The death of a friend......
(Can a trailer really be your friend?)

We packed up, in Winchester Bay, after a rainy, but fun Easter Weekend ride in the Dunes. We spent a lot of time in the X-trailer (our 20 foot covered trailer) doin up the 'Dog' (Crash's 450R) - so it would run with the Mighty YFZ's (Leroy and Bartholomew). Look under reviews for the full story on the modified 450R.

So we packed up for an Early Monday mornin return to B.C.   Crash's rig (a 1/2 ton Dodge) had "issues" towin the loaded X-trailer so we hooked it up to my Chev (which doesn't have issues) and headed out. I drove the twisty section from Coo's to Florence and out to the I-5 at Eugene. At Eugene we topped up the fuel and hit the I-5 North with Chickie #2 drivin and Chickie #1 as co-pilot and me in my rightful place sleepin in the back.

It wasn't long before Chickie #2 (Nippy) came up on a semi truck that wasn't going her speed. She waited for an opportunity to pass and pulled into the passing lane, cept she pulled out a little hard. Now a 3500lb trailer with 6 atv's and gear in it prob weighs about 6-7G's to my truck's 2500 or so - bottom line, it wins, so when it decided to keep pullin out and not level off in the next lane, she over corrected. I gotta give her points for tryin though, cuz when the fishtailing started, she matted the throttle trying to straighten the doomed mess out, but alas, it wasn't to be. So when the throttle didn't work, the breaks were applied and things went from really bad, to really worse. The trailer came around and visited both sides of the truck and both guard rails before finally flipping over and wedging the truck into the center concrete guard rail. This was not the way I like to wake up.

Interesting that hitch never let go, and in fact jacked the rear end of the truck about 3 feet in the air when the trailer flipped. I suggested we get the heck outta the truck before another vehicle hits us so out we went.

It's an eiry feeling standing on a major interstate with a small building behind u and no traffic in front of you. I wandered around to the backside of the trailer and noted the "air-side" wheels still spinning...... As I wandered towards the rear of the truck I noted an SUV driving by in the opposite lanes going real slow having a look. Then I noticed a medium sized car doing the same thing. Heck these two were both having a neck twister of a look. Only one prob.... the car and truck were not going the same speed, and unfortunately the car .was going faster (WAY FASTER) then the truck - WHAM! Not 6 feet from me. Funny part is the car driver - and I just LOVE these people - had her little chi hua hua dog on her chest and burned in my memory for ever more is the sight of the air bag going off and flinging the little dog over the headrest into the back seat - lmao... my kingdom for a video camera. (By the way the dog is fine).

So we made the papers and we made the news and they even shot video of us - guess we're famous now, and the good news is that everyone is ok, and the truck has collision insurance. The bad news is that the trailer doesn't.

It's not as happy as it used to be. From first glance, the front and passenger side are totally screwed. The hitch is bent, the axles are both bent and there appears to be frame damage to both the main and cage frames.

So off to the wrecker's yard we go. A little sick humor - the towing company is called B.C. Towing (we're from British Columbia). Anyway, the guys there a re great. Truly are. They are friendly and helpful and never for a moment do you feel like just a number or insignificant. Incidentally, the State Trooper's were great too. We had a female officer (Officer Naughty I like to call her) who was professional and caring and went a long way to ensure our continued safety and comfort. Hats off to the municipal folks from the State of Oregon. The only guy that was a little funny was Fireman 'Bob' - I think maybe he saw Ladder 49 or Back Draft too many times, and he was the elected "safety man" and made sure that me and Nippy were well away from anything that might be combustible, however he took a shine to chickie #1 and made sure that she was safely close to him at all times.

While he was busy flirting with my wife, he explained the dangers of floating gas fumes and breaking winch cables for all to see. He truly was a man in love with his position. He even gave the old "stand back now, I smell fumes!" when they opened the X-Trailer door - I'm thinkin 6 ATV's upside down there's gonna be fumes, but hey, what do I know?

When Fireman Bob pronounced everything vented properly and all distress to mankind safely negated we were allowed to approach our trailer and peer inside. Not good. The 2 YFZ's were on the high side cushioned by the cRaptor and the Z400. Farther back, the 450R was laying on the LTZ250 and sadly, our pitbikes.

Sadly, the Notsomighty XR50 may not survive and is now in intensive care. The X1 pocketbike that has seen, oh so many, bathroom runs, appears to have died at the scene. We will remember them both.

After only minor issues we arrived at the tow yard. By now, Pornstar and the Dodge had caught up to us haulin the campin trailer. Our camper was empty on the trip (It has decks built to haul ATV's), so we unloaded the X-Trailer and proceeded to load the trucks and campers with our rides. We put both YFZ's in my Chevy, standing up on their rear bumpers. We put the cRaptor and the Z400 on the front trailer deck on their bumpers and put the LTZ250 (Bailey) on the rear deck with the 450R in the Dodge. Of course by this point the Dodge's bumper was gradeing the earth level and the suspension was pinned, so we unhooked the trailer and attached it to the wrinkled Chev for the ride home. The interior of the camping trailer became storage for tools, tires, etc.

