Headed out saturday morning
Get the last few things set up and running before start at 1200.
3 HF rigs in the trailer, another in the van, GOTA station on the other side of the campers. 4A this year.
Racked up a shitload of contacts on 20m saturday.
WX was nice ... mid-70s during the day, comfortable (for me) evening/overnight.
Jumped on 6 for an hour or two since the radio was free sunday. Spinning the dial, blew by 50.155... "Hey, 155, that's my number..." parked there and owned the freq, got a bunch of contacts in wisconsin and canada, couple more from cali/az off the back of the beam.
About 1100, "Hey, we're gonna shut down, lightning's getting a little close." Storm to the south.
Got everything torn down/secured, packed and ready to roll out in a little over an hour. Pileup on the road as we were leaving the site, then over the radio I hear "We've got a big problem down here".
Grab my phone and portable... ground clearance problem, maybe?
Trailer hitch problem. Hitch was hanging from the frame, twisted with several bolts sheared off. Ford's not hauling anything anywhere except what's in the bed.
"Power Wagon should be able to haul it... 2-5/16 ball with a 7-pin and brake controller, yeah I got that."
Didn't really have many other options at this point, had a bunch of half-tons but none of them were set up for towing, and this trailer's a bit much for a half-ton pickup anyways (tongue and gross weight). Getting things moving is one thing, getting everything stopped is a different story.
Squatted the ass-end quite a bit more than I'd like, wouldn't want any more on the hook but it did okay up and over the passes. Definitely glad to have deep gears and good brakes coming down the hills.
Kept an eye on the hitch the whole way home... nice to have a team in front of and behind me, all with good radios...
The tongue jack got kinda fucked up when the trailer was stolen last year, then fucked up even more when it was drug through the dirt after the ford's hitch failed. One side of the foot was folded up such that the foot couldn't be removed, which left me with about 5" of clearance between pavement and the jack foot for the haul home (Surprisingly only scraped it twice). When we got back to storage, pulled the bolts that hold the jack to the frame, but without being able to remove the foot teh jack couldn't be fully removed from the frame. Shoved a block of wood under there for some additional clearance for the steep driveway entrance.
Once the truck/trailer was in position... High-lift jack to get the trailer off the ball, and some lumber under the frame to serve as the tongue jack till the real one gets fixed. "Sketchy as fuck" barely begins to describe the situation.
But the trailer's "home" and in one piece. PW still managed to get 10.8mpg with the trailer on the hook.
Total Contacts by Band and Mode:
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Band CW Phone Dig Total % ---- -- ----- --- ----- --- 80 0 26 0 26 4 40 0 88 0 88 12 20 0 428 0 428 59 15 0 118 0 118 16 10 0 22 3 25 3 6 0 38 7 45 6 3 0 1 0 1 0 -- ----- --- ----- --- 0 721 10 731 100
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Initials Total % -------- ----- --- AAA 306 42 BBB 90 12 (Mule) 74 10 DDD 73 10 EEE 43 6