A Travellerspoint blog

USA

Replacing the hub and bearings


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Tuesday morning it was time to do the work with the parts purchased yesterday. I saved and watched two videos, this one and this. It was helpful with the instructions from Joe on Saturday. So I raised the trailer and removed the broken hub, then installed the new one without issues. The packing of the bearings with grease was my morning excersise after breakfast in the nice and warm trailer (instead of doing it outside in 3 degrees).
Installing the hub was more difficult as it was not going easily into its place. The axle was not heavily damaged but maybe it was a bit deformed due to the heat? I was not sure but after about an hour of struggle it was all done.

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We were all very happy and relieved that we can continue our journey. We left our unintended but enjoyed weekend spot at 2pm and travelled East on the remote Denali Hughway. The scenery was beautiful and we stopped by the Alpine Lodge.

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Then we have seen a pack of elks in the water.

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Crossed rivers on wooded covered bridges and enjoyed the scenery.

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with warning signs of dog sledge teams on the road! We did not meet any although after the Denali Park kennel visit we would have been happy to see some more action.

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Posted by divatmotoros 20:38 Archived in USA Tagged alaska Comments (0)

Anchorage daytrip for parts

520 miles on a long day


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So we were stranded on the roadside with a serious mechanical issue of our trailer but we used our time well in the weekend. We hiked in the beautiful area, then I cooked a nice mixture of Hungarian "paprikás krumpli" and a canadian stew so life could not be any better.

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Monday morning we decided to go all together to Wasilla, 200 miles for the needed parts for the trailer. The other option was Anchorage another 40 or so miles. We arrived to Wasilla around 14:00 and the shop had half of the parts we needed. We decided to push on to Anchorage and buy everything at the place called Trailercraft, formerly owned by the great man helping us in out despair.

We arrived to Trailercraft and there we got everything we needed. As we soon need to replace the brakes of the trailer I decided to buy four full set of hubs and bearings. We will use one for now to get the trailer back on the road and once we returned to Canada and the weather is somewhat warmer we can replace the other thee as well.

After having all the parts we stopped for fuel and food, saved a youtube video on how to repack our bearing and started our 5,5 hours drive back to our abandoned trailer.

It was a loooong day, rained all the way and in the dark on the bumpy unpaved road I got very tired. Thankfully we arrived "home" safely around midnight.

Posted by divatmotoros 15:27 Archived in USA Tagged alaska Comments (0)

Stuck for three days on the Denali Highway

overcast 3 °C
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It was the last Saturday Denali park's campsite were open for the season so we had to go. We are heading South from here and we had two options: we take the same road we used coming to Denali (Alaska Highway) or take a chance on turning South and then use a different one.

We took the latter and reached Cantwell without problems where Google Maps directed us to the Denali Highway, route #8. It is about 130 miles towards Gakona and somewhat before that it joins route #4. As it passes high mountains by the left side it promised nice views. We also preferred nature to Anchorage. Small detail that this road is not paved. I hoped for about 10 miles that it will eventually become paved but we were out of luck. So we pressed on driving around 30 miles an hour and rallying from pothole to pothole.

After about an hour or so a car tried to pass us and was flashing its headlights and honked approaching us. First I was confused as I pulled to the right for several other cars to make their pass easier for them. They were not angry at us but wanted to signal that something was not right.

We both pulled our windows down and they said: our left back wheel is moving on the trailer and smoke is coming out of the break!! We stopped immediately and the wheel was indeed very hot and smoking. Not smoking hot, that is my wife. It was the same wheel which got loose earlier and the one we stopped at Bucar to be serviced.

I scratched my head and started to think what to do. Raised the trailer to see how big the issue was and tried to come up with a fix. After removing the wheel I realised that the whole bearing was missing and the wheel was not turning any more but moved in and out about an inch. Not a good sign being on a remote unpaved road, without cell signal. Backwards we were about 45 miles from civilisation and there was 90 miles ahead.

There were a few cars passing by as it was Saturday and this area is a nice offroading, boondocking, hunting area. We have seen many trailers with quads, small fishing boats and dirtbikes enjoying the area. The first two guy who stopped could not help us obviously. I knew that we need parts to fix this before we can move the trailer again.

Then a State Trooper arrived and asked if we were all right? Well, I explained the situation and he offered help by going back 40 miles and informing the tow company back there. They might have parts but knowing its Saturday afternoon I had no high hopes. He also told us there is a cottage further up on the road, about 5-10 miles from there.

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To survive we decided to tow the trailer on three wheels off the road. Luckily there was a small sideroad right where we parked and I tried to manouver into that. At first I tried to back in but the sewer connection was too low and we started to drag it so I stopped. Maybe reversing on the road and then turning into the sideroad foward works. I gave it a try when another motorhome stopped and a white bearded man asked if he could help.

Later I learned that Joe is very knowledagble about trailers as he had a business repairing trailers. He immediately pulled his tools from his car and started to see how big our issue was. In about half an hour we had a diagnosis. The bearing was gone indeed as I thought but the axle itself was not harmed yet. He said we must have stopped fairly quickly after the issue developed. He gave us contacts to look for the parts needed, explained how I can assembly the bearing and the wheel and offered all help as they were heading home to Anchorage. He even popped a beer once he finished tearing apart our trailer. Now this is what I call a helping hand! Amazed and shaken how helpful he was!

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Then we set up camp for the next two days. We need to wait until Monday morning and return to civilisation without the trailer, about 40 miles backwards first on the bumpy road and then another 150-200 miles to bigger towns to get parts. We wanted to boondock anyway but would have preferred doing it without mechanical issues.

Location on Google Maps: 93MJ67FM+FV

Posted by divatmotoros 06:08 Archived in USA Tagged alaska Comments (0)

Sledge dog kennels at Denali

We have visited the sledge dog kennels and watched the demonstration in the afternoon. They told about the history of the kennel which started in the 1920ies with 7 dogs. Now they help patrolling the park against poachers and carry a lot of building materials to the remote parts of the park.

The dogs were quite a character. We learned about their large paws, useful flurry tails to protect their nose during sleeping and the double fur coat: one thick water repellent and protective layer and another dense and fluffy heat insulator layer.

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We have seen a short "test drive" of the training cart too.

Posted by divatmotoros 18:32 Archived in USA Tagged alaska Comments (0)

Short hike at Riley Creek Campground

We spent the afternoon with a short hike near our trailer. We set up camp at the "Bear Loop" of Riley Creek campsite and we needed several layers of cloths against the cold. It was 6 C and very windy today and no rain thankfully.

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Posted by divatmotoros 14:21 Archived in USA Tagged alaska Comments (0)

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