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Vacation [Sep. 6th, 2015|02:37 pm]
I went back to Lake Powell again last week. On the way there, it was over 115 degrees in the desert. I saw at least 20 cars with flat tires - even a couple of trucks, and one passenger bus had flats. Then about 30 miles from Las Vegas, one of my trailer tires blew out.

I just kept driving on the flat for 5 miles to the next off ramp. It was the middle of the night by that time, and I had no spare for the trailer. I jacked it up and unhitched it, and took off the tire. I headed to Las Vegas. Nothing was open. Finally I found a 24 hour Walmart. I bought a new tire, but no one was there to install it on the rim. I drove back to the boat trailer, a few miles from the CA state line.

I got out some screw drivers and pried off the old tire, and pried on the new one, then took it to a gas station and filled it with air. Back to the trailer, put it on, and off I went. It was about 1:00 am.

The nest morning when I got to the Lake Powell launch ramp, I put the boat in the water. It started right up and was idling while I was putting things away to start going, when the motor died. Usually that means the gas filter is clogged up when the carb is dry and has no gas in it. I tried to get the gas filter off, but it was stuck. After trying everything for an hour or so, I went back to the van, and drove into town to get a filter wrench. It was Saturday, and nothing was open there. I finally found a Walmart in the next town, got a wrench, and went back to the boat at the dock.

The filter was still on so tight, that I had to hammer on the wrench to get it off. I filled the new filter with gas and put it on. Again the boat started right up, and idled for a minute or so, then died again. This time I pulled off the gas line from the gas tank, and it was bone dry. I took out the gas pick up tube from the gas tank to clean the screen, and found there was no dip tube there. The heat of the desert must have been so hot that it melted the glue holding the fiber tube to the metal fitting, and it dropped down into the tank. The gas line was just sucking air.

There was several boat stores in town, but they all close on Saturday. No chance of getting that part. I went back to Walmart to see if they had some poly tubing I could replace it with. They had no tubing at all, even in the drip irrigation garden center. Drove around for a while again and found an auto parts store open. This time I found some car gas lines that I could cut to size to make a pick up tube. Back to the boat. Made a new gas line, started it up, and took off. It was almost dark. Had to drive the boat in the dark to find a anchoring spot.

The next 5 days were great, no problems at all. Just moving around to different places to park the boat and explore the area.

The last day I decided to go home early, because the last bay I was in wasn't such a nice place. It was like a desert there. Got the boat back on the trailer and headed south to Flagstaff AZ. The road was awful. Smooth, but really lumpy and constant bouncing around. The road out of Flagstaff, toward CA was terrible. Full of ruts, potholes and patches that were worse than the holes. About 80 miles west, one of my tires lost the tread. Still had air, so I drove 5 miles to the next off ramp.

I stayed there until morning light, and again jacked it up, and took off the tire. I took off the other tire on that side also, and found it was starting to de-laminate on the inside. I checked the 4th tire, and it was ok. These tires were only put on about 3 years ago, and had less than 6k miles on them.

I drove back the 80 miles to Flagstaff, and found a tire store with my size tires. I had them put 2 tires on the wheels, and throw another tire in the back just in case the 4th tire blew.

Drove back to the trailer and put them on. The rest of the way to the CA state line, the highway was full of ruts and bumps. I went slow, and watched that last tire like a hawk. I made it all the way home ok, but I changed that tire anyway. I hate those Chinese tires. That is the kind of tires most tire stores carry for trailers because they are cheap. Most stores didn't even have my size tire.

I'm glad I came home early. Friday afternoon there was a line of cars about 60 miles long on the highway shortcut, headed out toward Las Vegas. They were just crawling all the way. I was headed the opposite direction. The 14 freeway was also clogged with cars getting out of L.A. I would hate to be out there coming back after Labor Day.