We left Devils Tower early and headed north to Highway 90 for Bismarck North Dakota. We were excited about going to Bismarck, having never been there. We had chosen a campground east of there. It looked nice, had that welcoming kind of look that was a telltale mark for North Dakota. It was said to have a nice lake to fish on and was altogether beautiful.
We didn’t make i, howeve.Vicki was driving, as usual, and I was sitting there with her listening to a book on tape. Suddenly the backend of the Pup started whipping around like some kind of a demonic snake. The left tire was pouring out black smoke as the sound of screeching rubber filled our ears.
Vicki handled the Durango like a pro and kept the squirrelly rig within the lines of the slow lane. Decreasing our speed smoothly, she then pulled our rig off the road and out onto the embankment next to Highway 90. I told her “I think we blew a tire“ as she limped our rig onto the side of the road. We both walked to the back of the Pup while large semis blew by us. Reaching the rear quarter we instantly realized it wasn’t a flat tire.
It was the leafspring, again.
Now it was different however. The leafspring has two jobs. It holds the axle in place and suspends the carriage above the axle. This time, unlike the last, the front aspect of the leafspring broke allowing the axle to fall backwards while at the same time enabling the carriage to fall onto the tire, both actions producing a kind of clamping action forcing the left rear tire to stop immediately, bound between the wheel well and the rear I beam.
Standing on the roadbed, I knew what I had to do having experienced a similar event not five months before. I jacked the carriage up and put some orange blocks between the bottom of the carriage and the axle. I then shifted the axle back into place securing it with a small chain I had in my SUV. The good news was we were only about 10 miles from Spearfish South Dakota, a fairly large community with a KOA right off the highway. Within 30 minutes we are parked in a very nice KOA in Spearfish. Being Sunday we relaxed on a beautiful bike ride Spearfish Canyon and I formulated my next approach to making certain this would never happen again.
Monday morning I got hold of Carl’s Trailer repair, a name I got from a tire store nearby, and they said they could work us in at 1:00 pm. I insisted on them replacing both leaf springs with heavy duty springs that would be safer. They agreed and said they had some that would be perfect.
To make a long story shorter, we were back on the road by 2:30. Now we were headed east, on the come home road to St Louis.
P.S. it is very frustrating that Forest Rive, the makers of the Wolf Pup aka Pup chose to put such weak leaf springs on our RV. For only $30.00 more they could have done it properly.
Albert Einstein said
“I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood and look for its thinnest part where drilling is easy.“
What Einstein is saying is, it is sad when people take the easy way out when, with a little more effort, great achievements can be generated.