Not only are we planning where we are going, but we are also thinking about all the things we need to do to get there. One thing I really like is how things just naturally shake out between Jerry and I. We each have our strengths and definitely have our weaknesses. The good news is, most times, we rise to the occasion.
When we bought the Tin Pelican we had done the research…our Chrysler Town and Country would be able to handle towing the trailer. It has a towing capacity of 3600 lbs. The trailer, according to its mother ship, is 2900 lbs. dry. That leaves us plenty of pounds for clothes, food, and all the accoutrements of trailer camping. Or, so we thought.
Yesterday, Jer hooked up the trailer to do a dry run. He went around the block and said “it works great, this is gonna be a piece of cake, come for a ride!” I jumped in and off we went. We drove down Alt. 19, a local road, to get the feel. I have to admit, I was white knuckled the first part of the trip. Every clunk sent shivers down my spine. I kept thinking to myself, “this too shall pass, this too shall pass.” It did.
We decided to drive to Dom and Ruben’s house. It’s just down Alt. 19 on the Palm Harbor side of Dunedin. We figured we would stop in and say “hey” and then drive out to 19–the evil fast road I typically avoid at all costs. The speed limit is at a minimum, 50. Personally, I could have stayed at Dom and Ruben’s the rest of the day. There was something soothing about being on terra firma. Jerry was itchy. He was so happy about how well the van did, he was chomping at the bit to try it on a faster road.
Waiting at the light, we were both singing the praises of our wonderful van and how well it was doing. The light changed and we turned left onto the 19 Speedway. Jerry pushed on the gas and all we heard was “UUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” (please read that in a deep, throaty, straining sort of way) as the poor thing tried with all its might. I swear I heard “I think I can, I think I can.” burping out of the exhaust. We looked at each other with a bit of worry, but Jerry said it was just getting used to getting up to speed. At the same time he said that, he dropped the gearshift into a lower gear.
This was not very good. Florida is FLAT. We are going to places with really big mountains. There is nothing more embarrassing than being the person in the right lane going 15 mph up the mountain…People laughing and pointing at you as they pass. But, we still had faith. By the end of our jaunt, it was pretty obvious we were in big trouble. While the trailer has a lot of stuff already in it, our clothes are not packed and there is this water container under the bed that has to get filled up. Water is heavy. We were doomed. We agreed to sleep on it. Things always look better the next day.