An eclectic collection of camping stories, trailer-towing articles, campground and park reviews as we discover the world of RV camping in our small camping trailer.
If you are expecting sugar-coated, sponsored reviews, or cut-and-paste Chamber of Commerce pamphlets, you are on the wrong page!
several months of car shopping and driving all sorts of SUVs that
could comfortably haul our new KZ Sportsmen 202, we finally traded
our trusty, venerable 1999 GMC Jimmy for a newer, 2005 Toyota
Sequoia. We simply wanted more towing power to haul our new 21
foot travel trailer than our six cylinder Jimmy offered. We wanted a
comfortable vehicle we could use whenever the travel trailer was
sitting dormant, waiting to be once in again connected and hauled
test drove GMC Yukons, Toyota V-8 4-runners, Chevy something or
others, Fords I couldn't see over the hoods of, and just about every
combination of pick-up truck or SUV that could haul the new trailer
and still give us a vehicle we could use “off-duty.” We finally
decided on Toyota's big V-8 SUV and drove several Sequoias before
finding the dark blue unit we really liked. It only had ninety-five
thousand miles on it, and other than a couple of cosmetic issues, was
in great mechanical shape. I was surprised to find there were very
few used Sequoias with less than 100,000 miles on them.
dad never kept a car beyond the 60,000 miles. When it hit 60,000
miles, it got traded in before the fenders fell off or the floor
board rusted out, but that was then, and this is now since Detroit
has finally been slapped up against the side of their corporate heads
by foreign competitors. Our SUV looked like new, except for the floor
mats, which we replaced.
added a new brake controller and was pleasantly surprised to find the
necessary wiring was already in place, all I had to do was take off
the existing plastic caps from the wiring coiled up under the
dashboard and plug in the new controller. Nothing like planning
had the Sequoia safety checked and all the inspections brought up to
date, from spark plugs to brakes. When we test drove the SUV with the
trailer attached, we knew we had a great combination. Only one thing
needed to be resolved: The ride height difference between the two
vehicles. The trailer hitch had to be lowered to keep the travel
two-inch box hitch receiver is fixed on each vehicle, but the shank
on the trailer ball assembly for the load equalizer was adjustable.
All I had to do was move the shank down and we once again had a level
travel trailer. But I had a problem: I didn't have any regular wrenches that even came close to big enough to fit the nut on the hitch.
using the Ford wrench from my grandmother, yes, my grandmother, I
made the switch effortlessly. You see, my grandmother used to
build bombers. B-24 Liberators, to be exact.
Corns Mindling, my
worked during the war for Ford Motor Company at the Willow Run
Aircraft Plant, just outside Detroit, Michigan. She was a press
operator, and a good one. After the war, Ford kept her on at
the River Rouge plant, near Dearborn, where she worked until 1956.
She slipped on an oily floor that year and broke her wrist in the
fall. When she was finished with her medical leave, she took
full retirement, and eventually moved to Miami, living with her
husband Lou, first with us for several years, then moving not far
their own efficiency
Laura lived alone for several years in
died, then moved to live the rest of her life with my Aunt Ruth in
After Laura's death, my brother and I received several artifacts and
family mementos. I received a few items, including a heavy, wrapped
were two wrenches used by my Grandmother at Ford, oh so many years
ago. I like to think she used these tools to help win a war, or
build a car that perhaps someone she knew may have driven. At
any rate, today, those wrenches helped me change out a ball hitch and
a trailer shank that had me absolutely stumped. Grandma would
have been proud. Next: On to Wekiwa Springs State Park, right in Mickey's backyard, at: http://sleepstwo.blogspot.com/2011/08/wekiwa-springs-state-park.html