Sunday, April 15, 2012

To Eastern PA-4

I was in for a surprise this morning.  Since trip planning is one of the things we try to discuss, here's one for that category.  On the trip back from Florida, I ran over a piece of steel in the dark that ruined a tire, and now it was to appear I wasn't done with tires.  In preparing the trailer for the trip east, I had greased bearings and checked the tires for pressure, cuts, blisters, etc.  In the process, I notice the tire tread and thought, "These tires just aren't wearing.  It looks like I'll be replacing tires next year."  I check the hubs at every stop enroute, but hadn't looked at the tread further until I stepped outside the trailer this morning.  It was one of those "holy crap" moments.  The tires were bald.  There was an image of a tread, but bald.  It was obvious these tires would never make it back home, or anywhere else.

I called the dealer I had purchased the trailer from to ask about how best to align the axles.  It seemed obvious that could be the only cause of tires wearing so rapidly.  Normally, my experience has always been that tires were normally replaced for dry rot before they ever wore out.  After a short discussion, he finally asked if the tires were wearing on one side or evenly.  When I said "evenly", he said, "Then it's not the axle alignment.  I hate to have to admit it, but they put the cheapest tires they can find in China on these trailers.  They just don't last."  To sound like I knew they were wearing prematurely, I had taken a mileage atlas and added up the miles from our trips.  The tires had worn totally out in only 6,730 miles.  Incredible.

So I spent the rest of the day jacking up the trailer, taking the wheels off one axle and getting them replaced, and then during the garage's lunch break, putting them on, jacking up the other axle, and repeating the process.  Trying to find a saving grace in the problem, I was at least really lucky none of them had blown before we got here.

I left the winter sleeping bag at home, and have been regretting it since.  Winter has returned, and night temperatures have returned to the low 30's.  In the mountains, where a lot of the lakes are, nights are still hitting low 20's.  What happened to spring? 

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