Messing Up the Maiden Voyage of Beauty

After signing the papers for Beauty, we quickly realized that we couldn’t just throw on a hitch and haul her home. For one thing, the dealer wouldn’t let us drive off the lot pulling an RV unless our truck had the proper accouterments. They offered to sell the special trailer braking system and hitch with sway bars for twice the amount that we could purchase them on Amazon, so we declined.


In addition, they needed to go over the trailer one last time before delivering it. Since they had sold so many units that weekend, we would have to wait several weeks for delivery.

In the meantime, Pedro researched hitches with sway bars and trailer brakes. He ordered a trailer brake system and installed it himself (he has a knack for knowing how to do these things). He decided that we could forgo the special hitch with sway bars, because the Tundra has some built in features that should take care of stability issues.

When delivery day arrived, we rushed to make our appointment on time. I had the truck packed with everything we would need to load in the trailer for a weekend of camping in Sedona.

Taking Delivery

When we arrived, a technician walked us through how each feature on the trailer worked. He talked about the safety features, and he explained how to check the levels in the tanks and how to use the sewer disposal system. He showed us how to light the oven and the stove, and how to make sure the refrigerator worked properly.

“You guys give more information about using the RV than the nurses gave us at the hospital when we got ready to take our babies home!” I joked.

The technician smiled and said, “We want to make sure you’re happy with your RV and don’t try to bring it back tomorrow.”

When it came time to hitch up, we discovered that our hitch was too low. The dealer graciously sold us the proper hitch (with sway bars) for the same price Pedro could have found it online. One of his mechanics even stayed late to install it.

We also discovered that we had to sign the paperwork all over again. Evidently, since we didn’t take delivery the day we first signed the paperwork, it created the need for redoing the paperwork.

By the time we pulled out of the parking lot the sun had dipped below the horizon and we still had a three-hour drive to Sedona.

Dead in the Desert

When we reached Sedona and found the dirt road we wanted to camp off of, the distant stars provided our only light. As we drove further and further along the Forest Service road, we discovered that each of our potential campsites already had an occupant.

After driving five miles, we finally found a spot. I hopped out to guide Pedro as he backed the trailer into place. He unhitched the truck whilst I unlocked the trailer and flipped on the lights. Nothing happened. I tried light switch after light switch, but nothing worked.

“None of the lights work!” I called out to Pedro.

“You probably forgot to turn on the master switch,” Pedro said.

“What master switch? I don’t remember the technician talking about a master switch.”

Pedro came in and tried all of the lights. He got the same results. “Look in the owner’s manual,” he said, “and I’ll check the battery to make sure it has a charge.”

I pulled out my phone to use as a flashlight and shone it on the giant packet of booklets and manuals. Flipping pages and perusing the indices netted nothing. Not one single piece of information said anything about a master switch.

“This thing MUST have a master switch,” Pedro insisted. “Everything worked fine at the dealer’s, and they didn’t have it plugged in.” He went outside again to check every crevice and cranny for the master switch.

Fortunately, the hill we parked on gave us the height we needed for cell service. I started looking on the Internet. Pedro checked the manuals to see if I missed something whilst I searched Winnebago forums.

After twenty minutes, I found something. “Check in the front storage compartment!” I called out the window.

Flipping the Switch

A minute later, all the lights in the trailer suddenly went on. Bingo! We had solved the problem. I started carrying in bedding whilst Pedro brought in the cooler to transfer food to the refrigerator. Midnight found us finally snug in our bed enjoying the first night in our trailer.

I tossed and turned most of the night. I kept replaying our tour with the technician and wondering why he hadn’t told us about the master switch. How could he have overlooked such an important feature? Especially when the master switch resided in an obscure place like an arm’s length away from the door inside the front storage compartment.

The whole situation made me think about church, God, and relationships. All too often we’re eager to share the benefits of our particular congregation or denomination to a first time believer. We overload them with information, tours, and manuals about the benefits of Christianity.

I have no power on my own. I need to be connected to the Master. #write31days Click To Tweet

In our exuberance, we forget to explain where the source of comfort, power and peace actually comes from. We forget the importance of connecting via the Master. Sometimes we even forget that in order to have power to live our lives, we must keep our connection to God turned on. All the time. We can’t go flipping the master switch when it suits our fancy.

Beauty Tip: Without the Master, we have no power.

Q4U: What do you do to maintain your connection to the Master?


  1. This story made me think of a camp story. Coming back from day camp, we got a flat tire. It was an older vehicle with a lock system for the tires. We had to search that vehicle high and low to find the key to unlock the hubcaps on the tires. We did eventually find the key.

  2. I love this new space, Anita! Your photo at the top is so great – you look ready for an adventure! And sounds like you had one. So awesome that you have a handy husband and an owners manual! I recently attended a conference with Lisa Bevere and her words about staying connected to God have stuck with me. She said, “I don’t do devotions, I’m devoted.” Now, she went on to explain that she is in God’s word, but that she stays constantly connected – worship music, conversations, prayer, fellowship. I love that idea – and yours – of always being plugged in to our master switch!

    I’m re-launching my blog today and you’re welcome and invited to come on over and join the celebration. So glad that I visited today from #testimonytuesday.

  3. Ooh, this is a convicting post, Anita. “Without the Master, we have no power.” Even if we have all the equipment and switches, we still have to plug in and turn it on. Hope you’ll enjoy Beauty for years to come!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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