Trailer Brakes (and other adventures in welding) Part 2
August 26, 2016
After discovering that one of the brake backing plates was not properly aligned (see Part 1), I was much more critical when installing the second pair of brakes, and found a second backing plate was askew. So, two months later (today), I returned to Mark to do a "quick" backing plate adjustment and weld the jack back to the front of the trailer. Of course it was 85 degrees and wicked humid, so Mark and I were drenched in sweat about 5 minutes in. We torched the two backing plates off, ground down the axles, and then VERY carefully aligned the backing plates and welded them a second time. Total Time - 4 hours.
While I had Mark's attention, we got all the other welding projects done on the trailer. First we tackled fixing the front jack. We decided to move the jack to the inside of the trailer frame, which gets it out of the way of the weight distributing bars and the sway control bars. We used some scrap steel to fabricate a mounting plate, welded that to the inside of the trailer frame, and then welded the jack on. I decided to add a second jack for two reasons, one being for extra stability, and two because the tongue weight of the trailer is about 1,300 lbs, which was pushing the limits of the original 1,500 jack. Add another 2.5 hours, plus 30 minutes for Mark to teach me the finer points of welding and letting me do the second jack myself!
Next up was welding on safety chains. That was a pretty simple and only took about 30 minutes.
And finally, we added four large D-rings and 12 smaller D-rings to the bed the new truck. There weren't any tie downs in the back of the truck, so I figured while we had all the equipment out, we could quickly weld them on. Add another 1.5 hours.
A HUGE thank you to Mark, who has spent more than 15 hours helping me with my tiny house welding projects, all of it in the sweltering heat. Mark, when we tackle our next project, lets take a look at the forecast first, ok? Or better yet, lets just go for a paddle, or, ummmm, swim, instead :-)
Mark and Charlie taking a little dip during the 2013 Kenduskeag Slalom race
Now, if you look at the pictures, you might be wondering, "Jeeeez, Charlie, why in the world do you need four 4" D-rings rated at 5,000 lbs each in the back of your truck?". Well, curious reader, let me tell you...
A diesel F-550 isn't the most practical truck in the world as a daily driver, so I intend to keep my Subaru Outback when we hit the road in the tiny house. Shenee also plans to keep her Kia Soul, as she drives a lot for work. So that means we have five vehicles (three cars, two motorcycles) that all need to move around with the tiny house, and we don't want to pay someone to move them, and we don't want to make multiple trips. The solution? Put the Kia in the back of the truck, and have the Subaru tow a trailer with the motorcycles! Is it possible? Theoretically, yes. Will it actually work? I don't know yet, but I intend to find out soon. I'll keep you posted!