Tandem Troubles

Kev, here.

One of my absolute favorite things to do is go fishing. Some of my best memories are fishing with friends and family in Canada and Wisconsin. Now that I have grandkids, I love taking them out and experiencing my favorite pastime with them.

Last month I was driving home from a camping trip and had my wife and granddaughter with me. About 75 miles from home, going about 65 miles an hour, a gentleman came up beside my truck and told my wife that there might be a problem with one of the wheels on the right side of the boat trailer. I don’t like to travel on holiday weekends, and it just so happened that we were in a boat load (pun intended) of traffic on Labor Day weekend, and of course it was a Sunday. I pulled over and noticed that there was no bearing remaining on the forward axle on the right side. I’m pretty dang lucky the tire did not come off.

There was no way I was going to take a chance and try to make it home with the trailer in that condition, especially with my granddaughter in the car. I thought about my niece who lived 30 minutes away and called her to say, I’m on my way. Limping down I-90 and through Madison, Wisconsin on Labor Day with no bearing whatsoever on one of the axles was not a good time. I arrived at my niece’s house and was able to temporarily store my boat and trailer there so I could safely finish the drive home. On the way, I had some time to think about the best way to get my trailer fixed.

I should mention that this is not the first time something like this has happened to me. The first time I was driving home from Canada and a bearing went out. The real problem here folks is that it’s a tandem trailer and if you remove one of the tires on any side of the trailer, it collapses down on top of the remaining tire. Not good. I had to hunt down a shop on a Saturday and we pulled up just as the man was closing up for the day. We were lucky he helped us out or we may have been stranded for a few days.

Giving this some thought, a memory came back to me of driving down the highway and seeing a tandem trailer with only one wheel on one of the sides. I remember thinking, how can that possibly work? I gave it some more thought and an idea hit me. My wife and I drove back to my niece’s house the next week and crossed our fingers that my idea would work. I jacked up the trailer, removed the bad wheel, and strategically placed a small aluminum shim in a location that stopped the trailer from coming down on the remaining good tire. This temporary solution allowed me to carefully drive my trailer home so I could order a brand new axle.

tandem trailer shim

So, for all of you that have tandem trailers it may be worth it to look and see what your particular trailer would need to accomplish the same thing. This little shim can prevent you from being stuck somewhere on the road. I know I’ll never set off for a long trip with my tandem trailer without that special little shim which is now steel (not aluminum).

Kev signing off


Tandem Troubles

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