Family and Relationships, Wildwood

Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man

Another weekend off the grid. More work on our new lots. Paperwork to sell the original lot. It was a busy, busy Saturday.

During the week Mark and Matt went up to our place off the grid to get the shed delivered and the camper moved. They attempted to level the camper but didn’t have much luck. This meant that Saturday Mark and I would work to get that, um, simple little task taken care of. It was fairly level, but was leaning a little to the back side…the sides that the slides pull out. I was envisioning the whole camper toppling over when we got everything opened up.

For those who have never “camped” let me tell you the process of leveling out a camper. Ours is 32 feet long. Not on a 5th wheel, but on a hitch. It’s about the biggest you can have without being required to be on a 5th wheel. In our new lot there was already a gravel place laid out for a camper so we thought this would be easy. When Mark and Matt got there and the camper was in the center, they realized that the awning would not have room to be opened up because there is a huge tree right next to the gravel pad. So they moved it to the far side of the spot, which them made it tilt. Since I did not want a lean-to, we had to do some pretty extensive leveling.  There were already blocks placed all along the east side and the west side was sitting on its tires. It was a full bubble off, which meant the west side needed to be lowered. So we jacked up the axle near the first tire and dug it out, then jacked up the axle to the other tire (sorry to state the obvious, but it’s a dual axle camper), then we lowere it back down. Well, we dug out too much. And thus began the awesome, AWESOME process.

We blocked the west side. Then we had to make sure that the weight of the camper was on all the supporting blocks. Both west side blocks were secure. The front east side block were secure, but the other two sets of blocks were not. We could move them back and forth…they weren’t even touching the frame. Sooooo, at the front of the trailer where the hitch it (the tongue of the camper) is a lift of sorts. You crank this handle around and the camper rises (things that sound dirty but aren’t). Side note: if you want a great ab workout, raise and lower a camper by turning the crank over and over and over throughout the course of three hours.

Anywho…we raised the camper, placed blocks. Lowered the camper, checked to make sure there was contact between the frame and all block supports. The more we raised/lowered/checked, the more frustrated we became. We kept placing the level on the bumper, in the camper on the floor, against the doorway (the door would jamb after certain block placements). It seemed like no matter what we did, we could not get all blocks touching the frame at the same time. And not only that, but the door would not open/close easily as the camper was so far out of alignment.  After a couple of hours of lower/raising/checking it dawned on me that we had three sets of blocking on the east side and only two on the west side, so I suggested we put a third set on the west side and remove the blocks from underneath the tongue. I thought that maybe the blocks holding the tongue were somehow causing the problem. We blocked the front of the west side, removed the blocks of the tongue and I went inside to check level, but the door would not open.

I won’t say one way or another whether I was cursing at this point or not. We had been cranking that crank so much we were both exhausted. We just stood there and stared at each other. I said, “I don’t know what else to try.” He goes, “Let’s just walk around one more time and look at everything.” We started at the back of the west side. Blocks secure. All three sets. Secure. All parts of the frame touching. Walk around the front to the east side. Front blocks secure. Middle and back blocks not touching the frame. I stood there just looking. It was obvious that something wasn’t right.

There are these jacks (for lack of a better word). They look like those old style jacks that you had to turn a hand crank instead of the nice floor jacks that we have now-a-days. They aren’t meant to permanently carry the weight of a camper. You are supposed to set blocks underneath them just in case something shifts these “jacks” will hit the blocks and keep the camper from completely falling over.

As we stood there on the east side staring at the blocks that weren’t touching the frame I said, “Why is that back jack sitting on top of the blocks?” Mark goes, “I don’t know. It’s not supposed to be.” He got a wrench to try and lower it, but couldn’t even budge the thing so we had to move the big floor jack around to the back and jack up the back end then raise up the jack so it wasn’t sitting directly on the block. Once that was free, Mark released the jack and we didn’t even have to check the blocks because we could hear them all making contact. We went around and checked them all anyway, then went to open the front door. It opened perfectly, without hanging up on anything. We checked level every which way but loose and by golly, the damned thing was level! I plunked our tired asses on the couch and just sat!

I looked at him and said, “I didn’t think we could do it.” He goes, “I knew we could. Together, we can do anything.”


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