turned the key in the lock. Apparently the coupler was not completely down on the ball. Usually when this is the case the latch will not push into position. Somehow, this time it did and I was fooled into thinking the hitch was secure.

    The rocking of the PTV and BLT as we went in and out of potholes allowed the coupler to jump off the ball. When I have the jack replaced (more on this in a future post), I will have the shop person look up into the inside of the coupler, the area that goes over the ball. No point in me trying to inspect it wearing these trifocals.

    After the young man and I hitched the BLT again, he yanked on the tongue to make sure the coupler didn’t come off the ball (wish I could do that!).

    I pledge that from now on, every time I hitch, I will try to crank the coupler up to make sure it is securely engaged on the ball. Those of you who tow, may you learn from my mistake!

    Yes, I thank God the incident occurred while we were on the little, dirt, campground road.

    I’ll be holding back on my comments until the next billing cycle begins on the 8th.

    Meanwhile, stuff keeps happening that I’m eager to share with you. Some surprises lie ahead on this blog!

    Thanks for keeping comments alive. Your stories and remarks are fun to read!

    Bye for now,
    Sue and the cute hiney guy 🙂

    • Jan NH says:

      Love the cute hiney!

      So of course I am in AZ and they are about to hit 100 + while I’m here…never fails when I come out here 🙂 Guess it was better than the 40 degree weather we were having last week in NH

      Don’t know if you looked into this but when Verizon added unlimited data, they also changed their various size plans. Right now, I only have 2 GB but since I’m stationary, I’m good with that for now. What I found out was if I resigned up basically for the same 2GB plan but of course signing a new 2 year contract, I saved about $25 a billing cycle. The new plan also lets you add another GB for $15 any time you want to go over as well as being able carry over one months worth data. Not that I think you would have that need option but it was good for me last month as I was having Comcast issues and
      working from home a lot. Not wanting to go into the office, it was helpful to be able to use my Verizon plan for work. I even splurged and added a jetpack since I realized I couldn’t use my cell phone for calls and a hotspot at the same time…guess I knew that but never had the need so didn’t think much about it until I had the need. Maybe with the cost savings of the new plan you could up your plan a little…just a thought 🙂

      Can’t wait to read about Reggie and Roger’s reunion and all the other things happening!

    • Renee from Idaho says:

      Thank you Sue for responding and letting us know. Looking forward to more stories! Take care.

  24. We always locked our coupling with a padlock when we had Travel Trailers. Even now with our fifths we lock the pin. It saves a lot of “I told you so`s.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Richard…. Yes, I always lock the coupling with a padlock, too. See my message above.

  25. Anne in NC says:

    I had the same thing happen. The pin was safely locking the coupler, or so I thought. Breaks grabbed and over a bump and off she came. Thankfully at about 5 mph. My RV repair guy finally figured out that the pin didn’t entirely fill the hole and there was enough play that a really rough bounce could dislodge the coupler. Replaced the pin with a larger diameter one and so far it’s good.

    So glad you also had a happy ending (after repairs!)

  26. EmilyO in NM says:

    Yup, add me to the list.

  27. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    So glad you and Reg are ok!!! I guess if it had to happen better it should have been on a quiet road when you going slowly. I hope it doesn’t cost too much to fix the items.

    Whew! There’s a lot of drama on RVSue lately; can’t miss a single post!

    Hope things are going well now. Of course, I, and the rest of the blogorinos no doubt, want to know what else is going on. The plot continues…

  28. Nancy says:

    I am so very sorry for the problems. We have had three units, and had incidents with each of them. These things sometimes happen! I would love to send some monetary help if you have an address to send it to.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful offer, Nancy. I consider the commission I receive from Amazon sales as “gifts” from my readers. I save those earnings for surprise expenses such as a new jack and a new anti-sway bar and heater repair and also toward a second retirement, should that be needed.

  29. Nora now in Standish, California says:

    Hi Sue, You give us all permission to admit to our own mistakes. That happened to me last year; I had to unhook my toad in order to fill the RV tank with propane and, like you, thought it was hooked up again correctly. About a half mile down the road I turned in to get gas and the dolly dived beneath the RV. The chains, thank goodness, did their job and no harm was done to either vehicle. I thought I was going to have to unload the car, etc. but a fellow stopped and helped me guide the RV into place and lifted the dolly up so it could be secured. I now, indeed, do that yank on the dolly to be sure the ball is seated.
    Glad Reggie is going to get some more play time with Roger.

