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Old 04-12-2016, 12:04 AM   #1
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Wrong Way to Tow a DP

A friend of mine sent me this photo earlier today. He had to have his Fleetwood Excursion towed due to a faulty engine starter. I immediately became alarmed at the manner in which the tow truck driver hooked up to his RV. The driver inserted box tubing similar to a ball mount into the hitch's receiver and lifted the RV via the hitch. I immediately called my friend and told him the rig should have been towed from the front axle with the driveshaft dropped, or better yet, by a flatbed. I told my buddy to inspect his lower front cowling for fiberglass damage. I also told him to have his hitch inspected as the weight of the RV could have damaged the hitch. My buddy said the RV was only towed five miles, so he's hoping everything is ok. He recently bought the DP, so he really didn't know any better.

Anyone ever seen a DP towed this way?

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Craig
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:13 AM   #2
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NO!! That's TOTALLY WRONG!
BTW: looking down the trim in the side in the OP's picture it appears to have a curve in it. Might be a trick of the photo but if it's real there could be frame damage.
I'm sure that would damage ours as the rear axle and tag are rated 34,000#'s and the hitch/frame are only rated to take 15,000#'s and only towing weight, not tongue.
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:33 AM   #3
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I've never seen one towed but driveshaft disconnected and towed from the front makes sense to me. I'd check for damage. Hope all is well.
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:15 AM   #4
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Way too much weight on the front axle and suspension too!
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:04 AM   #5
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Wow, I cringe when I see that picture. Off subject a bit, but what is the proper way to tow my P-30? I did a search and all I get are Toad hits.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
OK...I'll bite...



Why is that bad? I'm assuming the drive shaft was disconnected but how else would they tow it?



I confess...I must be under educated (ignorant?) on this issue. LOL

Op said they picked it up with the receiver hitch. That some crazy stuff there.

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Old 04-12-2016, 07:31 AM   #7
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Well, I must be an expert on this since I had my Class C towed once and my current Class A towed twice. In each case the coach was towed from the front with the driveshafts removed.

The last time I was with the coach the whole time. The tow truck driver was very good, making sure he didn't damage anything. After pulling the driveshaft he even tied up the rock guard to make sure it didn't get damaged.

He surely must have sued the lift under the chassis of the motorhome and not the hitch.

Towing from the rear using the hitch is a scary thought. I don't see how a tow truck driver could get by with this. The hitch should definitely be inspected along with the whole front end. The amount of additional stress on the front axle, caused by the sway of the motorhome, could have damaged any of the front axle components. Also, there is not much clearance below the rear tires, I would question whether the tires touched and potentially damaged the axle/transmission.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
OK...I'll bite...

Why is that bad? I'm assuming the drive shaft was disconnected but how else would they tow it?

I confess...I must be under educated (ignorant?) on this issue. LOL
A good receiver hitch is rated at 10,000 lbs pulling force and designed to carry 1000 lbs of downward weight.

If a tow operator simply stuck a draw bar in the hitch and lifted it, the hitch would be supporting the heaviest part of the MH. Well over its design stress's. The draw bar would bend ortwist off the hitch.

If you look at a heavy wreckers draw bar, it is at least 18 inch square, not 2 1/2 inch.

If that is all that is supporting the MH, I can't see how it would not lean to one side. There must be more to it then stated. There are probably 2 side lifting points under the ends of the hitch, directly below the frame rails.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:00 AM   #9
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Our P-30 Safari Trek needed a tow in 2013 after the in-tank fuel pump failed. The tow truck driver disconnected the drive shaft, wired it in place, added a temporary light bar on the rear, and lifted the front by using a gadget that contacted the lower part of each front tire. We were towed around 20 miles, and the only issue was a few scratches from the light bar. The service was Coach.Net.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
Wow, I cringe when I see that picture. Off subject a bit, but what is the proper way to tow my P-30? I did a search and all I get are Toad hits.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:01 AM   #10
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OOPPSS...somehow I missed seeing the OP's picture and saw the second one by MR_D with it being picked up on the front end. SORRY...I deleted my STUPID post.

Yes...the OP's picture scares the hell out of me!
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:38 AM   #11
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There are times that require a rear tow

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Old 04-12-2016, 09:04 AM   #12
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Holy smokes!

Some suggestions.

Advise owner to sit down and relax...

Next contact the manufacturer and ask for specific advise regarding this.

They know the design and operating limits of the unit and it may be okay...likely no way in heck but the call needs to be made FIRST.

Next follow up with state licensing agency for tow operations to see what actions or remedies are common and at this point keep names out.

After gaining information needed to insure you know what you are talking about contact the tow company via email.

If your insurance dispatched them start there and see where they go.

Be sure to include data from manufacturer if it shows overload and what needs to be done to inspect for damage...

This is likely a creative tow driver and if on a busy interstate maybe...Just to get it off the road but even then no way.
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:47 PM   #13
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Wrong Way to Tow a DP

UPDATE:

My buddy called to tell me that he had his rig inspected this morning by a trusted mechanic. Luckily, he suffered no damage. When I asked him to explain in more detail how his rig was towed, he said the driver lifted the coach by the hitch receiver, but the rear of the coach was supported by the bottom of the entire hitch assembly when it was towed, which is a little better than how he initially explained it. Although I disagree, his mechanic had no issues with the way it was towed for the five miles. His mechanic admitted that dropping the driveshaft and towing from the front is a better method, he said almost no one marks the driveshaft mount, so reinstallation often results in an unbalanced driveshaft. This brings up a good point - you can't trust a tow truck driver to mark the driveshaft for you, so this is something an owner should do in advance with a paint pen. I did this a while back on not only my driveshaft, but on other bolts that require periodic inspection and/or re-torquing.

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Old 04-12-2016, 04:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Man View Post
My buddy called to tell me that he had his rig inspected this morning by a trusted mechanic. Luckily, he suffered no damage.
I always try to be an optimist but I really doubt this. I'd like to hear a 50,000 mile update. How did the front tires fair after being so terribly overloaded? How about the front suspension? Did the hitch stay in place? Any oddities start (vibrations, poor handling, etc.)???
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