Showing posts with label Trailer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trailer. Show all posts

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Making the trailer last a bit longer.

 I have been using an Aluma 638 Aluminum Trailer since before 2016 to haul one of my two Ural Patrol sidecar rigs when camping with the URRV.

I've pretty much put the thing through terrain and situations that it wasn't really designed for and which aluminum just couldn't withstand long term repeated stress.

Stretching the trailer's tongue by two feet to gain clearance distance didn't help as it most likely added undue stress where the beam mated to the trailer bed's longitudinal support beams.

Along with stretching the tongue and gaining clearance, carrying the TW200 on the forward edge of the trailer bed didn't help things either!

Not supporting the rear edge of the trailer when doing loading/unloading operations didn't help either, something I learned about today thanks to RichardM.

I'd tried having additional aluminum welds to secure the tongue to the beams under the pretty sure it wouldn't come off but the cracks in the beams themselves caused worry:

Above shows rear portion of trailer's tongue and
the cracks that have developed over the years.

I'd always assumed it was the flex of the trailer bed as I drove the sidecar rig up onto the bed or off the bed that was causing the above cracks.

The last camping trip, I'd used an inch wide, 3/16th inch thick steel bar to act as reinforcement plate on the top and the bolts you see below, using the added on welded brackets as base.  Seemed to do OK but the metal strip was proving too narrow.

So, in the last week or so, I've added wider steel plates:

I've also added a couple of wooden fencing planks
to distribute the weight of the tug over the aluminum bed

Steel plating both on top and bottom on left side
where the cracks were worse

Right side, didn't use steel plate on bottom side,
this spot is more to keep things connected as the 
welded on brackets seem to be doing fine.

Some email exchange with RichardM and some googling revealed my idea to support the forward edge of the trailer was mistaken, I'm supposed to support the rear edge of the trailer.

So, I'll be traveling with a couple of small jack stands to use when loading/unloading the sidecar rig onto the trailer.  This should alleviate some of the stress when a 800 lb sidecar rig is driven onto or off of the trailer!

My next trailer, will be a steel trailer....yep, much heavier but stronger.  But not anytime soon, I hope.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Independence Mountain- Day 4

Wednesday, Aug 05

Slow day, rains (very light ones) on and off throughout the day led to staying lose to the URRV.

Had a scheduled call with my VA primary care provider and he agreed that since I ran out of my blood pressure medicine over ten days ago but my BP readings have been fine; That it’s OK for me to stop taking the medicine and see how things go.

I mostly relaxed, puttered about the RV, and added some extra security to prevent the tail lights from falling out of the trailer when moving from campsite to campsite.

 Right side light...replacement obtained yesterday 

Left side light

I used self-tapping screws, same as the ones used to secure positions of the trailer’s ramp where welds had broken from repeated loading and unloading of the rigs:

Yeah, there’s some disparate metals interaction issues with steel screws and aluminum but I’ll see what happens in the long term.  One crossbar had already come loose so doing this while traveling is better than nothing.

Had the awning out most of the day, but it wasn't very windy.

Tonight's sunset wasn't too shabby:

Admin note: Going back to publishing once a day instead of every two days.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Boondocking on Independence Mountain, CO

Aug 02, Sunday

Decided to do another recce of Jackson County Road 7B, this time with an eye for turn-around points just in case.

Rode out on Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol and 24 miles later, I was at the junction of CR 6W and CR 7B.  Note, there's an RV park if you turn left instead of right at Lake Johnson Wildlife Area.

I discovered a Class A RV tucked in the treeline as I wandered about getting pics of Scarlett at the top of the mountain:

The presence of the Class A, who had taken the harder BLM road up, pretty much made up my mind re trying to get Umarang and trailer up to this spot!

I talked to the RV owner, he turned out to be a fellow sidecar owner.  He's got a 1957 Chiang-Jang 750 rig and lives somewhere near Fort Collins, CO.

