Friday, February 21, 2014

Salted Roads and Peanuts

In record time, our ProPride hitch arrived.  We had been deliberating for about six months about which hitch to buy and finally bit the bullet last week.

Our choices were between a Hensley (about $3,500), ProPride 3P ($2,345), and something like an Anderson ($450) or Reese.  As you can see, there is quite a price difference between our options.

The ProPride and the Hensley do pretty much the same thing.  In a traditional towing setup, the vehicle and trailer are connected at the ball.  With the 3P and Hensley, the ball is encased in another mechanism which enables the vehicle and trailer to make turns while projecting weight to the rear axle of the vehicle, similar to the way a 5th wheel turns.  I will never be able to explain it the way ProPride does, so if you are interested in the physics of how the hitch works, check out their site.  

It was clear that we needed some sort of anti-sway properties in a hitch, but how do we decide which one?

There is a moment in season 9 of The Simpsons which sums up how Hubs felt about the whole thing:

Intruders could come down the chimney, through the mail slot, even hidden in your groceries. Did you change the locks when you moved in? I thought not. All the previous owners of this house could still be in here somewhere.
What do you recommend?
Well, a lot of companies would put in a pretty system that looks good, but doesn't provide any real protection.
Oh, let's get that.
...But if you want to sleep easy at night, I recommend sealing off every door and window with bullet-proof Lucite.
Wouldn't we all suffocate?
(laughing) Well, I should hope not.
Let's get that - the suffocation thing.
And you can have it all for only five hundred dollars.
Five hundred dollars? Aw, forget it.
He pushes the salesman to the door.
But surely, you can't put a price on your family's lives?
I wouldn't have thought so either, but here we are.

Hubs decided and I agreed that our lives weren't worth $3,500, but were certainly worth more than $450.  How should we assign a proper monetary value to the safety and well-being of our little family?  

Rock, Paper, Scissors!
I won with scissors and we got the ProPride.  
So maybe that wasn't exactly how it happened.  It took six months of rock paper scissors tournaments, best of 3,000. 

But seriously, Hitches like Reese and Anderson didn't perform as well or have the unanimously excellent reviews that ProPride had. Hensley was the same thing as ProPride, except ProPride had quite a few improvements from the old Hensley design (adjustable height hitch, better quality paint job, no holes had to be drilled in the A-frame)...oh yea and is about a thousand dollars less than Hensley.  
Decision time came when I saw that there were going to be four consecutive days of above-freezing temperatures and maybe possibly we could escape Indiana during that small window so we have to buy that hitch now now NOW! 
I gave Sean from ProPride a call (so maybe it was more like a dozen calls over a few months) and he kindly answered all of my questions, got me set up with the 3P hitch, and had it to my door a full day ahead of schedule!  Woo!

He also recommended the wiring and chain extension kit, (which is necessary if the existing 7-pin cable and chains don't extend 24" from the ball) and at $50 it even beat out Amazon and Ebay on price.

So all of the boxes containing the hitch parts came and Hubs told me to wait until the weekend to open them.  I walked past them an hour later and noticed that they had all been opened.  

Somebody that wasn't me got impatient. 

The next day was our first day of above-freezing temperatures and the inches of snow that fell last night turned to sludge on the roads.  Everything is melting at once, making for really bad driving.  Thunderstorms and rain followed the next day, with extensive flooding to the south of us. It is looking like our departure will have to wait for dry, unsalted roads for the foreseeable future.  

I am just thankful to have a warm, safe place to park for the time being.  While I would love to be in the desert right now, it isn't worth leaving while the roads aren't safe.

A moment in the day of the pugs:

A large container of salted peanuts sat on the table.  It had been there all day.  Otis suddenly noticed Mr. Peanut staring down at him and sounded the INTRUDER ALERT!!  Murray took up the alarm by twirling and buzzing.  I was therefore immediately informed of the danger and put Mr. Peanut back in the cabinet before he vaporized us all with his monocle.

Another disaster averted by guard pugs!

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