Monday, April 4, 2011

Keeping Busy While Waiting For Parts

Since our breakdown occurred late on a Friday afternoon East Coast time, it was not possible to get a lot accomplished. Saturday morning I supplied the owner of the place our brakes were done in New Hampshire with serial numbers so he would have all the information he needed for Monday. We also talked about the best approach for dealing with the badly damaged axle. Rather than try to have it repaired we agreed that the best thing to do was to have a new one built by the manufacturer.

After getting all that taken care of, I took care of one additional item. Our plans have been to spend the next couple months in Texas, having several things done to our trailer. We want to get it painted, new curtains, new carpet, new inverter, and we wanted to install new wheels and tires. The issue about the tires is that currently there is only one tire made for the size and load rating of our existing wheels. It is a very unusual tire that is only used on large 5th wheel trailers. The tire is not only quite expensive, (about$350 apiece), but it does not wear well and it has a very poor service record with respect to tread separation. I replaced all 6 of them in 2007 before our trip to Alaska, and they are now all just about worn out completely.

Many owners of large trailers like ours have replaced these wheels and tires with ones that are used on low boy trailers. The are much more common, a little less expensive, rated to handle more than 1,200 pounds more apiece, wear better, and have a good service record. It's not an inexpensive upgrade since it involves replacing both tires and wheels, but we feel that the additional safety margin is well worth the cost. There are a few companies that are making very nice aluminum wheels for these tires that will fit our trailer.

Since one of the tires was destroyed when the wheel came off, I had no choice but to do something. It did not make sense to replace just the one tire when I was planning on replacing all of them in a month anyway, so I ordered 6 new wheels and tires. They are being shipped from Ohio and will arrive Thursday.

After getting everything in motion, there is nothing else for us to do until all the parts are here. We spent the rest of the day Saturday and all day Sunday just hanging around the RV park, out of the heat on Saturday and out of the wind on Sunday. This morning I received a couple phone calls and by noon everything was ordered. I am still waiting on tracking information and projected arrival dates. Since the axle will need to be manufactured, it may be a while until it is ready to ship.

This afternoon we rode the scooter to Tonto National Monument. It's only 30 miles or so from here, and it was a nice ride. We were there a few years ago but Dianna didn't remember it, so it was new all over again for her. I still get a warm feeling each time I just show my Senior Pass and walk right in. We hiked the half mile up the steep trail to the cliff dwellings, and enjoyed looking things over. They sure had a nice view out their windows.

We'll try to find other things to do for the next few days. While there's a chance all the parts could be here in time to get us on the road again this week, I doubt it. It will probably be the first part of next week at the earliest.

1 comment:

  1. There are Indian ruins right in Globe too. Not too dramatic, but they cover a lot of space.

    Just east of Globe you can drive up into the Pinal mountains. You can be in Pondorosa pines at 7000 feet in about 1/2 hour. It is beautiful and quiet up there; few people know about it.