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Old 09-26-2008, 04:38 PM   #1
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A short reminder to everyone who tows a car behind their motorhome -- be SURE that the tow car's brake is OFF and the transmission is in neutral! We were in an RV park and noticed deeply cut tire tracks that ran most of the way around the park and found that a coach left towing their dingy and apparently forgot to release the parking brake. We could clearly see the tire tracks here where the tow car was towed with the rear wheels NOT turning. Bummer! The car was towed around most of the rv park before they noticed the problem. I made sure to double check our tow car this morning TWICE!
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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A short reminder to everyone who tows a car behind their motorhome -- be SURE that the tow car's brake is OFF and the transmission is in neutral! We were in an RV park and noticed deeply cut tire tracks that ran most of the way around the park and found that a coach left towing their dingy and apparently forgot to release the parking brake. We could clearly see the tire tracks here where the tow car was towed with the rear wheels NOT turning. Bummer! The car was towed around most of the rv park before they noticed the problem. I made sure to double check our tow car this morning TWICE!
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:49 PM   #3
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Another good reminder is to PUT IT BACK IN GEAR before you unhook!

My father-in-law had to play SUPERMAN once and hold the car from rolling away while I ran around to the driver door 'faster than a speeding bullet' to put the car into Park.

Only make that mistake once!
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:42 PM   #4
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I did that once with our first coach towing an Aerostar van. Fortunately it was on a sandy road and I finally realized something was wrong when I couldn't get any speed up on the M-Home--LOL
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:54 PM   #5
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Well, that reminds me . . .

A few years ago, before fulltiming, I hooked up our tow car, a Saturn SC2 and headed for Cummins Ocala.

I had gone maybe 200 yards when I glanced at my rear monitor and notice the thick black tire marks behind the SC2. "Gee, that can't be from my car, could it?" I wondered.

I stopped, went back to look and saw that the marks lined up perfectly with the SC2 tires. Not only that but when I looked at the front under the tow bar there were no such marks! I looked in the car and saw`that the 5 speed was in nuetral but . . . the emergency brake was set!

I released the brake and continued on to Ocala. Upon arrival I detached the car and then began to move the car to a parking space . . .THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

Where the tires had met the road when the brake was set, the tread was gone and only the steel belts remained!

Well, While Cummins serviced my chassis, I carefully thumped my way down to the next I-75 exit and Sams Club where I had two new rear tires mounted.

OOPS!
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:19 PM   #6
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And don't forget to unlock the steering wheel!
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:29 PM   #7
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Read about this problem years ago and even stopped a MH leaving a campground in Idaho dragging his toad's rear wheels, so am sure to never set the emergency brake at any time during hook-up procedure. Wife is always in the toad holding the foot brake. Its good to get in a procedural routine every time after hook-up. Check the ignition key, be sure heater switch is closed to outside air, check gear shift, check emergency brake lever, and transfer case in neutral. Do exactly the same way every time, count the steps. Heard one case where the ignition switch wasn't in the right position so front steering didn't free wheel and after about 50 miles in a locked position slightly turned the front tire tread was scrubbed off. Things do happen.
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
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Did that recently and flattened a tire short of the length of 2 motorhomes before caught. Good thing is was due for replacement anyway. But still..
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:15 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">And don't forget to unlock the steering wheel! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
...and make SURE the tranny is not in "park!"

One night I picked the coach up from a dealer service deot, it was late, I was tired and hungry and needed to hitch the car up and go apx 40 miles to the RV park where the wife was waiting. I hooked up on the dealer's almost empty concrete parking area, ran the engine and tranny on the toad through all the forward gears ending with 2 minute idle in neutral as normal. Got everything completed, got in the coach, released the brake, put it in gear and noted in the back of my mind that it didn't roll as normal. I tapped the accelerator briefly and it didn't move. "Hmm, must be on a slight hill." I tapped the accelerator a bit harder and the coach lunged forward with a very loud squalling noise from the rear, and abruptly stopped forward motion when I released the accelerator. "What was that?" ...I went to check and found apx 10 ft of rubber on the concrete behind the front wheels of the toad. "Yikes!!" I found the transmission in park rather than in neutral. Apparently after I did the engine and tranny run I put it in park by reflex rather than stopping in neutral. That was two years ago ...no apparent tranny damage.

