Wedge with the quads 21/10/07


I know I've been really slack. Its not that we're not off 4wd'ing or camping, its just we're not getting the camera out much. I'll make it a new years resolution to get the camera out more often :-)

This trip's from a couple of months back, thought I'd share it cos the camp setup's starting to get pretty refined now the trailer's been tweaked a bit and added to the mix.

We took our quads up to Wedge for a weekend to test out the trailer.

This was the first proper offroading trip for the trailer and it handled it…. Not to well...

I was undoubtedly “testing” the heck out of it but there was a fault with the springs which resulted in one of them snapping in half. Being it was single leaf springs that was bad.

Luckily it happened on the way home. Unluckily it happened 1km out of Wedge, leaving me with another 49km of woops and offroading to get it to Lancelin.

Roughing it?

I was working out how to balance the trailer on a shovel on the end of my jack (cos the jacking point I needed to use was pretty high up and my jack wouldn't reach anywhere near it) when a bloke with a HiLift Jack ambled past and lent a hand.

With his jack I was able to get my jack between the axle and chassis and I lashed it into place with rope (thankyou Doc Nairn for all the great rope work you taught me in Boy Scouts). With it like that I was able to get the trailer to Lancelin where I spotted the local constable and got permission to leave it at the lockup for safe keeping. I came back the next day with a new spring, fitted it and drove the trailer home.

On this run I also broke my quadbike, I was doing a speed test on the beach to see what the top speed was after changing the gearing via the front sprocket. I hit 90km/hr (according to the dodgy speedo on the thing) and hit a run-off. After nursing my battered wrists I noticed the bike was a LOT lower than it had been prior to its altercation with the beach. I'd blown the rear shockie through its top mounts and almost through the seat. After waiting for a few minutes to un-pucker… I pushed it back to camp. Well sortof, I pushed for about 20 minutes when some fairly drunk lads in a cruiser took pity and gave me a tow back to camp. I've since rebuilt the mounts and done a long list of mods to the quad. Its running very nicely now. I must put up a page for it sometime...

Those springs were too hard for the trailer anyway, and I won't be trusting single leaf springs again. I moved the spring mounts, and fitted new 5 leaf springs. While I was at it, I bought a 3 rd set and mounted it on a stub up under the trailer with a set of u-bolts and plate as spares in case I ever find myself in the same situation. I also moved the water tank to over the axle to re-distribute the weight. The result? The trailer now tows much much better, it wallows through woops rather than trying to bounce over the van to avoid them :-) BIG improvement.

Since we took those pictures on this trip we've been back to Wedge, and discovered the beach run is much much easier and smoother. We took the inland track on the way there and beach track for the way back. I was trying to find my way around the South Rock via an inland track (as the beach from Wedge Point to South Rock was pretty chopped up) and took a wrong turn… I found myself in a tight high sided canyon which wound its way up over a hill to the beach. After taking a run at the first drift (which wasn't so bad) I found it got way worse and was stuck. Amazingly, all it took to get out was dropping down to 10psi, and a little shovel work! This van never ceases to amaze me (the 80 series behind me with Lockers – also towing a trailer – took one look and found another path ;-) )