Directions / by Erin Wade


We live in a pretty rural area, and we've been in the process of (slowly) restoring and upgrading a family home. This said, we have never been terribly traditional people.

One of the traditions of living in rural Illinois is the owning of some sort or kind of pickup truck. This isn't a tradition we've kept, as it isn't really consistent with the very mobile lifestyle we keep. But we do still need to periodically haul things.

To achieve that, our little cars (second generation Honda Fits) are pretty well equipped from the factory, but sometimes they need a little help. Up to this point we've achieved that by either using things like aftermarket roof racks or by borrowing a truck and/or trailer on the rare occasion we need to haul a larger volume of stuff. Still, part of our goal is to be self-sufficient. So I bought a trailer hitch for my car from Amazon and a trailer from Harbor Freight.

I bought them about three years ago. They haven't yet been installed or assembled. It's possible that my ideas for projects may not entirely align with my actual free time.

But this Fourth of July weekend I decided to move forward on it by starting on the process of putting together the trailer.

Now, I've interacted with a lot of products over the years for which "some assembly" was required. Still, was, perhaps, a greater adventure than I'd anticipated.

Harbor Freight appears to specialize in relatively low cost tools and other items, which is why, in part, we purchased the trailer from them (the other reason was that it folds in half, making for easier storage). Sometimes, though, you get what you pay for.

Here I am referring to the directions. First, I downloaded them online, to make them available on my iPad for quick reference which, you know, is kind of awesome. But that's where the awesome ends.

There were many, many parts for this trailer. They consist of several lengths of steel, all similar in size and composition, all painted the same color. In the directions they are referred to by name - e.g. "2B" - which would be great except the parts themselves are not marked in any way, shape, or form.

Truly, I would like to ask what the point is of giving the different parts different labels if there is, in fact, no corresponding label on the part?

Fortunately the pictures were fairly decent, and I do have a fair amount of experience with putting things together from the aforelinked Nordic furniture company, so I've been able to muddle my way through.

But honestly... Well... Ugh!