I rode back to the vicinity of Six Mile Campground in Wyoming, broke camp, and mounted up both motorcycles.  Soon we were all at the junction of CR 6W and CR 7B again, the mountain beckoning us forward.

From google maps, to give you an idea....we basically drove up one of the ridges!


Initially, it was not bad at all, pretty much a gentle grade at most:

In fact, up until perhaps the last 1/2 mile or so, I kept the automatic transmission in Drive.  I wanted to see when Uma would require manual intervention.

The last 1/2 mile was a bit worrisome but Uma did great.  I did have to hastily shift into the lowest gear and floor the accelerator in order to maintain 4000 RPMs and 20+ mph headway!  I had thought she'd just automatically shift further and further down, like when climbing high pass highways and be able to hold higher speed but I guess not.

Still, Uma got us to the top with no issues.  The previously reconned campsite was still empty and I set up camp, finishing around 1:30PM for a late lunch.  Nice spot amidst the big Aspen trees which should provide some shielding from any high winds that might develop up here.

This is the view of Medicine Bow Mountain and other peaks
less than 50 paces from the URRV.  Not too shabby eh?

Not too many folks up here.  I have seen a group of about three ATVs drive by but not much else.  

I like it!

Later in the afternoon, I went out to check out the "neighborhood".  I found only one truck, occupants somewhere else; and the Class A I'd seen in the morning was gone.

I was measuring the length of the "steep part" of the road where I had to manually go to Umarang's lowest gear which turned out to be just shy of 1 mile from the top.

Part of the "Last Mile"
Doesn't look too bad.....

As I was riding up with Yagi, I spotted a trailer light on the side of the road.  Uh Oh....what were the odds?!

Yep, it was the one I'd recently bought and installed on the right rear of the trailer!  Dammit.

Besides all the damage to the plastic, I found that, Oh, wonder of wonders, the bulb whose filaments were busted and was hanging loose from its mounts,  isn't replaceable, you basically have to replace the whole unit.  Dammit.

Still, given all the other stuff that could possibly have gone wrong today, I'll take this as the price of a nice boondocking spot.  I'll just pick up a replacement at the NAPA store in Walden in a few days and this time am going to use weather sealant to hold the sucker in place!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Wyoming Boondocking - Day 3: Errands and a hike up a hill

Wednesday, July 29

Some more shots of the campsite I'm presently boondocking in.

After breakfast, I rode Scarlett the 24 or so miles back into Colorado to the town of Walden.

I needed to refill the spare gas tanks and also purchase a replacement trailer brake/turn light.  Once again, I'd lost one of them somewhere between home and the North Sand Hill Recreation Area just north of the town of Cowdrey, CO.

This time, it was the right side light; but luckily, the plug was not very damaged from having dragged on the ground for who knows how many miles.

NAPA P/N 60202R1

Installation was pretty easy and I re-used the OEM rubber grommet.  This time, I also used some sheet metal screws to "wedge" the light assembly in place, and did the same for the left side light.

I also ordered a pair of lights from Amazon, thereby guaranteeing I'll never lose another trailer light again since I'll have spares onhand!

After leaving town, I decided to once again check out the North Sand Hills Rec Area, since I was riding the most capable of my onhand vehicles, Scarlett and her 2WD.

I didn't get very far on the trails as things got sandier than what I was comfortable with pretty fast.  I did spot where I should have set up camp, in fact a couple of spots, but they weren't very secluded and were near other campsites.

I did find a small hill which Scarlett could easily climb for this shot:

This recreation area is pretty forested for the most part with deep sand in the trails winding their way among the trees.  I'd say it's a haven for OHVs with wide tires and such.  Not much in the way of scenic sections of sand dunes as I'd pictured beforehand.  Oh well.

Returning to camp, I got the trailer light installed and then had some lunch.

