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Grouchy John's

I swear this will be the last part of this post, but to catch up here is the link to Part I and Part II.

Now back at my parents house with supplies in hand we once again get back into repairs. The plan is to drill a hole through the damaged panel and into the trailer frame and then to screw the panel to the frame. With drill in hand Brother JJ goes at it and drills through the panel with no issue but encounters some serious resistance when he hits the trailer frame. Pushing the drill in as hard as he can the titanium drill bit snaps in half almost taking my eye out with the flying shrapnel. Good thing we bought a 2 pack of the drill bit. Now I have to pause to say that once again I think the “good luck oil” was working as intended because neither Brother JJ or I cut, burned, maimed, or killed ourselves during these repairs (however that does not say there was no blood drawn…we will get to that in a moment).

I then took over with the drill and our last drill bit and went slower this time around but still could not even make a dent in the trailer frame. Baffled as to why this is because the Command Unit is full of screws holding the panels to the frame we thought it would be a good idea to unscrew one of those to see what type of it was. Now we have tried this in the past but the screws are not a typical philips or flat head configuration and that is why we bought a screwdriver set that has multiple bit configurations. I thought it was a star configuration but none of the star bits in the kit would fit. That is when my Dad takes one look at the screws disappears for a couple of minutes and then comes out with a screw driver with a square head and says try this. Of course it works and I take off the screw above the hole we are trying to drill. The screw was a just a regular wood screw and that is when we realized that the all of the screws holding the panels to the frame are going into wood studs not metal like we were trying to do. The metal frame is of course the base of the whole Command Unit and then the rest of the shell is just framed in wood. Well at least that plan wasn’t a complete failure because we were able to screw the damaged panel into the panel next to it and that flattened it out a little but still not enough to drive with.

Now I have to admit that Brother JJ has been saying all day long that we should just cut out the damaged panel and be done with it. To me that was a last resort but now I could see he was right all along. This is where my Dad’s hoard of tools came in handy again with a 2 ton floor jack, metal shears, and a lug wrench readily at hand. I think we were so excited about having all the tools necessary we forgot how to properly change a tire and proceeded to jack up the trailer before loosening the lug nuts on the tire. So we put the trailer back down and Brother JJ starts loosening the lug nuts when his nose starts bleeding (see I told you there would be blood) and gets on his shirt. Now it’s time for my Mom to get into the action as tells him to take it off so she can treat it. So now there is Brother JJ shirtless, bleeding from the nose, in the dark and me with a lug wrench ready to finish loosening the lug nuts. If a cop would have passed by right then I pretty sure we both would have been in handcuffs over the hood of his squad car. Instead the rest of the repairs go rather smoothly. We get the wheel off and with the metal shears my Dad provided cut through the panel very easily.  Now finally after more then 12 hours from the time we blew the tire we could feel confident on taking the Command Unit on the road again.

Now for the best part of this day, my Mom being a Mom started fixing us something to eat when she realized that we were about finishing up. What she whipped up for us both was a big plate of enchiladas. They were delicious (as is everything my Mom makes) and much needed.


I don’t usually have to go through what we went through for my Mom to cook for me but I love that she did this night and when we finally made it back to base safe and sound I thought that was a perfect end to a day that had a lot of shitty things happen but all in all was one of the longest, most frustrating, satisfying days of my life.

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