Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Mishaps’ Category

Big Storm, Minor Damage

IMG_2854

Summer rain and hail storms here in the Midwest can be something fierce.

This week an afternoon a storm cell quickly snuck-up on me, bringing heavy rains and ferocious winds.  Despite my best efforts to hastily retract the (Zip Dee) patio awning, I found myself wrestling with what was effectively a 20 foot sail.  While I eventually managed to retract, I did not do so without escaping damage … specifically the ‘claw hook’, which is a piece of connecting support bracket hardware.

Fortunately, the claw hook is seemingly designed to fail under certain circumstances; I suspect this design helps avoid even more significant damage .

A quick internet search pointed me to a parts dealer and within a few minutes I had a replacement part on its way.   The part was easy to replace and cost only $21.

Unfortunately, 2-day shipping from Utah set me back $20 dollars.

IMG_2891IMG_2895IMG_2866IMG_2881IMG_2887

Site 25

IMG_1410

The plan today was supposed to involve a quick drive from one campground to another, the latter being William Kent, a national forest campground located in popular Tahoe city.

On paper the plan seems sound – drive the scenic 20 miles or so over a beautiful pass before descending into Tahoe City, whereupon we’d set-up shop in a location offering easy (ie- walkable) access to the town.

That was the plan anyway.

In reality what we arrived to was a cramped campground, packed with people, trailers, and no shortage of twisty roads complemented with perfectly (ill)situated trees and boulders which will test even the most experiences drivers.  It would have been fun if I had been playing a video game, not hauling around my home.

In a nutshell, it was a shit-show.

Foolishly ignoring the inner voice advising us otherwise, Kelly and I went about our typical routine – she helping me navigate blind spots using combination of hand signals and vocal commands.  Despite our best efforts, and slightly bent steps, site 25  defeated us today. 

Our first complete parking failure.

With my head hung low, I slowly began the process of navigating the truck and rig back to the park entrance while Kelly sheepishly walked back to negotiate a refund.  And with that we left.

IMG_1424.TIF

But alas … there is a good ending to this otherwise harrowing story.  

When life offers lemons, why not make lemonade?  And that is exactly what we did by hauling ass directly back to Martis Creek campground in Truckee. 

Now, comfortably situated in a huge site and not dealing with a mob of people or horrific Tahoe City traffic, we find ourselves sipping a cool, sweet, summertime drink.

So F-off site 25 … you may have won the battle, but Kelly and I won the war.

Not The Gift I Wanted

Santa delivered strong wind gusts today and of course I forgot to tie down the portable solar panel.  Consequently, my (previous) 160watt goal panel is no more.  All is not lost however, I’ll disassemble the components and rewire, salvaging the surviving panel.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 4.54.29 PM

photo credit: @aluminarium

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 4.54.44 PM

photo credit: @gm3sf

New Shoes For Mabel

Our trailer came equipped from Airstream with 15″ aluminum Sendel rims and Goodyear Marathon tires.  Like most larger trailers, ours has two axles and four total tires.

About a year ago I noticed irregular wear pattern on the front curbside tire.  At the time, I didn’t think too much of it – concluding it was simply a faulty tire.  A few days later I replaced it and assumed all was good, but unfortunately the wear has now returned something serious … only this time having expanded to both front axle tires.

Concerned about misalignment, I booked an appointment with an axle shop – specifically contacting a dealer specializing in the same brand axle I have (Dexter), but not immediately.  Instead, I deferred further inspection until a time more convenient, which would be a few weeks later.  Then, on cue as if planned, a couple days prior to the scheduled axle check, one of the tires failed.  Fortunately, not catastrophically.

23173299312_fb75542bfc_oDSCF3573

22913627879_11dc907e7a_o22887459827_05a81d77a3_o

I had the alignment checked, but results came back all good, so I remain stumped (as does the owner of the axle shop).

However to be safe, I upgraded to bigger wheels and more durable (truck) tires.  Like many Airstream owners before me, I opted for 16″ wheels and also transitioned from Goodyear to Michelin LTX tires.

Combined, this new set-up can accommodate increased weight ratings, reducing individual stress on all four tires.  I’ve haven’t towed more than an hour since making the swap, but early indicators are positive and I’m expecting an overall improved towing experience ahead.