After lunch, with the winds really picking up, I figured I'd forego riding in such winds and instead hike up to the top of the nearby hill where the campsite is located.   The URRV is at 7960 ft (2426 m) altitude and the top was at 8530 ft (2600 m).  A gain of only 570 ft in altitude but it felt much higher as the going was quite steep.  (or I could be really out of shape)

 Looking to the SW, that's WY Highway 230,
it becomes CO Highway 125 across the border

Looking to the NW, you can see the access road
into the Six Mile Campground.  This road also acts
as access to the Platte River Wilderness Area.

The rest of the afternoon was a windy mess and I stayed close to the URRV, watching the clouds overhead racing past...their shadows mottling the valley before me as they passed overhead.

After dinner, I took a leisurely evening ride on Yagi to the rock formations on FR4A:

Returning to the main trail, I kept going northward for perhaps a mile until I stopped on top of a small ridge for these views:

Near where I stopped above, there were a couple of these box shaped objects.  One white, the other rust brown.  From a distance, they looked like discarded plastic containers some Schweinhund had left behind as garbage.  I'd seen another pair, one white and the other blue, at a different campsite.

I walked over to take a closer look and they're actually solid blocks of some material/mineral.  I think they're salt licks left out for the wildlife by the USFS Rangers?  No, I didn't lick it to confirm.

One more view of Yagi staring off towards the east:

Even though the sun was still above the horizon, it was getting a bit chilly and the winds had picked up again so I returned the 3.5 miles or so back to the campsite without incident.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The trailer is back to original configuration (mostly)

The proof of concept which led to the modifications:

Extend the tongue of the Aluma 638 Trailer by two feet to: Prevent trailer hitting corner of URRV when backing it up in tight terrain; add room for the carrier rack for the TW200 Dualsport to be mounted in front of the trailer's cargo area.

This allowed me to bring along, during Glamping Trips, both one of the Ural Sidecar Rigs and the Yamaha TW200 Dualsport.  

More info/pics here:  LINK

This worked for a while but then I noticed "flexing" where there'd not been any before.  Not a good thing usually for a trailer.

Found cracks on the longitudinal aluminum support beam onto which the trailer's tongue is attached.  So I had it reinforced by a local welder.

More info/pics here: LINK

The extra reinforcing seemed to work, however, during my recent trip, I noticed that the weld joining the extra two feet of aluminum to the trailer's tongue had cracked apart.

I consulted with the welder who'd done the work, he said he'd fix it for free if I brought the trailer to him.  Trouble is I was near home and he's in Hotchkiss, CO close to the western border of the state!

Further thought and discussion, he agreed I should be able to separate the two foot extension and remove the aluminum "bars" which held the coupler assembly to the original mounting point of said assembly together:

I was at a campsite but with my tools was able to take things apart and put things back together the way the tongue was....repositioning the support wheel and spare tire mount.

 No more flex.  I think my options now are:

1.  Longer trailer, or similar sized one but made of Steel.

2.  Install front hitch on the URRV and mount the HF moto carrier rack onto it.

3.  Decide whether I really need to bring two motorcycles with me on camping trips.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Failed Experiment - No more trailering both the T-Dub and an Ural Sidecar Rig

Oh well, it was worth a shot.

The idea of mounting a Harbor Freight Hitch Rack to the front of my Aluma 638 trailer to allow me to bring along one of my Ural sidecar rigs and the Yamaha TW200 seemed workable and for a while, it did.

Today, as I finally did a closeup inspection of the underside of the trailer, I found cracks where the tongue mates to the cargo area of the trailer!  Dammit.

Apparently, extending the tongue by two feet AND adding the TW200's almost 300 lbs to the tongue of the trailer was too much.

I'd noticed it being a bit "bouncy" on the last trip, had done a cursory check and seen nothing.  Today, it was pretty obvious:

Of the three tabs which are attached by welds to the tongue and then to the frame of of the trailer, the rearmost one had separated and cracks had developed.

