So you think good preparation saves you from working on your rig while on the road? Here’s what’s happened so far. (Some of the following is routine maintenance)
Chadron Nebraska – Hitch was bending and cracking. – Replaced hitch.
Chewelah WA – Luckily my friend Peter had a compressor, impact gun, floor jack, some basic woodworking tools, scrap wood, and a place for me to work.
While we were there, I rotated the truck tires, changed the oil and oil filter, changed the air filter and checked the other fluids. (more on the fluids later)
For the trailer, I had to reinforce some supports on the closet shelves. (Pamala overloaded the shelves. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)
I also noticed some bad cupping and uneven wear on the trailer tires and decided to replace them. The tires were original on the trailer and had 25,000+ miles on them. Most of the bad wear was on the inside halves of the tires. This tells me two things:
- The excessive wear on the inside half of the tires makes me think the axle is flexing. It is an 8,000lb axle and the trailer only weighs 4,000lbs, but with the added leverage of 35″ tires I may need to move up to a heavier axle or truss the one I have. It’s not visibly bent but may be flexing while going down the road.
- The cupping leads me to believe the shocks are not adequate. Watching the trailer as I tow it reinforces this belief. It bounces a bit too much. I may need to double shock it or have some custom shocks made.
I also adjusted and greased the wheel bearings.
Clearwater B.C. – While climbing a steep, dirt, mountain road the truck overheated and nearly boiled the cooling system dry. Luckily we were towing the trailer at the time and were able to get a couple of gallons of water to top off the cooling system. Evidently while checking fluids in Chewelah, I didn’t fully tighten the radiator cap!
Vanderhoof B.C. – Coolant level was a little low again. Still not fully convinced it was my mistake, I bought a new radiator cap and some antifreeze to top off the system. No problems since so obviously it was a bad radiator cap. (yeah right)
Haines, AK –Â I was bending and cracking another hitch. I decided I may have three things going on. First, I thought I had too much tongue weight. I added a third battery to the tongue box before we left and have been carrying a nearly full (42 gallons) tank of water which is at the very front of the trailer inside. Â I usually don’t carry more than a half a tank for long distances, but lack of services prompted me to top it off whenever possible. I still feel like I need to carry a nearly full tank, so I moved a few things to compensate.
Second, I was running a 1″ riser ball which may have been acting as a lever, so I replaced it with a normal ball when I replaced the hitch.
Third, the roads in rural B.C. and Alaska are beat to crap! Â I can’t do anything about the roads and they seem to be getting worse, hopefully I’ve got it sorted out for now!