Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Monday, October 4, 2010

Trailer Rehab

We just back from a quick trip up.  This visit was something of a last minute decision, as we had thought that we wouldn't make it up at all in October.  What prompted this trip was the need for a trailer.  The small utility trailer we have, which we use for hauling our quad to band competitions, has a bent axle.  I got to thinking about the trailer that was left up on the property, which is larger and far sturdier...though in need of a good deal of TLC.  With several band competitions coming in the next few weeks we needed to get one of the trailers in shape, and I opted for the one at Shangri La.  Here is a picture of it from a previous trip.

The Obligatory "Before" Shot
As you can see, she's looking a bit rough.  The tires are shot, the tongue is bent where somebody jack knifed it, the bearings are in serious question, the frame at the rear is nearly rusted through, and the lights and wiring are shot. 

This was looking like a solo trip, until our youngest son Kyle agreed to join me.  Shelly had committed to a job for the weekend and Michael was scheduled to work, so it would be just the two of us.  I picked him up from school around 2:00 PM Friday and we immediately hit the road.  I was grateful for his company, as I was going to be needing the help.  The conversation on the drive to and from was also very welcome.  We arrived at the house around 9:30 PM.  We put the trailer into the barn so that we could start work on it first thing the next morning.  We then started a fire to warm the place up, and called it a night.

Bright and early the next morning we started in on the trailer.  Here's what we were dealing with.

Bald and Dry Rotted Tires
Destroyed Lights and Broken Wiring.  Bearings needing inspection and packing.

Somebody jack knifed the trailer at some point, and bent it all to heck.
I put together the shopping list and headed in to Cheboygan to buy what we needed.  We had checked out the Wal Mart here in Ohio first to see if they'd have the tires and hitch supplies, and to price things out.  I had already picked up the lights from Harbor Freight.  We had a nice surprise at the Wal Mart in Cheboygan.  The tires were$13 less each than they were in Ohio, and with needing to buy three with the spare that saved us a nice little handful of green.  Whatever I wasn't able to get at Wal Mart I picked up between Advance Auto Parts and Ace Hardware.

After working pretty much from sun up to sundown, less stopping for lunch and dinner and to run out for more parts, this is what we were able to accomplish.

New Hitch

New Lights and New Wiring

New Tires / Freshly Greased Wheel Bearings

All of Shelly's hard work on clearing out the barn really paid off big for us this weekend.  We were able to work on the trailer inside and out of the elements.  We made some good progress, but there's still some more work to do.  I need to replace the frame at the rear of the trailer where it's rusted out.  I already have the angle iron, and there's enough good metal left on the trailer to bolt it on to.  The outer bearings are a bit sloppy, so I'll be replacing those.  She's also in need of a thorough scraping, priming, and painting.  I'll take care of all that here in Ohio this week so that we can use it to haul the quad this weekend..  One other thing we were able to do was to seal the wood.  I found a gallon of Thompson's in the basement, so we slapped that onto the rails and decking.  Here's the result of our day's work.

Our "New" Quad Trailer
With this being a quick trip we didn't have much time to relax or play.  I did take the time to take a few pictures.

While on the drive back from Cheboygan, which had me on 23 running along Lake Huron, I stopped to take these few pictures at a roadside pull off.

Lake Huron
Lake Huron
Lake Huron

Here are a few shots around the house and property, showing the fall colors beginning to turn.

Shangri La
Shangri La
The drive, looking back toward the road.
Shangri La in the Fall
Kyle and I had a good time.  We talked and laughed a ton during the drives and during the time at the house.  We now have the trailer back here in Ohio, and she proudly tracked straight as an arrow the whole way down the freeway.  We're not sure when we'll be heading up next.  It might be at the end of the month.

Take care,and we'll talk to you all soon!


  1. Wow, I can't get that much done around the house when I don't have an 8 hour drive each way! Maybe it has something to do with having two girls under the age of five following me around all day. Nice work, Dave!


  2. Thanks Brian! Two girls under That's definitely a handicap to getting things done, but certainly not a bad one. :) Our boys are now 22 and 17, and I fondly remember those days. Enjoy! The work will still be there. :)


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