A bottle jack. Who knew there were these ultra small jacks that work with hydraulics, don't cost a lot and can lift 8,000 pounds. Ish knew. My first experience in our new home of Carson City was going to be at Home Depot. As much as I love Home Depot, and I do LOVE Home Depot, I have become accustomed to the Los Angeles attitude of help. Here I was going to be walking into the massive store with no idea where such a device would be and in LA no one will help you.
You walk into a Home Depot in the Southern California area and employees actually run and avoid eye-contact. They do everything they can to look as busy as possible to keep from having to tell you where anything is. Now in their defense, the typical person in a Home Depot in SoCal probably knows NOTHING about home repair and couldn't find even the most simple things. Couple that with an entitled attitude and I wouldn't be keen on helping either. But when you are in a hurry or can't find the needle in the haystack bolt you are looking for, a little advice is handy.
I brace myself as I walk through the door already on the lookout for someone so I can beeline it to the person before they can play "duck and dodge." Thoughts of Christopher alone with the RV just "trying" a few things leaves me with images of the entire thing knocked off its wheels, lying on the ground or the back half of John's truck laying on the ground. How do you explain that one!?
Suddenly, I am the one under sneak attack. Out of no where comes and employee who asks, "Can I help you find anything today." I stand in stunned, confused silence. This has NEVER happened before. I, of course, stutter out some version of a response along the lines of, "I am looking for a jack, but one of those bottley ones that can lift a lot of weight. It's hydraulic I think but I don't really understand how it's in a bottle and how it doesn't cost a fortune but my Grandfather said...." and I realize the guy is already leading me in the direction. I fully expect to be abandoned in the "general area" to fend for myself. Nope. He stays, searches through the area, finds the bottle jacks, goes over the options and tells me what he thinks will work best. Holy cow! This is the fastest I have ever gotten out of a Home Depot and with the right thing.
Back at the new digs, we know we are supposed to use a board to equalize the pressure on the frame. Done. What we didn't know, was this crazy powerful jack could shoot right through the board making a terrifying noise as the small, circle jack top hits the metal frame. Normally, not that scary. But you've seen what we have been dealing with on this trailer. I am fraught with thoughts of the dynomo splitting through the metal and the entire trailer falling over. This is not a logical fear but one none-the-less.
We prop the RV up and up and up and UP some more. Now even Chris is getting nervous. The freakin ball will not release from the truck. We almost have the jack fully extended and even though I have been running around like a hamster on a wheel cranking up the four corner jacks, as the RV becomes taller and taller my fear of it listing to one side grows exponentially. With a large "THUNK" the truck is finally free of the trailer and we begin the process of leveling the entire RV. Well, almost.
Chris has driven the truck all the way from SoCal up to here. I remember my uncle's instructions very well, you don't have to use first and DON'T push on the gas. It is a fuel injected system and will go on its own. What I forgot in all of that is the fact the truck is on a minor slant and having the clutch pushed in is the same as having it in neutral. I start to pull the truck out and instead of going forward the truck lurches backwards. Mind you the tow hitch is right near the precariously propped up bottle jack and the front of the trailer. Chris screams, I scream and slam on the gas proceeding to skip-chug down the road until I am a safe distance from the RV. Then I slam on the brakes and take the moment to gather my senses. From there on out I got along fine with the truck, but in that moment we were not friends. I think our "Home Alone" screaming moment introduced us to our new neighbors.