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Old 03-29-2014, 06:10 AM   #1
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Towing m/h

I hope i never have to deal with this.If you have a major break down .What is the best way to have your m/h towed.
Yesterday i saw a m/h being towed,with a truck the tows semis it look like they hook up some were at mid frame with a steel extension front wheels off ground.I have heard the best way is a low boy trailer,but not every towing company has one. First i hope i never have this to deal with this problem.BUT if i do, you know it will be at 3AM and bubba will be driving the wrecker and tell me no problem.I see the adds for wreckers "NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE"
I just do not want to damage something because of my lack knowing.
Thanks.tagcat
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:31 AM   #2
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#1 thing if you are a diesel make SURE the driver hooks up the airline. If he doesn't you have no air ride suspension and does that bouncing ever damage the front end. I got that driver when mine was towed the first time.

I have been towed twice, once out of Atlanta(big city) and I think the low boys for MH are an internet rumor. With all of the traveling we have done, I have never seen a MH being towed on a low boy, only wreckers.

There is a section in my chassis owners manual for towing and removing the drive shaft. When the driver removes the drive shaft TAPE the U joints immediately. If not dirt will get in them and in about 5,000 miles they will need to be replaced, been there on that one too. I think the driver dropped one of the grease cups in the dirt and stuck it back on. Also grease the U joints as soon as the drive shaft is reconnected, better safe than sorry.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:27 AM   #3
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I have been towed once, and got a good education from it. My experience is based on a diesel pusher built on a Freightliner chassis. Yes a lowboy is the best way to go, but they are few and far between compared to heavy lift tow trucks. I was towed by having my front wheels lifted off the ground. I carefully watched how the tow truck driver positioned his lift under the Motorhome. It is easy, if they are in a rush to do lots of fiberglass damage and damage to chassis components. With an Allison transmission, Freightliner had the tow truck operator remove the drive shaft, otherwise costly damage to the transmission can occur. I also had to remove and store the rock guard, otherwise it would have dragged for the 45 miles I had to be towed. I suggest you know where the air system block is located and carry the correct fittings to connect to your air supply. You do want the air bags to remain inflated while being towed otherwise you can damage fiberglass, so connecting to the air system is important as mentioned above. If you do need to get towed and own a Freightliner, call their help line and they can give you a quick lesson on what to do.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:33 AM   #4
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You don't need the air line if your engine runs and can air up the suspension on it's own. In our case, it was a transmission problem, so we didn't need it.
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:09 AM   #5
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I have been told that our MH is a semi-monoque chassis, and MUST be towed on a low boy. Since I have never had to have it towed, I have no personal experience.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medico View Post
I have been told that our MH is a semi-monoque chassis, and MUST be towed on a low boy. Since I have never had to have it towed, I have no personal experience.
Yours can be towed with a regular tow truck, I have seen it done. Same things apply; pull the drive shaft yoke, hook up the air supply and go, The tow drivers know what they are doing and are going to take care of the coach and not break it. I have been on the hook once and after watching the tow driver prepare the coach for the tow, all my nightmares were unfounded.

Make sure you tie up the rear mud flap to keep it from dragging on the pavement
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:24 PM   #7
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My gas pusher has been "on the hook" twice. They removed the drive shaft and disconnected the park brake.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:50 AM   #8
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I had my coach towed once (turns out for a problem that wasn't a problem) and had it arranged through Coach-Net. They asked a lot of details about size and chassis type and particularly wanted to know if it was a straight front axle or IFS and also if I was in a safe place. The tow truck driver that showed up knew exactly what to do and was on his way in about 45 minutes.

The only issue I had was when I went to pick-up the coach the shop was a little peeved that they had to re-attach the driveshaft and said that the tow truck driver should have done that when he dropped it. I called the tow company and they said they never did and never had a complaint from any other shop. I was so happy that my supposed major engine problem turned out to not be serious at all that I paid the 50 charge but that is a point you might want to clear up beforehand.

