Sunday, January 15Overcast and breezy not very windy but for gusts. Hung out in our respective RVs. I did have dinner with the Zs.
Rain started in the evening and it would pretty much rain thoughout the night.
Monday, January 16
Lori and Chris left at 9am under overcast skies but at least the rain has stopped. They were headed to Tucson for some pickups and then driving back to San Simon, which is perhaps 15 minutes east of Bowie on I-10. They were having a leak looked at, a a diesel engine shop recommended to them.
Lori reported treacherously slippery conditions due to mud on the road to Bowie. I started thinking perhaps detouring via Safford to avoid the muddy roads.
I spent morning charging battery to float via the external battery charger running from the small generator. I wanted to see if it was failing since the difference reported by direct voltage readings and the battery meter were quite significant!
Tuesday, January 17
I woke to a battery voltage reading of 12.17V whereas the meter said 90%. 12.17V is equal to 60%! So the battery is toast, and just six weeks over one year old.
No problem I thought, I'm going to Safford anyway to detour away from the muddy roads, I'll exchange the battery at the Walmart there, under warranty! I left while it was still barely light, and as I was negotiating the pot holed section of Haekel Road; was flagged down by a truck that I had recently passed going the other way.
I stopped and the driver pointed out to me that I was dragging the ramp for the trailer! I'd not heard anything of course and was dismayed to see the ramp on the ground, held onto the trailer solely by the thin aluminum arms that support it in the raised position!
The hinges, upon which the ramp rotated, had both sheared open, allowing the ramp to fall off the trailer.
Thanking the young man, I picked up the ramp and used the new ratchet straps I was planning to use on Yagi to secure it to the rear of the trailer:
I got to Safford and found that I'd bought the 1 Year Warranty version of the Deep Cycle Everstart 29DC battery, not the 2 year! I was past warranty by six weeks. Dammit. So, $112 later, I had a new battery, this time the two year version! The removal and install of the battery went pretty easily, much easier than I thought.
Groceries at the Walmart were next.
Next, it was a stop at the Tractor Supply Store in nearby town of Hatcher where I got heavy duty hingers and associate nuts and bolts which I hope to use to re-attach the ramp to the trailer.
I hit US 191 South out of Safford and about 30 miles later I was on I-10 and soon enough at Bowie. I stopped at the Mountain View RV Park for propane, dump tanks, take on water and pick up a Pecan Pie which they're apparently quite proud of.
I heard from the Z's at this point, they were done with the diesel shop and apparently were told no leaks, perhaps a couple of loose bolts on Stewie's timing cover! We arranged to meet at the nearby Indian Bread Rocks BLM soon afterwards.
I went ahead and found my desired spot occupied by a van camper. I walked up to the lady who was sitting at the front of the van and found she was leaving tomorrow morning and she was OK with us sharing the spot with her for the night! Nice lady from Canada.
So I put Uma, the VRRV into a spot as far away as possible from the nice lady and guided Chris and Lori when they showed up to a spot close to Uma.
I was a bit bummer about the latest debacle with the slowly disintegrating aluminum trailer. There was a brief period where I though I should just get rid of it and buy a new one.
After discussing it with Chris and Lori, and imbibing some strong drinks way before 5PM, I decided to not buy a new trailer. Instead, get this one to make it back home sometime this Spring. I'll be towing the CRV in future camping trips with Martha you see, and I'll probably be leaving the Ural behind. We'll see how it all ends up.
That aluminum trailer has seen a lot of miles, some of it rough. And aluminum isn’t as flexible as steel. I guess that’s the cost of being a light weight trailer.
I agree RichardM, if I buy another trailer it will be a steel trailer, heavier but beefier. I just need this one to last me for this camping trip, after that I'll be towing the CRV.
Too much adventure for one day! But it was refreshing to see the guy flag you down and let you know about the trailer ramp.
Too much adventure indeed, Blaze our Way (Lori)....
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