This story actually started a couple of weeks ago when I found out about a website called freecycle.org. I'm not advertising for or against this site, but in this case it worked out for me. When I first signed on, I ran across an old post advertising mobile home wheels for free. Since I use those on my water trailer I decided to pick them up...the worst that could happen is I would have to get rid of them. I got them home and immediately threwthem in the shed, not needing them right at the moment.
Well...a couple of days ago I traded my Chevy Astro for a Ford F250 flat bed truck. In the course of doing the transaction, and talking a LOT (we are both chatter boxes apparently), the guy mentioned that I could have an old water storage tank he has sitting around, and that he had an old towing receiver hitch for the F250, and that he would simply give those to me if I could use them. SCORE!
Well...we continued talking and discussing things that we could trade. He mentioned a big ol' trailer that he has, and I said...hey...wanna trade it? His wife was standing right there and lit up. Apparently this trailer has been there for quite some time, and her and their son were ready to get it out of there. He was hesitant, but I sent him my list of stuff, he picked out an old utility trailer, a cargo carrier, and an air compressor in trade for the trailer. He was also willing to give me a brand spankin' new 10,000lb winch for it for $300. Hmmm...let me think about that for all of about....oh....1/3rd of a second! HECK YA!
So this thing is a triple (yes 3, not 2) axle trailer that has mobile home wheels on it. He is pretty sure 4 of the wheels are good, but 2 are questionable. Well...today comes and I load up any decent spare mobile home wheels/tires, all of the things he wanted, my bucket of tools and my bucket of tie downs and head over there after work.
I get almost to his place and to an ATM for the cash part, and I get a call from him. He says he has been working all day to get that out of his yard (he had various problems) but he succeeded and got the 5th tire to hold air. The 6th one was in decent shape, but the bead was broken, and he can't get it to seat. Well...no matter, we'll see if mine fits, and if not, I am sure it will be just fine to get home on 4 tires, or even two. Well...low and behold, mine actually holds air, and is the correct size! I let his son slap that puppy on the trailer and it looks great! I actually have all six tires usable!
We get all the formalities taken care of, titles swapped, cash traded, etc, and he says that I can keep the tool box that's on the trailer (SCORE 2). It fits nicely on the tongue. Next he has his son, and a couple of friends that happened to be over at the time, pull all of this pool fencing out of the back yard and load it on the trailer (SCORE 3). Mrs. Teknosmurf wants it for her garden. Then, he says his neighbor down the street is getting rid of one of those 1-Step slide/playground things for free. Guess where we headed next...SCORE 4! I tell you what...this guy is really making my week! At the very end he comes out with a brand new, heavy duty trailer jack AND a rotating mechanism for it, and hands it to me. Really? THANKS DUDE! SCORE 5!
Well...I leave to go pick up that play set, and realize that at 20mph there is a substantial bouncing from the trailer. I slow back down and it stops. I confirm one more time. Then I think...maybe this is just a one speed thing. Sure enough, at about 25mph it stops completely and is smooth sailing. I still check the wheels when I stop at the play set...just to be sure. It is pretty obviously an "empty trailer bounce" and at that speed, everything lines up, synchronizes, and oscillates just right.
After loading up the play set we say our goodbyes and I start strapping it down. While doing so, some lady drives by and rolls down her window and says: "There is another one of those play sets down the street and round the corner if you are interested...go get it". OK, cool, thanks! Well...I couldn't stop by because I needed to get to the kids Gymnastics, followed by an appointment for Mrs. Tekno. Besides...one was enough. After strapping it down, I ease out onto the road, and increase speed slowly on the major street...yea...I'm holding up traffic...I also have a Ford Bronco and a massive triple axle trailer, what you gonna do 'bout it???
Well...everything is fine, and I even am able to basically do 60 or 65 down the freeway with no problems. Trailer tracks straight as an arrow, it's just really friggin' heavy! As I said, everything is fine...until...
...I get about 5 miles from the Little Tekno's gymnastics (which is clear across town at this point) and the temperature gauge on the mighty Bronco starts climbing rapidly...hmmm...that's not supposed to happen. I immediately turn off the Air Conditioner and start to pull over to the side and the engine light comes on...hmmm..really not good. I see a small side street ahead, so I make a bee-line for it. Just as I turn the corner, the engine completely shuts down and I coast to the dirt side. OK...this just got interesting. I have a humongoid trailer attached (and did I mention the jack is broken at the moment, so I can't disconnect it easily?) a dead Bronco, and an appointment that I have to be at for Mrs. Teknosmurf in an hour and a half. Better start making some phone calls.
I find the broken coolant hose buried deep in the engine compartment (it can't be on top of course...Murphy works very well with rednecks!) coming from a small manifold. I get Mrs. Tekno headed this way with some extra anti-freeze while I start looking into what I can do to fix this problem. The crack was right at a bend in the hose. I did everything I could think of including cutting some heater core hose out and wrapping the leaking hose, plastic bottles cut into strips to wrap around the crack, shortening the offending hose and stretching...nothing was working. By this time Mrs. Teknosmurf is here and waiting for me...so at least I won't be eaten by vultures or something stupid, and someone will find my body if I die of heat in this 108 degrees!
Well...I start to pack things up and close up the hood thinking that I will just leave everything and go to the auto parts store on the way back from the appointment. I turn around, and see something sticking out of the ground. I pull it up and would you believe it is coolant hose about 4 feet long, and basically brand spanking new! I dig the cracked hose back out and low-and-behold it is the correct hose! I can't believe my friggin' luck here! I dig out my safety wire and twist pliers I have in my tool kit, and use that for hose clamps. Apparently the clamps that were on the old hose were one-time use only as they distort when they are used. I fill up the radiator with coolant...spilling half of it on the ground because of a lack of funnel, and fire it up. IT IS HOLDING! I turn the "rig" around and park it better so I can leave it for a while. It's going to be cutting it close to get to that appointment now.
OK honey...let's go...we'll stop by afterward and pick this stuff up. We race (and if any cops are reading, I mean we did the speed limit and no more) to the appointment. She walks in and they tell her that the doctor had an emergency at the hospital, and is not in the plant. We will have to reschedule. OK...it would have been nice to know BEFORE this stuff happened, but at least we can deal with the Bronco in the daylight!
Sure enough, the redneck fix holds pretty well, and gets us home (with a pit stop for some food). The trailer is working out well...but would have been better, and actually been used for what I am intending it for if I had the receiver the guy gave me was actually ON the F250 the guy traded me, and the working jack that they guy gave me was installed so I could put the trailer from one vehicle to the other, and the winch (yep...that the guy gave me) hooked up so I could winch the Bronco onto the trailer and simply drive it home. Oh well, I guess we will have to go that route the next time the Bronco fails (knocking on wood).
I relayed the short version of this story to the guy via text with emphasis on the whole finding of the correct hose laying at my feet. His response was "Angels are looking after you". I guess he was right. Someone really had my back today! It's just a really good thing the wife had her phone charged and actually had it on her today! Thanks Babichkin!