Before even being on the road for 30 minutes on our way up to North Cascades, we had a truck pull up beside us informing us that our wheel was smoking and that we were going to blow a bearing.
We pulled over as fast as we could and sure enough, our back wheel was smoking and was too hot to touch. The guy in the truck circled back for us and gave us “mechanically disabled” people a quick breakdown on what he though could be causing the issue. Either way, we were in the middle of nowhere, up a mountain with a smoking tire.
We let it cool down to the point that we thought we could drive again and started off. No more than 5 minutes later it was clear that we had to pull over again, this time thankfully at a more appropriate spot. Bryan hopped out to assess the situation before running back to inform us that we were on FIRE.
We always travel with several large 5 gallon water jugs for drinking, so I quickly popped the lid on one and Bryan emptied it entirely onto the wheel, but to no avail. Thankfully Hunter’s quick thinking had us turn off the propane and I quickly returned with the fire extinguisher and we were able to put the fire out.
So here we are on the side of the road, again in the middle of nowhere with a trailer that cannot go another inch. Roadside assistance is out of the question, and due to the issue on the wheels we would need a massive tow costing at least several hundred dollars to get to the nearest service station, 68 miles away.
A very nice man pulled over and asked if he could help. We were having issues getting the tire off since we didn’t have the right size jack and trying to get the lug nuts off ourselves resulted in a bent socket wrench.
He said if he didn’t have the right size himself he would drive into Leavenworth (40 miles) away to see if he could buy one for us. Thankfully, he did have the right size and assisted us in getting the tire off.
Bryan and I agreed, our best bet was to take off both wheels ( our trailer is on 2 axls) and attempt the drive up the mountain on the one axl to the nearest service station. We would have to drive at about 20 miles per hour, but we we would (in theory) make it.
Off we went, and an hour and a half later we arrived in Monroe with our back axl grinding on the road. It was awful, and I have never been honked at so many times for driving so slow. Our nerves were shot.
After several unsuccessful attempts to get into a mechanic, we found a large establishment that confirmed we had a busted wheel bearing, but more importantly, our entire back axl was going to have the be replaced as well as the bearing and breaks. He would have to ship the part overnight allowing us to get on the road the next day. A good week before anyone else had offered.
We pulled ourselves together, resigned to having to spend the $1800 and packed an overnight bag desperate to make the best of it.
Thankfully Monroe is a pretty large town, so we booked a stay in a hotel across the street on credit card points that had an indoor pool (my only requirement) bought a bottle of wine and went out for dinner.
The kids swam till late at night and up to the moment we received the phone call the next day at 3:30 pm that the trailer was ready to go. They had a blast on our little “vacation”. Honestly, I don’t even think they knew that something was up.
We are continuing to pray that this is the end of the trailer mishaps.
At this point I am just relived that we are all safe and that we were taken care of by several kind people along the way. But I must admit I am feeling rather discouraged.
We now have a shortened stay at our campground due to losing a day, but thankfully there isn’t much on the agenda.
The bright side? North Cascades is absolutely stunning.
We didn’t get to spend much time hiking or exploring, so we will definitely have to come back in the Spring.
We mainly spent our time at their visitor centre (which is so kid friendly) and meeting new friends at the campground.
Till next time, XO
Keep up to date with us – Subscribe!