I'm glad the Christmas rush is finally over, things got back to normal today. The roads are less crowded, parking lots aren't full, and the beach is back to having hardly anyone on it. Apparently there were a lot of visitors here who wanted to go to the beach on Christmas Day, and they sure picked a great day for it. Christmas day was the nicest day I've seen in the 28 days that I've been here on Padre Island. It was bright and sunny, 75°, and calm. It's sort of what I imagined it was going to be like before I got here.
I've been doing some work on the Arctic Fox today. On the way back from Discount Tire the other day I lost an axle dust cap on a trailer wheel. It wasn't their fault that it came off but it was my fault that I lost it. The Arctic Fox like most trailers has decorative covers over the ends of the wheel hubs that hides the dust caps. And even though they look nice and shiny I've never liked the decorative covers because they prevent me from checking my wheel bearings by walking around the trailer and touching each wheel hub and seeing if it's hot, which is something I like to do every time I stop. So I told Discount Tire to leave the decorative covers off.
So when they took off one of the wheels they found that the dust cap had fallen off the wheel hub and was rattling around inside of the decorative cover, and in fact the decorative cover had contained the dust cap and kept me from losing it. This didn't seem like a big deal at the time I just hammered the dust cap back on the hub where it belongs just like I've done dozens of times to different trailers, and headed back to Padre Island when the tire job was finished.
When I got back to my campsite I looked around the trailer And the dust cap was gone. There was no decorative cover to contain so it disappeared somewhere on the interstate. Now the question became why did that dust cap come off twice. I'm hoping its not a bearing problem or something like that, Lord knows I've had enough of those problems on other fifth wheels I've had.
I went to an O'Reilly auto parts store and bought the only dust cap in my size that they had, which was a cheap Chinese dust cap that looked like junk when I bought it. And sure enough I couldn't get it on and finally messed it up and had to throw it away. Then I went to a boat trailer place nearby and they had some decent quality dust caps which I bought and installed with no problems.
I'm not sure what's going on with that wheel but I'm going to have to keep a close eye on it on my way to Dell Rio Wednesday. Because if it falls off again there is definitely something wrong and I will have to jack up the trailer and start taking things apart.