Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Guest Post: How not to tow an RV

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June 10 was my dad's birthday.  It's fairly common knowledge that he enjoys 'tinkering' with machinery, tools, wood, cars, etc.  It's also fairly common knowledge that he will invariably 'find' a project when left to his own devices.  Below is his tale of yet another 'project' that fell into his lap.  Thanks for sharing, Pop!  

From: Dick Harrold 
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 15:07:46 -0400
To: Kids5

Subject: How not to tow an RV

Guys -

Uncle B___ and Aunt M___ arrived last night in their petite four door diesel duely (from Suz: sp? dually? duelly? dual-ie? dual-y? help people!) 350 Ford truck pulling a block long fifth-wheel RV! Of course the first order of business was to get the "rig" backed into our driveway and next to the shop during 5 o'clock traffic.  We had traffic backed up for a quarter mile in each direction while Benny fought the truck's steering wheel, I gave directions standing out in the middle of the street, Mary ran from side to side to see what he would hit next and mom worried about the grass and flowers.  

To say that it looked a lot like a three ring circus gone bad is an understatement.  I finally took the wheel of the truck and managed to get it all stuffed into the drive and spotted next to the shop.  You ever drive one of those things?  Interesting.  Especially with a massive semi trailer on the back.  And it backs differently than that of a normal trailer on the rear of a pickup.  

Anyway, we finally ate supper and settled in front of the TV to drift off now and then while attempting to get caught up on the family news.  The three dogs collapsed after a couple hours of playing and found soft spots to nestle down in.  

We all felt much better this morning after a good night's sleep.  Breakfast was one of mom's best and filled us to the brim.  

For the past two weeks we have been expecting some guys to arrive and seal coat our driveway.  You guessed it.  They arrived today!  

The first order of business was to get any vehicles we might want to drive in the next two days parked on the grass out front and off the driveway.  Since Uncle B____'s truck was on the drive, we'd have to disconnect it from the fifth-wheel RV and move it to safer ground.  

I watched as B___ prepared the rig to be supported by the two on-board jacks -- allowing the tow vehicle to be removed and parked elsewhere.  He disconnected the heavy electric cord that goes between the two vehicles that operates the running lights, brakes, etc.  

Next he got in the truck and eased it forward and out from under the RV.  Everything went well.  Once the truck was clear, he accelerated slightly.  The electric cord stretched out, flipped around and hung up on the rear bumper of the truck.  Despite the electric cord being maybe an inch in diameter, it wasn't up to pulling the RV!  The stress on it pulled off the plug and ripped the cord out of the camper!  Needless to say, the RV didn't move one inch.  

We spent the next two hours making repairs.  

So, how did you spend your last birthday?

I bought my first car, a Model T Ford Coupe, 57 years ago.  We've owned a Tudor for 49 years.  

Dick H

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