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Old 12-13-2008, 08:30 PM   #1
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Exclamation Pre-flight walk around...learning experience

I learned something about RVing today.

Picked up the trailer at the dealer where I had taked in to have the furnace repaired (warranty). On the way in to the dealer I ran over the guys gate post and did some minor damage to the trailer. So I'm still a little shy about navigating in tight places...like this RV dealers lot where he has more business than space.

So when I arrived today, the trailer was behind the shop, ready to go, and wedged into an impossible place from which it required extracation. I asked one of the service folks if they'd hook up the hitch and bring the trailer around front. Big smile, "Sure, we do it all the time, no problem."

So I busied myself in the office clearing up paper work. Soon the rig was waiting out front, ready to go. Said my goodbyes (these are really nice people) and shook the tech guys hand and thanks him for bringing the rig up. The last thing the said to me was, "Be sure to check your hitch"

I'm thinking, these guys are pros, I don't need to check anything. Just get in the truck and go. Got in, cranked up and put it in drive. Thought I'd give the brake controller just a tweak to handle suburban traffic. Hmmm? Where's the little "c" that should be there? Crap!

Got out and checked the umbilical, which wasn't quite plugged in all the way. Snapped it into place, got the "c" made my adustment, then got back out, looked over the hitch, did a pull test and a light test like I should have done in the first place and like the guy told me to. If I had pulled away, I would have had no trailer brakes or signal lights.

Never again. After every hitch, every part of the pre-flight walk around will be performed.

Even professionals make mistakes.
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:43 PM   #2
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Yep. Been there and done that. I always walk completely around the trailer after it is hitched. We also check all of the signal lights and brakes before leaving the driveway or campsite and check the air in the tires and lug nuts for tightness. Also check up top to be sure no tv antennas are still up. You can't be over cautious with these things.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:01 PM   #3
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so did ya clear the gate post this time?
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:07 PM   #4
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And yes the hand railes as well. While in the camp ground looking for a site for some reason my wife wanted somthing out of the camper, so I stopped, she went into the camper to get "what ever" and as we started moving I had to turn to the right and when I looked out my right side mirror I noticed that the hand rail in the very back of the camper was sticking out in the open possition, so I had to stop again. This remines me of a safety training program on electrical," just because some one else turned off the breaker don't take there word for it, you should check it your self before you proceed. The result could be bad in one way or another.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:41 PM   #5
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I do that walkaround as well. That way you can check everything from wheel chocks, hitch, windows, antennaes, dogs, kids, doors, compartments....

(we do it before we move our fire trucks too...)
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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That's a couple of good lessons. Never assume someone else has done the hookup correctly. Remember they were only interested in moving the Rv a few feet. The guy gave you the best advice you could get. Check it yourself!
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevy02 View Post
so did ya clear the gate post this time?
Just barely.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
That's a couple of good lessons. Never assume someone else has done the hookup correctly. Remember they were only interested in moving the Rv a few feet. The guy gave you the best advice you could get. Check it yourself!
No, I think they really wanted to give good customer service, they just screwed up. I have done the same thing, leaving the umbilical not quite seated. But I did all my checks and caught it.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #9
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I've been at CG's where people didn't preflight and drove away with their shore power still connected...

I always do a walk around, check lights, brake controller, steps, antenna...all after the DW and kids are in the TV. That way I have no distractions.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:01 PM   #10
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I had an incident the first summer we had our motorhome. We were planning to leave for Myrtle Beach around 10:00 PM on a Friday. After I got home from work on Thursday evening I drove the motorhome to my local gas station to fill up. I planned to hook my car up to tow on Friday morning. After filling up and when I got back home I did a once around the motorhome and found the bracket and socket for my tow hitch was totally crushed. I didn't realize it but it bottomed out when I turned into the gas station. Why it was placed so low is really questionable. Since I knew the night before I was able to get a list of parts I needed to replace as well as relocate the socket and bracket. I was at the store at 7:00 AM and back home before 8:00 AM. I completed everything before 10:00 AM and avoided the heat, which the temperature got up to 94 degrees that day. If I had not done that walk around I wouldn't have found the problem until late on Friday. I had planned to sleep in. Everything went fine from that point on. My wife and I have made it a standard practice for her to go around the motorhome and car, while I operate and check all the running lights, brake lights and blinkers. The couple minutes it takes is well worth it. It's tough enough moving from one lane to another but if the blinkers on the towed vehicle don't work it makes it all the more difficult.
Invest the time, your life may depend upon it!
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