Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Going From There To Here

Serendipity Strikes Again!

When I first started this blog back in 2010, I had a 1992 Lazy Daze.  Yep, that one up there.  My brother Mike got me interested in motorcycles, so I bought a 16 foot trailer to carry his and mine up to Arkansas, which turned out to be our last long trip together.  Later that summer I went solo to Colorado and Utah, and gave my Kawasaki a workout on some lonesome roads.  Great on pavement, not so much on gravel.  Had one bad slip-n-slide, a couple of near misses.

I wasn't home a week when my brother suffered a collision with a car while driving his Suzuki Boulevard home from work.  October 1, 2010.

In the 9 months it took to get Mike put back together again, sort of, I lost interest in motorcycles.  Then he came down with lung cancer.  It didn't look like I was going to be traveling much.  I sold the lot.

Cut to the present.  Right around the first of July, I moved onto some BLM land outside of Salida, where I was flabbergasted to run into the Lazy Daze again.  Jeanne and her Shelty Riley had been full-timing in the thing for nearly two years, and about the third camp I make on the first trip since selling it, I run into them again!  Jeanne was kind enough to show me what she'd done with it in the interim.  Some mods were major, like solar and removing the old generator.  But the thing that got me was how much difference purely decorative internal changes made in the feel of the coach.  An entirely different spirit inhabits it.  

My old LD has passed on.  It's Jeanne's baby now.  

I was not entirely sans RV during the two years while Mike was an almost daily occupation for me. A few months after he came home from the hospital, he was doing much better.  Able to swallow and feed himself, for one thing.  And I was really in need of a distraction.  

So I got to messing around with Craig's List.  Always a dangerous activity.  I found a Fun Finder XT-200 Toy Hauler.  I was fascinated with the elevator bed and the drop-down ramp/patio in the back.  I suppose among the random thoughts going through my head were these:  

1.  I might get another motorcycle some day.

2.  That ramp could easily accommodate a wheelchair.

I worked on this thing off and on, when I had time, gradually turning it from a spartan hauler to something I might live in.

 At 25 feet, there was even room for a desk and a chair!  But of course for the year following it never even left my driveway.  When I finally did take it, fully loaded, for a trial spin in the hill country, I discovered something startling:  A toy hauler is built specifically to haul toys!

Imagine that.

When you don't have a couple of 800 lb. motorcycles riding behind the axles, that throws a lot of weight forward.  And turns a nominal 400 lb. hitch weight into a 900 lb. hitch weight.  The other part of the math was that in the interim I had sold my F250 V10 and replaced it with a half ton Dodge pickup.  Theoretically the Dodge could handle it.  The problem was not the 8000 lb total trailer weight, but rather the gargantuan tongue weight sans compensating cargo.

I tried mods to make it better, with some success.  I put air bags on the back of the Dodge.  I counter-weighted the tongue with a reserve 26 gallon tank of water at the rear of the trailer.  But the dang thing still didn't ride like I wanted it to, and got 8 mpg while trying.

So I sold it.

For what it's worth, this is the first RV I ever made money on.  That is, if you don't count my labor, which was more in the nature of therapy anyway.

Around this time Mike went into a nursing home for a spell, which freed me up some.  Somewhat idly, I found a light weight 17 foot trailer on Craig's List.  That's the one I have now.

But that's a story for another time.


Anonymous said...

Hey Bob! You're blogging again. Yay!
It sure was good to see you in Salida. Chris and I moved to the site I mentioned between Salida and Buena Vista. It was nice! But I saw a 2001 mid-bath Lazy Daze for sale near Denver so headed over and snapped it up. Will be in Denver (Golden) for maybe a month or so while I work to sell the current rig.
Hope to cross paths again before you head back to TX later.

Bob Giddings said...

Hi, Jeanne,

This is why I never went with solar. Too much investment for a fickle owner like me. It takes years to amortize that investment. The only trailer I kept long enough to make it pay was my fifth wheel. Though solar is now half what it cost back then.