Monday, June 17, 2013

Trailer Testing and Sis is Giggling

The Orange Jeep with my trailer
I hooked up the trailer today to go for a road test. Sis started her second term of summer school this morning so I used that as an opportunity to check on the trailer...and her. The trailer makes the already bouncy Jeep a little more bouncy.  I guess it harkens us back to some silly childhood ride at the fair because within a few miles we're giggling our butts off.

I have always enjoyed shuttling the kids to and from school. I think it is a terrific time to bond and chat. Sis and I stopped for a treat on the way to school and I caught her in the act of BEING HAPPY! She stayed the night with a BFF last night and according to her texts (I checked on  her around 10pm) they were crying and saying their goodbyes.

Love my happy Sister!
It must have been therapeutic in some girlie way because she is ALL smiles this morning. Or perhaps it is just because she is hanging out with Dad! Yeah, that's it! Right. I had to capture the picture of her in one of my favorite skirts that she wears. She spent a good half hour Sunday mending holes in it so she could wear it to church. Gotta love a gal that can mend her own clothes!

I swung by to pick up my temporary trailer plate from Mr Trailer Fixer this morning. Mr. Trailer Fixer's Boss pointed out that the nose of my trailer was sitting WAY to high thanks to my manly lift kit on the Jeep. (insert manly grunt HERE for having a lift kit)  He suggested a hitch with a two inch drop for two reasons:

1) it will make the trailer drive straighter down the highway and cause less wobble


2) a smoother drive means better (more even) wear on the new tires.

As the blessings continue to fall, Mr. Trailer Fixer's Boss just HAPPENED to have the exact hitch I needed and he swapped mine with his for $15. I wish I had met these fellas years ago. They are terrific fabricators. I was eye-balling a custom made overhead Jeep rack laying on a nearby table. Sweet!

He reassured me that my six cylinder would be up to the task of towing a trailer. He recommended timing my departure so that I would be driving up and down the most mountainous terrain in the early morning hours. Straining up and down mountains in the 110 degree heat out here might spell trouble. Duly noted!

I swept the trailer out and have it nice and clean. Time to start loading it up. Mr Trailer Fixer's Boss recommended that I should have 65% of my load IN FRONT of the axle. I'm going to take mostly bulky items so when it is time to rent the U-haul truck, I have more room for boxes and don't waste precious space on eight bicycles, table saw, etc.

Gotta run. Time to go pick Sis up from summer school and then start packing up my stuff. I'm learning so much about planning for a homestead and how to get there that I plan on writing up what I've learned and sharing it on a Guest Post on SurvivalBlog in the next week or so. Let me know if you read it. I think I'll title it "How to Decide on a Homestead Location AND Get There!"


Next: Macky passes out in the hallway.


  1. Do you actually live in a PINK home? OH Yeah, six girls and a wife. OK, I understand.

  2. @DD LoL! No. No chance in hades of me living in a pink house. Before Wifey had her craft room, I tried using the room as a workout room. Had a treadmill & stair stepper. Mounted a TV & vcr on the wall. The ORIGINAL reason the room was added was as an extra kid room... so the walls were painted pink. I lasted about two weeks in there before I offered it up as a craft room. I could FEEL the testosterone drain from my body every time I tried to workout in there. A pink house... no Sir.

  3. Can't think of a much worse vehicle for towing a trailer than a short wheel base jeep. Good luck to you. Make sure you have around 200 lbs. of tongue weight. AND trailer brakes that are well adjusted and stop short of sliding the trailer wheels on wet pavement.

  4. @Annon355 Thanks for the heads up. The trailer fabricators modified my custom rear bumper with extra fortifications and assured me the Jeep would be fine. I'll still keep an eye on it though.

  5. I can't wait to read your article, our family is about two years out until homesteading. I hope that the economy holds up until then! Wishing you a safe journey, and we'll keep your entire family in our prayers too.

  6. @K I know exactly how you feel. It seems, at times, like you will never make it to the homestead. You just have to keep prepping because, like us, it happened kind of all-the-sudden. Got laid off from left field, then we started putting our plan into action. All happened within one month from then.

    I'll share everything we did in my article on SurvivalBlog. Thanks for the prayers. We'll do the same for you ;-)

  7. If your engine gets hot you can always run the heater to get a little extra cooling action on the motor. It sucks but it's better than being stranded. This I know from personal experience on an old car of mine... running the heater with the windows down in slow traffic, up-hill, in a Southern humid scorcher. The other option was the ominous white smoke out the tailpipe.

    Best of luck to you.

  8. I've been reading your blog since it was mentioned on Survival Blog. Except for the picture of the Toyota Landcruiser with the Chevy emblem (Blasphemy!)I have loved it. I know it's stressful but your family is about to be living the dream of so many. Keep on writing, and you will have my thoughts on your journey.

  9. Eric - thanks for the reminder about turning the heater on to relieve some heat off the engine. I remember doing that in high school with an old beater.

    That also reminds me that I can take my Jeep cans for extra water and fuel. I aso remember heading out for a long drive one winter in a car with a busted heater. My dad taped a big sheet of cardboard across the front of the radiator and it helped with the flow of hit air on my feet somehow.

    Chris - I wondered if anyone was going to catch that blasphemous emblem, lol. Thanks for chiming in. Keep in touch.

  10. Putting the cardboard over the rad reduces the airflow and makes it run hotter. In winter in cold climates this can actually increase the efficency of the engine and reducing the fuel consumption. Personally I would change the sparkplug s and air filter and possibly change the oil and filter as well as check and tension the fan belts. All of which can adversely affect fuel consumption. Dont for get tire pressure s too and if you have adjustable shock they should be altered to suit the increased load. Good luck with your journey and don't forget to enjoy yourself on the way. Sometimes the pressure s of travelling means we forget to relax!

  11. Anon10:07 thanks for explaining the heat/cardboard concept. I hope do do what you recommend, I just have to come up with the cash. My last check was almost one month ago. Thanks for the helpful comments!

  12. I'm getting caught up on your happenings. I think you ought to write a book!

  13. Hi OJD,
    saw your article on Survival
    Blog. I am in the same boat. Just retired from the military and have been prayerfully looking since October. One thing I would like to throw out, I spoke with a realtor friend recently about advantages of building over buying an existing home and he said with all the natural disasters in the US recently, building costs have soared. He planned to have a barn built and the cost is now at a 25% increase since January. Just another point to consider. Thanks for a great article! Just found your site based on your SB article.


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