The Trailer Saga Continues

I spent much of Saturday evening reading about electric brakes. Everything I read online about this style of brakes said that the condition I’m seeing means they’re due for replacement. The magnets are a wear item and can be replaced with ease. After replacing the magnet, the magnet surface is now flat/smooth and would not effectively transfer energy when pressed against a rutted drum. This means the drum should either be ground down to a smooth surface again, or replaced. Grinding down the side walls is common and shops have the means of doing this. Grinding down the rear, however, is harder and requires equipment not easily found.

It was starting to look like I might be replacing these after all. I started pricing out a repair. At $20 +shipping for a magnet, plus minimum of $30 per drum to grind it down if I’m able to find someone who can do it, and then I still have to clean the whole assembly to get it smoothly moving again. An entirely new hub, bearing, and brake assembly kit goes for $100 /wheel on eBay, shipped. For and extra $50/wheel, the time saved is probably worth just buying a new set. I was going to be placing an order for a new set anyway for the front axle that’s currently brake-less, so why not just double the order. I resigned to solving this problem the way I solved most problems in the days leading up to our move to AK: throw more money at it.

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Trailer Woes

We’ve always been a family that tends to buy garage-related things new, but will often wait for a sale, discount, or inventory clearance to get nice things at modest prices. Gone are days of dropping by Home Depot and sifting through their clearance inventory, or hitting up for stellar deal on a set of wrenches (it’s almost never a stellar deal after shipping to Alaska). Since we live in reality where money doesn’t grow on trees, that means we’re buying more items used. Our two most recent purchases just also happen to be purchases you really don’t want to be lemons: expensive items.

First, we purchased The Beast. We haven’t taken it out for a spin yet, but all signs point to a good purchase there. Next, I needed a means of moving that sucker around. We’re also in the middle of our real estate hunt, looking for a piece of land on which to build our next home, and plan on doing as much of the work ourselves as we are able. If I learned anything from renovating our last home, it’s that a 6.5′ pickup truck bed is nice, but a 16′ trailer is better. 12′ sheets of drywall, a pallet of tile or wood flooring, lumber, PVC, etc are all easier to transport with more space.

I set out to find myself a tandem axle flatbed trailer, at least 14′ long. We could use it to haul The Beast today, to haul construction materials tomorrow, and to haul whatever our hearts desire in the future. After a week or so of hunting, I found a few options on Craiglist and settled on a 16′ flatbed with 18″ side walls at an affordable price. The seller seemed to know the ins/outs of the trailer and had recently brought it up from North Carolina so it was road worthy. Unfortunately, it was in Soldotna (about 90 minutes away).

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