Sunday, 13 March 2016

Day 4: Corning, CA to Los Banos, CA

In for the night at Los Banos, KOA in California. 

Corning, CA to Losa Banos, CA
226 Miles

Houston, we have a problem.

Just as we were about to leave this morning, I was raising the post thingie by the hitch - it must have a proper name - and noticed, "One of these things is not like the other."  Generally, that is not a big deal; however, when we are talking about the equilizer bars with sway control not being the same it actually IS a problem.


The bar on the driver side was g.o.n.e. - GONE!

This may explain the very brief, almost imperceptible, thumpity-bump I felt as we shimmied down one of many snowy mountain passes yesterday.  Because hindsight is ever so clear, it would also explain why a thought flitted through my mind that my truck and trailer were sitting lower at the hitch than its normal level orientation, during one Mr. Thirty's fuel stops.

DISCLAIMER: It should be known that am a trailer hitch snob - for real.  I know, who knew that that was actually a thing?

"This rig will be level and happily balanced at all times."

I am convinced that this is payback for the many disparaging comments I have made when observing poor truck/hitch/trailer set ups. You know, the trucks that are flying down the highway with their bumper on the ground or with the trailer wagging like the tail of a happy dog. .... I digress.

So how come I did not notice that a major part of my hitch was physically missing during the second half of our journey yesterday?!  This is the million dollar question that I have had four hours to ponder today. I have no answer other than, lesson learned, the physical inspection will now include - are the dual-cam sway bars still sitting properly.

You may wish to skip ahead if you are not interested in the Mystery of the Disappearing Sway Bar - I have an over-kill Dual Cam High Performance Sway Control system.  The regular equilizer bars that hang by a chain keep your truck level with your trailer from front to back.  Having a dual cam system adds sway control as the bars are physically buffered by something really solid - not just a chain. This controls the yaw between the truck and trailer.

My theory is that during one of my tight turns at any point on this trip the bar itself did not return to the correctly seated position.  The straight bar has a curved pocket that seats it with the stiff thing that helps prevent sway.  During a tight turn the bar can actually slide itself out of that cozy arrangement allowing the turn and then when you straighten out again the pocket rests snuggly with the round thingie.  It must not have returned and simply jiggled out of place enroute until it was finally ejected.  This is plausible as I have not been checking and we have not uncoupled from the truck since we left home.  Sadly, this is something I can check when we stop but was not checking :(.

Today we drove south heading into rain and wind warnings with half of our sway and equilizer control missing in action.  At times, our drive was a little like those You Tube videos of planes landing in cross-winds; however, overall, the drive actually went reasonably well.

The continuous rain is much needed for these drought ravaged areas; however, I am not sad to see sun is returning to the forecast soon.

Random Things:

  • Blue Herons in the fields except they are all white.  White Herons?
  • CBC Radio One spent waaaaay too much time talking to Canadians about the pros and cons of daylight savings time on Cross Country Check-Up today. 
  • We saw a very large water tower that looked like an alien space ship - for real. Maybe it was real?  Maybe we have been driving too long. 
  • Why would a truck towing a tent trailer have a big roll of wire fencing tied down on top of the roof rack of the tent trailer?  The possibilities are endless. 

At a glance, it looks OK.  No, definitely not OK.

The rains, they are a coming.

Dominic is going to the dogs, completely and utterly.

Sacramento, California was a bit of a blur.
This trip has been like trying to watch a movie in a car wash.

And then there was the time when I saw this wide load approaching from the rear.
All I could see was about 3-4 feet of farm implement extending to the left, over the
white line, behind me in my side mirror.  Yes, this thing was MUCH wider than one lane.
Then it dawned on me, yes, this nutbar is really going to attempt a pass at 65 mph in the rain.
Let me just move over to the right so that your driver side wheel of your farm trailer does not
go into the gravel causing you to spin out thus causing me to spin out. 

In for the night at the Los Banos KOA.
Tomorrow we tackle the I-5 through LA.
And that brings us to now. I am wrapping up the blog, Alex is watching MLB baseball videos
and Dominic is watching World of Tanks videos on You Tube. 

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