They wink knowingly when we access one of our bags via the convenient side door. They wax mechanical over our trailer's independent braking unit. They nod appreciatively when we leave behind a few cents in the "Got a Penny, Leave a Penny- Need a Penny, Take a Penny" tray. These women of strong constitution and durable outerwear know that single-axle trailers fly all over the place at seventy miles an hour. Double-axles stay the course, inspiring confidence when you're passing a semi in a crosswind with a hot coffee between your legs. Here's a travel tip: ALWAYS have a spare tire for the trailer tire, because you'll need it. A spare van tire should go without saying. We have a milk crate in the van filled with essentials like WD-40, transmission fluid, jumper cables, fuses, paper towels, a Bob Evans location guide, and an atlas. Make sure the owner's card and insurance info are up-to-date and easily accessible. One more thing: I know it's a pain, but try to keep up on the maintenance when you're home. The last things you want to pay for are new brake rotors in the middle of North Carolina. You might not get shafted like Ned Beatty in Deliverance, but chances are you will be walking funny for a few days.
Reading Is Fun-Duh-Mental
I realize porn isn't exactly reading, but it's part of the deal. I could skip this but I know deep down you people want the truth. And the truth is. guys on the road peruse prurient publications like Gallery and Club Confidential from time to time. It's lonely out there. Sometimes Misty and Ginger are all we have to make it through the night. I know this is all quite shocking -- and ultimately, non-essential -- but hey, I've got space to fill. Video porn is a different beast, no pun intended. It comes out only on the longest trips, when it's either Chevy Chase or some midget chick taking on the world (if you know what I mean, and I think you do). Frankly, that was a little disturbing and not at all my bag. Aside from Hustler, you'll likely find Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, Newsweek, and Easyriders littering the floor of our van. There's usually a copy of USA Today making the rounds. We all have books that we're reading, from Air Guitar to The Perfect Storm. There's also a Bible buried in the van that occasionally sees the light of day. Reading in the van while in motion is hard, especially in the bouncy back seats.
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