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Old 08-03-2015, 12:21 PM   #1
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Terra Incognita

What if you were entering Terra Incognita, say along the North Shore of Lake Superior where No kind of Verizon cellular service reaches you from the US and the only signal from nearby Canada informs you that the costs will be prohibitive once you get in range. Say, for the first time in your traveling life, you have back-to-back reservations at Ontario's finest Provincial Parks for the next 18 days. The weather is clear, traffic is light, your documents are in order and you are carrying no illegal food stuffs which might endanger the lives and agriculture of our friendly neighbors to the North.

Why look! A national Monument AND a gas station with attractive prices, just before the border. How Fortuitous, he exclaimed. AND, it is large and commodious, easy to manuever in and spotlessly clean...part of the Grand Portage Casino complex...



What, you ask, Could go wrong?



Well, your right front trailer axel hub could crack, your wheel going a tad asymmetrical, loud screeching of complaning metal and cries of horror from bystanders. That might happen just as you pull away from the pumps...



We stopped, blocking horrified convenience store customers in their parking places, ASSESSED, and pulled away to the parking apron to yet more shrieking from metal and spectators.

We took advice from all assembled. Letting the air out of the tire and pulling up on levelers helped free the tire with no further damage, but the carnage was impressive. Clearly, this JUST happened. The grease wasn't burned or even hot. The guts of the brake assembly were a tangled mess, but the lugs were tight. The fracture to the bearing cup was new and clean. No sign of careless maintenance. The tire temperature sensor had not even peeped. We were lucky this happened as it did: Happening WHERE it did, Not so lucky.



Well, one bit of Luck. Part of the Casino complex is a pleasant campground and site #1 was the easiest to access and empty. This I learned from Richard, who as I was told, would know what to do if anybody did.

It was Sunday. It was Festival day in Grand Marias, forty plus miles back and, if we left right away, we could arrive during the Parade which would assure that no one would be at their place. Halfway back we MIGHT get celular service to try our Roadside Assistance folks at Good Sams, but we thought it would be prudent to depend on ourselves to find someone capable of fixing this. Then, if necessary, risk the towing.



Stay tuned for further developments.

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated though I might not have Another run to the Grand Marias Emergency Room (nothing serious) and I won't have much coverage in Terra Incognita....

Al


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Old 08-03-2015, 02:54 PM   #2
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Booooo, Al & Patty!

At least you're in a beautiful part of the country.


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Old 08-03-2015, 03:16 PM   #3
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You can sign up for a Canada plan from Verizon for cellphones. It is not all that expensive. They have one for their JetPack hot spot too, but it is expensive and all you get is 250 Mb. each month.

There is an RV shop in Grand Marais, but I don't know anything about it. When I was there, it was closed. There is an aftermarket auto store in town, maybe a NAPA. You can get bearings, grease, etc. there, though you may have to have them ship it in. There is an Airstream dealer in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. If you need advice, you can call their shop, or call Airstream customer service. You may need to call each to check on bearing, race, castellated nut, brake parts, washer and other part numbers as the NAPA dealer won't know them. I found a shop that could press a new race in also. I know all of this because I had a wheel bearing fail while on the Gunflint Trail. The results of the bearing failure were not pretty, but I fixed it. If the bearing got really hot (before you checked it—it may have cooled off), the brake drum (hub) may have been worn inside and you may have to order a new one.

If things are not too bad and you have tools, it can be fixed in a few hours. Getting parts will take the most time, but the NAPA store can usually get things overnight.

I hope you get to enjoy those provincial parks soon.

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Old 08-04-2015, 06:52 PM   #4
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Gene, thank you. We are fixed now thanks to Greg's welding at about 5 Miles on the Gunflint .everything you say about parts availability was spot on. More later


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Old 08-04-2015, 07:16 PM   #5
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Al,

OMG, I know you keep your rig road ready so it certainly wasn't owner neglect or abuse. We're so glad you're rolling again.

I always carry four full sets of extra bearings, grease, and seals should an axel problem appear. I would be super bummed by an event similar to yours. I guess I'll have to add a drum, brake set and spindle kit to the spares.

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Old 08-05-2015, 11:37 AM   #6
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Glad you could get your rig fixed. They never break parked at home, just on the road.

Best way to travel is to have your servants tow a parts wagon and tools behind you. Sine it has been said all Airstream owners are millionaires, this should be no problem though a million dollars just doesn't go as far as it used to.

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Old 08-10-2015, 02:03 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone . Now have a
ALL NEW BEARINGS , synthetic grease, another brake assembly but no internet service....trailer service from Woody's RV in Thunder Bay Excellent, airstream Savy and Quick.

Details on the blog if I get stronger connection. Passing Wawa on way to Lake Superior PP


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Old 08-10-2015, 02:07 PM   #8
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Good to hear you guys are up and running.

Take care and travel safe,


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Old 08-10-2015, 02:25 PM   #9
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Good to hear your back on the road.
Last year when I changed out the axles I replaced the Chinese bearings with some Timken bearings. I took a set of the old bearings and races, cleaned them up, greased them, put them in a plastic bag as part of my emergency kit.
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:23 PM   #10
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What a beautiful part of the world. Though I wouldn't be surprised if parts of it have no cell phone service at all. We have several dead zones in the mountains of BC close to where we live.

Thankfully you're on the road again.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:04 PM   #11
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Remember when you are in Terra Incognita, there be dragons there.

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Old 08-10-2015, 11:15 PM   #12
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Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, because you are crunchy, and go good with ketchup.

Sometimes the dragon wins....

(Punch lines from two of my favorite cartoons.)




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Old 08-12-2015, 07:46 PM   #13
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We have emerged from the internet blackout zones with the help of the kind folks at the Massey ON public Library, open tonight from 7-9pm and we needed every minute to post a few blog events. thanks to all for your encouragement.

For Now we are only left with lug torque neurosis and ongoing appreciation for the "kindness of Strangers"

Did you know that you can Press DOWN on your torque wrench and avoid back strain?

Do you think that the stranger that told me that if I use an extension on my torque wrench that I should add 10# is correct??

my extension is 6" ( and I typed that without even a smirk, since I am in the Library) so what formula should I use to determine proper torque???

Al, attempting to stir up something else to think about while listening or wheel bearing noises....


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Old 08-12-2015, 08:05 PM   #14
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I had a wheel fall off the Interstate last week....have heard so much about torque that my eyes are crossing.

Be safe, you two.


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