Travel Trailer/Redneck Games pt 1

It took 3 days, lots of sweat, nerves of steel, and a lot of that Archimedes factor to get a small travel trailer from one side of the creek to the other. Should be easy… that’s what I thought!

We were gifted, an old, but still useful travel trailer. It used to sit on the street side of the creek. It was originally going to be a guest house for my brother-in-law, but it didn’t get used for that purpose. So it was time to move the thing across the dry creek bed to the high side of the property. We plan on using it for temporary storage, and perhaps in the future we will fix it up for use as a guest house.

Day 1
This was last Friday (Jan 16, 09), I had gone out to check the mail, that is a 12 mile round trip to the mailbox. It was about 3ish in the afternoon. I was making good time, got out the mailbox with no problem. On the way back, I noticed I was behind a slow vehicle, on a dusty dirt road, that is not a good thing, so instead of trying to pass, I pulled over to look at my mail.

Oh, I’d say I sat there for maybe 10 minutes, another car had just gone past, I didn’t want them to think I was having trouble (you don’t usually see someone sitting on the side of the dirt road unless they are having trouble), so I started off again.

I went about a quarter mile, then the bug ran out of gas. Darn. The gas gauge has been broken for some time, we don’t drive around very much and I thought I had more than enough fuel to get to the mailbox and back to the Country Store where I had planned on filling up.

I looked in the mirror and saw a car coming behind me, so I didn’t even have time to think about walking or staying with the bug. It turned out to be a gentleman that I have met before, a friend of a friend. He took me to my cabin, and I was able to get some fuel for the bug.

Now back to the trailer story, when I got back to the property with the bug, I found Bob over by the travel trailer with the 4 wheel drive pickup truck. He said he wanted to move it across the creek. OK, I figured I could help so I stuck around.

I ended up having to use a tow strap (by hand) to pull a tree over so the trailer could go past it, we didn’t want to cut down any more trees or branches then necessary. I rocked the tree back and forth as Bob pulled the trailer past it.

He pulled the trailer out on to the road, then back into the driveway. One hurdle down, several more to go. Going down into the dry creek bed isn’t too tough, the problem is it actually points you in the wrong direction, if you are in a single vehicle, no problem, if you are towing a trailer, it becomes a problem. There isn’t enough room to swing around, the pickup ended up bumper first against the bank across the creek, the trailer tongue slightly jackknifed, it couldn’t be backed up.

Bob removed the trailer from the truck, and using blocks, a jack and a lever (remember Archimedes?), he turned the trailer around, got hooked back up to the truck, then started down the creek. That was the easy part, the creek isn’t too far below the road, but on the other side, the creek bed is about 12-15 feet below grade. The place where we go up, is really UP. it’s a steep, rocky, narrow dirt ramp.

Bob got the trailer pulled part way up, then things went all wrong. The trailer tires on one side, went over a boulder that was sticking up about a foot, it went over just fine, but the back of the trailer got caught and things began to break. While that was happening on the bottom. the trees that line this ramp were taking their toll on the sides and top of the trailer. Things came to a screeching, grinding halt.

I secretly got on the phone and phoned a friend, it was secret because Bob is fiercely independent, and doesn’t like asking for help (the chances of him reading this are slim, and if he does, he will realize I had the best intentions and will get over it). I figured it would be safer if there was another set of eyes and a strong back. Our friends showed up. pretending to just be “passing by”,  well the beer began to flow, they all got drunk and promptly started playing “Redneck Games”. They broke one chain and a tow strap before giving up for the night, the Redneck Games were called on account of dark, the sun went down. No rednecks were hurt or killed during the games.

This left the truck and travel trailer sitting at an odd angle, jammed between a boulder on the bottom and several trees on the top and sides. We did use a couple of tow straps to secure the truck to a tree so that nothing would slip during the night.

And I’ll leave you at this point, you will have to come back later to get part two of the travel trailer saga. I will leave you with one picture, ok maybe a couple, there will be lots more pix in part two. Click on the image if you want to see full sized pix.




7 Responses

  1. Thanks Gwen, I have to say that if nothing else, living out here is interesting, it’s never boring. :)

    Sounds like you have some pretty interesting tales to tell yourself. I would suggest that you keep a journal, write these things down. People enjoy reading stuff like this so post it on your blog, or at least write it for yourself. And years from now, you can go back and re-read what you have done and gone though, it’s amazing how much you forget, especially the day to day details. It also helps you to appreciate what you have now when you go back and see how little you had when you first start.


  2. I laughed out loud when I read this account of moving the travel trailer and the onset of redneck games! We had a similar experience when moving the RV out to our place. We got stuck big time, the truck broke down, I had to hike around for cell service and hold my foot and head just right to place the shout out to call in some favors from people I already owed favors to. It was a crazy night and then, to top it off, we had the wrong GPS coordinates and had to move the dang trailer again a few days later. But it all worked out just fine as most things do. Perseverance, baby! It pays off. Thanks again for posting your life’s lessons and learning experience for the rest of us to learn how to do it, too.

  3. Michael, Yup, we do have some unique landscapes out here…

    Hmmm, yes, you can find tracts of land out here with trees, it’s not difficult, land varies in price depending on the accessibility (easier to access, near or on a road = more expensive) and depending on how much the previous owner has improved the land, (existing well, septic, buildings,,,= more expensive). 4 wheel access, no buildings, no well or septic and the land will be cheaper. You also want to stay away from too much development, especially if these developments have too many restrictions. Once you find a likely area, drive around and look at the houses and buildings, the more dilapidated they look, the more likely it is that you can build what you want to with little restrictions. If you see big, McMansions, or other high $$$ buildings, then you can just about count on more restrictions and neighbors who will not want a “do it yourselfer” around.

    I have to balance between wanting people with like minded thinking (off-gridders like me) to live near by, and not wanting the world to beat a path to my area (and ruining it), so I’ll not say any more than this, if you really want to live in the high desert mountains of west Texas, you will find a way to do it. :)

  4. I just have to tell you that every time I see pictures from you I am amazed! I know that all of West Texas isn’t like this, but to see trees like this is just fantastic to me.

    I’ve read enough of your blog to know kinda where you are at, and I respect your privacy. But can you tell me this … is it fairly easy to find a tract of land with trees like this in your area? How much does land like this run per acre … say if someone wanted 10 acres or so?

    Sorry I haven’t been by the blog lately. I promise I’ll come back to read your answer! :)

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