To recap from my last update, we needed a certain type of connector plate put on the trailer so it would hook up to the hitch on our truck. The problem was that the closest part was at least 1,500 miles away.
We resigned ourselves to staying here at least another night while we waited for the part. Just before Steve left Camping World to come pick us up for lunch he got a call from our loan officer at Bank of America.
As you'll recall, we signed our papers at a Bank of America branch in Phoenix on August 21 and had them overnighted back to the loan guy in Georgia. The dealership was supposed to overnight their papers that Monday.
Only they didn't. They didn't send them until Friday, so they didn't arrive until today.
Our loan was only guaranteed through the 26th, which means it didn't fund. The dealership had sent us the trailer even though they hadn't gotten paid (other than our deposit), and we now needed to reapply for the loan.
I frantically filled out the online application again, and we called the loan guy to let him know it was submitted. He made it sound like it was just a technicality, but with the way things have been going, we had to worry.
We figured if nothing else, we could go register Homer (we didn't need him there--just his paperwork), and we could leave in the morning as soon as he was ready.
Then Camping World called to say that they had located a compatible part and the trailer would be ready today. Whoa! Something unexpectedly good!
We wouldn't have time to make the four-hour round-trip drive to register the trailer and be back to pick it up by close of business, so we decided we'd go park it in a campground overnight, then take care of the administrative stuff and do a shortish drive tomorrow.
We stopped at Walmart to pick up some things we needed for the trailer. I also got a few of those ready-made shelf-stable tuna salad lunch kits just in case we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere when lunch hit on one of the legs of our trip. (This is called foreshadowing.)
While we were in Walmart, the loan guy called to say that our loan had been re-approved. He said it wasn't as seamless as he had hoped, but he went to bat for us since the delay hadn't been our fault.
Even better, we didn't have to go register Homer. The trailer has a temporary Ohio registration. When the dealer gets the title, they'll send it to Bank of America, who will take care of filing the necessary paperwork with Texas. (As it turns out, BofA already has the title, as that's what the dealership was waiting on--remember how they needed our Texas licenses?--and thus why they didn't send the paperwork back until Friday. Even though they didn't need to do that. And probably shouldn't have.)
Anyway, all we needed to do was get a VIN Inspection certificate and an official dry weight and send those to BofA.
Things were really looking up!
It turned out that Camping World could do the VIN Inspection, and there was a commercial scale about a mile away.
We were set! We went back to Camping World, and they finished with the trailer just in time for...
...the torrential downpour.
Little would we know that would not be the worst thing to happen.
After about an hour and a half, the rain had subsided enough that Steve and the Camping World people could make the final little adjustments and get us hitched up.
Next stop was the scale. It was getting late, but we wanted to get everything out of the way tonight so we could leave early in the morning.
That was an ordeal in itself, which I might save for another blog post. It involved me being very scared and worried that Steve would accidentally crush me between the truck and the trailer. But we survived and got our weight certificate.
Then it was off to the campground a few miles away.
We pulled in. I got out and registered. They gave us a nice pull-through spot. Steve got Homer unhitched. Then he hit the auto-level button. Then we heard a pop. Then Steve looked under the trailer and saw the busted hydraulic line.
He freaked out a little. I stayed calm because there was nothing I could do and I was relying on him to make it better.
In a move he would later regret, he decided to see if the slide-outs were on the same line. He pushed the button to extend them, and they did move a few inches before they stopped. And wouldn't go back in.
So we were stuck there, with no way to move the trailer (can't move it with the slide-outs out, plus the jacks were frozen). Steve called the service that's supposed to help with this kind of thing, but we needed an account number from the dealer. We didn't have an account number from the dealer, and the dealership had closed hours ago.
There was a manual override, but Steve needed a drill, which we also didn't have.
While Steve desperately tried to figure out what to do, I gave the kids our emergency tuna. Anna dropped a tuna-salad-laden cracker on my foot. It was a really crappy dinner.
We decided the only course of action was for Steve to take us back to the hotel, go buy a drill, get the slide-outs in, and take it to Camping World in the morning to hopefully be fixed.
When we got back to the hotel, Steve noticed he had a business card for the owner of the dealership in Ohio, and it had the guy's cell phone number. Steve called, apologized for calling so late, and explained the situation. The owner was very apologetic and said he'd call the manufacturer first thing in the morning to make sure they'd make it right.
So...we're here for at least another day. Our trailer is busted. We're frustrated. The kids are worn out. It's really frickin humid. And we're not sure if this is further evidence that we're just really not supposed to do this.