The Dropping of the Other Shoe

“I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

A few weeks ago a friend inquired how the truck and trailer were performing on the trip so far.  I replied that, other than a few naggling issues and routine maintenance both were doing fine.  So well so that I was “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

It’s a curious phrase, isn’t it?  I have never thought to investigate it until now.  Nearest I could find to an explanation is this:

A man comes in late at night to a lodging house, rather the worse for wear. He sits on his bed, drags one shoe off and drops it on the floor. Guiltily remembering everyone around him trying to sleep, he takes the other one off much more carefully and quietly puts in on the floor. He then finishes undressing and gets into bed. Just as he is drifting off to sleep, a shout comes from the man in the room below: “Well, drop the other one then! I can’t sleep, waiting for you to drop the other shoe!”. Source

Well, it dropped last week.  Actually I think it fell off after its owner gave us a hard kick in the backside.

Just Check the Brakes

It started with wanting to get the trailer brakes and bearings inspected.  I had this done before we left, but that’s now been around 8 months and 13,000 miles ago.  I wasn’t hearing any grinding in the brakes so suspected they were fine but before we went across Nevada and over a few mountain ranges and passes I wanted them looked at.

We packed up on a Thursday after the Salt Lake City grandparent visit and stopped at an RV supply and repair shop on the way out of town.  No problem, around $100 an axle and an hour or so.


Crunchy Roof

This particular shop does an inspection of the whole rig, both as a service and so they see any damaged items before working on the trailer.  Part of this is a roof inspection. 

After climbing on the roof the technician and I immediately heard crunchy sounds and felt…mush.  About a 6’ - 8’ section of the front roof had obviously leaked and rotted the underlying plywood.

While this was our “only for a year” trailer this wasn’t something we could let slide.  We’ve noticed no interior water issues so catching it now before that started would be best.

We’re On A Deadline

Trouble is we’re on a bit of a schedule - needing to get to San Francisco for a class we have scheduled.  The shop agreed to get the repair done over the weekend. 

We got the estimate.

We got that horrid, pit of the stomach feeling at the cost, but saw no alternative.

We pulled out enough clothes, food and supplies for the weekend, handed the trailer keys over, and went back to the RV park where we rented one of their cabins.

It Gets Worse

The next day came a phone call from the shop - could we come down?  We did, and turns out the trailer was constructed in a way that made removal of the damaged plywood impossible. 

The only way to do the job right would be to re-deck the entire roof with fresh plywood before putting the rubber roof down.  The irony struck hard here - the only other RV we owned needed the exact same job. The already-high price went up to cover the additional parts and labor and another day was needed.

Oh Yea, About Those Brakes

The brakes needed more than expected as well - between new shoes and magnets just replacing from the backing plates out made sense.

The repairs were finally done in time for us to get back on the road. We now have a charge on our credit card representing fully half what we spent initially on the trailer.


The whole ordeal is still depressing me - we drove through the Bonneville Salt Flats and I couldn’t even get excited about pulling over to check them out as I was in a funk. 

My head is filled with ideas and plans for how to increase our income to pay off this charge before we go home to sell the house (I really don’t want to use any income from the house sale to pay off credit card debt). 

In general we’re doing fine - I have some active client work and some nice opportunities in other business areas that should pay off long-term.  But - some of those opportunities will demand time to get setup and in place and that might necessitate a short-term change in approach to this adventure. 
Discussions are on-going…;)

2 Comments The Dropping of the Other Shoe

  1. Picture of davidl340 davidl340 June 14, 2011

    Sorry to hear about the roof, I still can’t believe how common this issue is on modern campers.  I don’t understand how the RV industry can keep selling these things without listening to their customers, and we just keep on buying them.  I wish RV manufacturers had a standard 10 year roof leak guarantee, seem like such a basic thing.

  2. Picture of boyink boyink June 14, 2011

    Many of them do - but we bought used and in doing so took on the risk ourselves.  Or I guess anyway - I’m assuming the guarantee doesn’t transfer owners.

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