Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ready, Set, Wait Another Day

As is the case before most major trips, we were up very early this morning. I had plowed the driveway yesterday (we got nearly a foot of new snow), and cleaned off the trailer. I had a lot of trouble getting it into place and whacked a piece of ledge submerged in the new snow. Finally, we spent all evening finishing loading.

We were ready to launch at 6:15 A.M. In a last minute check, we found that the trailer lights didn't work. Shades of day one last year -- except it wasn't along I-81! I realized that in the struggles to extricate the trailer and get it moved into the driveway, I had trashed the electrical connector to the truck. It was at first depressing, especially since it was dark, snowy, and windy. Then the truck lights were wacky -- brake lights staying on, turn signals inoperative. That improved once I disconnected the broken connector.

I was able to back the trailer on to flat land in front of the garage and get unhitched. First, I tried to tape the broken connector up with electrical tape -- in 15 degree temperatures and wind with Mary holding the flashlight. No way, Jose.

So after thawing out, I went downtown and bought hand warmers first (enough frostbite the last few days) and then a new plug and some truck fuses. The next several hours was spent wrestling with 7 frayed leads and set screws -- plugged it in and.... nothing. I dug out the Ford manual, studied the fuse layout, and replaced a 20 amp fuse. Running lights! The right turn signal worked, left not. Aha, the fuse -- I replaced it, tried again -- nothing (but a blown fuse.) I knew I would have to take the plug apart again so I went to to warm up and have coffee. I wrestled the plug apart, got the left turn wire reconnected and carefully put it together. Tried it .. nothing. Oh yeah, the truck fuse was blown again. I took the cover plates off, found the fuse .. which was again blown, and replaced it. Finally, after about four hours plus, things were working.

By now, it was approaching mid-day and I had not been impressed with the road conditions during my earlier trip. We were tired, stressed out by the hassle, and decided to wait until tomorrow morning. The forecast is better, we'll double-check everything once more tonight - and should be good to go. Now I've got to haul in some more snow-covered firewood and take Penny for a long walk. She's been "clingy", knowing something is up but not completely sure she's going. She'll go if we go -- and tomorrow the internet/cable gets disconnected so we'll be out of here.

I guess I'm glad that all my learning last year on systems and replacing stuff helped. However, doing electrical work in biting wind is above my pay grade. We need to get the Airstream, and ourselves, south pronto.

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