2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest

Day 33, Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 2

2011 Trip across the US
2012 Trip across the US
2014 Trip across the US
2015 Trip to Alaska
2015-16 Southwest Trip
2016 New England Trip
2016 - 17 Southwest Trip
2017 - 18 Trip to Pick Up a New Escape 21 Trailer & More
2018 - 19 Trip to Winnipeg & the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
2019 - 20 Trip to the Southwest

Other Trips


Monday, November 22, 2021 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 3,128.3 Miles for the Trip

The New Tongue Jack

The new tongue jack is installed, not without a few problems. Two of the three bolts holding the old tongue jack to the trailer yoke came out with no problem. The front one took lots of torque, enough that I was worried about snapping it. Finally got it out. Now I have been accused of carrying far to much stuff - the trailer is usually within 200 pounds of its gross weight, although I still have over 600 pounds on the truck (although only 380 pounds before exceeding the rear axle rating). In short, I have lots of stuff, including tools that I rarely use. One of those rare tools was a tap & die set. I was able to re-thread the front hole in the trailer yoke. It looked like it was mis-threaded when the original tongue jack was installed.

While the lift/drop speed of the new tongue jack is slower than the old Atwood, it has three or four more inches of travel. That lets me put the foot directly on the ground, leaving more "leggo " blocks for the stabilizers. I never did like the tongue on a stack of Leggo blocks - they are more slippery than the ground, and by the time the trailer was leveled, the foot of the jack sometimes moved off center. Too close to the edge & I'd have to reconnect to the truck to lift the foot enough to recenter them.

The new tongue jack head is larger than the old Atwood one. Much tighter on the propane tank cover, although it can still be removed, and much closer to the front of the hitch. I have been using an extended stinger ball mount to get the tailgate to clear the tongue jack. That is what got me in trouble in the first place. It only cleared when the truck was level or lower than the trailer. At Big Bend, the trailer was uphill a few degrees, just enough that when the tailgate slammed down it stripped the switches & light from the head of the tongue jack. Since even the extended stinger doesn't give enough clearance for the tailgate, I went back to the shorter one. Actually, I feel better about the change; the extension puts more torque on the stinger mount on the truck & I'm close to the limit when using a non weight distribution hitch. So, no more grabbing stuff from the truck bed without lifting the tonneau cover. I can live with that.

Made a trip to the San Jose grocery store here in Columbus. A reasonably amount of stuff for a small town. Heavily weighted towards Mexican food. Most of the residents of Columbus appear to be Spanish speaking.

Around 3:30 I took another walk around the campground. You can do over a mile without repeating yourself by walking up & down the access roads. The layout is a bit confusing - the exit is on the western side of the campground, but the paved road is on the east side. Some of the cross streets go to the other side, while others just go to campsites. I need to add a note to my Campground Site notes to choose a site on the west side - here on the east side of the park the traffic noise from NM 11 is a bit loud. Lots of trucks heading north with sod & hay.

I snacked while sitting around reading during the afternoon, so dinner was just a salad.

Until Tomorrow -


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Last Update: November 24, 2021