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  • chrisfinncjf

On the Road Again.........

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

We were out quilt store shopping and I get a call from Transwest that they are all ready to replace our axle and are waiting for us. No warning, not even an estimate of when the axle was going to arrive. We were 30 minutes away, good thing we didn't take a day trip some where.

We hustle back, quickly close up the camper and they take it right into the shop. They finished up the work right before closing at 5pm. 2 weeks and $1600 later, plus $150 for a new tire, and we are ready to be back on the road. The bill was a little higher than the estimate since they sent a spring under instead of a spring over axle so they had to cut off and weld the brackets on top of the axle. Oh well.

We had 850 miles in front of us to get to Spearfish. Our original route would have done this in 4 legs with multi-night stays at each stop. Since we are trying to get back in alignment with our reservation schedule we planned to do this in 2 legs with 1 over-night stay. Our plan was to make it to a Wauneta, a small town in Nebraska. Given the upcoming holiday week-end, and being Thursday, I choose a spot that was not going to be a vacation get-a-way. This was basically a gravel lot behind a gas station. Given the long travel day we went to the local watering hole and had a bite to eat for dinner.

We had beautiful weather for travelling, good roads, and light traffic. Almost a perfect travel day. Note I said ALMOST. We were 60 miles from our destination (Wauneta) and we had a blow out on the trailer. Fortunately there was a decent shoulder on the 2 lane road we were on and there was a field access close by so I could back in and be completely off the road. The tire change was uneventful but there was some skirting damage that I had to secure so it didn't rip off going down the road. All in all we lost an hour. We also had three people stop asking if we needed a jack, tools, or any help. Nice being in the Mid-west.

Really puzzled about the blow-out. We have had three blowouts now in on year on the trailer. When we got this rig I immediately upgraded from a 14 inch wheel with the load range D tire to a 15 inch wheel with a load range E tire. The tire is rate for 2850 pounds and we are running at 1600 pounds. I have TPMS so I know the tire pressures are good and I didn't pick up a nail resulting in a slow leak resulting in over-temp and a blowout condition,. Don't get it.

Fortunately our 2nd leg was completely un-eventful and was a beautiful drive. NW Nebraska is pretty country. We were on the road a 5am and I had mapped out all of the tire shops on our route since we were now running without a spare. We passed by a tire shop a little before 7am and they were just about to open. We stopped in and they had a trailer tire, got it installed, and we were back on the road in 20 minutes. We debated about waiting until Spearfish to get the tire replaced but given our history I wasn't comfortable travelling without a spare. Especially being a Friday before a holiday week-end.

We made it to Spearfish at 12:30pm and it feels real good to be off the asphalt parking lot and into a campground !

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