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Old 07-26-2016, 12:24 PM   #1
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Get unstuck for $12...and other lessons learned

Lack of patience and poor judgment has its consequences, but science costing $12 prevailed after burying the rear end in drilling mud (seriously...mud used to lubricate drilling rigs).

Just skip to #14 if you're in a hurry. I'm procrastinating from getting work done and decided to tell a story.

Short memorial as to how my patience and judgment died that day:

1. Completion of a car hauler capable of supporting/fitting my truck got delayed by 3 days....as did my departure from Florida to Kentucky. Asked Monaco about the ability to adjust the trailer electric brakes and they said not to worry, incremental voltage applied to trailer brake.
2. Hauled the trailer to the rig, latched it on, loaded up my truck, and then relocated my office and house into what now seems like a mobile command center.
3. Fired up the rig a 8pm.....and got nothing but whining and clicking from the rear end. There's always the first time I guess, why not now? Finally discovered the problem being a round multi-pin connector in front of the starter not fully seated by maybe 1/8". (When the alternator was rebuilt not long ago, they also checked the starter and I have a feeling that's what led to the connector not being fully seated/secured.) Cleaned it up and all systems were go...at midnight...when I can't see if the trailer bearings are having any issues breaking in....via smoke.
4. Got to Atlanta in the early morning and stopped for breakfast. Hit the Jake on the off ramp and felt a lurch followed by that ominous burnt smell. Coming to a stop or letting off the brakes in a parking lot gave the same big lurches. Got out and definitely smelled the trailer brakes. I disconnected the 7-pin harness and everything was back to normal so I made my way to the Lowes/Walmart in the Atlanta ghetto.
5. Monaco then informed me that full power is applied to the trailer brakes if they are simply tapped or if the Jake brake is pressed.....genius idea. I couldn't find the elusive "M70" connector after disassembling the front dash and the tech said that finding it was the equivalent to catching a Unicorn. I am now curious as to my discovery of 6 disconnected connectors that seeming go to nothing as well as a bundle of wires that have been cut.
6. I bought a brake controller, 100' of 10ga wire, emptied my bays, and went about running a wire from the brake controller to the brake pin in the rear.
7. 8 hours and a shower later (4 hours disassembling and looking for M70 everywhere), I was back on the road.
8. I started getting notices that my brother was nearby as well as other friends and learned they had flown in to Nashville to start their current tour. After meeting up in a parking lot to hang out for what turned into way too long, I was back on the road.
9. I arrived at the lake resort at 5:30am only to discover they didn't have any big rig spots as promised....and won't for 3 more months!
10. I drove another hour to a different and seemingle rare campground in this area who also said they had no big rig spaces available. They said clearance was no issue at all, just no pad or gravel pull through available and that they would do whatever it took to get me taken care of. (By the way...$275 a month for 50amp full service, washer/dryers, bathrooms, shower house, water park, trails, etc. and they love my dog who usually gets the stink eye for being 90lbs.)
11. The camp host was asleep and the lady I talked to was out of town, so I just made myself comfortable running the generator seeing as to how I didn't know how they were going to make this work. (42ft + 26ft trailer).
12. I was later told that the ground is actually hard rock and to just back in next to a short 50amp site with trailer and truck in tow. Had I not been so exhausted, I would have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER pulled that much weight off the pad regardless of whatever rock foundation was claimed to have been under the grass.
13. Turns out that this was the one spot that wasn't hard rock and the rear sank while also on a pretty good decline. Not only that, the mud seemed unusually slick and consistent....which this Oklahoma oil town boy recognized immediately. Mr. Helpy Helperton next door informed me that this area is reclaimed land donated to the county and that I WAS IN FACT STUCK IN DRILLING MUD....The reason for the trees being cleared in this area....it was once a drilling site. That information came from a former employee here who was at the water park. (You have no idea how long it took to get that stuff off of me.)
14. I was 40 hours into this adventure and no amount of shovels, gravel, and bags of sand and limestone from my multiple tractor supply store visits resulted in the rig moving an inch. It actually just got worse and the conclusion was made that I needed to wait for the mud to dry out whereas they have had record rainfall here. Well, lubricating mud has stayed just as lubricated during its tenure where my tires were now sitting.
15. I had recently replaced my PEX lines and manibloc, so I had two cans of the red 1" gap expanding foam on hand for sealing off the runs. I shoved the applicator straw into the mud under the tires and sprayed half a can under each wheel. I waited an hour and gave it a try. Just letting off the brake felt like I wasn't stuck because it started moving on an up hill climb. I got two full tire rotations before the foam parted ways with the tires and they started spinning again. The key is to get the foam to adhere to the tires while expanding because it became like giant mud crawler treads. If you've ever tried to remove a bathtub that has been adhered to the floor with expanding foam, you know that the tub will break before it does.
16. I went to Walmart and invested $6 more dollars in two black cans of large gap filler (That sounds terrible). I put the straw down in the mud between each tire groove and started spraying. I also did it on various places of the tires to create treads. An hour later I started the rig up and drove out. The red cans did have more adhesion strength to the tires and seemed to work better. That foam stayed on while moving 45,000 pounds uphill.
17. I now have four red cans of 1" expanding foam in the bay.
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Old 07-26-2016, 02:14 PM   #2
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Well heck fire. You have my respect for that ingenious extraction from the mud. Thanks for the story and the tip

