Fixing to Get

Yes, that’s the Airstream not in our site at Honeydale Park. For the first time in almost three months, we towed her out, but not for the spring leg of 2023 traveling. We were checking off the final, major item on our to-do list here this winter, which was to get new tires on the trailer.

Tracy made the tire plan and talked with the set of very young men at the tire store, so I can tell you only second hand that it came close to not going well at all.

Tires Are a Big Deal

The trick with getting new tires on the trailer is getting this sucker lifted. We could have gotten new tires installed while the trailer was up on a full lift at the Airstream factor in Ohio, but that was several months before we needed them, and at $800 we opted to wait. We could have put new tires on ourselves here at Honeydale, but that would have meant hitching up and pulling the trailer onto blocks for each adjacent tire so the one Tracy was working on would be off the ground. I’d need paper to figure that out; let’s say it would be a lot of hitching and unhitching and inching on and off blocks. A lot.

So, Tracy opted for a standard tire place. That was where we learned that it isn’t until you get your delicate, expensive home into a non-RV environment that you realize how non-RV people aren’t tuned in at all.

I won’t describe in detail because Tracy oversaw what was happening; I sat under a nearby tree and checked on Banjo in the truck because of this heat. The gist is that the tire guys were like a bull in an Airstream shop, knocking over stacks of tires right beside the trailer (dents, dudes!) and jacking up the trailer while Tracy was sitting on the steps (the frame, dudes!).

We finally drove away, with four new tires and no lasting damage. (Although, Tracy still needs to see if a panel on the undercarriage popped back in place. He’s afraid to look.)

And, we still had to back the trailer into our spot at the RV park, exactly as it had been, without running over Bill and Emma’s hanging planters or nicking the bumper of Mary’s car or backing into our tent we’d left set up. In the 80-degree heat.

There were no tears, there were no recriminations, and we are still married, so success. The trailer is even mostly level. Accomplished: new tires.

Dress Rehearsal

Also accomplished: remembering how the heck we pack everything up inside and out and hitch this damned thing.

Since we’ve been here for so long, I had to find all the unnecessary stuff we’ve accumulated over these three months, like cocktail glasses and RV park brochures, and put all non -trash in a pile in the tent for the upcoming RV park yard sale. Then I had to remember how I get all our other stuff locked down for travel. I’ve never appreciated my checklist as much as now.

Tracy’s in charge of the outside stuff, and he had to pack up the Starlink antenna for the first time. He was all proud getting it to fit in the truck cab, along with the cooler and the air compressor and Banjo—the items we probably shouldn’t shove into the rubix cube of the truck bed. But then Tracy woke up in the middle of the night realizing he hadn’t left room for his tools. Oops. He ended up leaving a bunch of truck stuff in the tent when we went to get the tires, which is cheating in my book. How will it all fit in the truck? Tracy will certainly get that rubix cube sorted somehow.

I realize the only photos I have to illustrate us packing up are of Tracy on the ground under a vehicle. You know I’ve used up all my material here in Brownsville.

Why Am I So Ready to Get?

I am so, so ready to go. I say that, and then I think of the things I love about this place. Walking to the laundry room any time I want. (Aren’t I an adventurer, excited about laundry!) Familiar faces. Biking to the grocery store. Having a mailing address. The flock of parrots overhead at sunrise and sunset.

The big one: being so close to the beach.

I finally took a picture of South Padre Island’s “Clayton’s! Texas’ Largest Beach Bar!” that we walk through to get to the empty beach bar right beside it.

Clayton’s makes me think of the huge hall where Grandma Estelle used to play bingo with a trillion other old people. Seriously, all the retired winter Texans come here to sit shoulder to shoulder at folding, plastic tables, which makes it a very different place than advertised on the banner out front featuring bikini-clad young ladies on a stage and a hundred college students gawking up at them, a DJ fake-spinning in the background. I’m guessing that happens like one week a year?

I wouldn’t want to be at Clayton’s! then, either. We opt instead for the cushioned sofas and company of ourselves next door. Because, you know, it’s not like we spend all our time together just the two of us, right?

What I also love about this place is how easy it is to bike to town, for Charro Days, for example, and now for this excellent restaurant we found after the harrowing tire trip. It’s close by, it has dining on a resaca (the greenish water past the deck), local beer and decent cocktails, and good food that for once is not tacos. Plus, we were entertained by a team from the Brownsville utilities department dredging the resaca with their loud, churning boat going an inch an hour right under our table. Oh so Brownsville! I kind of love that.

Why Go?

So, if I like being so close to the beach and places I can bike to and a laundry room, why am I ready to leave?

As the days have gotten hotter here and we have to keep every single shade drawn against the sun, I’ve caught myself thinking, “We should just get a house. Why are we living in such a freaking small space, anyway?” Then I remember.


That’s why we live in such a small space. When you’re seeing a new place every week, the size of your home is irrelevant. Heck, we don’t even live in Brownsville. We live on the road. Oh yeah!

The irony isn’t lost on me that, three months ago, I was so excited to settle down for a while that we arrived here in Brownsville a few days before we’d planned. Heck, we decided not to camp on the beach a second week, we were so eager to loosen the Airstream’s proverbial belt and just relax and let it all hang out.

Well, I’m done hanging. Time to buckle up and get back on the road.

8 thoughts to “Fixing to Get”

  1. I get it: the whole point is the allure of the open road, comfortable as your current stopover may be. Plus, without bikini-clad young women, there’s really no point in staying.

  2. Got tired of the place? No pun intended…. welll… maybe… Your observation about bingo parlors was spot on. I subbed for a caller at one for af few days and vowed to never again.

      1. No, except an elementary school one. The folks that do it professionally are amazxing…