In-the-San-Juans

The "Built For Off-Road" Adventure – Part II

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The trailer was attached to the Jeep by a Lock N’ Roll trailer hitch. This hitch was designed for exactly this kind of incident by allowing the trailer 360° rotation with 3 axis of movement. The trailer rolled over with no affect to the Jeep other than a yank by the trailer as it landed on its top (even on washboard roads, the trailer pulled smooth and quiet).

We tried to roll the trailer back over manually but 2100 lbs, all pivoting on one tire, proved too hard for us men. Out came the winch with the synthetic line. Seconds later, the trailer was righted.

Nothing inside the trailer seemed to move at all. There was an ice cooler in the left rear that leaked when it was inverted, and the unlocked nose box lid came open, dumping out the contents. All items attached to the trailer (batteries, inverter, fridge) stayed put.

After the fender impacted the ground, the tent then took the full weight of the trailer. Damages to the trailer were minor but included the following: a right tweaked fender, bent roof rack rails with bent riser support brackets for the tent, trailer lid that was off-camber as a result of the riser/rail getting pulled, and tent cover that was scraped with a hole in the front upper corner. The trailer tub, all the lights, and the tent were left unharmed.

We were back on the trail within a minute or two after examining the trailer. The rest of the Moab trip went great with Hells Revenge being just plain fun. Again, the trailer was left behind for this trail even though it was more than capable. I must admit that part of me just wanted to play with the unrestricted Jeep among the Toyotas. Plus there is a limit to what I was willing to do with someone else’s trailer (I believe there’s a “Hell’s Revenge” sticker inside the trailer lid that badges that accomplishment done by someone else in the past). Nothing else went wrong in Moab.

The drive home was another story. As I pulled into a gas station, there was a very distinct grinding noise coming from the left rear of the trailer. I thought it was a stuck brake or something to that effect. Initial investigation proved this to be the case as the rim and hub were quite hot to the touch. A slow drive to a rest/parking area was in order to break out the tools once again. It didn’t take long to find the problem. The wheel bearing had practically eaten itself.

The middle of the Rocky Mountains isn’t the best place to find trailer axle parts. A quick phone call to Mario at AT furnished me with all the necessary part numbers to cross reference to find suitable replacement parts. It is very comforting to know that nothing but the best “off the shelf” parts are chosen to build their trailers. The closest place that had parts was 80 miles back the way we came at a trailer supply store. $100 and 160 miles later and it was as good as new.

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