Tired, in a hurry, co-pilot was not there to do her normal toad check behind me, AND I didn't pay attention when the coach would not roll with brake released and in gear on a flat parking lot.

In addition to always checking now to be sure it will roll easily, I always try to make a relatively sharp turn shortly after starting up so I can watch the toad front wheels to be sure they are both TURNING and ROLLING as they should be!!
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:38 PM   #10
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I sure hate to admit that I'm one of those guys that forgot the emergency brake last time out. Didn't go far but was embarrased seeing guys running after me trying to get me stopped. I hope I'll be welcomed into this world of dumbness and am glad to know I'm not the only one to make such a mistake.

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Old 09-27-2008, 08:59 PM   #11
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What I learned when we left for Arizona last fall:
1. Don't let anyone talk to you or interrupt as you are hooking up the toad.
2. The Park position of the transmission is better than the parking brake when it comes to attempting to hold the car from moving.
3. A diesel engine isn't phased in the least by dragging a car with wheels which are not rolling.
4. Driving just 1 mile with the transmission in Park demonstrates that tires were not made to be dragged but rather to roll along.
5. After the front tires are worn off, the wheels are the next to go.
6. Next to go are the front brake rotors.
7. Hope that some sympathetic driver sees what is happening and stops you before you rip out the whole front end!
8. The automatic transmission in our 2004 Pontiac Grand Am is a lot stronger than the tires and wheels, and like a Timex, "takes a licking and keeps on ticking"!
9. It is a lot cheaper to buy new, after-market chrome wheels than to pay GM's ridiculous prices to replace original equipment wheels.
10. Missing just one step on your checklist gets expensive!

Does anyone want to buy the other 2 OEM wheels with used tires? (It was cheaper to replace with 4 after-market wheels and 4 upsized tires than to buy 2 OEM wheels and 2 original sized tires.)

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Old 09-28-2008, 10:25 AM   #12
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After hooking up and doing all the checks, I put the coach in gear and apply very little gas.
If the coach doesn't roll, its time for a check.

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Old 09-28-2008, 02:11 PM   #13
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I forgot to unlock the steering column once while towing my 01' Wrangler. I only got about 50 yards when I noticed that the rig was pulling to one side. Got out and found that the wheels were slightly off center. Fortunately I didn't do any damage. I was amazed that I could feel no difference in the way that the coach pulled. Now I pay really close attention when hooking up. Once is definetely enough.

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Old 09-28-2008, 03:49 PM   #14
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On our first long trip with our RV back in 2004, I left the emergency brake on the toad when we pulled out. Fortunately, we were at the Holbrook(AZ)KOA and the dessert soil was kinder to our tires in the 100 feet that we dragged them than some other surface might have been. I was distracted during the hook up.

Just last month, we were on the last stop of 4,400 mile trip. We pulled in later than planned and had to drop the toad before attempting to put the MH into its sight. Some place in the confusion, I managed NOT to return one of the hitch pins from tow bar to its usual spot in the toad's trunk. When we went to pull out, it was no where to be found. I had to jury rig another type of pin to get us the 1,400 miles back to the DFW area.

Chuck's #1 rule is absolutely the truth. About 50% of the time, there is someone wanting to talk to me while I hookup or unhook. Just a little distraction can get me out of my "rhythm" and cause me to forget something. Chuck's also correct that memory lapses at the time have expensive and perhaps dangerous consequences. I usually force my self to go over my complete checklist again if there has been any kind of an interruption. It is amazing what I've missed when that happens.
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