X-Type: Email; Outmail

Subject: Pushed the Envelope to Far From Ed and Edith

X-Via: KN6KB

X-Status: Sent

We got into a jam with the 5th! We pushed the envelope to far and broke a leaf spring. The secondary oil roads here in Nova Scotia are the worst I have ever seen! Yesterday as we were pushing along the coast going between 20 and 40 mph and often down to 5 mph I accidently got over a little to far as the roads are really narrow and winding and the wheels on the 5th dropped off the pavement. I suppose a 6 inch drop and then came back on as the truck was on the oil in good shape but the 5th tracks wider than the truck and on a curve swings out some so tracks even wider. The cracks are so big in the roads the weeds are growing out of them, honest to GOD! There are holes a foot deep, cravices that are 5 or 6 foot long, 6-8 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

The up and down bumps are huge with big rounded bulges all over on them. It is something to behold!

After this happened I watched in the mirrors and everything looked OK but when I got to the next clear spot I pulled off and checked things out. At first look all seemed fine. In Alaska when the leaf spring broke the 5th dropped way down by the tire and the tires came together and were rubbing. I crawled under the 5th and there was the bad news. The second leaf down had broken, brand new fresh break so most likely happen just a couple of minutes ago when the 5th dropped off the oil. The top leaf of four was still holding the trailer up but was bent. I decided to go real slow and try and make the Provincial Campground about 25 miles ahead since we had a reservation and I could spend a couple of days working on it if we made it. I had two extra leaf springs along THANK THE LORD! It takes a long time to go 25 miles when you are traveling between 2 mph and 25 mph and there was some real bad spots. Thank the Lord we made it. The closest town for parts is 100 miles round trip. My prayer is answered as we pulled into the CG which is on an island with a causeway to it the first fellow I talked to who was parked next to where we were going to back in said he had just changed out a leaf spring last week on his trailer and had a big breaker bar and some other wrenches and another jack.

I am pretty familiar with changing a leaf spring having watched them do it in Eagle Plains, Yukon and Anchorage. I tore into it once we got parked and set up. Went pretty well for awhile, when I took the last bolt off the plate held by the two U bolts it popped loose hard and fast but had my hand out of the way. If I ever do it again I need a jack under it better. I did put the jack in but could only get it at an angle as I suspected there was pressure but it slipped off when it came. We had trouble getting the two end bolts out that hold the leaf spring to the frame as they went tight with the axle pressure off. By that time the other fellow had been there awhile helping and I came up with taking the other tire off. We had the tailer held up with my stand jacks under the frame. Had two stand jacks, 12 ton and two jacks and lots of blocks. We were then able to get them out and not screw up the treads.

We then got the used spring in, quite a battle but eventually figured out if we let the axle loose we could move things around and got everything lined up and all the nuts started. After that it was a matter of tightening things up and putting the tires back on. It took about 1.5 hours and the bugs did not get to bad. We had a whole group around, all from NS who come here a lot to fish. There wives come along and they were all very, very nice. We got info on the roads and other parks and somethings to see! They also gave us fresh Flounder for supper which was great. We will try and find better roads and park the 5th in a Provincial camp grounds and day trip. We were planning one more day along the coast and end up around Halifax and day trip. Now I think we will go north to the TCH and find a CG not to far off and park there.

THANK the Lord we had the two extra springs along and all the jacks and blocks. With being a 100 miles round trip from a town of any size and getting the right spring might be tough so one might of had to wait for one to be shipped in. Standard traveling equipment is going to be a JAYCO spring and the jacks and blocks I had and a few more big sockets and a breaker bar.

Morning After:

Today the courage returned and we forged ahead along the coast to Halifax. It is kind of like getting bucked off a horse, YOU NEED TO JUST GET RIGHT BACK ON! That is what we did, headed down the coast and tried to be as careful as can be. I think I would of been fine yesterday as we were going slow enough but having the 5th drop of and right back on the oil with 6 inches drop was just to much of a "POP!

It took 5.5 hours to make 130 miles to the Porter Lake Provincial here near Halifax. Thank the Lord for the nice lady where we stayed at Salaman Provincial last night. She got on the phone and reserved us a spot here. When we got here we found out it filled up about an hour after we called! We are now back to our original plan we made before we left home that if we had time we would park near Halifax and take the F-350 and tent and go on a two or three day trip as it is a loop and pretty much comes right back here so save diesel and wear and tear on the 5th. WHICH IS MUCH WORSE HERE THAN I COULD OF EVER IMAGINED! From here we will go on the TCH up to the ferry to PEI.

BTW the coast and villages and the houses yesterday afternoon and today were very nice on what is called the Marine Drive! We did see a few tourists from the USA on it but not with campers but rather cars and motorcycles, wonder why?

Next travelogue will likely be from PEI of our tent multt-day trip around the shores of Nova Scotia.

Ed and Edith

[MID: 1470_W0SD Sent Via: KN6KB Date: 2002/08/03 22:57:58]