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Old 11-13-2011, 08:40 PM   #1
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2011 Fall Colors Rally有ast Stop, Smallwoods Harvest and then DISASTER!

Fall Colors Rally有ast Stop, Smallwoods Harvest and then DISASTER!

After saying our good-byes to every from the Rally, Dawn and I back tracked a little to visit Smallwood痴 Harvest, one of the large Produce stands along Highway 2, just east of Leavenworth.

Once again, we ran into another fellow truck camper owner, just as they were pulling out to leave. Didn稚 get an opportunity to chat.


Storm痴 coming after us, those clouds don稚 look too inviting.

Wandering around Smallwood痴 Harvest, shooting pictures with Moby in tow, who really wanted to go into the main shopping area and 都ample any low-hanging fruit.

Even giant roosters did nothing to dissuade him!

Pumnkin Chunkin, my kinda sport!

This device right here demonstrates what you too can do with an old propane cylinder, a large valve and some good welding skills.


Old vintage Fordson tractor, produce by Ford Motor Company back in the early 1900s. There were a number of old tractors, both working and not working scattered around Smallwood痴.

Moby enjoying his hotdog, his reward for having to eat his kibble instead of his wet food on the trip. Normally gets spoiled with wet dog food, but he and pedigree didn稚 go well together, so we had to switch him back to his normal dry kibble, he wasn稚 too happy about that.


But, he was happy with his hotdog .



Sadly, all too soon, we were on the road again, heading west on Highway 2 for home.


Stopping along the way for the various spots of road construction going on along the side of Highway 2 as the road crews sprayed the rock cliff sides down with gunite to reinforce the rock faces and prevent slides.


Climbing up towards the big pass at the top of Highway 2.


Till we finally reached the top and started down the other side.

Dawn closed her eyes and formed a death grip on the cab door until we壇 leveled back off a couple thousand feet down lower.

Other than a couple of close calls with wide dump trucks, we had no major issues up till we reached the US-2 SR-522 interchange.



I swear to God, someone at WADOT needs a beating!


釘ump does not do justice on a sign for a road height difference between where they壇 ground down the old asphalt a full FOOT from the main road surface. The lip up was poorly done and the 澱ump sign was barely ten feet away from the impact point itself.



When you come around to this already going around 35-40 mph on a blind curve with no advanced warning, you just can稚 slow down 10,000lbs of truck and camper fast enough. We hit that bump HARD, I literally felt the camper lift up out of the bed before slamming back down again.



It wouldn稚 be until 60 miles later when we pulled off at the Southcenter Mall outside of Sea-tac that I would discovered that the driver痴 side rear tie down had pulled clean through the camper and had been dragging on and off on the road behind us for 60 miles.



Had it not been for my judicious use of bolt down chain loops, I would have lost my whole tie down. As it was, the happijac ear stayed put on the bumper and only the top edge of the now worthless eye bolt had kissed the asphalt sporadically.


To make matters worse, I would discover a couple weeks after the trip that the driver痴 side air bag had also been damaged in some fashion as it was now losing several PSI a day.



Hence, my last part in the title DISASTER.


Our trip痴 spirits were rather dampened after that, but fortunately, the KIT and truck pulled through with only minor damage, the tie down will be replaced, and the air bag as well when I do a leaf spring swap later this winter.

All together, minus vehicular damage, it was a good Rally. Dawn wants to go again, and so I look forward to it.



