The Little Engine that Could(n’t)
This past weekend I finally installed a trailer hitch on my 2011 Subaru Forester. I’ve been wanting to do it since I got it…back in 2011. Because let’s face it, if we’re going to build a farm, we gotta haul stuff. And to haul stuff, you need a trailer hitch. As much as my wife Stefanie and I would like to buy an old farm truck to haul said stuff, every penny counts. Converting 20 acres of completely raw land into a utopian farmstead will take strategic planning and budgeting. So for now, we forego the farm truck and opt for the trailer hitch. So with the help of my dad, Cappy, I finally installed an aftermarket hitch. Not the measly Subaru hitch with a puny 1-¼ inch receiver. What’s that gonna haul? A paper clip? No, it was the 2 inch receiver for me. After all, I’ll have lots of farm stuff to haul, so I’ll need the ability to hitch on to bigger vessels!
My wife, Stefanie, is a go getter. I accuse her of obsessing all too often. But it was she who found our beautiful Airstream trailer after a month of nonstop scouring of the interwebs. And when she decided she was going to find us a trailer to hitch to our Subaru, it was again nonstop interweb scouring. Her constant searching was finally rewarded when an old beat up truck bed trailer came across her computer screen. It was a good price, in good shape, and nearby. She had negotiated for the seller to hold onto it for a few days so that I could get the trailer hitch installed. He kindly agreed. Do you know what a truck bed trailer is? It’s essentially just a pickup truck bed on a frame that’s ready for hitchin! Stefanie had sent me photographs of the truck bed trailer, and I was worried that it wasn’t going to be substantial enough. There was nothing next to the trailer in any of the photos, so I was afraid that it was going to be smaller than we wanted.
On Sunday we waited and waited to hear from the guy selling us the trailer. My newly-installed hitch was screaming to get on the road and find something to latch onto. Finally we heard from the seller, a nice man named Tim. We told him we’d be there by 4:45, and we were damn close to making it. About 4:53 PM we rolled up to Tim’s house, and I did what any eager trailer-hauling enthusiast would do: I backed into the driveway. But as I approached our prized truck bed trailer, I noticed something was quite wrong with the scale. Imagine if you will, a tiny little clown car backing up to the Titanic. Now imagine that the clown car is even smaller, and the Titanic is even bigger. That’s how I felt at approximately 4:55 PM that day. My dad later likened the scenario to the tail showing up to wag the dog. Fortunately Tim was quite understanding, and I don’t think he could have let us drive off with that trailer in good conscience. And I don’t think we could have driven off with it period.
Needless to say, Stefanie and I have a lot to learn about gearing up to build and operate a farm. This particular lesson involves doing just a bit more research before pulling up in a Subaru with a 2200 lb. towing capacity to tow a truck bed trailer from a ½ ton pickup truck on it’s original frame…that means it was damn heavy. But in a way, these little lessons make our adventure all the more exciting. We don’t know it all, and the thought of how much we are going to learn along the way is pretty cool.
And, um, we’re still in the market for a trailer. Probably something a bit smaller than that last one.