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Survived the first day of towing!


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okay.....I've done my research....I know what to expect but to have everything thrown at you the first day!!

Steep inclines, 6-7% downgrades, wind, dust devils, wrong directions on GPS which called for SEVERAL u-turns with a 40' 5er, lack of gas stations and an ALMOST too low overpass.

 

Today was a longer drive because there was nothing between our start and stop points....so...5 hours. Today was the first day towing with the truck. We had NO idea how, or if, the truck would handle. The 4.3 gears kicked butt, the Super fancy slider hitch performed without a flaw. Hills were only 35 mph but we're here. We did come to a point, 1 mile from the RV park, where we came upon an overpass with a 14' height. My husband thought he measured our height of 14'5". Oh poop!! He pulled over. I called the RV park and told her to send a Sheriff because backup up was too dangerous and we couldn't turn around. As I'm on the phone, two guys in a tow truck drove up behind us. He said semi's go under all the time. He hopped on our roof with a tape measure. We're 13'. We'll fit. I hugged him for stopping. On to the RV park.

I went inside to register and said 'I made it! Who can I hug?' A guy came up to me with his arms open so I hugged him! Yeah!!!!

Parked the rig. Let's see how the inside faired. I opened the door and noticed toilet paper coming down the stairs from above. Apparently all the bumping kept unrolling the toilet paper. It came under the door and down the stairs. One bath cabinet opened and emptied but minor! Everything else made it. Everything I hung with Command Strips is still up on the wall!! I need to do a commercial. They are RV approved!!

This is only Day 1 of towing....tomorrow....off to California.

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That is fantastic! I still remember our very early trips and the mistakes we made and the white knuckled drives. The fact that we survived and didn't hurt ourselves or anyone else proves that God protects fools and children.

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wrong directions on GPS which called for SEVERAL u-turns with a 40' 5er,

 

Personally, I would never rely 100% on GPS directions without first reviewing the route on a paper map. I've heard of too many instances where GPS directions are wrong...not a big deal in a car, but it can be disastrous when in a big rig.

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Personally, I would never rely 100% on GPS directions without first reviewing the route on a paper map. I've heard of too many instances where GPS directions are wrong...not a big deal in a car, but it can be disastrous when in a big rig.

 

I actually wrote down directions before we left. We missed the first turn, because we were still in rural Idaho and the sign was small. He didn't want to turn around so we followed the GPS. Today, I looked at our route online, wrote it down, map in the truck!!

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Good to hear you made the first day towing without anything major happening. You did good on being observant of low bridges and such. Most of the times you are concentrating on everything else you forget about your height, as my nephew found out. He bought a new 5th wheel and his first time out caught a tree limb and did $4000 worth of damage. OUCH.

I have my ipad with the copilot app. on it and before the trip I go over the route so I have a mental image of route I will be on. Not saying it works every time, but it helps.

Happy travels and I'm waiting to hear about day 2.

Dennis

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Good on ya! Sound like you have it all scoped out.

 

As Dennis said, watch tree branches, as well as gas station canopies, Always good to check overhead before you pull in AND after you have parked. A couple of years ago I parked in an RV park, put the satellite dish up and then went outside and saw the dish had come up less than a foot from a low hanging wire! Almost a whoops!

 

My number one rule on the road is never pull in anywhere without first figuring out how to get out, saves a lot of aggravation.

 

My mantra is "I'm 13'6" high and weigh 37,000 lbs.!" So I watch the height AND stopping distances ALL the time.

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I like to look at any interesting areas on the day's route using Google and satellite mode, lines on a map, paper or GPS can be wrong but a photograph of the area usually isn't. New construction and detours can still surprise you but five minutes on Google can be a lifesaver.

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I like to look at any interesting areas on the day's route using Google and satellite mode, lines on a map, paper or GPS can be wrong but a photograph of the area usually isn't. New construction and detours can still surprise you but five minutes on Google can be a lifesaver.

But that photo could be years old.

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okay.....I've done my research....I know what to expect but to have everything thrown at you the first day!!

Steep inclines, 6-7% downgrades, wind, dust devils, wrong directions on GPS which called for SEVERAL u-turns with a 40' 5er, lack of gas stations and an ALMOST too low overpass.

