Friday, September 4, 2009

Picking Up The 5th Wheel and the Drive Home

Betsy and I went to Poulsbo RV in Everett, WA last Saturday to pick up our new-to-us 5th wheel trailer. It’s a HitchHiker II LS 32.5 UKTG (UK= U shaped kitchen/ TG= triple glides or slide outs). It’s 33 feet long and didn’t look quite so big until we backed the truck up to the hitch. Compared to the truck it’s pretty big.

The tech at Poulsbo RV gave us an hour and a half orientation on how everything works and then we were ready to go. I guess. Betsy remembered the tech showing us how to put one of the glides out about a foot or so so we could get to the back window to tape on our temporary license and asked me about it just before I was going to pull out. We looked and sure enough, no license. We tracked down our salesman and he said he was sure it had one, it was good until 2010. We went to look and he asked the tech where the license went. It was out of state and they took it off. We ended up getting new WA state license for free.

Pulling out of Poulsbo RV you have to cross Evergreen Way, a four lane street with center turn lane and, of course I needed to turn left. Fortunately, traffic was pretty light that day and I easily got across and headed in the right direction. Thankfully the diesel engine in the Ford F250 has plenty of pulling power and it was no problem keeping up with traffic. Staying inside the white lines was another matter but no one honked so I guess I was ok. Just before we got on the freeway I noticed in the rear view mirror that one of the storage doors was open so I found a nice wide shoulder to pull over on and secured it and gave everything else the once over and away we went. Again the diesel engine quickly and easily got us up to speed and everything was hunky dory, that is until I hit a stretch of road that had grooves worn in the pavement from years of use. The truck’s steering is a little sloppy and I over-corrected a couple of times before it settled down and was tracking straight again. Still managed to stay in my lane and hopefully didn’t freak out the other drivers too much.

I did a Google search about the steering problem and learned it has been a problem with Ford trucks for several years running now and no fix in sight. Ford is apparently adopting the “if you ignore it maybe it will go away” method for correcting their design flaw. We’ll see once we start traveling. There’s lots of Fords on the highway so maybe it’s just a matter of getting used to the quirks.

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