After leaving White Sands National Monument, we headed back to the RV, topped it off with a full tank of fresh water and took off.
Our goal was to make it all the way to Buckeye Hills Regional Park in Buckeye AZ, but that destination was 420 miles away. Knowing we might need to overnight in a WalMart or something, we made sure our tanks were full and we were ready to do so if needed. (Turns out that was a good thing and bad omen at the same time.
The landscape continues to evolve and change as we drive through the country. These peaks are sharper, higher, and dusted with snow.
After the first 120 miles of our trip to Phoenix, we decided to stop off at a Flying J gas station to fill up. Normally we start out our daily trips with a full tank of gas, but we had 3/4 of a tank and expected to fill before hitting Arizona. While I was pumping gas, I took Cole for a bathroom break and looked back at the RV/Truck setup and noticed the trailer was leaning to one side, quite a bit. I first checked to see if I was parked on some sort of obstacle but after realizing I wasn’t… I knew right away. I had heard from one of our road friend families (the Grahams) who also own a Bay Hill, that they had a leaf spring break on them. I knew right away that it was our fate as well. The problem was that we were in the middle of NOWHERE, but a saving grace was at least it was the middle of the day, and we had cell phone coverage.
The trailer store we came across was AAA Trailer Parts, 11747 Hwy 180E Silver City , NM 88061
The girls were keeping themselves busy while I worked to get that leaf off. Two things I was especially thankful for. One: I was thankful for Flying J gas station for letting me leave the trailer there while we drove for parts. Two: I was thankful for Allie and Tom for buying me the battery powered electric impact wrench that made this job relatively painless.
Upon further inspection, the leaf spring actually cracked in 3 places! I wish I actually knew how long this was broken. I am assuming it was previously cracked at least in one spot.
So off we went for over an hour and a half to Silver City, New Mexico; in hopes the trailer supply house had the exact spring in stock. This part of travel through New Mexico had NOTHING going on. (Glad we at least filled up the truck with fuel)
After successfully purchasing a new spring, we headed back to the RV, albeit after dark; to repair the spring and hit the road. First order of business was to get some food in our bellies and Jen went right to work on our signature roadside rice pasta with broccoli and olive meal.
With brand new bolts, and a new leaf spring, the assembly went relatively quickly. I think I had it all assembled in under 20 minutes. The owners of the AAA Trailers told me that one of the main contributing factors to something like this happening is overloading the weight limits of the unit. I knew we couldn’t really be over the limit, but I did mention to them that we have a full fresh water tank (over 500lbs); and that tank sits near the back bumper. They immediately agreed that 500 lbs that far back, when taken into account the leverage of the tail over axle; would certainly over stress the springs. Hmm… who would have thought.
So after putting everything away and refueling the truck and our bellies; we were ready to continue our drive. We had to, however alter our plans. We couldn’t possibly continue on another 300 miles in the dark, so we contacted a Passport America RV Park in Willcox AZ, just over the border into Arizona, and they allowed us a late check in solution.
After the short 40 minute drive to Fort Willcox RV, I wanted to double check all the nuts and bolts I put in the night before. Just wanted to make sure they were all tight and secure.
After we took off from Fort Willcox RV we continued our trip towards Buckeye Forest State Park. (Our original destination yesterday)