This past summer, I took my first RV trip. It’s one we’ll never forget. Got stuck on the side of the road. Twice.

I bought a 2000 model 21' hybrid trailer (IE, the beds are tents that fold out of the front and back) to tow behind my new Colorado. We did a few weekend trips to get me used to it before the big one: driving from Rhode Island to Florida for the July race at Daytona and a week in my buddy’s driveway. I did everything right. I brought it to a trailer place and had them inspect it, and let them know I needed it ready for a long trip. They suggested a set of 4 tires and that was it.

We left on Saturday morning at 4am. Planned on getting about half way and stopping for the night so we could relax and have a decent second half of the weekend, stopping along the way. We got about two hours in, and it starts feeling...weird. My wife looks out to see smoke coming out of the passenger side of the trailer. Pull off to the side of the road, and I see the disaster in front of me. A leaf spring snapped in front axle, causing it to slam into the rear axle and turning my new tires into ground meat.

I pull off the highway to determine my options and have some breakfast. It’s 6am, and I’ve got to wait until 8 until the first trailer repair shop opens in western Connecticut. No one nearby is open, so I’ve got to find my earliest possible option, which is 18 miles away, all backroads. I call the guy at 8:01. Sure enough, he’s got the time, and he’s got the parts. I’ve just got to get it to him. So I Macguyver something together with some ratchet straps to keep the front axle off the rear (the rear spring is still together on the passenger side, just barely, so it’s keeping the trailer from bottoming out) and limp along at 20 mph to get it there in one piece. We’re in the home stretch, last quarter of a mile when...

BANG! SCREETCH!

The driver side front spring gives out.

Front axle is now buried in the rear. Tires don’t want to spin, and I’ve got a 4000lb trailer that wants to go nowhere. Someone comes out of their house and mentions “there’s a trailer place right over this hill”. Thanks bud.

I got under the trailer, threw some more ratchet straps on the other side, hoped for the best, and dragged that SOB the last quarter mile to the shop, burning up what was left of my 4 brand new tires in the process. Thankfully they all made it without popping.

Left the trailer at the shop, found out an hour later that the springs were a weird size, and he didn’t have them and couldn’t get them until Monday. Like hell I was losing two days of my vacation. So I decided to call around. Finally found 3 springs...back in Rhode Island. So I attempt the most ridiculous back and forth ever. I call the guy at the shop, tell him I’ll get him the springs in enough time and to get the trailer ready. I call my father in law, tell him to drive to the place, about a half hour from his house, go pick up the springs for me and then drive to the RI/CT border to hand them off to me at the half way point, while I drive up to meet him, then turn back around and drive to the shop in enough time to get the guy the springs to install before the shop closes at 3pm.

Somehow, someway, I manage to put this all together and accomplish the feat, through the amazing work and help of the folks at the shop and my awesome father in law. We get back on the road, and finally start moving in the right direction again, albeit with a much lighter wallet.

My goal was to make it to the final destination in Florida before the end of the day on Sunday. I missed that goal...by 2 minutes. Pulled in at 12:02am on Monday morning.