Mar 152018

When we were in the process of furnishing our house I tried to rent a U-Haul trailer to avoid paying the delivery charges most of the local stores here have. That’s when I learned that if you have a Ford Explorer, you can’t rent a U-Haul trailer. Who knew?

I guess it all goes back to many years ago when there was a stability issue with Ford Explorers due to the tires they were using, and U-Haul was involved in some lawsuits. So if you have a Ford Explorer, they don’t want to talk to you.

Our friend Jim Lewis has a small Kia Sedona and he was able to rent a U-Haul trailer when he moved here from Mission, Texas, but even though our Explorer is bigger and heavier, we were out of luck. Here’s a link to AutoBlog that talks about the issue.

Okay, if that’s the company policy, that’s the way it is. However, it really ticked me off when I went to the local U-Haul dealership, not knowing about all this, and the manager smugly shook his head and told me “Forget it. As long as you have that Explorer, you will never rent a U-Haul.” Huh? No, “I’m sorry, I wish I could help you, but it’s against company policy?” I could have lived with that. But I sure didn’t appreciate his arrogant attitude.

So instead, I found this very nice customized short bed 1999 Ford F-150 for sale on Craigslist and bought it. We weren’t actively looking for a truck up until then, but the previous owner had passed away  and his elderly wife doesn’t drive, so she did not want the continued expense of insuring and maintaining it. It only had about 80K original miles on it, and at $4,000, it was a steal. As it turns out, it was probably the best money we ever spent.

We used the truck to haul all of the furniture we bought for the house, the furniture Jim bought to furnish his house, it made two trips across the state to pick up Terry’s two big Glimakra looms, we have hauled building supplies in it, use it to carry our kayaks down to the water, and towed both the Key Largo and now the pontoon boat with it. I told somebody recently that if it broke in half tomorrow, I would still feel like I had gotten my money’s worth out of it. But fortunately for us, it doesn’t look like it’s going to do that for a long time yet.

Oh, by the way, every time I drive by the local U-Haul dealership, I make it a point to give them a one finger salute and say, “Screw you, U-Haul, I bought a truck!”

Yesterday we went down to Lowes in Titusville and bought some heavy indoor/outdoor wall panels, which we will use to cover the inside of the garage now that we have it spray foamed. 23 sheets of panels and five bundles of 8 foot long furring strips made the old truck squat down a little bit on her tires, but she handled the load just fine. Yep, it was the best money we ever spent.

While we were at Lowe’s, Terry also got another gallon of paint to finish up a couple of rooms she still wants to get to. I had to laugh when I saw the sign at the paint counter. I guess they must have to deal with a lot of guys like me.

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It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – I think my neighbor is stalking me. She’s been Googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Best Money We Ever Spent”

  1. LOL on the sign! Steve CAN’T pick out our paint colors.. he’s colorblind! tee heeeeee

    I know how you feel about the truck, it’s great to haul stuff when you want and not have to rely on renting a trailer (and giving salutes to the Uhaul guys)

    I know when we went to rent a Uhaul 28′ box truck to move into this house, they started giving us all these safety precautions and restrictions and rules and guidance on backing, turning etc. Steve kept nodding his head as it went on and on and on. We just wanted the keys and to go. Finally, I patted the Uhaul guy on the shoulder and said “We do maneuver a 40 ft diesel pusher motorhome towing an SUV through Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati and Houston— and he can back it up on dime in a campsite. I think we got this” hahahahaha

  2. Nick this is a little off topic, but I wonder if you would share your friend Jim Lewis’ thoughts on Mission, TX vs. Florida. We just finished a month down there for the first time and I have to say we’ve decided we’re “water people” and prefer the Sunshine state. Thanks

  3. I worked at a front end shop for several years, we did alignments to a lot of Ford Explorers (this was 97-03). We put air in the tires according the the door stickers, I could not believe the low pressures they wanted in the tires (24 lbs is what I recall). Turns out they were not real stable unless the tires were soft.
    New tires were made to be run with a lot more than 24 pounds of air pressure (44 psi Max was not unusual)…. if you run with to low pressure they build up heat, the heat causes the glue that holds the tread to the tires to fail. Failed tires don’t do well on Explorers.
    The lawyers successfully blamed the rollovers (the poor design IMO) on the tires & now no one wants to mess with a Ford Explorer.

  4. Yeah, wish I had a truck.

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