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Old 09-04-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
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Hopefully I will never need to be towed in, however I was wondering how they would tow a class a diesel without damaging the front cap. Mine is an 06 vacationer diesel. It looks to me that the front wheels are back so far from the corner of the cap that soon as they picked it up it would cave in the false fiberglass bumper.
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:28 PM   #2
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Hopefully I will never need to be towed in, however I was wondering how they would tow a class a diesel without damaging the front cap. Mine is an 06 vacationer diesel. It looks to me that the front wheels are back so far from the corner of the cap that soon as they picked it up it would cave in the false fiberglass bumper.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:43 PM   #4
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A photo is worth a thousand words....Says it pretty much all.
Note the size of the tow truck and what looks like fork lift arms. After disconnecting the drive train, they slide those arms under the front to reach the front axle. Chaining it on and then lifting the front of the coach up.
Fold the mirrors in and add a set of supplemental brake lights and off they go.

I can imagine someone trying it without the monster tow truck and screwing things up but with one like in the photo it is pretty easy.

Hope it never happens to you or anyone for that matter - happened to me in July of this year - a 300 mile tow due to a blown radiator.

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Old 09-05-2008, 03:25 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Las Vegas Rambler:
A photo is worth a thousand words....Says it pretty much all.
Note the size of the tow truck and what looks like fork lift arms. After disconnecting the drive train, they slide those arms under the front to reach the front axle. Chaining it on and then lifting the front of the coach up.
Fold the mirrors in and add a set of supplemental brake lights and off they go.

I can imagine someone trying it without the monster tow truck and screwing things up but with one like in the photo it is pretty easy.

Hope it never happens to you or anyone for that matter - happened to me in July of this year - a 300 mile tow due to a blown radiator.

John </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Pics from our tow here: http://www.flyingdiver.com/gallery/v/kgdb/rvtow/

Big truck, wheel grids to lift the tires instead of the frame, underreach arm to clear the front cap, and an auxiliary axle to keep the arm from bouncing. Also, on many coaches it's easier to pull the drive axles than to disconnect the drive shaft.

joe
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:28 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Big truck, wheel grids to lift the tires instead of the frame, underreach arm to clear the front cap, and an auxiliary axle to keep the arm from bouncing. Also, on many coaches it's easier to pull the drive axles than to disconnect the drive shaft.

joe </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Looking at the pics of Joe's tow, it sure looks like he received the best possible tow.

I agree that the auxiliary axle is the key to the bounce problem.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:01 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by thmdamit:
Hopefully I will never need to be towed in, however I was wondering how they would tow a class a diesel without damaging the front cap. Mine is an 06 vacationer diesel. It looks to me that the front wheels are back so far from the corner of the cap that soon as they picked it up it would cave in the false fiberglass bumper. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

They put mine up on a sliding tiltbed gooseneck trailer and did not tow it at all.
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:58 PM   #8
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Tow truck drivers may try to use frame blocks, but most DPs will require a "triple-stage wheel lift" (esp if you have ISP - Independent Front Suspension), which is what I believe I see in Joe's pictures. If I need a tow, following is the checklist for what I will tell my road service I need, and what I will provide to the tow truck driver:

- Overall length = 40'
- Total rig weight = 32,000 lb
- Front Axle weight = 12,000 lb
- Independent Front Suspension
- Reach Back distance (to center of wheels) = 6 1/2 ft
- Requires triple stage wheel lift
- Must disconnect drive shaft
- Air bag suspension, wrecker must supply air to suspension
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:09 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFChap:
Tow truck drivers may try to use frame blocks, but most DPs will require a "triple-stage wheel lift" (esp if you have ISP - Independent Front Suspension), which is what I believe I see in Joe's pictures. If I need a tow, following is the checklist for what I will tell my road service I need, and what I will provide to the tow truck driver:

- Overall length = 40'
- Total rig weight = 32,000 lb
- Front Axle weight = 12,000 lb
- Independent Front Suspension
- Reach Back distance (to center of wheels) = 6 1/2 ft
- Requires triple stage wheel lift
- Must disconnect drive shaft
- Air bag suspension, wrecker must supply air to suspension </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Might be nit-picking a bit, but...

Depending on your chassis, pulling the drive axles might be a better solution than disconnecting the drive shaft. It certainly is on my Spartan K3. You don't have to go under the coach at all. Took the driver about 10 min each side. But he does need to know how to do it, and have a catch basin for the oil that'll come out when you open the wheel hubs. Also good to have plastic garbage bags to put the axles in so they don't get dirty.

If your engine doesn't run, so you can't air up, then your last item is certainly true. In my case, the engine ran fine, so he didn't need to supply air. We just pressured up the tanks and the bags before he started.

Question - what does the "triple stage" mean in the wheel lift? That the method for getting the wheels into the cradle? I think he did something like that, but with a short cut. Since my rig would drive (but only in first gear), I just drove it up on the first set of blocks so that he could get the cradles under the tires to start. But he did lift and then reset the cradles twice after that, so I think that's what you mean by "triple stage".

My rig is 45' and closer to 52,000 lb, with about 18,500 on the front axle. I don't know the reach back distance, but I should measure it for next time.

joe
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:51 PM   #10
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"Triple stage" refers to the telescoping arm that reaches under the coach to the cradles that lift the wheels -- it has three parts of the arm to reach far enough to reach to the wheels. If nothing else you tell 'em gets the point across, that tells 'em you need a really big tow truck!! A dual stage is much more typical on medium to large tow trucks, but would not reach far enough under the typical DP.

Yeah, drive axles or drive shaft, one or the other must be done -- either would do the trick.

Also, something that isn't on my checklist would be to remove or tie up the full-width mud flap if you have one so it won't be dragging the pavement.
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:13 PM   #11
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Steps Towing in the Tampa Florida area uses one similar to this.

http://www.traileze.com/TE801.html
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:15 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Steps Towing in the Tampa Florida area uses one similar to this. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

A lot of MH's are 12'6" to 13'6", and with the trailer having a height of 37", it makes your MH too high to be transported that way.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:28 PM   #13
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We had an alternator go out and had to be towed. I was very impressed with the professional manner that the Tow Driver used.

One thing I noted--he ran an auzillary air line from his rig to the outlet that was on the front of ours so as to power up the brakes and air bags.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:06 PM   #14
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very good info.

Thanks Tommy
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