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Old 09-09-2012, 08:17 AM   #1
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Lessons Learned

I am usually very meticulous about preparations for trips. Apparently having an extra day to pack gave me a false sense of security. I loaded my generator, propane and extra engine fluids into the bed of the truck and secured them with a ratchet strap. All seemed well until about 90 miles down the road when we heard a loud noise, kind of like we hit something in the road. I immediately pulled over and inspected everything but saw no issues. Started down the road again and shortly started hearing a slapping noise. Once again I pulled over and started looking for problems. This time I find the end of my ratchet strap wrapped around the drive shaft. It is a bright red so I know it was not there the first time I looked and I have no idea where it was that first time. It appears that I did not tie the excess back to the strap as I usually do.

Other than that, do not stay in Newton Iowa on the weekend of the stock car races! It was a fluke that we found a site, but the worse part was that the sound from the track was louder than the freeway that was in sight of the campground.

Oh well, live and learn!
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:36 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Filthy Beast View Post
This time I find the end of my ratchet strap wrapped around the drive shaft. It is a bright red so I know it was not there the first time I looked and I have no idea where it was that first time. It appears that I did not tie the excess back to the strap as I usually do.
Your lesson was cheaper than mine. I always carried those ratcheting straps in the back of my truck to tie tires down that I may haul during the normal course of my business. I'd just leave them loose in the bed, near the cab when not using them.

I was doing about 70 down the interstate one morning, when the wind evidently picked up the long end of one of the straps. This end found it's way down in the gap between the bed and cab of the truck........before wrapping itself around the driveshaft.

When it wrapped itself, it instantly jerked the remaining strap, with ratchet attached to the point between the cab and bed where it had slid thru. The ratchet couldn't fit thru this slim area, so the strap broke.......and I found the ratchet stuck between bed and cab.....with the rest of the strap around the driveshaft.

However, in the initial jerk, the ratchet (or possibly the metal hook) hit my back glass.....shattering it.

That'll wake you up fast......driving down the road and your rear window exploding.

Lesson learned to the price of a rear window: Keep those straps secure somewhere, even when not in use.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:18 AM   #3
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FWIW, I store all my ratchet straps in a bag--it's the bag that one of the folding chairs (that broke at one point) came in. I wrap them up around the ratchet mechanism and put them in the bag, bag goes in one of the storage compartments in the back floor of the truck. They're always there but they're out of the way.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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When not in use my straps are stored inside the truck under the platform I built to replace the back seat for the dog.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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Valuable Lessons Learned (Plagiarised From Another Thread)

A couple other lessons learned the hard way:

1) If you own a fifth wheel, don't forget to put the tailgate of your tow vehicle down when you pull away. Our 2001 Sprinter fifth wheel was less than a week old and my 2001 Chevy 1500HD crew cab was only a few months old. I got in a hurry to unhook and move the truck forgetting to put the tailgate down. As I slowly tried to idle away I couldn't understand why I wasn't able to move (I knew I had elevated the camper and opened the hitch). Looked in my mirror and saw the kingpin up against the tailgate. Put a nice "V" in the tailgate, but fortunately didn't drag the camper or cause any major damage. Lesson: Never be in a hurry when hooking up or unhooking your camper to/from your tow vehicle.

2) We were on our 2'nd camping trip with our 2001 sprinter. The ground at the campground was wet and one of the camper wheels sunk up to the rim. Put a long board behind the tire thinking it would give some support and get the tire "unsunk." Well it worked in getting the tire above ground, but when the tire rolled up onto the board, the other end of the board pivoted upward and hit the sewer pipe right where it enters the black tank. Luckily only put a hairline crack in the tank and was able to have it repaired, but it could have been a lot worse. Lesson: Needless to say a long board has not come near the wheels of any of our campers since.

Interesting the things we survive as new rv'ers.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:07 PM   #6
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If you are Canadian traveling in the US and think you are covered with your CAA Premimum RV package.. Well yes you are if you can get in contact with them with the 1-800 number on your card. When we go state side the number is automatically redirected to AAA and that will not happen with a canadian cel phone (Both my Bell unit and the DW's Telus) you get call was incorrectly dialed. Tried a friends us phone and it went right through. Glad I was at the FROG Rally in Goshen when I needed it to find this out as broken down on the interstate would have been bad. So to all Canadians make your first stop on the US side a place to pick up a $20.00 pay as you go phone, your safety could depend on it.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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I laugh when I think back on these.

We were on our third camping trip with our first fifth wheel. My wife put the dirty clothes in an untied black garbage bag in front of the bulkhead of the camper right behind the cab of the truck. It's amazing how much downward air the camper pushes. I happened to look out my right side view mirror and saw our clothes being drawn out of the bag a piece at a time and flying off to the shoulder of the road. We stopped and collected clothing for at least a half mile back.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
FWIW, I store all my ratchet straps in a bag--it's the bag that one of the folding chairs (that broke at one point) came in. I wrap them up around the ratchet mechanism and put them in the bag, bag goes in one of the storage compartments in the back floor of the truck. They're always there but they're out of the way.
I store my large ones under the back seat in the truck and the small ones back by the tailgate under the tonneau cover. Never have a problem with them getting tangled as I always take a minute to wrap them. This is the way my son showed me. He is a retired Air Force Load Master and said this was how they did it.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:54 PM   #9
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I store my large ones under the back seat in the truck and the small ones back by the tailgate under the tonneau cover. Never have a problem with them getting tangled as I always take a minute to wrap them. This is the way my son showed me. He is a retired Air Force Load Master and said this was how they did it.
X2....only i keep all of mine under backseats ....had to line the plastic bin with some toolbox liner, to keep em from ratteling....
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