I made a startling discovery a few days ago.
On the side of the tire, where it says NOT FOR HIGHWAY USE they really mean it.
Minutes after I got on the highway last week a white F-150 pulled up next to me and wound down his window, yelling something I couldn't hear while pointing at the trailer and pointing down. I knew something was wrong, so I waved a thank you and pulled off at the next exit to find that my wheel jack was still down. The wheel was just barely touching the ground, but obviously it was down enough, and the wheel, as you can see, looks like it was shredded. It was split, worn out and popped all at once, and the hub was also separated.
Out came my trusty bottle jack/jack stand combo to lift the tongue of the trailer while I removed the wheel.
I like this jack because it will actually go high enough to lift my Jeep, and is strong enough to lift my Jeep and has a bolt built into it that allows it to work as a jack stand as well.
The wheel was easy enough to remove- it was just a single long bolt, which came off nicely with an adjustable wrench and a 15/16ths" ratchet.
I figured I'd better replace it as it doesn't move so well when it's in pieces, and luckily the store that I got the jack from had replacements, probably because I am not the first person to have done this.
I was impressed that the bearings were still intact, given the devastation of the rest of the wheel, and when I went to take a photo, they fell out right in my hand.
And the bearings weren't the only parts coming off in my hands!
The new wheel is actually slightly larger than the original, but it fits in the jack well enough, and really, the wheel isn't (normally) used for much other than shifting the trailer a few meters at most, so it doesn't need to be absolutely perfect. It rubs a bit, but not a huge amount, and I doubt it will for long. It isn't actually as much larger as it appears in the photo- the original is somewhat worn down, and under the new one, making the size look very different.
New wheel installed, and showing where it rubs slightly. There's a good possibility that the bolt was bent sightly as the wheel only touches at certain points in it's rotation, but in the end it cost me $13 to fix, and I'm ok with it because, as I said, it doesn't need to go far.
My stupidity has cost me a lot more than $13 in the past, so I'm happy.