Wherever the Road Leads

The Mattress Saga

Knee Deep in the Hoopla

Maybe it’s just the way I live this life. Maybe it’s this lifestyle. Could it be my constant pursuit of perfecting the “Ready – Fire – Aim” philosophy? Nawww… I doubt that. Who else, though, can turn buying a mattress into more-than-sufficient fodder for a blog post?

You may recall that the mattress in the camper has been of considerable attention. When I bought the camper, the mattress had a lot of miles on it. I flipped it and that helped. A little. After a month, I decided that a 4″ foam mattress topper might improve things. I ordered one and had it delivered to the next campground that I was staying at.

It did help. A little. Putting four inches of spongy foam on top of a spongy spring mattress did not result in an orthopedic bed. After a couple of months, in Nashville, I had a brainstorm and put a piece of wafer-thin plywood between the spongy spring mattress and the spongy foam topper. That had the most effect of my attempts.

However, after purchasing then sleeping on a new, decent mattress while I was having my foot amputated in Canada, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a decent mattress for the camper as well.

Most people have orderly mattress-buying stories:

Step 1: Decide that a new mattress is necessary.

Step 2: Find out who has a ‘don’t-pay-a-cent’ event plus free home delivery and drive to that store.

Step 3: Test a few mattresses then decide on one.

Step 4: Wait for the deliverymen, who then take away the old mattress.


Most travel trailers and fifth-wheels have ‘short’ queen mattresses that measure 60″ x 74″. A standard queen mattress measures 60″ x 80″. Living in a 26′ box, six inches makes a big difference. I can’t drive to Mattresses-R-Us and simply choose a brand-name mattress. Short queens are special order.

Weight is also a big factor. A quality Seally or Serta takes ten men and a boy to lift. If – and that’s a big ‘if’ – I could wrestle it into position, I’m adding more weight than I want to to pull down the road.

As usual, Amazon.com to the rescue. Here’s their ad…

Sleep Master Spring 10 Inch Pillow Top RV Mattress, Short Queen

  • Firm, customized support from layers of Pressure Relieving Comfort Foam and iCoil Pocketed Springs
  • iCoil system is comprised of hundreds of independent iCoils to virtually eliminate any motion transfer
  • Only the Highest Quality of Foam – Foam is CertiPUR-US Certified for durability, performance, and content
  • Worry free 10 year limited warranty

Smartly Shipped – Our patented technology allows our mattresses to be efficiently compressed, rolled and shipped in a box conveniently to your door

Yeah buddy… sign me up!

I pored over the comments that customers had left regarding the mattress. Most raved, with the occasional negative comment being followed up with a request from the company’s Customer Service department to contact them and they’d make it right. Some complained the mattress was too hard while others complained that it was too soft.

I figured that I had nothing to lose, virtually anything was going to be an improvement on what I had. It was a reasonable price, free shipping and no tax. I placed my order.

Included in the dimensions on the description page was the weight: 89 pounds. I weighed my current mattress, the plywood and the mattress topper and it weighed in at 60 pounds. I was adding only 30 pounds to the overall trailer weight. Very reasonable for a good night’s sleep.

I tracked the package on FedEx Ground as it made its way across the country from California and sure enough, on Friday it was noted as “Out for Delivery”. Around lunch, Shari – Mrs. Lake Harmony RV Park owner – called me to say that my Mail Order Bride had arrived.

I drove up to the office and there it stood. A 90# box, abandoned on the ground and not a soul in sight to help. They had watched the FedEx Ground driver struggle with the box. They knew to make themselves scarce. Oh well. I dropped the tailgate.

Well, it near killed me hoisting this 90# box off the ground and onto the tailgate.



I drove back to my site and wondered how I was going to get it inside. I opened the carton to expose a rolled-up, flattened, 90# mattress.mattress03

I got it to the door of the trailer but it near killed me. mattress04


I got it up the trailer stairs and inside but it near killed me.


