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Old 07-26-2012, 11:50 PM   #71
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Default O Joy!

Greetings to All!

We are back in WA State, the TowLite is safely parked in my front yard and after unloading the rig and a day of rest, I am beginning to consider the fixes necessary to repair the damages, and some “improvements” to overcome deficiencies.

We decided to push on to WA from Butte, MT, rather than dally along the way, and made it home around 4 PM yesterday, after 10 hours and 620 miles of hard driving: mountains in MT, winds in eastern WA, the long climb up the Columbia River gorge, then the Cascade mountains in WA, only to be capped by rush hour traffic on I-5 coming into Tacoma, WA, where we came to a full stop, then creeping and crawling 10 miles until we could get off the freeway (I was told the Puget Sound freeway traffic is the 4th worst in the nation—not a bragging point). But, “O Joy!” as Meriweather Lewis said when he spied the Pacific Ocean, we are home.

Somewhere along the way the brake squeal came back, perhaps on the long descents down the mountains, and I am suspicious of problems there. I see black deposits on the left rear wheel around the hub, which makes me think of carbon from overheating. I’ll pull that wheel tomorrow and take a look-see. Before I am done, I will probably pull all the wheels and hubs to evaluate the effects of 4,400 miles in 8 days (including 2-1/2 days not moving).

Then I will find a solution to the wind damaged rock shield. Although the two lower mounting brackets are undamaged, the screws were literally torn out of the skin by the buffeting angled head winds in SD. Doing a bungee “field fix” in 110 degree temperatures was no picnic. I will probably do an epoxy putty patch of the holes, sand the patch down smooth, and then if I am able to find a pair of oversized brackets, remount the shield in new holes. We’ll see what the conditions require.

After experiencing the inadequate cooling of the frig in DC mode, I will likely rewire with a larger gauge wire as detailed in this forum, and put in the circulating fan mod discussed in one of the threads—was it the Sushidog mod? Plus an internal circulating fan and probably a remote temperature monitor. That should take care of that, although I have a slight suspicion that the super-hot temperatures across the Heartland may have contributed to the refrigerator deficiency.

It is hard to believe that just 2-1/2 weeks ago on impulse I bought my 1901 TowLite, and going from a complete untutored Newbee, have just completed a 4,400 + mile run with minimal problems. I have made several runs cross country in several different rigs, but rarely, maybe never, with so few problems. I love seeing America, I love visiting local diners and stores and chatting with local folks: it gives me hope for our country, when all the news seems bad-bad-bad. I told Christine, after talking with an Iowa librarian, “We’re gonna be okay.”

I could not have done the trip without you all, and I am very grateful. I will let this thread die, now that I am home, but will chime in on the appropriate thread as I begin fixing things. Thank you for your kindness and indulgence in getting me up to speed and seeing me through the adventure.

Ron
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:11 AM   #72
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Ron,

Carol and I are so glad that you made that very long trip with no major problems. I enjoyed so much reading of your progress and stops along the way. There is only one thing that bothers me about your last post. That being, your last comment:

" I will let this thread die, now that I am home".

We enjoy so much your contributions to the forum, please do not 'rest on your laurels'. Please keep posting on the forum for you have so much to offer.

Rest up... then keep in touch with the forum.

God Bless.

Jerry & Carol Curtis
2406T
Fredericksburg, TX
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:04 PM   #73
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Ron, I second the Curtis's post . Keep in touch.

That said- I'm curious about a product that may help you which you are in a unique position to try....and I am not. So- i would like to live vicariously through your experimentations.

I have mentioned it before- but there is an epoxy product made by WEST SYSTEMS called G-FLEX which is flexible and waterproof and very easy to work with. WEST SYSTEMS is well known for epoxy and fiberglass applications and the products are used extensively in the marine industry.
given your location they should be as easy to obtain as a good cup of coffee.

I have used the G Glex on gel coat, fiberglass, and metal repairs. I am wondering if it might not work on the polyethelene end cap on your HI-lo for filing the holes where the rock guard was attached----where you could fill them and then re-drill. There would be prep work involved to get the plastic prepped ----but not much. Possibly acetone and a bit of sanding. Anyway- google it and see what you think. I don't have any holes in mine, yet, otherwise I would give it a go.

Glad you are back safe and sound. later

Rick
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:53 PM   #74
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Default Still Here!

Jerry and Carol, thank you for your kind thoughts. Mostly, I am concerned that I don't become a nuisance with my constant questions.

As you may be able to tell from my posts, I really like to wander and explore out of the way places. Christine and I started out wandering when we lived in southern Illinois and I asked her if she wanted to go with me to look for some wild bamboo to build some fishing rods . After trekking through the woods and hills, getting covered in ticks, and finally building the fishing poles, I had to take her fishing (I'm a romantic guy).

