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Old 04-05-2012, 03:02 PM   #1
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Think Safety…It Could Happen To You!



Before each planed trip lately I find myself thinking more and more about what could go wrong in transit to my family and others ….most of these things are imbedded in all of our brains so I will not mention what the results of ignoring safety can be. However it must be stressed that statistically the risk of an accident occurring increases exponentially the moment you hook up and drive off to your favorite weekend destination with your RV in tow. It is critical that all of us keep this in mind for you and your own family’s safety but that of others on the road. Just a few reminders as the hot and heavy camping season gets into high gear…
1. Check your tires on the RV and TV before every trip to and from your destination. Inflate to proper PSI and replace if necessary based on tread patters and age. Don’t forget to check your spare tire!
2. Repack and lube your wheel bearings regularly.
3. Check your brake function and adjust or replace when necessary. Never tow without trailer brakes!!!
4. Check your lights and replace as necessary.
5. Be aware of your weights and do not overload your RV or TV. Weigh your Rig!!!! Never assume.
6. If pulling a TT - get a good hitch to help with WD and Sway control. No matter how beefy your TV is....
7. Inspect your hitch and safety chains every time you hook up (lots of info here about cracks in Hitch heads…..be aware).
I am sure others will chime in with their thoughts …..With all the posts on this forum about various topics….sometimes these items are easy to overlook.
Everyone Be Safe!
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:23 PM   #2
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Good tips!

Double check set-up especially if someone else is helping. Upon arriving at the service department we found my emergency cable dragging on the ground when someone else hooked up for me.

I don't remember the correct name but I have a locking device to keep the hitch in the receiver. The auto body shop inspected and returned the hitch to the receiver. Long story short - it turns out the cap was on but not locked or secured. I towed short distrance on the freeway and then returning home I drove in wind with strong gusts so finding this out afterwards was scary. I'm surprised the cap didn't fall out or even worse losing the trailer while traveling.

I have learned from those mistakes and now I double check regardless of who is helping me and how much experience they have.


When stopping for a break:
  • Re-check setup. You never know if someone decided to have some *fun* unhooking something.
  • Carry extra pins in case one needs replacing or goes missing while you have lunch.
  • Do a walk-around before hitting the road again.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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We now have a policy of no talking to dad when hitching up the trailer. No intruptions or requests of any kind. This also applies to brothers, dads or friends who want to chat it up during the hitching process.....last time I gave in to this I left the pry bar to install and remove by hitch bars on the bumper of my truck.....heard it hit the ground and was able to pick it up off the road.

Extra pins for the hitch is a great idea.....hard to find those things in a pile of leaves after they fall off the propane cover.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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Good thoughts.

My thought is to use a departure checklist before each trip- especially at the beginning of the year when we are all dusting off the cobwebs but really throughout as well.

This has saved me more often than I can count throughout the years.

Maybe its me. I get distracted easily as I'm preparing to leave on a trip -Kids running around, neighbors who inexplicably want to talk, etc.

With the list; I don't worry about missing something.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #5
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Any pilot will tell you that if you are interupted in your routine; you need to go back and start over. Being interupted or having a "helper" is a recipe for forgetting something important.

Nothing is more disturbing than having two highly qualified Flight Examiners flying together; sitting in the aircraft with the engines running; looking at each other when the tower tells you they don't have a flight plan in the system for you. "I thought you filed it" is not a good answer.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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good example about the helper herk, you always have good info. the helper reminds me of my wife, when she gets home from shopping she tells me how much money she saved & i tell her if she saves us any more money we will be broke.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:02 PM   #7
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We use a checklist for hitching and unhitching, setup, and takedown. We actually use a pen and check off each item and task as it is completed. If you do this you won't have to post on the forum about your "oops" moment.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
We use a checklist for hitching and unhitching, setup, and takedown. We actually use a pen and check off each item and task as it is completed. If you do this you won't have to post on the forum about your "oops" moment.
X2
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Any pilot will tell you that if you are interupted in your routine; you need to go back and start over. Being interupted or having a "helper" is a recipe for forgetting something important.

