Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hitch Itch

A couple of our RVing friends have a unique word for that irresistible urge to get on the road and travel. They refer to it as "hitch itch." You know the feeling, don’t you? It’s that inner subconscious restlessness that engulfs you when the weather begins to get nice and you and your RV are sitting still!

We are developing a serious case of "hitch itch" as our D-day (departure day, that is!) draws closer and closer. We "itch" so badly that we’d be out of here already if it weren’t for all the last minute things we need to get done before we can hit the road.

One of those essential tasks, of course, was to put the hitch back in the truck. Bruce had taken it out shortly after we got our new-to-us truck in February. Removing the hitch from the bed of the truck opens up much more space for hauling bicycles for our weekly rides. But we can’t tow our home on wheels with the hitch out of the truck! So, on countdown day ten, it was time to put the hitch back in the truck where it belongs.

However, we ran into an unexpected problem: it wouldn’t fit! The hitch assembly has four tabs on the bottom that are supposed to slip into four slots on the foundation bars mounted on the floor of the bed of the truck. The entire piece is then secured by the inserting pins thru the holes in the bottom of the slots. A great theory!

The hitch is a heavy piece of equipment. Even half of it was more than Bruce could maneuver (and, of course, I was no help at all!). He struggled manfully with it and could get two of the tabs into the appropriate slots but the other two wouldn’t go. If the front two went in, the back two wouldn’t. If the end two engaged, the other end was off by one 32nd of an inch! A neighbor came over to help but all we could do was wring our hands and shake our heads.

"Hitch itch" was intensifying for us with the frustration of this new roadblock. The hitch had been mounted in the truck when we picked it up, so it had to fit. Bruce remembered that it had been a bit difficult to get it out but how could it have changed size while it hung on the front of the fifth-wheel? It didn’t make sense, but it would not go back in. Fortunately, before he lost his temper or his religion, he decided to quit trying and brood over the dilemma overnight.

Next morning, after breakfast, I heard an unusual sound. I looked out the door to find the source of the sound. Bruce was again up in the truck bed struggling with the hitch. He was using some grinding tools he had, and others he had borrowed from neighbors, and was painstakingly enlarging the slots. He was "scratching" those holes out, and, in no time, the tabs slipped right into their respective slots!

The old adage says "There’s more than one way to skin a cat." Well, apparently there’s more than one way to install a hitch, too. If you can’t shrink the tabs, enlarge the slots! Bruce’s vigorous "scratching" gave us a great deal of relief from the extreme level of our "hitch itch." Now I think we’ll be ready for D-day in just four days!