Friday, July 1, 2016

Trailer? I barely even KNEW 2

So, we were on our way, wiring in place, trailer attached, and last minute motel reservation made. Things were looking great. Towing something that was longer and wider than the vehicle I was driving would take a bit to get used to. Especially on the small 2 lane roads that we were on from time to time. I kept having visions of oncoming vehicles hitting my trailer because I had allowed it to drift over into their lane. In these visions, our SUV is ripped in half. 

Yea, I was a little nervous.   

Just to be sure we were ok, I had Freddy google speed limits while towing a trailer in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. This is what he found:

Florida - "Unless otherwise posted, 30 mph in business and residential districts, and 55 mph at any time at all other locations. Turnpike and other designated highways 65 mph, except where posted 70 mph (minimum speed 50 mph)." HUH?????

Alabama - "Must be reasonable and proper." to interpretation. 

Mississippi - "55 mph unless otherwise posted." Thank God we were only there briefly. 

Louisiana - "Boat or utility trailer, same as passenger car; house trailer, 55 mph, day, 50 mph, night for brake-equipped trailers 15 to 32 feet long, 50 mph for trailers without brakes less than 15 feet; all others, 45 mph." That first sentence was the only thing that saved me. Otherwise it sounds like the Florida law. 

Texas - "Same as for passenger cars." Yet another reason to love Texas!

Needless to say, that Florida law made me nervous. All was going well until we passed a truck weigh station. I noticed two unmarked SUVs parked on the left shoulder. They didn't move as we passed them but a few miles later I saw one of them in my rear view mirror gaining on us quickly. I woke up Freddy and told him to get ready to get pulled over. I was in the slow lane and he was in the lane next to me on the left. When he caught up to us he slow down and matched my speed for a few miles. 

Nothing happened at first. So I took a few mph off my cruise control to see what the SUV would do. They slowed down too. I knew what was next. Sure enough he pulled in behind us and hit his lights. I muttered a few words under my breath that shall remain muttered only and began to move onto the shoulder. I've only ever been pulled over a handful of times in my life and I always do the same thing: Hands on wheel, window down, and smile. I'm all yes sir/ma'am and no sir/ma'am. Judge me if you want but I don't mouth off to nobody who's better armed than I am. And quite honestly, these officers have a tough and dangerous enough job that they do. I got nothin but respect. 

Well, when the officer got to the window, he very politely greeted us and wanted to know about my trailer that I was pulling without a license plate on it. 

I was in such a hurry to get going after all of our delays of the morning that I forgot to ask the trailer folks about any registration paperwork I would need or a license plate. At the exact same time, I remembered a rather thick envelope I received in the mail from Tumbleweed shortly after ordering my trailer. That envelope, no doubt, contained all of my title paperwork. The same envelope that was sitting, unopened, on my desk back home. 

I explained to the officer that I just purchased the trailer and was on my way home. I suddenly remembered that, on my iPad, I had a copy of my purchase order. After letting the officer know what I was going to do, I SLOWLY reached for my iPad on the backseat.  The officer told me there's been a rash of trailer thefts. Once he was satisfied that I was, indeed, the owner of the trailer I was towing, he started eyeing the trailer curiously. 

"What is this trailer made for?"

"I'm gonna build a tiny house on it."

"That was what I was gonna guess!"

We talked a little while longer and I gave him my business card with my blog info on it. He said he would keep tabs on my progress through the blog. I wish I had thought to get a picture with him at the time. Maybe a picture of his SUV, lights flashing, behind my trailer. One bit of advice he did want me to share with my readers...when you drive across country to pick up your trailer, don't forget to bring your registration for said trailer with you! Funny cop. He said we would most likely be pulled over again on our journey and kindly sent us on our way. Fortunately, he was wrong about that. The rest of our trip went off without a hitch. 

We arrived home as planned on Tuesday. 

Shortly after returning home, I purchased my first load of materials. I now have everything I need to install my subfloor. I had an issue with my GoPro camera on our road trip and had to mail it in for a replacement. By the way, GoPro has AMAZING customer service. I should have my replacement camera back any day now and will be starting on my subfloor. 

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping' by. 

- Big Jerm

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