It was recommended that before sleeping on it, the mattress be allowed to lay flat for 48 hours in order regain its full shape. I couldn’t do that outside in the elements and even if I could, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to maneuver the fully-expanded mattress into the trailer


Two days taking up the entire forward part of my trailer.


I think not. I stumbled over and around it for 24 hours then wrestled the old mattress, topper and plywood out the back door, and wrestled the new, now-expanded – mostly – mattress onto the bed platform.


That night I slept like a baby. What comfort! I couldn’t believe the difference. This mattress is fantastic, worth every penny and every sore muscle getting it in place. I am in Heaven!!

Oh that that was the end of the saga. For most non-Ready-Fire-Aim people it would be. However, now I have to get rid of the old mattress.

On Saturday, by the time I got the new mattress set up the local Land Fill site was closed. And it was closed on a very rainy Sunday. Monday, it was cloudy but the rain had stopped, for a while. I checked the forecast and it was not due to rain again until around 11:00am. I headed quickly for the Land Fill Site.

I weighed in and the guy at the weigh scales told me to drive up to the top of the hill, turn right and drive towards the heavy equipment. On the way up the dirt road, I was glad that it wasn’t any wetter or I’d have trouble climbing the grade.

If you remember the old song by Lobo called “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo”, there is a line in the song, “I remember to this day, the bright red Georgia clay…”. The writer was very accurate. This is Georgia. We have red clay dirt. When it gets wet, it gets slippery.

I made it up to the flat, bulldozed top of the hill. I could see the heavy equipment and where I was supposed to go. I could also see the wet ground… the wet, bright red Georgia clay. I figured it would be best to go in reverse towards the bulldozers.

I did. I drove slowly, careful to back up just far enough to where, when I put the truck in forward, the wheels just spun and dug deeper into the hole that they had created. Having driven on ice and snow, I’m not a complete fool. I tried rocking back and forth but that, and no amount of arm-waving by the bull-dozer driver was going to get me any closer to where he wanted me to be.

I got out and yelled to him that I was stuck. I was glad that I had worn my old go-fasters because I was sunk to the laces in mud.

He didn’t seem to be aware of the aroma that near burnt my nostrils when I opened the door, as he walked towards me. He was friendly as can be. I think.

He looked like Duck Dynasty’s black sheep uncle, with his long black-white-grey beard. If this had been up north, this guy would have called me everything but a white man, but Uncle Duck was completely non-plussed. I can decipher English through a lot of thick accents but I could barely make out his intense regional Southern drawl.



‘Yessir. Can you pull me out?”

“Got anything up front?” Meaning, did I have the pair of tow hooks attached to the frame at the front of the truck.


But he had given me an idea. My trailer hitch is a beast that slides in and out of the receiver. It weighs 30# and bangs and clangs when I drive, so I had taken it out of the receiver and put it in the bed of the truck.



(The angle is a bit deceiving. The large ball is in line and that’s what attaches to and pulls the trailer. The smaller ball is offset and is for the anti-sway bar, to keep the trailer from heading for the rhubarb every time a transport goes past.)

“I got my trailer hitch. I could put it in and you might could push me.”

“Et’s try ‘at. Ah’ll git th’dozer.” At least I think that’s what he said. “Dump what you need to rat cheer and ah’ll git it later.”

I put in the hitch and he went to get his bull dozer with a mammoth, garbage-pushing blade on the front. He inched up closer and closer behind me, very gently making contact. I had the truck in neutral until we got moving, then I put it in gear and slowly gave it gas until I could feel that the truck was pulling away from the blade.

I wasn’t about to stop to say ‘thanks’ but the window was down and I waved enthusiastically.


I weighed out and made a note to myself to never return unless we were in the middle of a drought.

How I’ve been sleeping these past few nights made it all worth it.

Pert near, anyway, as Uncle Duck would say.

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