October 26 Acton to Menifee

Strange coincidences can be frightening, confusing and annoying. Back when we were heading north from San Diego in the spring of this year, we developed trouble with our electronic brake controller for the trailer when we arrived in Acton. The controller then would flash alternating codes indicating either an overload condition was occurring or there was a short in the system. Regardless of the code flashed, the brakes on our 12,000 pound trailer being towed by an 8,000 pound truck would not work, a condition that can thrilling when descending a long, curvy grade.

Today, when we left the Soledad TT park in Acton some seven months later, the same codes started coming up on the controller’s display. We thought we had fixed the problem last April because the controller worked perfectly for the 9,500 miles we have driven this spring, summer and autumn. We were wrong.

The drive for today started out as about a 2,000 foot climb before cresting the pass and making a 3,500 drop into the Riverside, CA, area. It was our preference that the brakes be functioning on the downgrade. We found some wide spots next to the road (there were lots of them, none shady) and tried cleaning and securing all the controller’s wiring connections and, initially, we got good results and would continue. Eventually, however, the codes and lack of braking would return and we would try more fooling around before continuing.

We crested the pass and the trailer brakes seemed to work although I applied the brakes very rarely, instead relying on careful driving, considerable butthole puckering and heightened attention to traffic issues happening in the distance in front of us. We were beginning to wonder if there was something about Acton that caused the screwy controller issues because as we descended they were absent.

About four hours later, we covered the two hours worth of distance and pulled into the Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes facility in Menifee, CA, our scheduled destination. As noted before, there is no wilderness nor any lakes in this campground although there are some man-made ditches filled with fetid, green water. Some campers here actually fish for the mutant fish that live in the liquid-filled ditches even paying $12/day for a funny fishing license. We won’t be in Wilderness Lakes for long because we are too close to home and the place is completely without redeeming features other than full hookups. We didn’t hook up to anything other than power so we could make a quick escape in the morning. Fortunately, since this is a TT facility, we don’t have to pay to stay.

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