<VV> Trailering fun - long

Craig Nicol nicolcs at aol.com
Sat Nov 10 12:42:55 EST 2007

I spent the last week on a 2200 mile round trip from Coeur d'Alene to Denver
and back to pick up the late Herb Berkman's Stinger. The trip went well and
I spent four days there just helping his wife Jonni unpack boxes, organize,
and move in (Herb and Jonni hadn't really moved into their home).  I also
played the "what's this Craig" game about 1000 times. So much of what we
have for our car hobby is hard to ID if you aren't into it. 

To transport the car and parts I borrowed a 28' (you read it right) enclosed
car trailer and towed it behind my 1-ton spec pickup.  There were two goofy
parts to the package: 1) With the parts loaded to the front of this long
trailer, tongue weight was off the charts so I had to load the car way to
the back of the trailer to reduce the tongue weight. Having the weight at
the ends rather than over the axle made it sensitive to abrupt steering
correction so I really had to be smooth.  2) A throttle-body 350 with 210 hp
isn't the best choice for a 15,000# truck/trailer/cargo combination.  0-60
times were measured in minutes (hours?) and the steepest grades (like the
8600' continental divide pass) reduced my speed to 25 mph. There are a lot
of passes between North Idaho and Denver; I started to count but ran out of

The only mishap was kinda funny:  Things were going along hummingly until at
about noon on Thursday, while I was trying to find a radio station in the
static, I heard an unusual humming noise. Since I was stepping through radio
frequencies I didn't think much of it until I noticed that it seemed to be
on every frequency, so I turned off the radio.  The noise continued even
with the radio off. Hmm. A quick check of the gauges revealed nothing but as
I watched the panel, the alternator light came on.  With that answered, I
pulled over just as the engine quit.  Smoke was coming out the seams of the
hood. Upon opening the hood, the smoke was clearly coming from the
alternator; The engine wouldn't crank or even rotate. When I took the belt
off, the engine started right up and I found that the alternator was locked

Surveying the scene, things could have been worse.  It was about 60-degrees
and sunny.  I was safely to the side on a level straight road, and there
were dwellings in sight. I took the too hot to handle alternator off the
truck, unloaded the Stinger from the trailer. Pulling down the trailer door
to reveal a spare car felt really good ;-). I drove to the nearest farmhouse
where I learned that a little town with an auto parts store was only 14
miles away. About 40 minutes later I was back at the truck and installing
the replacement alternator.  Total elapsed time: About an hour and 15
minutes!  It doesn't get much better than that. It always pays to have a
spare car with you :-)

The Stinger is safe and sound in my garage but I still have to unload the
truck and trailer. Where am I going to put all this stuff?!
I'm happy to be home and I didn't even have to use the wipers, let alone
deal with any snow - amazing for this region in November! Yeah!
Craig Nicol

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