Since then we have wandered all over the place. Our latest trip was the longest road trip we have taken in 30 years, although we have flown hither and yon a few times. Mostly, we visit small towns and out-of-the-way places in WA State. I particularly like old pioneer and native American historic places, and we expect the HiLo to fit right in with our wanderings. It is small enough to tag along in most places, yet, as Hilltool has well said, we will be "living out" of the trailer, and not "in." Christine has let me know that she prefers better quarters than a tent, and the trailer should work.

I am about to head out to Camping World to find an improvement on the plastic wedge wheel chocks we have been using. When we arrived home on Wednesday, maybe we were a bit road weary and didn't block and chock as well as we should have, as I jacked up the tongue jack the trailer suddenly shifted and nearly slipped off the jack blocks--it was hanging by an edge of the jack foot. Fortunately, I was able to prevent it from dropping entirely, got it back on the hitch, and re-chocked the wheels, but recognize that I need a little better insurance than the plastic wedges. I like the looks of the Fastway ONEstep system. Any suggestions?

Hilltool, thanks for suggesting the G-Flex product. I got on their website, and it looks like the product is for repairing plastics. My endcap appears to be made from aluminum, not plastic. At least that was my impression when I was scrambling to do a temporary fix and get out of the oppressive SD heat. You say you have used the product for metal, so maybe I missed that part on the website. I will look again.

Considering how fast and far we drove, and in such a short time, I suspect that as I go over the trailer I will find problems that are not currently obvious. I will let you all know what I find.

Ron
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:19 PM   #75
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Default Oops!

Rick, it looks like the end cap of the trailer is plastic, not aluminum. You obviously know more about the construction of the HiLo than I do. You say it is plastic, it is likely plastic. Maybe the G-Flex you mentioned will work after all.

An interesting discovery: today, after reading Hilltool's post, I went out to examine the end cap and rock shield more thoroughly. Much to my surprise, up under the rock shield, I discovered four additional holes in the end cap--2 on each end--plugged with four square-drive stainless steel screws.

My deduction is that the original rock shield was replaced for some reason. If my experience is any indicator, the previous owner probably left the propane tank cover setting on the tongue while lowering the top. Luckily, in my case, I heard the noise, stopped to investigate and prevented any damage. But I can see how easy it would be to cause damage, either to the rock shield or the propane cover. I wondered why my rock shield is plain white and doesn't have graphics on it like the other HiLo's. The answer: it isn't the original part.

Now I am left to wonder whether the original rock shield brackets were attached to the end cap skin differently than the replacement. As I examine the stripped-out holes, I see nothing to drive a screw into other than the skin, and it doesn't look to be more than 1/8 inch thick. It is easy to understand how heavy winds could whip-saw the shield and tear out the screws. Is there a screw backing to give a more solid bite on the original?

I am off to a local RV parts store to see whether they have the wheel chocks I want. If not I will make one more trip to Camping World. I probably should buy stock in the company.

Again, thanks for all your help.

Ron
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:23 PM   #76
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Ron

If you can- take a couple of pictures and upload them so we can see what you are talking about. If you go down to "manage attachments" below where you respond to posts you will see prompts for uploading photos. My shield is hinged at the top and attaches to the end cap in the indentation where the front window sits. I was thinking you had somehow ripped the hinge out of the end cap and the g-\flex might be a way to fill in holes and then re-drill them. But, I'm not sure what you have at this point----and i am far from being an expert on this anyway.

If you screw up the pictures DAbbler can fix em.

Rick
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:17 AM   #77
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Default Rock Shield

As requested, I have attached some pictures of the rock shield and the bracket holes. The first picture shows the trailer with the rock shield looking pretty normal. The close ups are of the right bracket and the holes in the end cap where the screws ripped out. I had to cut a groove in the broken screw to get it out. The last picture is of the left side. It looks like there are a total of 6 holes on each side. Obviously there has been more damage than I first thought. Looks like I have a project ahead of me. I will confess that I did not lift the rock shield when I bought the trailer. I'm not sure I would have thought much about it even if I had.

Any recommendations for repairs would be appreciated.

Ron
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:24 AM   #78
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While I am at it, and since Rick gave me the courage to try adding a picture, I will include a picture of the black deposits on the left rear wheel I mentioned in an earlier post. I still haven't pulled it to look inside, but it doesn't look encouraging. I'm not sure I want to see what is in there.

Ron
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:48 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgcronk View Post

I am off to a local RV parts store to see whether they have the wheel chocks I want. If not I will make one more trip to Camping World. I probably should buy stock in the company.
Ron,
Here is a link to some rubber wheel chocks that I bought at harbor freight which so far have worked fine. If you watch their ads you can get a coupon and if I remember I think I got them for like $5 each. Also harbor freight has a selection of camping items that is usually priced lower than camping world.
http://www.harborfreight.com/solid-r...ock-96479.html
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:03 PM   #80
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rgcronk, that wheel pic looks like someone painted the black center piece and it ran down the wheel, but I can't really tell from the pic. Pull the wheel there might not be anything wrong.
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