And now a dramatic telling of…

How I Dropped All of Our Expensive Electronics Five Feet Onto the Floor

So we’re pulling out of a steep-n-windy, heavily wooded, overcrowded, “meh” kinda campground…

Wait, I should rewind a bit.

I spent the prior afternoon walking this campground, post-to-post, checking line voltage with my multimeter and explaining to the staff where their grid problems were coming from. Why? Because I was showing off my so-so expertise (and hoping for a free site upgrade) after having encountered severe low voltage issues at our assigned site. Real electronics genius over here—suppose it was about time for my day’s Karma lesson.

Now where was I…

Right, so I’m cruising down this nice country road—at a whopping 5 miles an hour—when these train tracks come out of nowhere. They’re the kind of tracks with deep, rusty orange grooves in the pavement. The kind that are just a couple degrees off of being perpendicular with the road. Yeah, I see ’em—and for some reason don’t even think twice about slowing down.

Over go the front tires. A thought passes briefly through my mind—hmmm… a bit of a wobble there. Maybe I’m distracted. Maybe I’m considering flipping tracks on my iPod (I still have one of those). Maybe I am just a little too comfortable with how well our travels have been going in recent days. In any case, the passing thought passes.

Over go the back tires. Another thought—not at all brief—when did I move back to San Francisco? The left rear dualies drop into the rut in an instant; all 7000 pounds of our rear axle (and all of our cargo) obviously dropping in with them. Just as quickly, they ascend the opposing precipice as the right side takes a dip. The physics aren’t pretty. At this point, a three second, magnitude 7 earthquake seemingly takes over the back of the rig. As the RV twists ever so slightly, the near-shearing force rumbles its way to the front, throwing the top of the cab a good 3 feet to the right.

I think… “Did I ever fix those cabinet locks?”

The top front cabinet ever-so-briefly holds onto our laptops, iPads, XBox controllers, spare hard drives, portable inverter, and an unreasonable number of Popular Science magazines. I hear the magazine stack—popagainst the cabinet door. As it flies open and all of our wonderful things come crashing to the floor, I glance sharply to the right.

Vimmer: Co-Pilot of the View #onepawdown
©2014 Michael Spencer. All Rights Reserved. — The original #onepawdown

There’s Vim—my dog—my best friend and trusty co-pilot—safe and sound, chillaxing in the passenger seat, #onepawdown.

“Well, that’s all that matters, buddy.”
Time to pull off the road and check out the damage.

The girls—Valerie and Gadget (dog #2)—are riding in the car in front of me, utterly oblivious to my plight. I radio ahead that “there’s a problem.” I’m not very descriptive. “I’m pulling off at the next turn.”

For the next minute or so, the sound of metal and glass scraping across the faux-tiled cabin floor is a much more noticeable companion than my entirely un-phased, half asleep dog.

I come to a stop. As the pile of magazines and electronics shifts into its final upright and locked position, the gritty sound of smooth glass sliding across the sand that perpetually graces our side steps continues for just a brief moment more.


Well, how’d we do?

I immediately pop both laptops open. Props to Apple. Both screens immediately come up without so much as a dead pixel. Valerie’s laptop has survived the trip admirably. My laptop has bit of a ding on the corner, but you should see the other guy. There’s a Macbook corner curve permanently impressed upon the floor.

The hard drives were well packed, and I hope that they’re no worse for the wear… but I’m not going to test them now.

I see the iPads. Valerie’s is face down on the floor—flip case yet to be found—and mine is sitting on top of a magazine, still in its cover. I reach for her iPad, fearing a sand-scratched mess of a screen, but it looks as good as it ever did. “Good thing mine still has the case on,” I say to myself as I slide it open and—to my horror—watch little bits of glass dust fall everywhere.

“Frak.” (or similar expletive)

Flipping it over, the back side must have caught the corner of our recently-installed shoe rack on the way down.

RV Improvements: Shoe Rack By The Door
©2014 Valerie Spencer. All Rights Reserved.

Made it myself, out of scrap wood, in my father-in-law’s garage. Not quite as proud of it at this particular moment…

I know I mentioned to Valerie weeks ago that our top cabinet locks weren’t installed correctly. The push-button catch was installed too high and the locking tongue just waved there in the open air. Locked or not, nothing was keeping those doors closed other than a little spring arm and good ol’ gravity. For some reason, this electrical genius didn’t think to move the expensive electronics to another cabinet at that point.

“It’s okay. We’ll just take turns slowly and everything’ll be fine until I get around to fixing that.”

Electronics: What Not To Do in An RV
©2014 Valerie Spencer. All Rights Reserved.

…present me thinks past me is a jackass.

Tomorrow comes. I fix the cabinets. The solution? Fifteen minutes of my time and $2.50 worth of 1/2 inch stainless steel washers.

Safety: Make Sure Your Cabinets Actually Lock

Note to self:
Don’t spend all day telling people what’s wrong with their things… particularly when you don’t take the time to fix your own.

Well played, Karma. Well played.

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