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Old 10-15-2017, 09:16 PM   #1
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Stuck: Hung up on rear skid bars. How to free?

Got hung up entering a steep drive way entry when the rear skid bars grounded out, causing the drive axel to lose just enough traction that we were stuck.

The toad is too light to pull the coach, even if there was no fear of damaging the rear cap or the trailer hitch on the rear of the coach. The skid bars are far too light to use as pull points.

Chose not to use the hydraulic leveling jacks for fear of them being bent once the drive axel lifted off the ground, thereby eliminating the paring brake. Despite having used heavy rubber chocks behind 4 wheels, I believe that the coach will move about an inch or two before the chocks "bite". Far enough to bend or otherwise damage the jack legs.

I was fortunate to be able to access a very heavy duty fork lift, which I was able to use to lift the drive axel duals and the tag axel wheels high enough to put 3" of plank blocking under them, thereby freeing the rear skid bars.

This could easily happen going into some fuel stations or Box Store entry drive ways, leaving the coach stuck and the road blocked. Any one else had this happen, and if so how do you get mobile again without equipment damage or a pricy tow truck visit?
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:27 AM   #2
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For that purpose, I added two skid wheels when I got my coach at the rear bottom of my frame rail where the hitch is mounted. I have a steep driveway entry, and the wheels just do miss everytime I enter or exit.

I saw someone post a clever idea about a month ago. They ran over a rope end with their rear tires and stopped, then stretched the other end of the rope out towards the back. That rope creates the angle that will scrape first, and is a clever way of visualizing the problem. Pulling the rope tight, you lift it until you see what will scrape first. That also then helps you figure out where you'd have to put some wheels, and how big the wheels would have to be to alleviate the scraping.
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:37 AM   #3
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Our driveway is really steep and the trailer hitch drug hard, trying to enter at an angle did not help. I ordered a set of wheels that swivel from Amazon that attach directly to the hitch, easy 10 min install. The wheels also saved me when I had to enter a very steep entrance at a gas station.

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Old 10-16-2017, 06:44 AM   #4
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I have the little steel wheels under the hitch and they get a lot of use.

I have always wondered about just what you encountered. It's an interesting predicament. Could you lift the tag and get a board under it? My tag comes off of the ground a couple of inches.
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:12 AM   #5
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I would have lifted the MH with the jacks and placed boards under the drive wheels.

Since the drive wheels were off the ground anyway, the parking brake had no effect in holding it from moving. If the ground under the jack feet wasn't level, the rubber mats would have helped spread the load.

Some here are suggesting that you add rollers or wheels on your skid bars. If they lessen the ground clearance, that would make matters worse. They would also have to be robust enough to support the weight of the rear of the motor home, otherwise they would have collapsed in your situation.

Could you have dumped the air in the suspension and slid the blocks under the tires ? Maybe knocked them under with another block.

Maybe place the blocks behind the tires and put it in reverse and see if it would suck the blocks under the tires.

Having a fork lift was handy but that's not going to happen often.
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:14 AM   #6
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The answer is to not get in such a situation, but this is too easy and doesn't really answer the OP's question. We saw a friend attempt to drive a 38ft. motorhome and enclosed car trailer straight across a sloped median between a 4 lane divided highway, have the trailer hitch hang, and loose contact with the drive wheels. The resulting traffic tie-up was monumental and i'm sure he didn't mean to cause it. I'm sure some of us have had moments where we needed to remember to adopt a different mind set than driving a car.

I have a drop trailer hitch to make our car trailer sit level, so the hitch tends to scrape. Accordingly I have to make an almost instantaneous decision as I approach any sloped entry. I always enter any slope an at angle and this is sometimes so extreme that I block both lanes but you need to do what is necessary or even abort the route at the last minute and accept the displeasure of other drivers...

The Cracker Barrel Bus / RV parking lot East of Louisville on Blankenbaker Lane has a very steep entry, but I can get in and out by extreme crabbing across the entire width. So far, this technique has been successful but it never pays to become complacent

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinMan Trvlr View Post
...This could easily happen going into some fuel stations or Box Store entry drive ways, leaving the coach stuck and the road blocked....
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:51 AM   #7
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Put a jack under the drive axle and lift it just enough to slip a few feet of 2x12 under the tires (all tires) THen move it till it hands up again and repeat as needed.

Option 2: Call a tow truck
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:23 AM   #8
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There are so many varieties of coaches, that it's hard to have one thing that works for every situation. On my previous DP, I got this wheel at just the right height, coming into contact with the ground, just before I dragged the rear end.



My new coach is different and has a tag axle. The tag axle requires a little more caution when adding anything, as the tag can cause the drive tires to lift and lose traction on steep angles.

For this looking to add wheels and have the large looping drag bars, there is a clean way to install them. Rather than bolt them to the loops and lose ground clearance, add the wheels to a piece of square tubing and then add the square tubing to the inside of the loops, so the wheels hang just a 1/4" or lower than the drag loops.
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:46 AM   #9
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Mine are similar to soonerdave's picture, except they are non pivoting, metal and rated like 10K pounds or something like that (IIRCC).
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:08 PM   #10
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Can someone please explain how adding wheels below the tail keeps you from getting hung up? The only advantage is that it might make it easier to drag the vehicle back the way it came in, but you'd still need a tow vehicle. I don't see how it enables you to self-rescue.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNICK View Post
Can someone please explain how adding wheels below the tail keeps you from getting hung up? The only advantage is that it might make it easier to drag the vehicle back the way it came in, but you'd still need a tow vehicle. I don't see how it enables you to self-rescue.
The wheels roll so you don't have to go so slow and there is less friction to stop the MH. You still have contact but the wheels may allow the vehicles momentum to get past the point of contact or allow the vehicle to roll back enough to gain enough traction to back out. They don't do much for self rescue just help with not being in that position in the first place.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:17 PM   #12
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I will be the odd man out here, I would use the leveling jacks, if someone has their foot on the brake, you should not move endangering the jacks. I carry pads for soft spots in wet weather and they would go under the tires and should give enough to get you moving, after raising the jacks of course.
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:27 PM   #13
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I will be the odd man out here, I would use the leveling jacks, if someone has their foot on the brake, you should not move endangering the jacks. I carry pads for soft spots in wet weather and they would go under the tires and should give enough to get you moving, after raising the jacks of course.
You are not alone, I said the same thing in post #5
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:57 PM   #14
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I have not gotten stuck but have dragged my rear end a few times. I ended up having the hitch saver from Source Engineering installed in the front and the rear. It inflates the air bags to the limits of the shocks. I get about 4 inches in the rear and 3 in the front. You hold down a switch so you cannot ride down the road with either the rear or front raised. The system is really wonderful and has saved us a couple of times. We also had to put boards down when coming out of our driveway and we do not need to do that anymore. I wish coaches would have them as an option.

http://sourcerv.com/
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