Tuesday, February 14, 2012
We Ain’t Got JACK!
They are simple devices, these trailer jacks, a couple of tubes, a couple of gears and a handle. They lift your trailer off the towing ball and even make it easier to adjust the Weight Distribution Hitch (which isn’t simple and no one says it is.) This simple device, properly called a “Tongue Hitch Jack, A-frame, side winder” I’ve learned, failed a cold sunny morning in The Big Wheel CG and no amount of terminology, official or otherwise, would convince it to go about its prescribed duties.
Ever dependent on the kindness of strangers, we scratched our head while looking woefully at our problem. As so often happens, two kindly strangers accustomed to such temperatures were about and, with the help of a Minnesotan and a Nova Scotian, we jacked the tongue high enough to mount the hitch and removed the offending device. Thus began our search.
Three spots in St Marys had offerings, but not one that matched our exact needs.
We struck off up I-95.
One heavy diesel repair place, No.
Sixty miles to a big RV place. Just the thing and “it’s not on the inventory so you can have it for $10 cash.”
By now we were well beyond our intended stop but selected the beautiful Skidaway Island State Park outside Savannah. We threaded our way through late afternoon traffic to the quiet campground. There Al installed the bargain Jack only to find that it would not lift its own weight, making rumbling thumping gears-not-meshing noises. Other noises were also detected in the otherwise tranquil site.
Al was for pulling twenty miles on up to Camper World and buying a $350 electric Jack for Valentines day, but cooler heads prevailed.
In the rainy morning, we packed up and visited CW which did not have the required manual jack and would require most of the day to (maybe) get the Valentines Day Jack installed. We visited two more trailer repair places NO and NO, sorry, but while we were phoning yet another from the parking lot, a very sympathetic mechanic came over and offered to “shim up” the worthless bargain Jack. He did so in 15 minutes and would take no cash reward. He told the shop guy 1/4 hours labor, but the shop guy has already seen our shiny trailer and Great Mammoth Conveyance (GMC) and charged us double.
The shim job worked competently its first outing, but for how long?