  30. My cousin had the camper trailer jump off the hitch ball while going down a 6 degree descent coming down Mogollon Rim. They were lucky it didn’t hit on coming traffic as the trailer tongue hit the pavement and flipped the trailer end over end spilling all it’s contents. Bits and pieces of the trailer ended up in the canyon below. I don’t think they have a camping trailer to this day. I’m so glad you and Reggie are ok and hopefully the damage isn’t very expensive to fix.

  31. P.S. I remember a guy telling you his story about his trailer coming loose on a freeway I believe….I don’t recall which post this was in but several other folks talked about it.

  32. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Mercy, Sue, that is taking adventure a bit far eh? So glad no one was hurt and those nice folks stopped to help!! Give the guardian angels a bit of a break for awhile!!

  33. Kathy says:

    the same thing happened to me while crossing a bridge in Florida with my popup. I was on the phone to AAA when 2 nice men stopped picked it up and put it on the hitch. One of them made me feel better by telling me it had happened to him with his boat.

  34. Kitt NW WA says:

    Sue,
    Whew a close call! How fortunate you were to have it happen where it did. Glad to hear your BLT is well on its way to being all fixed up.
    We came very close to having the same thing happen with our Casita. Hitch on the ball, lever locked down and lock pinned on, but it was making clonking noises as we towed so my husband got out to look and it was just ready to pop off. He was a little ashen when he came back to the truck with the news. We had to jack it up to get it off and back on. He now gets down and looks up under the hitch to make certain it has indeed seated correctly before he locks it. You CAN lock it down without it being completely seated. He always checks now and that checking has paid off a few times.

    Waiting with baited breath to see your next surprises!
    Safe travels,
    Kitt

  35. Adrienne in Carlsbad, CA says:

    It happened to me while pulling a horse trailer with the horse in it!
    I can’t imagine how you’re going to top the “Homeless Dog” series…

  36. Karen in Pacific NW says:

    Maybe the coupler needs some adjustment after all those miles? Check some youtube videos to see what you have and what might possibly be done to snug it up a bit.

    When I picked up my vintage travel trailer I quickly realized after just a couple of miles that it needed some adjustment to snug up the fit.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve been thinking the same thing, Karen. The latch doesn’t seem as snug as when I first acquired the BLT.

  37. chas anderson says:

    One of the reasons I switched to a Class C.Towing requires more attention to detail and I fear that I have ADD.

    I think I mentioned this once before.I drove to work once but took the train home.

    I have bent or destroyed several trailer jacks in my time.

    • Cynthia from San Clemente says:

      Ha ha Chas – love that you drove to work and took the train home! But I can beat that. An old boss of mine once left his wife at the curb of LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) while he went to go get their car in the parking garage. Then he drove home, forgetting his wife at the curb! I guess he had enough of her on their long vacation!!

  38. Chris B and Diego says:

    We were driving down the freeway about 100 miles into a trip to Yosemite with our two kids years ago when the ball that U-Haul installed on my SUV vibrated itself off and the trailer flipped over on its side. We were dragging a trailer on it’s side on the freeway! We pulled over and really didn’t know what to do. (no cell phones in those days) Within 5 minutes a guy stopped, installed a ball that he provided on the hitch, the three of us flipped the trailer back on its wheels, got hitched up and away we went. The man didn’t want any money. I made him take $40 to buy himself a nice dinner. What a lifesaver!

    Glad that nothing bad happened other than a few damaged parts. Check the internet. There’s instructions on adjusting the latch on the coupler.

  39. JazzLoverWMa says:

    The important thing is you and Reggie are alright. Parts are replaceable. I have found as I grow older and some of my parts needed replacing, shoulders, knees, things that wear out with time, that my outlook has changed as well. Now I think, “Well, it could have been worse”, and it always could have.
    Looking back since you started out on this journey with Spike and Bridget back what, six years ago now, I believe you have had a guardian angel watching over you. Of course having a good amount of common sense and not taking chances when something didn’t feel quite right has helped as well. And as for Reggie, there isn’t one part of him that isn’t cute, hiney included.

  40. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    WOW!!! So glad you and the cute little hiney guy are ok!!! That must have been scary! Thanking the Lord also that some one came along to help you. This could have been a lot worse especially if you had been on an open road going at high speed!

    Sending you and Reggie lots of love and big hugs.

  41. ApplegirlNY says:

    Longfellow. One of my favorite poems of all time.

    Sue, I have to say that for the amount of time you spend on the road it is amazing how smoothly you keep things running. If that’s the worst that happens this year, you’re in great shape. You and Cute Hiney carry on.

  42. Beautiful new spot for you and your conscience to hang out – I’m sure Reggie hates it when you two fight 🙂 Glad you weren’t on a busy route and the couple stopped to help. Now it’s just another traveling story to share with others who have a mishap.

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