So as we’ve been planning this RV transition for the better part of a year, Paul has found a wonderful creation for us to be able to tow our toy hauler with a smaller truck, the automated safety hitch. Learn about the hitch at http://www.automatedsafetyhitch.com/. We move ahead with our purchase and agree upon a pick-up date with the company. Keep in mind, Heather is doing summer fine art shows and we have to work around them. Plus, the hitch is in Sanger, Texas and we are currently living outside Denver. That means it’s a 12 hour ride each way to pick up this special hitch.
In any case, we make the plans for a Monday (August 8th) with the drive taking place on Sunday. We gather a few things, the dogs and some food and head out. The drive takes the 12 hours as planned and we station ourselves at Love’s for a night of sleeping in the bed of our pick-up. We get into the back of the truck and realize what a mistake that was! It is at least 95 degrees, humid and just plain stuffy. Even with the windows open for some air circulation the two of us lie there with sweat dripping off us. Somehow we manage to sleep a little bit as the temps drop a little overnight. We also liked the hum of the semi-trailers’ engines as they serve as white noise to drown out cars, trucks, people, highway noise, etc.
We get up at dawn, grab a bite to eat, find a nice park to walk our dogs and head up to the factory for installation of the special 3-way hitch receiver onto our truck. We are both pretty excited for this to happen. It tends to signify we are making progress towards our goal. Well, let’s just say there is a pause in our excitement as we learn from the owner of the company that our hitch isn’t ready yet (somehow it got written down for September 8th)! We are kind of stunned in our tracks. We drove 800 miles for this and suffered in the Texas summer heat overnight for this!
The owner is great though. He takes us on a tour of the place, shows us our actual hitch being put together (it’s half ready to go) and gets our truck into the shop for the guys to make our special 3-way receiver for our truck. That part can still happen and we were told it would take 4 hours to weld and install. No problem. The dogs are even given a nice cool place inside to hang out and relax. We are then shown the owner’s sample, he demonstrates how to attach it using his truck and trailer and we go out for a test ride.
This makes us pretty happy. We witness the power and safety of this lovely hitch. We are both impressed and smiling at this demonstration. We back up, take corners, go around a gas station filled with trucks with trailers, cars, etc., jack-knife (in a good way) and do a quick change of lanes safely at 60MPH with a 42 trailer attached to the automated safety hitch. WOW. We know we made the right decision and we’re ready to get ours. Oh yeah…minor details in that we can’t take ours home with us yet.
The owner is super nice and offered to pay our expenses to get back down there next week. Paul and I discuss how we can make that happen and work it into our schedules as I do have an art show this weekend and I need both Paul and the truck for help with that. We agree Paul will head down on his own and the owner will pay for a hotel and other expenses. Part of being on the road is being able to adapt, right?
Our truck is fitted with it’s new 3-way receiver and we’re ready to make our way back home to Colorado. With leaving around 2pm, we figure we won’t make it all the way home.
However, we didn’t anticipate violent storms hitting our route especially just at dark. Then Paul has an oh no thought; we left the windows in our topper open. Yes, that’s right. We have been driving through the rain with our windows open. Yes, our sleeping bags were wet. Yes, we realize this is not ideal, but what else can we do.
The storms become so violent we decide to pull off for a bit to wait it out. The wind is shaking our truck and there is lightning in every direction. The noise is incredible and we are pretty happy with our decision to pull over and wait it. The storms lessen on the radar, so we continue on our drive to discover the streets in town have now started to flood. Lovely.
We push on and then realize there is another band of bad storms that we can’t miss. We are now stuck in the thick of it, only way out is to keep moving and hopefully miss any nasty hail or worse. The rain is pounding, lightning is now behind us and we see the open patch of sky ahead. (The moon is illuminating a few clouds, but we can see the moon!)
Needless to say with the slowdown in the drive, we end up camping at a rest stop just outside Des Moines, New Mexico. At this point, we’re all exhausted. We’ve been up since the crack of dawn and we are so thankful for the sleeping pads and slightly wet sleeping bags. Rest is a good thing and the bathrooms were clean!
To be continued as Paul heads out next week to actually pick-up our new automated safety hitch!