 

Today was a longer drive because there was nothing between our start and stop points....so...5 hours. Today was the first day towing with the truck. We had NO idea how, or if, the truck would handle. The 4.3 gears kicked butt, the Super fancy slider hitch performed without a flaw. Hills were only 35 mph but we're here. We did come to a point, 1 mile from the RV park, where we came upon an overpass with a 14' height. My husband thought he measured our height of 14'5". Oh poop!! He pulled over. I called the RV park and told her to send a Sheriff because backup up was too dangerous and we couldn't turn around. As I'm on the phone, two guys in a tow truck drove up behind us. He said semi's go under all the time. He hopped on our roof with a tape measure. We're 13'. We'll fit. I hugged him for stopping. On to the RV park.

I went inside to register and said 'I made it! Who can I hug?' A guy came up to me with his arms open so I hugged him! Yeah!!!!

Parked the rig. Let's see how the inside faired. I opened the door and noticed toilet paper coming down the stairs from above. Apparently all the bumping kept unrolling the toilet paper. It came under the door and down the stairs. One bath cabinet opened and emptied but minor! Everything else made it. Everything I hung with Command Strips is still up on the wall!! I need to do a commercial. They are RV approved!!

This is only Day 1 of towing....tomorrow....off to California.

Thanks for the heads up about the TP.

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Day 2 is worse!! I'm not going to survive this! We did Donner Pass today, 7057 feet! Holy smokes! 35 mph most of the way up. I didn't think we were going to make it. The hill just kept coming, higher, higher, geez, is this ever going to end? We made it to the top and pulled over to the rest area so I could change my shorts.

I was mentally exhausted but I figured we did it! We can conquer the world......until we parked at the RV park.

Auto levelers went out. Can't level the rig, can't get the truck back under the rig...we are stuck!

Called the dealer, of course, useless. Called another mobile RV guy here locally. He can't come out for a day or two. So here we sit, off level and stuck. Could be worse....we could be on the side of the highway with a blown transmission. I ordered pizza, poured wine. Hubby ran to Home Depot.

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Yes pulling Donner from the east is slow going, but just sit back and find a good pulling speed and let the truck do its thing.

Sorry to hear about the levelers, that does suck. If your anywhere near Lodi or Stockton area and can use any help let me know, I'm just east of there.

Here's hoping day 3 is the best one ever.............

Dennis

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I always carried a couple of bottle jacks in the fiver for situations like this. If the jacks or in my case the landing gear didnt work I had the option of lifting the fiver with the bottle jacks and some wood.

 

Have you tried to diagnose yourself why the levelers are not working? Usually there is an override if they are hydraulic.

 

The sad truth to RVing is that you need to familiarize your self with all aspects of your RV and be able to deal with them to some extent.

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Now you know why the HDT folks are always grinning when they see a hill coming up.

 

You might want to add an EGT and trans temp gauge to your truck, they will either let you know you are in trouble or lower the worry level and they aren't too expensive. I felt a lot better with my pickup after adding them and they saved me from toasting the transmission a couple times.

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You've been fitfully 'nitiated. :D Look at it this way though.. now you got all "that" out of the way you should be good to go for the remainder of the year. :lol:

I'm going to hold you to that!

Hubby was able to force the system into an error code. Something he found online because the book and dealer were worthless. He got us close to level and we could open the slides. Let's see if we can get it on the truck today though.

 

Even with all this, I tried to figure our options. Going back into a house. I'm just not ready to go back and just 'sit' in a house so I guess we hit the road!!

God willing, we'll pull into the State Park tonight......as long as we're safe!

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Take a TAPE WRITER and put a note on you dash with your height "My Height is 13'2"" or whatever it is.

 

That way when you panic with the question of "Can I or Can't I?", you will have the answer instantly and graphically available.

 

Knowing of course that last summer they may have added 2" or so of hot mix to the pavement that changed the info.

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Day 3 Was better. He went into a couple situations that a 40 footer shouldn't go! We had 68 miles of tight, winding roads to the coast but we made it to our destination. My husband was able to throw the levelers into an error code which made it possible to get them into the upright position. They still aren't working 100% so we have to call someone. We are in Mendocino though for our 5-6 month camp hosting job so we have time to figure things out. Towing seems to be the means to an end! Scary, stressful, nail biting but when you get to where you're going........ah!!!!!!!!! Gorgeous!!

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The towing gets easier with experience. Hang in there and try not to stress out too much about it. Eventually you wont mind the travelling part...the worst for me is dealing with the semis on the road...total maniacs .....dont travel in the packs and stay away from other travellers as much as possibe...and take your time. Sometimes it seems that with my cruise set at 62 mph that I am the slowest driver on the road.....I really dont care.

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