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Old 03-29-2019, 01:26 PM   #1
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Towing an RV

This link shows a large Newmar being towed, and demonstrates what a big job it is.

https://youtu.be/lRD8nSoJCyU
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Old 03-29-2019, 02:38 PM   #2
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When needed, call in the experts!
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:57 PM   #3
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Here's mine, a few years ago.. 40' American Coach, a picture I hope I never get another chance to take!
Tow truck uses a extendable under reach that lift coach by tires.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-29-2019, 04:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinnieView View Post
When needed, call in the experts!
And watch them like a hawk!!!
My 3 recent experiences with tow truck dispatchers is they almost never get the important information about your coach and how it should be safely towed right and then communicate it properly to the driver. Even if the driver arrives with the proper equipment the first time there is no guarantee he knows how to prepare your coach, particularly a DP with air suspension, properly. Many of them have a lot more experience towing OTR tractor trailers than rear-engined motorhomes. Since time is money and they will have you sign a release absolving them of any damage they do to your coach, they tend to be "cowboys."
You must memorize all the pertinent information in your Owner's Manual BEFORE you need to be towed because they may not know or care what they can do or not do to damage your coach. You should also know and tell the dispatcher and driver who made your chassis, how much your coach weighs and how much weight is on the front axle. They need to know if you have air brakes so they are prepared to unlock your spring brakes or send a compressor equipped tow truck if necessary.
You should also know whether it is better and/or easier to remove the drive shaft or remove BOTH axles to prevent damage to your U joints or your transmission. Some U joints are difficult to remove because they were pressed in.
If they can't keep your rear suspension aired up during tow you may be faced with using a lowboy trailer or a Landoll trailer which opens up a whole new can of worms and extra time and expense.
I have learned to keep spare axle end gaskets, axle caps with gaskets and a tool for removing split cone axle stud washers as the driver likely won't have them. Removing the axles, especially without axle caps to seal the axle housings during the tow, will cause all the lube to drain out. It is a PITA to replace yourself and hard to find a shop who will service the axle lube properly. Failure to replenish the lost lube can lead to wheel bearings overheating, seizing and fire. I ended up doing it myself. Took about an hour and saved me the $980 Rocky Mountain Cummins quoted me to do it properly. The only thing they wanted to do was just top off the differential.
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:32 PM   #5
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Axle caps: https://www.axlecap.net/price-list.html

Add to the list: Strap kit for Ford F-53, socket to remove bolts, extra bolts. Two 55 gal trash bags to put axle shafts in.
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:42 PM   #6
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Two other things: the tow truck driver will probably wreck or lose the axle gaskets when removing the axles and probably won't have any problem putting the axles back in without them and probably won't mention it to you. He will also use an impact wrench to replace the washers and nuts on your axle studs. You will need your own torque wrench and torque values to ensure the nuts don't back off days, weeks or months later.
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:12 PM   #7
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Had to have a '99 Bounder 39Z DP towed 60 miles. The driver removed the driveshaft, hooked up an airline, picked up the front and off we went. He backed it into a Cummins shop and put the driveshaft back in. Cummins replaced the injection pump and I drove off to catch my family.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
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You must memorize all the pertinent information in your Owner's Manual BEFORE you need to be towed
You're assuming every manufacturer provides one...... The "book" that came with my coach has some useful info on hooking up a sewer hose.... Oh, and how to adjust mirrors.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:32 PM   #9
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Get specific towing instructions from your chassis manufacturer.

If you ever need to get towed - reference the instructions, give a copy to the tow operator and have him perform the required operations without substitution. If he won't, then he is not qualified to tow your rig.
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:11 AM   #10
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When we were towed last year, the driver himself called us to make sure that he had the correct information on our RV so that he could bring the right tow vehicle. He brought everything he needed to disconnect the drive shaft. Back at the shop, their 24 hour mechanic diagnosed our problem, got parts after hours, and we were on our way at 8 pm on a Friday night.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbonz View Post
This link shows a large Newmar being towed, and demonstrates what a big job it is.

https://youtu.be/lRD8nSoJCyU
Another coach that's suspension doesn't hold air.
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscarvan View Post
You're assuming every manufacturer provides one...... The "book" that came with my coach has some useful info on hooking up a sewer hose.... Oh, and how to adjust mirrors.
I made a mistake and wasn't ready with enough information in my head to protect my coach from a cowboy tow truck driver who didn't care whether he damaged my coach or not with a cop telling us to move my disabled coach out of busy rush hour traffic. Fortunately, his air compressor aired up my rear suspension enough to protect my U joints and transmission from damage during my first tow which was only three blocks.
Before my next two tows from shop to shop I dug into my Owner's Manual, devoured all the information I could find online and learned most of the information I would need to know the right ways and the wrong ways to safely tow my DP. Stuff I should have known before the mishap that disabled my coach.
I just want to warn others not to wait until the mishap to learn what to let some cowboy tow truck driver who is going to be in a hurry do and especially what not to do to prepare your coach for towing and how to properly restore it after the tow.
I am on my first RV and only have one Owner's Manual to judge by and in many cases it's not very good. It is pretty good in the section about towing procedures. I was a little surprised to even get a manual with my used coach.
I did download an Owner's Manual for my coach and keep it on my phone for quick and easy reference when needed. I did not have enough time to refer to it what with having to deal with an anxious cop, impatient tow truck driver, angry rush hour drivers and with the woman who wrecked our coach and ultimately half a year of our lives.
The take away: Learn all you can from wherever you can about towing your coach BEFORE something happens to require it to be towed.Click image for larger version

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