Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Hitched

SuziQ has a couple of home grown angle iron "tabs" welded onto the front of the frame.  We surmise a former owner used those tabs to connect an equally home grown yoke to hitch and tow the Zuki behind their motorhome.  Our Blue Ox yoke won't fit.

So, yesterday it was off to Cottonwood to go to an Old School welding outfit called Smelter City to see if they could adapt the tabs to fit the Blue Ox yoke.  The guy took one look at the situation and said his insurance company won't let him touch anything to do with towing apparatus.  Period.  Case closed.

So, I next went to Camelot RV Park (nice oxymoron, eh?) The kind guy there said, "I won't touch that--you're going to have to cut all that off and start from scratch, it could cost you as much as $700."  Very encouraging news, to say the least.

Since I had been soundly trounced by these two pronouncements, I retreated to recover at a tried and true refuge--Food City.  As I walked in the store I grabbed their new weekly ad as well as a fresh copy of our local classified rag--The Ad King.  (I've never seen an Ad Queen but I presume one must exist.)  My goal in perusing the Ad King was to hope to find a coupon special for wheel balancing.

As I was recovering from the shock of the two deliveries of bad news about towing SuziQ, I happened to see an ad for a falcon tow bar.  That's all it said and the price was $125.  Having no clue what a falcon tow bar is I decided to call and, luckily, caught the seller before they were departing for the day.  Also, luckily, they were located right up the road at a trailer park for geezers.

Much to my surprise, it wasn't just the tow bar--it was the whole shooting match--a brand new tow rig that is much more well known as the famous Roadmaster 5250 outfit.  I was easily as shocked by this turn of events as I had been by the earlier bad news.  Bear in mind the actual suggested retail for this rig is a cool ONE THOUSAND dollars.  It can usually be had for much less at around $750 or so but still, we're talking the kind of money we simply wouldn't ever spend in this lifetime on earth to hitch up a cheapo Suzuki Samurai. (You can click here to see a typical retail listing for it.)

Being the Career Skinflint that I am, I offered $100 and the seller reluctantly nodded "yes." I zoomed off to the ATM and made the round trip is less than 10 minutes being breathlessly eager in my haste.
POOF, just like that we were back in the hitch game again.  I had been the first caller.  If this would have been a golf game, it would have been a hole-in-one moonshot.  Frankly, I was rather stunned by the Sir Real turn of events.  From being down in the dumps with nowhere to turn to being on top of the hitch world in less than an hour was a most dizzying turnaround.

Later in the day, I stopped off at Beaver Creek Service here in Dimrock (as The Goatherder calls it).  We've known the owner Pat forever and he's game for anything.  I showed him the rig and he agreed to do all the welding modifications on SuziQ next Tuesday morning.  Pat said everything would work just fine.  He's probably gonna charge maybe a hundred bucks so we will be getting hitched for a reasonable price while using a genuine Cadillac rig.

One of the coolest things about the Roadmaster rig is that the actual tow bar folds flat against the tow vehicle so there's no need to stow is someplace.  Our Blue Ox yoke is a real pain to stow.  Meanwhile, with the Roadmaster, the towed vehicle can be attached to the tow vehicle by ONE person.  That's huge.

Well, there's even more Zuki Zarma in yesterday's legacy.  As the seller and her male friend were walking away from SuziQ around behind the vehicle, the guy turned to me and smiled and said, "Your spare tire is completely flat!"  Yee gads.  I was dumbfounded.  Somehow in my lunacy, I had forgotten to check the spare tire when we bought the Zuki.  That means we drove it all the way through Phoenix during rush hour and into the pitch black, lonely desolate high desert dark night with NO SPARE!  Geeze, I felt like a total dunce.  Luckily, the tire aired up fine.  It was flat because it had lost its bead sitting around all summer in Maricopa.  However, who knows what might have happened if that guy hadn't alerted me to the situation.

And there's even more to yesterday's Zuki story.  For the past few years, I've been hearing rumors of some Zuki Guru that hides out someplace in the Camp Verde area.  Yesterday afternoon I went looking for him and came up empty-handed.  I really didn't even have the sketchiest of clues to find this purported guru so it was a short search.  OK, earlier on Wednesday, I had called a Zuki seller in New River and he hadn't returned any of my calls.  I was calling on behalf of DF & N Gary.  Well, whilst I was standing alone by last night's campfire (the temp had dropped to 32 and Susun deemed it too cold for her) the cell phone chimed and it was that New River guy.  We had a great talk--he had been inundated by callers--two or three dozen calls and emails about his $1800 "bone stock" 86 Zuki.
He was a real nice guy and, somehow, the subject turned to the mysterious Camp Verde Zuki Guru known simply as ZOR.  (NOTE: If I would have had the ZOR keyword, it would have been easy to find this so-called guru.) Lo and behold, the New River guy had actually visited ZOR!  He said it was really hard to find and they had to guide him in on his cell phone but he had their website and contact information and said he would email it to me right after the phone call.  Sure enough, the New River guy kept his word and the info was sitting in my inbox when I came in from the cold.  You can click here to go to ZOR's website.  (WARNING:  There's a risque biker image on the website gateway page.  Our G-rated family readers might not want to go there.  It's a PG-image, not an R-image.)

All-in-all, it was a very rewarding, entertaining, exciting, unexpected and memorable day in the Life of a Zuki Dude.

Cheers, jp

PS--And get this: Yesterday I actually visited three grocery stores and didn't buy a single thing at any of them.  That's a first for my entire life on earth.

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