Ok, this is not really a legit camping trip, but it is where Dory spent the last week. We had trouble with our Caravan Mover a while back and got one side replaced about a year ago. We sent the original right side unit back to the manufacturer, Kronings, for diagnosis after they sent us a new one. However, it wasn’t long before we noticed the replacement seemed to be struggling as well. Many conversations followed with Kronings. First, they diagnosed our original unit as having had a fluke problem with water damage. Then, we learned that our replacement had come from a demo floor model. Safari Condo stepped in and agreed to send us another unit from their stock that was brand new, since we were predicting that the replacement would fail before long. Safari Condo really does have the BEST customer service!
It has been getting steadily worse and the last couple of times getting up the driveway, we have had to take long breaks and come out and try again in order to move a couple more inches forward. The first time we had problems, the right side motor failed quickly and rather definitively. You could smell smoke coming from the covered motor area right behind the wheel. The replacement unit has simply been limping along, making funny sounds and cutting out frequently when we get to the steep part. We have had our BFF, Randy, on standby every time we’ve been on our way home, just in case we need him to come rescue us.
Randy had an idea almost immediately after the last time he came out, which was to hook us up with a winch system in order to spare the CMs the hardest part of the driveway incline. This would also serve as a backup system. He is all about backup systems. At its steepest section, our driveway has a 17% gradient. This is within published specs for the CM, but we figure we are really pushing the limits going out as much as we do. It made sense to use the CM for the dicey maneuvering section, but to use a winch for the heavy hauling.
So, we arranged to drop her off with Randy after our last weekend out. Now, I realize Dory is a camping trailer, designed to explore the vast and wild outdoors, but it really bothered me to leave her outside in his lot. I also realize there were far more expensive RVs parked next to her. But, come on, this is Dory we’re talking about here. Might as well leave our children sitting outside next to cuter children and hope for the best. Randy let us put her in the back and we spent a while slowly backing her in, trying really hard not to hit the very expensive RVs lining the narrow space I wanted to put her in. There may have been some yelling over the walkie talkies. There were definitely a few back and forths before getting the right approach. After we got her all unhitched and thoroughly locked, but not wanting to leave her, I noticed all the security cameras. And then Randy texted Richard a picture of Dory in the lot, taken by his cameras. I wondered if he had been sitting there chuckling, watching us the whole time from his monitor.
We’ve been without her in the garage the past week and we do not like that. I keep wanting to go get things from her, like my jacket for example. But she came home today and is all fixed up! She’s got the new Caravan Mover on her passenger side and we had Randy give her a yearly check up, including doing the bearings and seals thing that everyone keeps talking about that I feel is above my skill level. But whatever that is, she’s good for at least another year. Plus, he arrived with a winch.
He mounted it with gigantic bolts into the floor of the garage. It is powered by the battery we took out when we upgraded to the Trojan. The winch line hitches onto Dory just like hitching her to the car. Randy gave us lots of training on how to run the thing, how to use it if the CMs fail completely, and how to not kill ourselves. There are lots of safety features and backup safety features because he knows us pretty well at this point. We got to try it all out and it worked like a charm! She’s all back in the garage looking great! Randy said she even got a mani-pedi, which I guess is a reference to checking out the brakes and bearings.
He’s a funny guy, Randy. He knows a crazy amount about lots of things besides trailers and it is always entertaining to see him. It’s good to have the CM back to functional and it will be even better to know we have a backup system so at least we can get in and out of the garage.