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Old 07-26-2016, 02:53 PM   #3
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Very clever escape. I'll definitely be keeping that in mind.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:00 PM   #4
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hollllly crap. never thought about spray foam. thanks
I have had a few tires slip events..killed a huge mound of fire ants when my tire fell off pavement and a sinking we did go, then little buggers stayed with us for over 100 miles when i could wash the rear wheels
i had to put many boards under the rear jacks and use them to lift the rear up high enough to place more 2x12"x10' boards to drive out on. emptied the water tank trying to shower after wards, tossed the coveralls
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:15 PM   #5
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I've used carpet and/or cardboard to get out of stuck situations in the past ( with cars and trucks, not MH's) .... even used the interior floor mats/rugs to get out when I didn't have anything else.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:20 PM   #6
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Thank you for the entertaining story and the valuable information. I admire your perseverance.
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by PanJH View Post
I've used carpet and/or cardboard to get out of stuck situations in the past ( with cars and trucks, not MH's) .... even used the interior floor mats/rugs to get out when I didn't have anything else.
I tried it all....several rugs, putt putt golf course carpet brought over by one of the workers here, the lids to my heavy duty storage boxes, A $300 Werner ladder was sacrificed (I think I can cut off the two lower inner rungs it crushed), 500 pound mix of sand and lime, gravel from a nearby mound.....Nothing worked. It was so slick that it all just shot out the back. I even used the trick where a tie down strap is looped around the tire and when it starts spinning it keeps wrapping itself around the tire. I ran out of clearance to wrap any more seeing as to how I carry over 300' worth on the car hauler. I'm still in disbelief that it worked. Unfortunately I don't have jacks to work with, only air bags. In one of the pictures you can see the foam still sticking to the tire after I was able to move forward 2 feet. An essential item that now has its own dedicated space in the bay. Thought this might save people time and money because if it got me out of drilling mud I'm pretty confident it's good for anything short of mud bogging.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:39 AM   #8
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What a great idea.

A) I'm going to be much more careful when moving off the obvious parking pad area

B) I'm going to start carrying a couple cans of that spary foam as well. They'll take up little space and can find a place to tuck them out of the ay.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:43 AM   #9
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I'm thinking you can rename it to "unstuckspray" and sell it on QVC
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:44 AM   #10
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Now that's using the old noggin!
Joe & Annette

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Old 07-27-2016, 02:27 PM   #11
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Great fix! But....

Your brother is in Saliva? Kickass, those guys rock hard, great band.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by marknpeg View Post
Great fix! But....

Your brother is in Saliva? Kickass, those guys rock hard, great band.
\m/ \m/

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