CIN­DERELLA’S NEW AXLES

OUR REDHEADED STEPCHILD GETS A MAKEOVER FROM CAR­SON TRAILER

4 Wheel & Off Road - - CONTENTS - Fred Wil­liams BY EDI­TOR@4WOR.COM PHO­TOG­RA­PHY FRED WIL­LIAMS

Our long-haul trailer gets a makeover from Car­son Trailer.

YOU KNOW THE STORY OF Cin­derella. She was the stepchild who got no re­spect and was al­ways put to work with­out any of the ad­mi­ra­tion the other kids got. That’s pretty much the story of our red Car­son car trailer. It sees lots of work but not a whole lot of love. Sure, we wash the deck off af­ter one of our cher­ished wheelin’ rigs leaks gear lube all over it, but heaven for­bid we ac­tu­ally work on or ser­vice the big ol’ steel deck trailer. The trailer isn’t there to be cher­ished like the crawlers and trail rigs it hauls. Nope, it’s just there to work like a dog and not break.

This red 18-foot (23-foot to­tal length) trailer came from Car­son nearly 12 years ago, and since then it has been back and forth across Amer­ica many times, plus bounced down dirt roads, banged off curbs, and gen­er­ally used and abused with lit­tle re­gard for me­chan­i­cal well­be­ing. It gets the hubs checked some­times and the brakes looked over, but prob­a­bly not as much as we should. That it has sur­vived so long in the face of such ne­glect is a tes­ta­ment to the orig­i­nal build qual­ity, but now the lack of re­spect and ser­vice on our part has come back to bite us hard. This year we lol­ly­gagged around and didn’t do any an­nual main­te­nance on Big Red, and next thing you know we were side­lined on the road­side with a bro­ken Cin­derella. And not just once but twice, on one big trip to Utah. Our evil step­mother ways were not get­ting us any­where but frus­trated with a busted trailer axle.

Lucky for us, Car­son Trailer (also known as the fairy god­mother if you’re still fol­low­ing the fairy­tale sub­line) showed up to prep out Cin­derella for the next trip to the ball—er, trail.

Given the orig­i­nal build qual­ity of our long-hauler, we only wanted Car­son lay­ing hands on our pump­kin. The Car­son trailer crew wel­comed it back and made it good as new again.

1 We were half­way to Moab, Utah, for some wheel­ing with our Jeep on our Car­son trailer when car­nage struck. We usu­ally give the trailer its an­nual ser­vic­ing be­fore this trek to Moab for Easter Jeep Sa­fari, but this year we dropped the ball and wound up pay­ing for our ap­a­thy. The bear­ing on the right-rear wheel burned up, and we were look­ing at a se­ri­ous road­side fix.

2 Lucky for us the good folks at Dixie 4Wheel Drive in St. Ge­orge, Utah, were open late, be­cause we needed more than ba­sic hand­tools to fix the axle. The spin­dle was dam­aged be­yond re­pair, and although we were able to re­place the bear­ings we had to weld the spin­dle nut on to keep the hub from fall­ing off. This is the type of re­pair that dic­tates an axle re­place­ment. We also lost the dust cap, so we packed it with grease and taped a pa­per cup over it for the rest of the drive to Moab.

3 Then on the drive home the driver-front wheel bear­ing fol­lowed its brother to the grave. We strapped the axle up and headed to a friend’s garage to fix it enough to get back to Cal­i­for­nia. We were learn­ing fast that (A) our trailer needed some love, and (B) we need to stick to the ser­vice plan.

4 Our next stop was Car­son trailer in Gar­dena, Cal­i­for­nia. This is where the trailer had been built orig­i­nally, so the crew knew how to give Big Red a fresh new out­look on life. And fresh new paint.

5 The Trailer un­der­went a com­plete re­hash with a new pair of 7,000-pound axles from Lip­pert. This gives the trailer more than enough ca­pac­ity for haul­ing our full­size trail rigs. And both axles have new elec­tric brakes and fresh bear­ings with eas­ily ser­vice­able grease fit­tings, so we can al­ways top off the lube be­fore long trips.

6 Car­son went over all of the light­ing and elec­tri­cal sys­tem, re­plac­ing with new parts as needed. The sus­pen­sion com­po­nents were in­spected, re­placed, and up­graded as nec­es­sary be­fore a fresh coat of bright red paint was laid down over the full-steel deck.

7 Our Car­son trailer has seen many tow­ing trips, and we dig the ex­tra width and drive over fend­ers which are great for full-width wheel­ers. Now with the fresh new over­haul this Cin­derella story has many more chap­ters and miles to go.

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