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Old 06-17-2015, 09:19 PM   #1
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Truck Separated From Motorhome

If you don't think this happens, take a look at this. Thank goodness there were non-life threatning injuries.

4 injured in crash near Hudson
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:39 PM   #2
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I drove through there on Sunday, with with my MH and toad. It would be interesting to see hat failed or was missed.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:32 PM   #3
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It would be interesting to know if the TOAD had a supplemental braking system installed, and safety chains, or breakaway safety features installed.

I frown when I hear of people ignoring those features deliberately. Sorry - I rant....

Brian
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:35 PM   #4
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Happens to friends of ours last spring. Hitch broke and the Dekota almost passed the MH and landed in a ditch in Texas. They were lucky as the truck turned in circle in a cow pasture after going through the fence.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:51 PM   #5
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How does this happen? Incomplete installation?
My Blue Ox has extra cables bolted to the car frame and the bolt-on bracket.
So even if all the bolts broke, the cables would keep the car connected.
These cables are in addition to the normal safety chains.

Then there is the aux. Breaking system and break away switch.

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Old 06-18-2015, 12:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by caissiel View Post
Happens to friends of ours last spring. Hitch broke and the Dekota almost passed the MH and landed in a ditch in Texas. They were lucky as the truck turned in circle in a cow pasture after going through the fence.
Was there an auxiliary brake system on their Dakota?
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:28 AM   #7
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How does it happen? Well since it ALMOST happened to me I will tell you.

First.. We have the debate which rages here over "Do I kneed to have a braking system on my towed?" Texas law allows trailers up to 4,000 pounds to NOT have brakes.. and this was in Texas.

Next,,, We often use drop hitches in order to make the tow bar level (A good thing by the way) but these put a lot of torsion stress on the crossover bar the hitch receiver is welded to and on the just mentioned weld.. THEY ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR THIS.

So you take a 5,000 (or 10,000) pound hitch receiver, put on say a six inch drop hitch.. Tow 4,000 pounds of car.. The torque when you stop w/o a brake system (or start even with one) it amazing. (2,000 foot pounds of torque) the brackets on the end of the cross member break (it did mention the hitch breaking). and drop the cross bar on the freeway.

Now.. I mentioned brake systems on the towed.. A break-away cable properly attached will at this point pull the pin out of the towed and lock 'em up Hopefully preventing what happened... BUT.. Wait.

Most folks hook that cable to one of the safety cable loops next to the receiver.. I know that's where the DEALER hooked mine.. So when the cross bar goes.. The cable stays with the TOWED not the motor home ..This cable should be anchored to something OTHER than the hitch, reciver, cross bar,or safety cable loops.

Finally... What happened to me

Bracket broke as above. Dropped my bicycle tire (rear) onto the pavement.. Folks called attention to it and I pulled off road... The brake system workd as it should stopping the car in exactly the position it should have stopped in.. I dissassembled the wrekage (Actually very little damage) loaded the bicycle in the MH and the hitch assembly into the towed..Wife drove towed to the end of the ramp and parking.. Next day we found a welder who re-built (And seriously OVER bulit) the brackets and we were on the road again,, Total loss fifty bucks.

But it could have been much much worse.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:17 AM   #8
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Even with the best systems things break. Last year we hooked up the Element double checked each others connection. Drove 10 miles. Went to make a turn and heard dragging.
One arm of the blue ox was unhooked from the car and dragging
Failure of a lock pin where the tow bar attached to the car.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:19 AM   #9
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wa8yxm - you pose some interesting ideas. So in the grand scheme of things is the drop (i have a 4 in raise on my hitch to toad) or raise more risky than having the tow bar "not level" between MH and Toad? In other words is it safer (less stress) to have an uneven tow bar than to have a raise/lower adapter in the mix? Your points about the increased torque make me wonder...
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:41 AM   #10
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MY BIG SCARE

October 2013, towing home from Nashville our 5th wheel tri-axle Raptor Toy Hauler. Hitched up placed lock on the reese hitch (little flip lever that locks the release bar and prevents it from unhooking) and hit the highway. Mid day stopped in Tenn for fuel. Filled up, jumped in the truck and pulled ahead about 3' and the trailer came down on the pickup bed. Big bang, lots of impact felt (2,800lbs of hitch weight fell on the bed) I was going about .1 mph, we both jumped out of the truck thought someone hit us. Then we notice the camper has come unhitched at the fuel stop.

Long story, the the flip lever is bolted to the hitch with a 3/8" bolt, which has a grade 8 lock nut. It pivots on that bolt, when closed you can place a pin, or a lock in the other end. (not provided with the hitch) The nut came lose, the botl and the nut were laying in the bed, which allowed the flip lever to disengage, and as we drove over the speed bumps at the station it jiggled the hitch lever to release.

$5,000 damage. A 29cent lock nut.

Imagine if this had occured on the highway? Emergency trailer brakes or not! Our Raptor was about 15,500lbs.

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Old 06-18-2015, 01:42 PM   #11
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More info on this will be appreciated!
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:03 PM   #12
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The towed truck did not have a working break-away system/supplemental braking system, or safety cables, otherwise the truck would not have wound up there.
I'm still amazed at the number of MH owners towing a vehicle without a supplemental braking system for the towed. Those folks should have several million in liability insurance. One cannot plan ahead for a panic stop.
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gma-n-Gpa View Post
wa8yxm - you pose some interesting ideas. So in the grand scheme of things is the drop (i have a 4 in raise on my hitch to toad) or raise more risky than having the tow bar "not level" between MH and Toad? In other words is it safer (less stress) to have an uneven tow bar than to have a raise/lower adapter in the mix? Your points about the increased torque make me wonder...
I is not more risky so long as you understand it is more stressful.

Rise or drop would be the same stress wise.

INSPECTION of the hitch assembly frame rail to frame rail is my recommndation..Had I done that I would have found the problem BEFORE it was a problem and my body man could have stopped it.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:10 PM   #14
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Too many people get wrapped over whether something is legal or illegal (in the example of whether supplemental brakes are needed) and don't think enough about whether or not it is a good idea! For me, it's a no brainer. Use supplemental brakes, and emergency cables, and a deadman cable/switch not attached to hitch assembly . . . But then I'm always pessimistic about mechanical stuff, expecting it to break at the worst possible time. Comes from having flown helicopters in the Army for a living.
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