Kerr Lake

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Feb 14, 2010
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Tijeras
Ash Ali and family and I spent several days last week camping in and above the Conejos River Valley and at Kerr lake in south central Colorado. Beautiful country but not an uneventful trip. While we were still headed up Conejos River Valley, Ash's 80 spit out the nut that holds the top of the shock bolt on the driver's side of the truck. Not real good. We searched on the road for the missing parts and Michelle did find the top washer, but no nut.

We went up the road just a bit and pulled down into a Forest Service camping area that turned out to be pretty nice. Mulling over the problem we noticed that the rollers on his winch fairlead had the same size nut and thread pitch so solution found. We had a nice dinner and turned in.

In the morning we headed off up the mountain toward the road to Kerr Lake. Being old and seemingly without memory I got us turned left when it should have been right looking for the lake road. My bad. We were turning around and heading back out to the right road when over the radio came the words "catastrophic failure". Again, not real good. The left hand side leaf spring on the Ali's Kamparoo had sheared completely off. Ash's inventive genius came up with a trail repair. We pulled the axle into alignment with my winch and then used big ratchet straps from either end of the trailer to keep it in place. Whatever works.

Spring_work.jpg

Broken_Spring.jpg

Broken_spring 2.jpg

We continued on to Kerr Lake, them at a snail's pace, on a less than user friendly road in their condition. But the lake was reached, camps set up, another dinner made and all was well.

The next day they went over Elwood Pass and down to Pagosa Springs to find some sort of fix. I spent the day at the far end of the lake watching the trees grow.

The next day the spring was reinstalled along with some steel tube bracing. I decided to follow them home, just in case.

Interesting trip, but in a very beautiful area. It's around 11,200', heavily forested and has lots of places to explore. I'll be back.

Spring_work.jpg


Broken_Spring.jpg


Broken_spring 2.jpg
 
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Views of Kerr Lake from both ends. There's what I think is an old cowboy building of some sort at one end. Winter shelter for wranglers maybe.

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Homestead.jpg


Cabin_view.jpg

Kerr_Lake 1.jpg


Cabin_view.jpg


Homestead.jpg
 
Did you notice any fish in the lake?
 
I saw fish hanging out near the inlet of a little stream. That said, I saw a lot of fishing, but no catching.
 
Kerr lake is a fantastic place to go camping. We enjoyed it very much and hope to return soon.

The broken main leaf spring was a bummer but between Lynn and I, things were moving quickly enough. Thankfully, Pagosa has a spring/welding shop that knows what they're doing and fixed me right up. Welding on a spring is futile but we had no other choice.

Some pics of our camp spot.

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Lunch spot near Platoro reservoir
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Spring repair pics

Off to McBride for a new set of springs. :D

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Beautiful country! Thanks for the pics.

Glad to hear the broken spring didn't cause any more excitement than it did. Could have been a real mess at speed on the highway.
 
Had a similar experience with a tent trailer:
After a week of rough remote Utah back roads we hit a pot hole in Grand Junction and busted the main leaf spring. How lucky was that?
And there was a spring shop where we ended up with a complete new suspension.

Prior to this trip I had reversed the springs on the axle - a spring over - to increase ground clearance.
I wonder if that modification somehow contributed to the failure.

Based on your experience what do you recommend carrying in your spare parts kit for any future field repairs? U-bolts for sure. What are those blocks in the photo?
 
Based on your experience what do you recommend carrying in your spare parts kit for any future field repairs? U-bolts for sure. What are those blocks in the photo?

The PO did a 1.5" lift and those are the redneck blocks that he had someone made up. New springs will have 1" of extra arch so that these blocks can be eliminated.

Spare parts kit:
one spring + shackle (if applicable)
two Ubolts and hardware
lug nuts
lug studs
bearing packed in grease

This trip opened up my eyes somewhat. I'm lacking in the spare kit for the trailer and need to include a bearing or two. Something as simple as a $5 bearing would be a show stopper and talk about aggravation.
I'm also going to remove the axle and weld two rear facing recovery loops. I think it's important for an offroad trailer to have means of rear extraction in tight situations with a second vehicle. Hopefully, the recovery loops can be used to pull the trailer AND the tow vehicle backwards if needed.
 
I think he was talking about the blocks/ubolts that sandwiched the springs.
 
I think he was talking about the blocks/ubolts that sandwiched the springs.

and I said those were the "The PO did a 1.5" lift and those are the redneck blocks that he had someone made up." Maybe I'm confused?
 
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Not the lift. These?

springs.JPG
 
and I said those were the "The PO did a 1.5" lift and those are the redneck blocks that he had someone made up."

Sounds kinda grouchy today.
 
Not the lift. These?

Ahhh, those are my field dressing splints. Never seen those? I'm filing a patent application as we speak. :flipoff2:
 
Ahhh, those are my field dressing splints. Never seen those? I'm filing a patent application as we speak. :flipoff2:

Those look like a good idea.
 
I could see those being useful on a regular rig too, not just a trailer. I've seen more spring breaks and bends on the main rig over the years than many other carnages. birf's exempt.:flipoff2:
 
Those are pieces cut from a piece of square tubing Ash brought up from Pagosa Springs. Never forget to take a long a portable Sawzall with a metal cutting blade!
 
Holy s***! All that time I spent in Colorado in my youth and didn't know there was a Kerr lake. Could've had my picture taken aside my namesake! Well, next time I head that way I know a necessary atop!
 

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