|*On the road to Chaco Canyon*|
Two or three years ago I cracked the outside leg of the rear spring hanger on the right rear spring. Got it somewhere a welder could get to me and got it repaired before it had a chance to fail.
I caught it because I've always been in the habit of running my eyes over the rig just about any time I stop. Fuel. Camp. Groceries... if I'm walking around the rig I'm kinda checkin' her out, looking for such as will cause trouble if I don't fix it up quick.
Well... it's painfully obvious now, that habit has apparently faded a mite...
|*Broken RV Spring Hanger/Mounts*|
I say obvious because you can see on that broken hanger that it had been cracked half way across for long enough to rust the cracked edge of the hanger...
I'd planned to just have the left side boxed in advance to prevent the same failure... it's priority just kept getting pushed back... bad choice.
Worse... this failure is right beside the dump pipe for the tanks... so I've been by there right regular... UGH! Just no decent excuses.
Yeah... so it's Sunday in the middle of nowhere and nightfall is comin' on fast. What would your expectation of finding a savior be? yup. Me too. My expectation was Nada. Honestly? I just knew I was looking forward to a night sitting in the middle of the road hoping I didn't get blasted by some sleepy driver who failed to see my hazard triangles and flashin' lights.
I tried tow outfits to get me off the road, nobody had a trailer big enough. Even if they had, it would have been cheaper to just light it up in place and let it burn...
On my third call (Luckily I had good signal!!!) I was talking to a tow guy and had an Idea. "Would you know of a mobile welder that might be around?"
"Well" says he; "There's Marvin up by Broomfield. You could call Marvin's truck and trailer repair. If he doesn't have the gear he might know a fella that does."
Well damn if Marvin doesn't have everything he needed and he'd come out straight away... of course he's an hour and a bit away. Ugh... I'm seeing $$$ flying away fast... Service call. The work it'self. Surcharge 'cause it's Sunday. EXTRA surcharge 'cause "You is in a real tight and I can put it to you hard!"
Yeah... I was feeling low__at the same time a lot of relief because somebody was a comin' to pull my sizzling bacon out of the fire.
Well... by the time Marvin got there the sun had long since set. It was dark, with the wind blowin' pretty stiff... and he set to work.
As soon as he started to work I was breathing easy. It was plain that the Chief stud duck of Marvin's truck and equipment repair knew what he was about. (There have been repairs in the past where this ol' buster got raped purty good and with no alternative options!)
We (He) jacked it up. Then he got some chain and boomers and pulled that axle back where it should be and got the separated pieces clamped together...
|*RV Suspension repair ON the road*|
With them in pretty good position he could tack them in place and then burn them together.
In a shop with all the materials and tools ready to go and lots of light (That pic above is with camera flash) Not, laying in the dirt, in the dark, in the wind, with cars passing around us in the ditch, a fella might make a prettier repair...
... but the welding, with the plating boxing the back side and over each break seam... it's stronger now than when it left the factory so I'm happy.
|*Repaired hanger plated both sides and boxed*|
"So Marvin... what do I owe you?" I asked... knowing I'd taken better than five hours counting the travel time out of the man's Sunday...
"Well..." he kinda mumbled a little bit..."I get $105 an hour for road repairs... but that's for big trucking companies... how about we call it $300? Does that work for you?"
"Oh HELL YES!" I told the man. I was expecting to hear a lot more than double that! I raced to gather the cash before he changed his mind! :-))
All things considered, I weighed the price of his job out to be a bargain. Would have been a lot cheaper if I'd have paid attention and happened to notice those cracks... long before they became breaks in the dark on a lonesome back road on the Reservation!
Lesson to take away... check your rigs over regularly. I mean check close for cracks in the hitches, suspension parts... frayed belts and hoses... wiring faults...
... and every once in a while... give that nut behind the wheel a good tightening!
So... I decided to blow off Chaco Canyon. Took that night as a bit of an omen. I turned around and spent the night in a wide spot back by the main road. In the morning I resupplied in Farmington figuring to just go spend a couple of weeks chillin' and writing at the Goosenecks in Utah...
Got here... to the Goosenecks late in the afternoon... to find that it was effectively GONE.
The State of Utah has somehow now taken over control of this BLM land. Where it had been Free Boondocking since your grandaddy was pestering HIS grandaddy... it will now cost you $10 a night to park amongst the dirt and rocks.
I don't mind 'em charging a fella when they've put in facilities... but there's Nada. And ya'll can't tell me there's a "Cost" for parking in the dirt, in the desert... a few hundred miles from pretty much any damn thing.
It's just another case of; "There's people out there in the world who aren't PAYING! That's immoral! That's not Patriotic! They can't just live! We got to make them PAY to breathe. Pay to exist. If they don't pay__They got no Right!"
I'd have just turned away, but I was too tired and too cooked so I paid the tariff for a couple nights. Tomorrow I expect I'll move on and find a place where a man can still be; Just a man, free on the earth.
Still goin' down the road...
... Got a warm dry camp. Cold brew in the fridge.... and some worked for changes brewing in the future... so all's good.