Hope to see you all again in 2013 .
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
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Wow nice pictures,and sounded like a great time until the BUMP!! It sounds like you were very lucky there wasn't alot more damage. Sometimes you really have to wonder about these highway construction crews. Something like that could cause an accident very easily.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:12 PM   #3
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Wow nice pictures,and sounded like a great time until the BUMP!! It sounds like you were very lucky there wasn't alot more damage. Sometimes you really have to wonder about these highway construction crews. Something like that could cause an accident very easily.
WADOT seems to me like they take several bong hits before they plan out how they're going to go about some of these projects, this isn't the first time that I've had vehicle damage due to poor signage up north.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the narrative and glad you enjoyed the rally. Maybe someday I can attend as well. Be glad you were in a Dodge as they are well built and strong. I hit a lip in the asphalt coming into San Francicso years ago and the camper became airborne for a moment. No damage but it sure shook me up.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
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Thanks for the narrative and glad you enjoyed the rally. Maybe someday I can attend as well. Be glad you were in a Dodge as they are well built and strong. I hit a lip in the asphalt coming into San Francicso years ago and the camper became airborne for a moment. No damage but it sure shook me up.
I'm glad my heavily modifiedDodge held together. She's a dually converted 3/4 ton truck into a 1-ton. Swapped axle, modified bed, etc....

Looks like I did it right since I didn't break any leaf springs or U-bolts, though I managed to damage a fender trying to park it back at home (Something I now have to find a dry barn to park it in to fix).
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:02 PM   #6
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I'm glad my heavily modifiedDodge held together. She's a dually converted 3/4 ton truck into a 1-ton. Swapped axle, modified bed, etc....

Looks like I did it right since I didn't break any leaf springs or U-bolts, though I managed to damage a fender trying to park it back at home (Something I now have to find a dry barn to park it in to fix).

Sometimes with duallys the best bed is a flat bed. Much harder to damage and easier to work with for loading. Just a thought since you are more than capable in changing out beds. There are many steel beds for resonable prices and even aluminum ones for more money. And you could have side boxes under the camper wings for storage. Anyway good luck in fixing the fender. I know the feeling of scratching/minor denting stuff and I always feel pretty bummed.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:14 AM   #7
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Sometimes with duallys the best bed is a flat bed. Much harder to damage and easier to work with for loading. Just a thought since you are more than capable in changing out beds. There are many steel beds for resonable prices and even aluminum ones for more money. And you could have side boxes under the camper wings for storage. Anyway good luck in fixing the fender. I know the feeling of scratching/minor denting stuff and I always feel pretty bummed.
Sadly, there's nothing "reasonable" about flat bed prices, given that I can buy a whole truck bed for around $500 and that won't even buy you a good used flat bed most of the time.

Get all of the needed bed boxes both above and below and by the time yer done, yer looking at several thousand.

I actually looked into it back when I first did the conversion, but the costs were staggering and I immediately scrapped any and all ideas of going flat bed. Plus the added extra weight (and height) were also big negatives to me.

Fixing the fender will probably set me back about $30, just need someplace dry to do some sanding and gluing to fiberglass it back together again, paint might have to wait till next spring.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:38 AM   #8
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I have been looking at flat beds, mostly aluminum and you are correct they are more than $500. And to fix the fender for $30 is almost nothing. I suspect any body shop would want more than $500 just to fix the fender on my dually! Doing things yourself can be an incredible asset. Keep up the good work. Keep up the good truck camper rally reports.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #9
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Yep, we found a BUMP like that a few years ago on Hwy 75 north of Dallas. The sign noted Uneven Road Surface in a construction are and the posted speed was 55 mph. It was certainly uneven,....The new surface dropped off to the old surface ....about 6" drop over about a 2 foot span. Not bad if you are going slow...bit at 55 mph with a 13,500# 5er in tow. We had one of the torsion axles collapse. Everything inside the was rearranged.

Sure glad you were not hurt and the damage was no more than what you had.

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:37 AM   #10
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Thanks, great pictures and narrative. Maybe one day, don't hold your breath, we'll get dome of these lousy roads fixed.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:48 AM   #11
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Great pictures. We were there in July 2008. Steven's Pass was foggy going west all the way down into the valley so we missed the view .
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:47 AM   #12
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Great pictures. We were there in July 2008. Steven's Pass was foggy going west all the way down into the valley so we missed the view .
Experienced that last year on SR-20, called it Suicide fog going over Washington Pass, couldn't see much past the end of the hood. Crept through there at 15 miles an hour with the blinkers on, leading about 20 smaller cars through with me.
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