Nothing is more disturbing than having two highly qualified Flight Examiners flying together; sitting in the aircraft with the engines running; looking at each other when the tower tells you they don't have a flight plan in the system for you. "I thought you filed it" is not a good answer.
Ditto!
My two problems occured when I failed to double check the work of someone with more experience but it won't happen again.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryand View Post
We now have a policy of no talking to dad when hitching up the trailer. No intruptions or requests of any kind. This also applies to brothers, dads or friends who want to chat it up during the hitching process.....last time I gave in to this I left the pry bar to install and remove by hitch bars on the bumper of my truck.....heard it hit the ground and was able to pick it up off the road.

Extra pins for the hitch is a great idea.....hard to find those things in a pile of leaves after they fall off the propane cover.
I have a little container (no lid) that I keep the pins in along with a couple of tools I used for hitching (when necessary). I just drop the pin in after removing it. Maybe because space is limited or the particular location I put it in but the container never moves or tips over in the storage bin so not having a lid is not a problem.

I brought a couple of anti-sway pins at the RV store but I got the extra pins for the hitch at Lowes for about 68 cents each if I remember correctly. I carry about 6-8 extra in case I need to share or if all my pins go missing. Sometimes the pin gets bent of shape and needs to be replaced. My anti-sway pins are shaped slightly different so that the reason I got them at the RV store since I didn't find them at Lowes.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:48 PM   #11
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After towing our 20' for well over 30,000 miles without incident a big truck bumped us. We started swaying and ended flipping all the way over. Car destroyed and trailer destroyed. truck didn't stop. Wife not injured but I had fractured vertabre. Spent a month in the hospital. It can happen. We are back to towing our new 20' with Toyota Sequoia.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhilley View Post
After towing our 20' for well over 30,000 miles without incident a big truck bumped us. We started swaying and ended flipping all the way over. Car destroyed and trailer destroyed. truck didn't stop. Wife not injured but I had fractured vertabre. Spent a month in the hospital. It can happen. We are back to towing our new 20' with Toyota Sequoia.
Yikes, I am glad it all worked out for you and your wife. It could have been much more tragic. I hope your back does not "speak" to you often.
Mine chats with me everytime the weather changes.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:48 AM   #13
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These are all very good points....Now turn the page....Think about the things that could happen in front of you while towing, think about the things that you check but others don't, look at some of the other campers that are dragging the ground as an examble, do you think for one minute that they a your safety in mine. I have towed on I-95 and I and my speed is between 60 to 65 and some of these people that have 5th wheels and large motor homes that are towing at a rate of 75 mph plus are just are just as dangerous, just blow a tire while passing an SUV full of kids or get next an 18 wheeler, you see the combinations of accidents are endless and the injuries or death are unthinkable, if you would like reality to come into play than google "towing accidents with travel trailers" and put your self in the middle of all of that, then ask your self what would you do differently.......Towing is no Joke.
Use your head and be safe, allow enough time to get where you are going.

NOTE: I am not picking on anyone and i realize people that drive other kinds vehicles do some dumb stuff to those of us that tow but we become part of the problem or part of the solution to this madness, protect your famlly and other families around you......HAPPY CAMPING.............
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #14
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The DH does half of the work and I do the other half, then we check the others work and recheck again. You can never be to careful.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:40 AM   #15
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Spent over 2 months in FL (Dec, Jan & Feb) and was amazed at the no. of elderly folks that can barely walk and some on canes that come into campgrounds in monster motor homes and see them on the hwy driving 65, 70 and faster. Scares the devil out of us. We usually slow down and let them pass and get a long way ahead of us or just pull off at an exit. Can't imagine how they would react if they had a blowout or something. I think it is criminal that states do not require a driving test for motor homes, 5vers & tt.
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