Back in October 2016 I explained, in a post entitled “I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans”, several reasons for buying a trailer. Primary among them was that, by owning the shelter and the land upon which it rests outright, I would avoid being subject to the decisions of others. Nearly two years later, Sparta and I are being displaced due to unilateral actions made by my landlord. What’s worse, in his greed and haste he issued a one week notice to vacate so that he and his henchman realtor could list the property by Memorial weekend. The terms of my lease were not honored, no month-long notice to vacate was offered per the lease agreement and their heavy handed efforts to oust me included having my trailers red-tagged and threatening me with arrest by the sheriff. Of course, all of their efforts were baseless and futile and I malingered (yes, some spite was involved) for a few weeks while they bitched and moaned. But alas, I am moving and not without major inconvenience.
It is difficult to find land upon which to place a trailer whose beauty may not be universally appreciated. Spartan Aircraft learned this costly lesson 70 years ago when they found not everyone wanted a trailer (perhaps even less its inhabitants) as a neighbor. Originally built as alternative housing for returning veterans, Spartan trailers suffered lackluster sales, in part, because of trailer-phobia. Even now in Northern California where the “tiny” house movement has takenroot there is a reluctance to embrace old trailers. An RV storage facility just down the street refused me due to their “no trailer over 20 years” policy.
Thankfully, I ultimately found a spot to take my girls and the process of moving them began this week. I struggled with the question of using a professional to tow my prized possessions. Although I have plenty of experience towing boats (under 20′), I had doubts about managing a 45′ Imperial Mansion – especially because of the tight corners and steep slope involved in the move. In the end, my thrift (cloaked as rugged individualism) prevailed and I chose to tow them with my 2004 Tundra. The Spartanette move went smoothly and without incident and she now rests upon a grassy knoll next to a rusty vintage pickup truck.
Unfortunately, the IM had other ideas. The initial hookup and tricky reverse out of my pasture went fine, though multiple attempts to clear the 10′ gate were required. As I pulled onto the highway the trouble started. Nearing 30 MPH I heard a nasty thump and the Tundra lurched to a stop. Looking into my rearview mirror I saw a sight nearly as sickening as bone protruding from flesh – my left front trailer tire sticking out horribly from the trailer now resting upon it. Sitting smack in the highway center, I had no choice but to drag this wounded hulk to the right shoulder amid squealing rubber and smoke. My initial suspicions were confirmed…sheared lug nuts. Damn!!! I walked down to a nearby tire shop and got one of their guys to help pull the tire out from under Sparta. This revealed another problem. Low pressure in the remaining tire resulted in the suspension having at most a one-half inch clearance from the pavement. Fearing the arrival of law enforcement and their discovery of an unregistered vehicle, I did the only thing I could. I carefully drove Sparta off the highway and onto a sidestreet were she would draw less attention while awaiting further heroics. Before pulling to a stop, the trailer settled even more and the suspension began grinding on the blacktop…