November 1, 2007

New travel trailer leaves the space dock for first voyage

LAND PARK, SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - The lights were working, the electric brakes still offline, but the new travel trailer - which could end up as the Tenacatita Bay Yacht Club's first building in just two months - left the driveway today for the first time, proudly dragged behind Troupey, our Isuzu Trooper bought last summer.

The first dicey moment came when I realized that I didn't have a bolt small enough to slide through the locking mechanism of the trailer hitch. Good thing I have spent the last 45 years working with lines on boats. I tied a tight hitch across the mechanism and called it good. (I also made sure the safety chains were on tight, too...)

The driveway posed a challenge going out (and in) because the jackstand hangs down slightly, managing to dig up a little concrete as it passed over. But the trailer pulled out easily and for about a half-hour, we tooled around the neighborhood, down onto a couple of main streets and then back home for the real test - getting back into the narrow driveway.

I didn't get any applause when I finally got the trailer back in, but I did get several thumbs up from neighbors who were out raking leaves and watching me go back and forth, back and forth, trying to get the trailer lined up perfectly in the narrow driveway.

With the maiden voyage behind me, I'll be a little more confident tomorrow morning when I take the trailer out to a service center to get the wheel bearings and trailer brakes checked out. Oh, and I'll be buying a couple of new batteries, too. The golf cart batteries that power the lights and water pump are the originals that came with the trailer when it was first sold 10 years ago.

It's a tribute to the Trojan Battery Company that these old T-105, 6-volt batteries still have any power left at all.

Here's a short video of the voyage:

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