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Old 12-05-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
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Plan for a breakdown?

We just bought our first RV... a 2011 Puma 259RBSS fifth wheel!!! I drove from Dallas up to Iowa to pick it up in order to save a bundle. On the way back I got to thinking; what in the world am I going to do if my truck breaks down?!

Does anyone have a plan for this? What do you do with the fifth wheel or trailer in the event the tow vehicle breaks?
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:44 PM   #2
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What do you do with the fifth wheel or trailer in the event the tow vehicle breaks?
I have also given this some thought. No matter what you decide your vacation just got extended a couple of weeks. Finding a campground close by that can accept your rig while the tow truck is hauling your truck off to the shop should be a first priority. Most campgrounds have lists of local RV service shops. Asking if they know of one who can bring the camper to the campground should get the camper to a home base so you can bird dog your truck. It gets uglier if you need a new truck. It is always a hastle to buy a new vehicle when the old one is shot. You are a motivated buyer and the seller will most likely rake you over the coals. Having a taxi drop you off at the showroom makes a salesman's mouth drool.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:27 PM   #3
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Get a Ford, no really. For a tow vehicle there is nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING, better than routine and preventative maintenance, regardless of brand. Follow the maintenance outlined in the owners manual and adjust for the amount of towing you do.

Also pay attention to your vehicle EVERY TIME you drive it. If you hear a new squeak or rattle, or feel a vibration, take care of it soon. Shocks, tires, fan belts, water hoses, all go slowly away, and need inspection and testing. There is an older post on here where someone complained about front tires showing steel belts in 10,000 miles. Blamed Forrest River for improper front end alignment. Claimed tires had been checked regularly. Steel belts seen by a fellow camper at a campground. In My Opinion, there is more to checking tires than reading a pressure gauge. Check tread and wear when you check pressure. If you find one low, find out why. Same goes for other stuff. It's not always is the fan belt tight, look at it for cracks, worn places. Raise the hood with the engine hot, look at the hoses for swelling. Check for leaks, or signs of leaks. ROUTINE maintenance, and a tow vehicle will live a long time, with few breakdowns. By the way, goes for non tow vehicles also. One last thought, when is the last time you raised the hood? I mean nothing against you, it's just vehicles are usually trouble free, and many never raise the hood and look. I know people that by vehicles and never know what size engine it has. Another story, another thread, I'll get down now.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:30 AM   #4
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No matter how dedicated a maintainer you are; and believe me when I say that pilots are maintainance fanatics (try pulling over with an engine problem at 25,000 feet); S*** happens.

Better to have a plan than to count on the "Luck Gods."
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:48 AM   #5
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No matter how dedicated a maintainer you are; and believe me when I say that pilots are maintainance fanatics (try pulling over with an engine problem at 25,000 feet); S*** happens.

Better to have a plan than to count on the "Luck Gods."
Strange you might say this. My neighbor is a pilot for a major airline and used to be a navy fighter pilot. I will not go out on his boat for fear of my life because of how poorly it is maintained...
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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Call your insurance agent. It's possible you already have some
sort of emergency road coverage. If not you can price some.
Having some sort of 800 number you can call 24-7 is piece of mind.
Yeah there are lots of clubs you can join with road assistance.
Check with your Truck, RV insurance agent first.
You might be pleasantly surprised.
(How often are you "pleasantly surprised" when you're talking
insurance??)
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:36 AM   #7
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I am a pilot, and a plane owner. My plan is to stay in the camper, preferably on the repair shop site. If not closest campground I can get the camper towed to. If not that, since I have a toy hauler withe motorcycles in the back, ride them to a motel. Won't work for most because few have spare vehicles in the back. Just like in flying, we need to plan our route, no where we are, and know or be able to figure out our options based on where we are. Sometimes the last town may be better than the next town. There may not be a town that can do the repairs, especially on Sunday. Remember Andy Griffith? Wally always fished on Sunday and Gomer was left in charge. Bottom line for us, make the best of it. It is another day the Lord gave you, and he gave you the choice to enjoy it, or not.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:36 PM   #8
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I have CAA Premimum RV coverage which will at least get the TV and trailer to a dealer. I also carry a very extensive tool kit with me for less than catastrophic failures. And make sure you have a good credit card or plenty of $$$ in the bank to cover repairs. Just losing a tranny can cost a few thousand. Being proactive vs reactive can help you keep a head of hair in place when good old Mr Murphy decides to rear his ugly head.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl.net View Post
Strange you might say this. My neighbor is a pilot for a major airline and used to be a navy fighter pilot. I will not go out on his boat for fear of my life because of how poorly it is maintained...
What major airline? I want to add THAT one to my "No Fly List" There are a few on there already (I know the pilots). It may be on there already and I don't want duplicates.

