Ultimately, after finding the trailer rental company’s owner at home (there was no emergency number, but never underestimate the power of a helpful father and a paid Google search), we were told that the trailer could safely be driven home on three wheels. That’s why there was no spare.
Now I have to say that didn’t sound right to anyone involved except the guy who owned the trailer, but who were were to argue?
Finding someone who could simply remove the wheel for us was no problem. He said he knew where were we were and would be on his way in 5min. We didn’t think to ask where he was starting from.
While we were sitting in the car waiting, the kids noticed that the road we were on ran right next to the bike trail they’d wanted to ride. After a brief discussion about whether they were safer biking by themselves on the road or hanging with us where we were likely to get creamed by a passing semi, we decided to let them go off by themselves (we had planned to rent adult bikes) to the next town if they promised to come right back. I gave them my cell phone and Bret and I set in to wait.
Apparently the wrecker sent to help us was also the local guy for all State Patrol impounds and those came first.
An hour and a half after he said he’d be on his way in 5 minutes, and about the same time our kids returned from the bike ride, our savior arrived. He removed the tire in seconds and we were off. Again.
Lessons learned that day:
- Always make sure you have a spare.
- Always make sure you have the proper tools to remove a tire on the vehicle you’re driving AND the vehicle you’re pulling.
- Have an emergency number for any rental company you use.
- Find out what type of roadside coverage you have and what options you have in case of emergency.
- Don’t try to fix your own breakdown on the side of a busy road.
- A dual axle trailer can be pulled on three wheels to the safety of a gas station or other safe area.
- A dual axle trailer can be pulled with three wheels, however, it cannot be pulled all the way home!
Yes, you read that last one correctly. We DIDN’T make it all the way home. But we did make to a gas station an hour closer to our destination. We ditched the trailer, filled the Flex (the perfect road trip vehicle) with all of our gear, minus the bikes, and headed home. Five people, two dogs, a weekends worth of gear – it all fit. Nine hours after breaking down we pulled into our driveway.
Our first trial run – a complete success!