A DP on the "hook" is a sad sight.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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We have been towed once, and here are some of the lessons learned. First, we took before pics with a smart phone all around the motor home. We had damage while being towed and those before and after pics, all taken on the same day helped settle the claim which was paid readily by the towing company once they saw the pics. I insisted that the driver reattach the driveshaft after dropping the load. He was not happy about it, but the Cummins shop was going to charge an hours labor at $140/hour for that task. I tipped him even though he had damaged both ends of the motor home. I have a Dutch Star with at least 16,000 lbs on the front axle, and I insisted that a triple axle wrecker be used, but I got a double axle rig. It was overloaded and that probably helped contribute to the transit damage. It took six hours to get what I got, so guess the correct rig would have taken a few more hours. It would have been worth the rig.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gacamp View Post
I had my coach towed once (turns out for a problem that wasn't a problem) and had it arranged through Coach-Net. They asked a lot of details about size and chassis type and particularly wanted to know if it was a straight front axle or IFS and also if I was in a safe place. The tow truck driver that showed up knew exactly what to do and was on his way in about 45 minutes.

The only issue I had was when I went to pick-up the coach the shop was a little peeved that they had to re-attach the driveshaft and said that the tow truck driver should have done that when he dropped it. I called the tow company and they said they never did and never had a complaint from any other shop. I was so happy that my supposed major engine problem turned out to not be serious at all that I paid the 50 charge but that is a point you might want to clear up beforehand.

A DP on the "hook" is a sad sight.
Within the towing community there is a very deep divide whiter or not the tow operator reinstalls the driveshaft, I'm in the camp that the repair facility does it because they have the best chance if doing it correctly. Different chassis configurations require a different size torque wrench to properly tighten the u joint fasteners in the space available, there are a few set ups that require new fasteners to be used so the CYA factor comes into play. Trying to get my 6'3" frame up into the space for most DP make it difficult enough getting to things to remove without losing a finger let alone trying to get everything alined to reinstall.

A shop reinstalling a shaft with extra manpower and better equipment is in the best interest of your coach and yes they should be paid for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vraines View Post
We have been towed once, and here are some of the lessons learned. First, we took before pics with a smart phone all around the motor home. We had damage while being towed and those before and after pics, all taken on the same day helped settle the claim which was paid readily by the towing company once they saw the pics. I insisted that the driver reattach the driveshaft after dropping the load. He was not happy about it, but the Cummins shop was going to charge an hours labor at $140/hour for that task. I tipped him even though he had damaged both ends of the motor home. I have a Dutch Star with at least 16,000 lbs on the front axle, and I insisted that a triple axle wrecker be used, but I got a double axle rig. It was overloaded and that probably helped contribute to the transit damage. It took six hours to get what I got, so guess the correct rig would have taken a few more hours. It would have been worth the rig.
A tandem axle tow truck has a minimum rear axle capacity of 38000 lbs or more usually more than adequate now on the other hand a tri axle like mine is 40' long not counting the wheel lift attachment great for the interstates and four lanes not so great for two lanes or tighter quarters and their weight capacity is really not required even for a Prevost style coach it's actually more of a hinderance in my opinion and would be my last choice in most cases.


Pictures are a two way street but I choose to use video to cover my butt.


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Old 04-01-2014, 03:03 PM   #11
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I've been towed twice. Both times I helped the operator disconnect the drive shaft and secure it. Also had to make sure there was air pressure was up in the tanks so the parking brake would release. He towed it front end raised. The operator and I reconnected the drive shaft when we arrived at the Cummins shop.

The first time I was towed it was to the shop to get the engine restarted. It took a week but they replaced the high pressure fuel pump and said I was good to go. About 10 miles later the coach engine stopped again and it was towed back to the shop again (same truck and same driver as the week before) to have something on the pump reattached! That time I was good to go for good. State Farm paid the bill the first time, and the Cummins shop paid it the second time.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:25 PM   #12
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If you have air leveling, the ignition key needs to be on, air leveling left powered up in 'Travel mode'.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:51 PM   #13
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HAve been towed twice. first time front up and drive shaft disconnected. second time driver raised the rear using the trailer hitch as his hook up points. tied off the steering wheel and away he went. Much easier to hook up and no problems with the tow.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:57 PM   #14
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Mine on the hook in Casper, WY.

1. Drive train disconnected.
2. Bungee on back mud flap

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