Funny thing about pilots. They are like doctors and Lawyers.
SOME of them passed with Low C averages.

They will show you the diploma but not the transcript.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:58 PM   #10
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I have "AAA" RV towing plan, they will take care of both the tow vehicle and the camper and they will tow up to 100 miles at no extra cost.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #11
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Alright folks, here is some good information... USAA insures all of my vehicles, including the comprehensive on my fifth wheel. I learned that I had roadside assistance attached to my truck. In order to have my trailer towed also, I had to add roadside assistance to it as well, that way they would dispatch two tow trucks in the event I needed it.

For those that have USAA or are ex-military or parents that were in the military, RA is basically $1 per vehicle per month! That covers all of the normal stuff like flat tire change, lock outs and if you run out of gas they will bring you some. The towing is covered to the nearest USAA-approved repair facility, otherwise you cover the difference if you want to go to a different shop. That works for me if I am out camping... then I don't have a preferred mechanic anyway. The other thing is that they tow it to the nearest facility, irrelevant of mileage.

God forbid I need to go buy a new truck on the road Herk!! I talk pretty sweetly to Hank the Hemi while we're on the road, so hopefully he'd never do that to us.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:58 PM   #12
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I have USAA as well and will certainly be looking into RA being added to the camper part of my auto insurance.

Great Post. Thank you.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:06 PM   #13
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You camper Have gone over all of the the points I can think of, But one lug wrench. On one of my trips the TT in front of me had a flat. I pull over behind him to help. He had the blocking to pull the good tire up on , but no lug wrench. I all ways carry a 4-way with me.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:07 PM   #14
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My truck's lug wrench fits the lugs on the camper.
Don't ask how I found out.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I have "AAA" RV towing plan, they will take care of both the tow vehicle and the camper and they will tow up to 100 miles at no extra cost.
X2 !! AAA is a bargain. Plus there are a lot of other price discounting benefits; hotels, NAPA Auto Parts, yadda, yadda, . . . .
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:57 PM   #16
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Lou, you couldn't say it better. My son in law is a pathologist and he says the same thing about doctors. He also said if you feel like you dr is full of it, trust you feelings and find another dr.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:10 PM   #17
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If a "D" is passing; do you want the doc that got a "D" in your problem to be cutting on you?
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:22 PM   #18
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My truck's lug wrench fits the lugs on the camper.
Don't ask how I found out.
It sound like the same way I found out the first time, but my truck lug wrench didn't fit. but someone stop for me.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:25 PM   #19
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What do you call the guy who graduates first in his class in medical school? "Doctor."

What do you call the guy who graduates last in his class in medical school? "Doctor."

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Old 12-08-2010, 08:24 AM   #20
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My mistake, I called my auto, RV insurance agent and
was told they don't include roadside assistance in normal
coverage because it would count as a claim on your record
if you used it.

I had a 7 year extended warranty on my truck which
did include roadside assistance.
Also my motorcycle includes it.

So I'll be shopping for some myself as my truck warranty runs
out in a couple weeks.

Sounds like a good topic for a new thread........
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