Progress report... Yesterday we picked up our rental truck – a monster with a 26' long cargo area. Driving it back from Kearney Mesa to Jamul through the rush hour traffic and rain was ... intense. I pulled into our driveway without any problems, then started to turn it around so I could back up to the house. Next thing you know, I'm completely stuck – the rear tires were actually off the ground.
It took me a minute to absorb the situation and see how this happened. The back end includes a lift gate and pull-out ramp. To protect those mechanisms, a pair of “skids” extends down below them. When the truck is on level ground, those skids are about a foot off the ground. When I pulled off my driveway to turn around, the nose of the truck was headed up a hill with perhaps a 15% grade. That brought the skids down to within an inch or so of the pavement. Then when the rear wheels rolled off the pavement, the truck dropped onto those skids – and left the tires an inch off the ground, over the shallow drainage trench just off the pavement. Sheesh!
The fix was obvious: raise the rear tires, put some rubble under them, and then I'd be fine. My 3 ton garage jack could only lift the truck about an inch, just shy of the distance needed. Any higher and the thing's pressure relief valve just said “no”. Well, really “No f’ing way, dude!”, but that's a detail. So down the hill I went to find me a good old-fashioned bottle jack, a handy thing to have anyway. I found one a half hour away, in Spring Valley – a 12 ton bottle jack with 5" lift capacity. That little thing made short work of raising the truck, and within 15 minutes of arriving home with it, I drove the truck out of the problem. Whew!
The rest of the day yesterday, and so far today, we're packing and loading the truck. Our covered patio is almost finished. We're leaving a lot of that stuff behind, so there wasn't much to do. Debbie's been busy wrapping all our art work with stretchy plastic film, and putting bubble wrap around the edges – she's almost done with that. This is, in general, going much faster than we had imagined it would.
As I'm sure you can imagine, the house now looks like a category 5 hurricane ripped through the interior. The cats are quite disturbed. They don't like new things in general, and at the moment the house seems to be radically changing constantly. The dogs are sleeping – they don't care what's happening, as long as we're there and not upset. They watch us carefully, though, to see if we're unhappy – and if we were, you can be sure they'd be upset too :)