Late last November I decided to get serious about my trailer restoration project. I accepted that I am just not equipped- in tools, experience, skills, space... the list goes on&on&on&on... to do this myself. I periodically brave the trailer message boards, trying earnestly to glean wisdom and insight. I put in search terms, say: "Eco-friendly varnish" and "window seals" and I toil over the hundreds of hits that get vomited back at me. I read. I re-read. I say very rude words. And get sad. And mad. Why? Why am I sad and mad, Sam I am? Because it does not make any $&!?$&! sense to me- zip, nada. Then there are the amazing bloggers who have painstakingly documented their glorious work. My heart tightens up in admiration, I coo at the transformation in pictures, I cheer on, I read greedily. And yet. I still don't understand any of it!
Somehow, accepting this was a minor victory. I decided to hire someone and be happy with the quality work, not struggle, beg, borrow & steal time to do a crappy job myself. With this in mind I set about hiring someone. I felt that the most critical part was the woodwork, and was advised that I needed to find a "Finish Carpenter" who can properly take everything out, and then put it back in, replacing and repairing as needed. I figured I'd get a separate electrician, plumber- and whatever else. As long as the wood turns out right, I'll be ok.
I made lots of phone calls, narrowed it down to three individuals, and then met up with them at the trailer to talk. One no-showed, one was non-committal, and the third? The third was a match! He was knowledgeable, respectful, and, importantly- he dug my trailer. He got it. its important with a quirky project like this to work with someone who is actually interested in it, ya know? I found my trailer man.
We parted, and I took the trailer 20 miles down the road to get a trailer place (horse & farm trailers) to get the frame looked at and ask questions about inspection.
And, I wrecked it on the way. Yup. Rain. Hydroplane. Fishhook. And... Off the road.
No one hurt- and miraculously- no other vehicle involved. I don't know how in the hell that happened, but apparently when people see an out of control freakin TRAIN hydro planing sideways on a major freeway, they scatter like so many leaves.
We landed in a ditch between freeway and feeder road, another miracle, quite frankly. Unusually, the strip of land had trees on it, probably as safety measures to prevent out-of-control vehicles from attacking innocent incoming vehicles. We crashed into the trees and stopped.
No injuries, but we took years off of darling Tiffany's life as she watched helplessly from behind and just knew we would be dead in the van. Girl- she climbed though those trees like a bat on fire to get to us. It was awful. I'm getting teary just thinking about her face, she was so damn scared and worried.
The rest was a blur of tow trucks, cops, and finally an 18 wheeler tow truck. They were all kind, the cop was amazing- no ticket!- and we were finally pulled free. There was a helluva lot of rubbernecking, and some camera man videoing, which was truly terrible. I don't think we ever made the news, cuz, c'mon, someone woulda called me.
I held it together. Once on the road, amazingly, my battle tank of a van hauled us back home. I held it together some more. I repeated how glad I was no one was hurt. I tried to be genuinely grateful; coulda been SO much worse, etc. And it wasn't until I got in the shower hours later that I broke down & bawled. I broke my Daddy's trailer. It was injured, and it was my fault. It cost a horrible amount of money, money that should have gone to constructive, not destructive, efforts.
Not.for.the.faint.hearted. You've been warned twice!