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Old 04-08-2016, 08:49 AM   #29
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Dennis Dean's Avatar

Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 662
Well after these stories i finally see a forum to share with.

Last weekend we had planned for months to go to St Louis. Death in family changed everything on the Thursday we were suppose to leave friday for STL. I am a new RV owner but have driven large vehicles and towed many things. Needless to say the entire trip was started off bad with "other" things on our minds as we load up to leave. last thing we always do as we leave is load the toad on the dolly, check straps, safety chains, tires, ramps, etc etc. I am about a mile down the road from the house and see a little old lady in my mirror frantically flashing lites and literally waving her hand at me out her window. Figure this cant be good (oh by the way the dash A/C did not come on when i selected it as we pulled off, so i was distracted at trying to figure out what the hell was up with it). I pull over immediately and step out the coach (GF ask what the heck is going on, i say i don't know but this lady is pretty excited about something). The minute i step out and get about 5 feet towards her i see the source of her excitement. Back right tire on toad is destroyed and rim too. Car does not pull well with the "PARK BRAKE" still engaged. Left rear badly bald spotted but at least still has air in it. Needless to say Hyundai rims are not cheap or easy to find at 4Pm on a Thursday and 2 new tires for toad. spent next 3 hours running all over town in an RV with toad and spare tire on getting new tires and rim. Tire dealer did not carry rims in stock, replaced bad left on toad, sold me other tire, trekked across town to Hyundai dealer to pick up rim still in box. Threw tire and rim in cargo hold left for Dallas with spare on toad, had to have tire and rim mounted next morning in Dallas.

New procedure installed --- no matter what one of us stands behind coach as last item and watches to insure ALL tires are turning for at least 10 feet!!!!!

We can laugh now at the thought of me driving down the road with tires screeching and totally oblivious with the focus on why the A/C doesn't work. but at the time it was almost tears of total frustration. Thank god for little old ladies who are kind enough to flag down a stupid person and at the end say " you have a blessed day hun"

Fleetwood Bounder 35K 2016, Ford V-10, F53(2015 chassis),RayZor HD, Wineguard Dish SAT, Roadmaster -- steering Stabilizer, Front & rear Sway Bars, SCT 5 Star tuner, Tireminder TM66 TPMS, Banks Ram Air intake, EZE Tow Dolly
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:16 AM   #30
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: SoCal
Posts: 189
I just bought my 40' DP (back in January), and drove it home 800 miles through the night (wife drove on her own, following in one of the Jeeps). Rental place wanted $400+ for the flat trailer to tow the Jeep, I was concerned about gassing/maneuvering with the toad for the first time, in the coach I don't know. Wife said: "For four hundred bucks, I'll DRIVE the thing back myself!!" (we are Jewish).

We drove all night, started just after dinner in Albuquerque. Came to the ranch just before daybreak (800 miles), and left the coach on the main ranch road (private road). This road circles the houses, with a slight uphill grade towards the back of the ranch. In the back, it goes over the culvert (BIG drainage ditch that drains the rainfall down the mountain).

Once the road reaches the "bridge" (that's what we call it), it makes a SHARP turn over the bridge, and continues downhill on the other side of the ranch (that's where the barns are, and that's where all the vehicles are kept). The coach HAS TO go over the bridge to it's parking place, and that's the way it needs to get back down to the gate in order to leave the ranch. The "bridge" has no guardrails, and it's about 16' wide, and just as long. But you are approaching it at 90 degree angle, and exiting to the left at another 90 degree! Not much room, and hard to visualize from this description.

Since it was still dark, and I knew the bridge IS tricky (I traversed it MANY times in the 34' gasser), I left the coach on the road, just before the bridge, and went to bed.

Woke up, got dressed, and wanted to show off the coach to my wife, parked in the barn, and "take my wife out for breakfast in the coach". She was still sleeping (dead tired). As I made the turn over the bridge, I was VERY careful of many low hanging branches, and numerous trees (area is heavily wooded). I maneuvered the coach with the same "muscle memory" as I did many times before with the gasser without thinking, and concentrating on not scratching the paint.

Suddenly, I felt the coach go "bump", and leaned HARD to the left!! Since this thing is 6' LONGER than the gasser, its left rear wheels climbed on the top of the rock wall that makes the bridge (in the sharp left turn), and under 34000lb,......the wall collapsed! Just two feet before the wheels were safely on the other side. She almost tipped over, but luckily was still upright, with the left rear wheels hanging over the drainage ditch about 6' deep. Right rear wheels in the middle of the bridge, and the front wheels fully to the left, over the bridge and pointed down the road. She was STUCK!

When the wife woke up, and wanted to see her new coach, I had to tell her that I managed to put it in the ditch.
She didn't believe me at first, but when she opened the back door and saw it (about 150 yards uphill), she screamed. She looked just like this except her face was red, not blue!

On that first day....I was trying to get her out of the ditch alone. On the second day......I enlisted two ranch hands, and local machine shop owner. I was buying lumber, building supports, jacking, welding.......no go. On the third day.....it was me, two ranch hands, local machine shop owner, one of his employees, and the wrecker (and the partridge in the pear tree!).

Wrecker had the monster out of the ditch in less than an hour (to the tune of $850).

I was VERY LUCKY. There was no damage to the coach at all! Totally amazing.

After two nights in the dog house, decision was made........I am not allowed to drive the coach over the bridge without the spotter any more. That's OK with me.

The "make up" in the coach (over the next weekend, and after the mattress replacement) was AMAZING too.

1995 Vogue Prima Vista
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