Houston, we have a problem...

Saturday, May 5, 2007

What is that god-awful noise???????

Pulling over to the curb while towing the camper in downtown Carlsbad, N.M. (on the way to Guadalupe Mtns. NP), we were expecting the worst. A blown tire? Did the bumper fall off?? Did the hitch break somehow??? Did we hit something????

In a scene that only happens in bad movies, a Shriner in full costume (selling onions!) crosses the street, and very helpfully comments, “"Looks like the bottom of your camper fell off!

Thanks, Mister...

Denise was so busy imagining our stove, fridge, beds, clothes and other sundry items falling thru onto the pavement that she missed the whole theatrical setting described above ;-)

Such are the joys of life on the road.

Yes, the bottom of the camper had fallen off, and was dragging on the pavement, producing a horrible screeching noise. Fortunately, there are bottoms of campers and there are bottoms of campers. What fell off was a false bottom that is apparently rather unique to the Aruba line of campers. The false bottom is a protective cover to prevent road debris from kicking up and damaging the actual floor, and it adds a little extra insulation. This is supposedly a really nice feature of the Aruba line.

Now it was dragging down US Highway 62…..

Once we accessed the situation, things didn’t look quite as bleak as first assumed. In short, it looked fixable with a couple of hours of elbow grease, some fender washers, and of course, duck tape. A quick call to our friends at Peco Campers confirmed that our idea for repairing it wasn’t crazy, so Vance and I took off in search of a hardware store.

Of course, we managed to park in front of what looked like the local crack house of choice. While Denise was waiting for us to return, several seedy characters came up, saw the parked camper in front of the abandoned hotel behind it, muttered a few choice obscenities and whipped out the cell phones. This motivated me to finish off the repairs in record time when I got back.

But all’s well that ends well – our search for hardware was successful. After resupporting the bottom with some large washers, a liberal dose of duck tape was applied to the seams. As they say, you can fix anything with Duck Tape, including camper bottoms that have been dragged down the highway. Don’t leave home without it!

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