Saturday, August 9, 2014

Summer Vacation

We are into summer now (at least by Hessen standards with the school system now a week into the off-period).  What you tend to notice as you walk around various villages.....guys with RV trailers have pulled them out  of storage and cleaning them for the big summer RV camper trip.

Germans with a bit of extra cash and thrill for "adventure"....will go and buy a used RV trailer, and then find a spot to park it.

The family will go through an entire week of preparation for the trip.  Chief activities will include cleaning the trailer after it's been sitting there for year....buying and storing the essentials for the trip....and checking the tires to make sure they are capable of a seven-hour trip at excessive speeds (100 kph).

The biggest worry in this whole RV trailer trip?  Guys will typically overload the trailer with weight.  Toss in various cases of beer and soda, along with bikes and tons of food.  So you have a trailer that is probably anywhere from 500 pounds to a 1000 pounds overweight for the vehicle you are using for the trip.

This all leads to the fear of the cops stopping you as you enter for gas at some autobahn station and wanting to weigh your car and the trailer.

Once the cops reach the conclusion of a overweight car-trailer are screwed.  They will dictate you unhook the trailer and leave it there until you've got the proper vehicle to tow it.  This usually means you call up some trucker company and pay them hundreds of Euro to tow the vehicle the final four hours to the camp site.

An overweight car?  It means you need to remove either people or items in the car.  I've watched news reports where the husband told the wife to leave him and various cases of beer at the rest stop.....taking the kids on, and she's supposed to return hours later with an empty car to pick him up.  Pretty dramatic decisions to be made in the midst of the first leg of a trip.

By the end of the first week of September.....summer vacation is finished (at least in Hessen).  Folks will brag about their tan, their big bike adventure in the Swiss Alps, the RV trip along the Rhine, and do some minimum cleaning of the RV before they put it away.  The cops add up their tally of traffic tickets and fines, to proudly note they potentially saved X number of lives.  And RV maintenance folks get peppy because now is the time that folks realize their RV trailer has issues and needs repairs.

Yeah, it's a pretty active season and everyone is happy over something.

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