The other side of that support was cracked as well, and the tab's weld had cracked as well.  Not good.

So, my planned departure for a Leaf Peeping camping trip for this morning had to be postponed.  I hurriedly checked Google Maps and it showed a welding shop about 8 miles away.  I called and the owner Jim said bring it over so he could look at it.

I hitched up the trailer to the URRV and hurried on over.  Colorado Mechanical Welding is the name of Jim's welding shop, it's located in a suburb neighborhood next to his home in Parker.

He had been loading some big pipes onto a truck when I showed up, so as soon as that was done, he came over to the street where I'd left the trailer to check things out.  He said, no problem, and to leave the trailer with him and depending on workloads, he might be able to get it done today!

I left the trailer after confirming with Jim that carrying 300 lbs of T-Dub on the front of the trailer is not a good thing, so the rack will be coming off.

Shortly before 4PM, I get a call from Jim, the trailer is finished!  Martha got home shortly before 4:30PM and I drove her car (it's very tight maneuvering room at the welding shop property) and with Patrick (#1 son), we went to retrieve the trailer.

A very fair price was charged and the rear mount point of the trailer tongue is now "reinforced".

 right side

left side

Really happy with Jim's work.  Saturday I try to go camping again, and we'll see how the new reinforcements work out.  I'll only be hauling Scarlett, my 2014 Ural as she stands out nicely and I hope for many good Fall Colors shots.

I heartily recommend the work of Jim's company: Colorado Mechanical Welding in Parker, CO.  Fairly priced work, quickly done and with friendly enthusiasm.  He's not only a great welder but he also is a holder of several land speed records on a Hayabusa!

Jim said he got the above motorcycle up to 247 mph!

Update: September 26.

Delaying departure for camping till Sunday; so I took Fiona's port side muffler over to Jim Cole's shop to weld the crack at the base of the support bracket.  It was caused by either being knocked off during Fiona's last camping trip or my repeated hammerings on the bracket to get it back to the right angle to mount it.

I expected to drop it off and pick it up later but he took a look at it and the broken mount on the TW200's cargo rack and said if I was willing to wait, he'd do both right then and there!  I of course said yes, and both tasks took less than five minutes for Jim!  Another fair price was paid and I left a happy camper once again.

 Jim Cole welding the mounting bracket, in situ, nice and fast

Jim did this welding faster than I could remove the 
seat on the TW200 to expose the broken cargo rack mount!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Broken cargo rack bracket and adding a trailer anchor point

Some minor work on both the T-Dub and hopefully improving its transportation tie down system.

I discovered, at the start of the last camping trip, that the bracket which supports the rear portion of the Cycleracks cargo rack had broken.  I'm thinking mounting the Kolpin gas can mount on the rearmost portion of the cargo rack caused too much flex/stress.  My fault.  Back to the drawing board on carrying extra gas.

Until I can find a welder to hopefully fix the weld shown above; I drilled the holes you see, and used safety wire to hold things together for now.  Also found an old metal strap, for use in the middle far so good.

Oh, and speaking of welder work needed, the bolts you see in the foreground, mount to an aluminum support that is part of the frame of the motorcycle.  It has a crack, probably from all the weight/stress.  Hopefully, that's an easy welding job.


As I learn to safely transport the T-Dub on the rack I bolted to the front of the trailer, I've been learning how to best tie it down for transport.  Have lost a couple of straps due to wear point damage, and have tried several ways to hold her upright and steady.

Below pics show latest version of the tie downs.  Any thoughts/feedback would be appreciated if you see something not right.

 Front view: anchor point is attached to rack at right front wheel,
through the middle frame and ends at the spare wheel.

 Rear view, the new anchor point is the silver one 
at bottom of above picture.  It extends the angle
so there's less stress on the blue strap.

The front wheel is kind of held in place by the adjustable clamp that came with the rail, not great at that role so I also used cam lock straps to secure each wheel to the rail as well.