Early last year a friend asked us if we didn’t need to use a checklist before we depart a campground and tow the trailer. We laughed off the question, stating the obvious, “We do this every week, we’re good at it.” There are a number of ways we could mess up our trailer, if we didn’t sort things properly before driving away. One example is the rooftop stuff – imagine some of these things being torn off the roof or driven down into the trailer by a low hanging limb.
Or what if, as our friends were recounting tonight, we failed to latch a window? There is a tremendous pressure change when a big truck passes us on the highway and we’ve heard stories of windows mysteriously disappearing on driving days. If you’re good with masking tape and fortunate enough to find double-ply cardboard in the nearest dumpster then perhaps you don’t need that window. On the other hand, do you really want to give away something so dear?
The thing is, you never know what you’re missing until it’s gone. Friends were talking this evening of the events they’ve suffered, or have heard of from others, caused by not properly preparing the truck or trailer for towing down the road. There are seemingly endless ways to ruin your day and perhaps empty your wallet through carelessness. We finally saw the light, thanks in part to Doug’s and another Airstreamer, Marshall’s suggestions.
We use a checklist before every towing day. Included in the list is Marshall’s item, to look at the entire rig from 100′ away and see the big picture. Does anything look wrong from “out there?” Then work on the checklist.
Friends suggested tonight we could share this list here, and lacking a more important topic we decided to comply. Then again, maybe this is the most important topic we could share? Here’s the checklist:
This list is on our iPad and our iPhone, so we can access it readily before towing. You may have fewer, or more, issues you want included. You may not need a list. We thought we didn’t until we realized WE DO.
Thanks to Doug for reminding us we are fallible. We should have listened sooner. Thanks to Marshall for the apt suggestion of looking at the big picture too. And thanks to Rich and Julie, John and Barbara, and Jay for suggesting we share the checklist here. We need all the help we can get and really appreciate our friends.
See you down the road!
Jim and Debbie
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