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Old 08-25-2018, 10:32 PM   #1
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Phew ... it's been an exciting few weeks!!

Phew ... it's been an exciting few weeks!! ... kinda' glad to be parked back at home.

A couple of weeks ago we had a near encounter with a tree across the highway while traveling at 65 MPH, then we went to the 500 mile IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway where there was a really bad driver crash, we followed that up with a few days of respite at a campground in central PA and visits to Longwood Gardens ...

We spent the last 2 weeks traveling around Pennsylvania and I can say, that PA has some of the worst roads on the East Coast.

We saw numerous cars, trucks and tractor trailers on the side of the road with flat/blown tires .. we saw a LOT of tire carcasses strewn across the roads and at the end of our stay in PA we experienced the failure of a wheel bearing on our flatbed car trailer.

As we were pulling up to a toll booth, a truck driver and passenger waved us down. They pointed to our car trailer and I knew we needed to pull over. We were pulling up to the toll booth and I immediately said to my wife "Start finding me a LANE!"

I knew that if a good samaritan took the time to flag me down, something must be wrong. We took a slow run through the 4th toll booth from the side of the road as I started looking for a path to the breakdown lane for us.

My wife found us a path and we were able to get to the breakdown lane just past the toll booths.

I had already turned on the emergency flashers and I jumped out of the RV as soon as I could. I walked around the car trailer and immediately saw the problem ... we lost an outer cap on one of the wheels and the grease completely ran out.

Ok, now it's time to come up with a plan. In short, the car comes off the trailer. I remove both the wheels from the effected axle, strap the axle up to the trailer, strap up the effected hubs and we head on down the road .. with me driving the RV home alone, while my wife drives the car home .. about 160 miles.

This happened less than 30 minutes after we stopped for 39 gallons of fuel at Exxon. We left Exxon at 2pm (thanks creepy Google), I took the 1st photo 32 minutes later. I have a routine when we fuel - since it's usually 30-60 gallons at a time. I check all the straps, and feel each hub on the car trailer by hand. If it feels warm, I break out the laser thermometer. At this stop, there was no excessive hub heat and nothing appeared out of the ordinary.

In hindsight, I think I could have missed a cap that was knocked loose on one side of itself though - and bumpy highways could certainly have knocked it the rest of the way loose. Not to mention that the wheel would not be able to take the abuse of no grease for more than a few miles - and the tire and rim are covered with grease.

I wonder if the good samaratian that flagged me down saw the cap fly off ...

I believe that timing led to a great outcome and level heads and preparedness allowed us to move on in just over an hour. A lot of my friends ask me why I travel with so many tools and ratchet straps ... well you never know what you will have to deal with in your travels. Today, I had everything on board that I needed to solve the problem myself and continue moving forward.

What does disappoint me is that in the more than an hour we were there, flashers on, orange cones out, me taking tires off and crawling under the trailer - not one roadside assistance truck stopped nor did any police officers. I am not sure if one passed or not, but that seems like a long time.

and yes ... I maintain the axles on the car trailer on a regular basis. All 4 wheels were regreased just 3 months ago when we headed off on our summer tour of racing and concerts :-) .. my best educated guess/assumption (with more than 25,000 miles pulling this car trailer) is that something came up from the bumpy roads and knocked the cap loose, and then the continued bumpy roads knocked the cap off.

The cotter pin and outer nut are still in place and I have high hopes that the spindle is still in good condition.

The butterfly .. the 1st thing I saw on the side of the road when I was walking up to the car trailer.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:41 AM   #2
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Mama said there would be days like this! She also said "This too shall pass".
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:53 AM   #3
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OP, I'm like you, carry far too many tools, but you never know what might happen.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:00 PM   #4
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Glad it all worked out and you are ok
PA collects lots of taxes but I am sure NONE of the $$$$ are spent on the roads. I agree the worst we have encountered in the last two years. We just left PA 4 days ago after spending 2 weeks in various areas. I an not sure we hit even one decent road.
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