The Chev performed flawlessly (as normal) and hauled the load home. And Crash, if you're reading this, I'm teasin ya a teeny bit and you shouldn't take offense, but BUY A CHEV!!!!!! Geezus man! (Yes your atv is now faster then mine - happy now?)

So there I was, back home some 14 or so hours later wondering when I was going to wake up from a really shitty dream. Nippy was wondering the same.We were also wondering how we were going to get the trailer back into Canada, or if we should even bother. So 150 phone calls later I determined that it is possible to repair one of these bad boys, and maybe not to economically unrealistic. Could it be that the X-trailer may live again? We'd have to call it the Jesus-Trailer then wouldn't we? Ok that was uncalled for and perhaps I should edit that out - later. Or maybe we'll just call it the J-Trailer......hmmm....

So, how the hell do ya get a 20 foot trailer with 2 bent axles 350 miles?? Well, ya try to find replacement axles and put em on. Yeah, been there, tried that. Apparently Haulmark trailers have Dexter Torq-Flex Axles on em...ok..... and apparently, cuz I wanted heavy duty, I got 5200lb Dexter Torq-Flex axles....ok..... well, apparently they are built to order and don't exist anywhere in the world except on some engineers drawing board, they are 3 weeks away and cost  $747 each. Ok, well, with the trailer rackin up $30/day in storage, I'm thinkin that plan aint gonna fly.

I called a buddy from years gone by who is the only guy I know with a bigger trailer then me - I know it's bigger, cuz I built it. Securing the 24' flat deck we planned a trip. Stone Cold Fred (SCF) offered to go with me and Nippy - he's a crane operator and knows his shit. Now SCF hardly knows us, and has no earthly reason to help us at all, but offered none the less, and gathered most of the materials we'd need to pull this little trip off. We were kinda hopin the Princess would help us out, seein as he's Nippy's other half, but he was busy and didn't think his Ford would be up to the job, so me and Nippy and Stone Cold Fred loaded up the wrinkled Chevy and at 2:00am and headed back down for round 2.

We arrived at BC Towing at a leisurely 8:30am and surveyed the situation. "Jeff" one of the owners of BC Towing had offered to let us use his tow trucks as hoists to lift the J-Trailer onto the flat deck. Jeff wasn't there. Owner #2 (O2) was there. I explained the plan about lifting the front of the trailer with a hook and the back with a wheel lift and backing the flat deck underneath - O2 simply said "no". No explanation no nothing. After stating that O2 wishes Jeff would keep his mouth shut, he then grabbed a panel of 3 "experts" and whisked them away to an undisclosed location where the discussed the problem for 2 hours. Stone Cold Fred and I removed the front axle off the J-Trailer. 2 hours later we sent Nippy (she's the purdiest of us) to seek out O2 and find out if they were going to help or not. O2 came out and told us how we can't do this and we can't do that. Stone Cold Fred was ready to tell him to go screw himself and do it anyway - but we went for the more docile approach and brought up the same plan other way. O2 disappeared and left us a single tow truck and operator (who knew the score) and in a matter of minutes we were loaded.

We were concerned about being tail heavy, and we were also concerned about having to much on the tongue of the flat deck. So we measured a bit, and discussed a bit, and in the end just stuck the J-Trailer on the flat deck and prayed.
In the end, we ended up a tad tail heavy - not good. But we put the axle and the generator and everything we could find inside the J-Trailer at the front and it was too bad - 50-60Mph was all we were good for though, so it was to be a slow and scary return home.

Funny side note here too - When crossing over the boarded at 2:00 we were forced to take the "Truck Crossing" - alternate crossing, because our normal crossing was closed. The attendant at the border was a gentleman that I'm sure was doin his job (or not) and proceeded to give us the 3rd degree about our travels. - Which is fine - this is his job. And we are very sensitive to 9/11 issues and we get it, but when he asked us what we do for a living and Nippy responded that she was "mom" things got a little carried away. He quizzed her on how she supports herself and when she answered that she looks after the kid and the other half works - he dug into why the other half wasn't on this trip with us - to which I responded "maybe you should call him and ask him yourself" - and for a long time the guy wouldn't let it go. Can someone please tell me w.t.f. that has to do with international security? Funny, I cross into the states for work and pleasure probably once a week and I get zero hassles. But in this case we weren't allowed to cross until Border Bob made sure that we all knew he was "the man" and he had "the power"..... Guess there's assholes everywhere.

On the way back we hit Canadian customs at our normal crossing - the attendant asked us our business and we were on our way as normal.

So as I write this, I prepare to go to my subdivision home driveway and unload this mess and start Project Phoenix and see if we can rebuild this bad boy. Hell, we can fix anything, so it's probably gonna work out, but who knows.

At the very least, other then some bruises, everyone's ok and Nippy's got a hell of a story to tell of her first accident, and the rest of us have another story to tell at the bar over whiskey.

And really, at the end of the day, that's what it's all about.

So, next time you're out, remember this, and raise a glass to fallen comrades, like the X-Trailer.

Some pics......

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