Thursday, March 20, 2008

Southern Illinois, better late then never

Mike made some calls this afternoon and the campsite we wanted to stay at wasn’t flooded and most of the roads were in good condition as well. Now the biggest trick was getting out of here.

Every time we tow the dual-sport bikes with the trailer and want to do some camping we hatch out a detailed plan. In order for these types of trips to work we have to leave the house as soon as possible after work in order to arrive at the campsite at a decent time.

For this trip, from our house to Lake Glendale Recreation Area in Southern Illinois, IL is a 6 hour drive. We were planning on leaving by 6PM at the latest to arrive at the campsite by midnight, since we still wanted to get a good night’s rest.

Loading the bikes on the trailer, packing all the camping gear and food, its all very time consuming and very rarely are we ready to leave on time. Well, this was one of those rare times. 6PM on the dot and we were ready to go.

Mike started up the truck, but the trailer lights didn’t come on at all. This has happened before, where there was a loose connection and something just needed adjustment. Well, this time something strange was happening since Mike had already checked the trailer lights hours ago when he attached the trailer to the truck and they worked fine.

Mike checking all the wires

We started checking everything, but everything checked out fine. The voltmeter showed electrical current flowing but for some reason the lights still weren’t working. None of the lights were working, not the running lights or the brake lights or the signals.

By 7:30PM we were desperate, so we drove over to an auto parts store and bought new trailer lights. There was no time to do a proper installation, we just needed to slap them on quick, they didn’t need to look good, they just needed to work. Shortly after 9PM we were finally on our way. Apparently the ground wire wasn’t working, well, technically it was, the part that was attached to the trailer, but because it is a folding trailer, somehow the trailer was grounded at the one end and not at the other. We think it’s because of some corrosion from the road salt. We pulled that trailer for many hours in a blizzard 3 months ago and the salt must have been eating at the wires and the trailer.

Taking off the old lights

Installing new lights

New trailer lights installed and working

So with new trailer lights, we were on our way. We were starving, not having eaten anything for dinner, so a few blocks from home we stopped at the Arby’s drive through to grab some dinner to eat on the way. The trip down was uneventful. We were pretty tired when we arrived at the Oak Point campground at Lake Glendale Recreation Area in the Shawnee National Forest. It was a nice night with temperatures in the low 40’s. We got the tent up quick and we were tucked in to our sleeping bags by 3:30AM.

No comments: