I started this post yesterday, but then internet issues prevented further drafting.
What should have been maybe an hour or so of work took the better part of the day, primarily because I was involved and things tend to not go smoothly. The rest of the weekend that I salvaged was devoted to getting my new Cooper tires mounted on the stock rims and the Duratracs shifted from the stock rims to the spare set of steelies.
Hitch is mounted in probably 15 minutes, allowing for reading time and tool collection essentially.
The carrier took a little while longer, just because the assembly wasn't exactly intuitive. At one point I thought we had a problem but it turns out I had selected the wrong carrier to mount in the first position. I swapped them after confirming which gets loaded first, and we still have a problem. Everything fits in the down position; unfortunately, it wouldn't fold up without interfering with the bumper.
I knew ultimately we would need to go to the Hitch Man as I had stumbled upon his store (which is called that) while donating some bicycles to the Salvation Army in Waldorf. He's across the street off of the MD 5 Business road, Leonardtown Rd (?)
I was intrigued and went in. He had all sorts of DIY ready fabrication elements for making one's own trailer, or, as would be the case, bastardizing your own 1-1/4" receiver extension. As he explained on the occasion of this visit, they don't really offer them in this size because the extension reduces the rated capacity of tongue weight and trailering capability by 50%, and since the 1-1/4" is already rated below a 2", it is impractically reduced. My mom's hitch was rated as 2,000 lb towing and 200 lb tongue weight. You can do the math. For a bicycle or two, she should be fine. But now I had some welding to do. So much for getting her stuff knocked out first thing on Saturday.
I had little energy left at this point to try to tackle the nursery; however, getting these rims fitted with some rubber would help free up some space in the garage. The Coopers have probably been stacked in there for going on 2 months. I intended them to be the summer tires to relieve the Duratracs from some wear and tear up and down the highway, as the compound which makes them perform exceptionally in extreme cold (Snowflake on the Mountain symbol) also makes them a bit susceptible to premature wear in hot weather. Fortunately, they've not been wearing down too badly given the delay in opportunity...and funding...to get them mounted up.
I was not happy with the franchise that I visited also charging a "Difficult Mounting" fee due to the size of the tires. Granted, 285/75/16 is not my stock size, but it is maybe 1.5-2" more in diameter and a few pounds heavier. It was a bit over $300 for the whole episode. I will be swapping the tires on and off myself, but I don't possess the know-how or the means to mount and balance a tire. One can dream though. Maybe I'll hit the lotto and add a ridiculous garage onto the lot. It will be bigger than my residence, much to the chagrin of the Mrs.
That's pretty much all that happened.
I am seriously contemplating removing all of the carpeting out of the truck and bedlining the floorboard. My goal, with some electrical relocations, is to maybe get the interior to a point where I can maybe hose it out or at least damp mop it to get the mud out. It might even mean that I'll have to invest in some of those neoprene seatcovers for a bit more moisture resistance. We will see. I'm asking around of others (especially the Jeep crowd...blasphemy I know) for benefits and drawbacks. We probably all recall some of the missteps that have arisen from me emulating Jeep behavior.
Til the next time.