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Thread: Getting out of town, not as easy as you think

  1. #1
    Awww, jeez Monello's Avatar
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    Getting out of town, not as easy as you think

    So today was time to say goodbye to Panama City Beach. Next stop is Mobile, Alabama, less than 200 miles away. Plan is to get the RV oil changed then hit the road.

    A month ago I bought a new vehicle to tow behind the RV. I got a 2017 Jeep Cherokee to replace my 2002 Ford Sporttrak. It was time for a replacement and with 2 months in PCB, it seemed like a good time. I had to have the Jeep configured for towing. I have a baseplate along with connectors for the lights and additional wiring for my assist brake. I also had to put on a wire harness to allow steering movement while the key is out of the ignition.

    While the oil is being changed we kill time by getting an early 10:30 am lunch. We hook up the Jeep and the RV tech comes out to see our handiwork. He's the one that did all the replacement work. We get it ready to go and he says this dreaded phrase. "That's not going to work". It seems the new baseplate is 7 inches higher than the old one. I didn't realize that would be an issue. Since the other part is already attached to the RV, I guessed incorrectly that one size or in this case one level fit all. They look for an extender but don't have one.

    So we get on the horn to the local Camping World. He gets put on hold both times but nobody in parts ever picks up. I head out to inform Vrai, who is babysitting Apollo and also roasting outside, and I run a few plan B scenarios by her. Before we can agree on anything the tech says they have 1 over at RV Connections. Tech tells me how much it will cost and that they have one waiting for me. I've seen that place in my travels and have a vague idea where it is. Off we go to the other side of town.

    When the service people look for the part, they have a few different pieces but none are the price I was quoted. I told them that my guy spoke with Connie. Of course Connie isn't there but low and behold, on the floor in her office is our holy grail. I pay them and thank them while sprinting out the door. We are burning serious daylight but #### happens and you have to remain flexible.

    My Blue Ox tow bar was installed by Leo's RV up in Gambrills in 2007. I have a locking pin to prevent anyone from taking my tow bar and leaving me high and dry. The problem with a locking pin is that you have to remember where you put the key. I haven't ever removed the pin since it was installed. I failed to mention to Vrai that I'm not really sure which key ring contains said key. I have a lot of keys since I hardly ever toss them out. I have an S ton of them from decades of being a landlord and other various locking endeavors.

    I grab 5 key rings that I think might be winners. I eye the lock opening and the first one I try unlocks it. I'm thrilled and relieved to say the least. I fess up that I was sweating the location of the key. I figured it could be drilled out if necessary but now we seem to be ready to roll. The tech walks out and inspects my handiwork. He asks where's the pin? I tell him this is all they gave me. Well we are short 1 pin. Connie was suppose to make sure I got a pin along with the extender. He goes into his shop and a few minutes later he comes back out with one.

    By this time we are drenched from attaching the various parts of the tow bar accessories. There are 2 cables, 4 pins, 2 pig tails, a brake assist. But with the new piece it's a thing of beauty. To tow the transfer case is put into neutral. As this is the first time, we dig out the manual. Vrai reads out loud each step and I confirm after each step is done. We think we are good but the tech says no, you did it wrong. He says the xfer case isn't in neutral. But the N indicator is lit up. Anyway we did have it correct. We test the blinkers and light. Then off we go.

    So here's the rub. Several things could have gone incredible bad for us. Such as, if I didn't get the oil changed, most likely we would have hooked up the Jeep to the RV in the campground. With the height difference between the tow bar and the connecting points of the Jeep there could have been a mishap when I applied the brakes while going over 50 MPH. The Jeep could have come up over the tow bar. Not being mechanically inclined I had no idea 2 items can't be any different than 4 inches in height from each other.

    2nd is we usually travel on Sunday. If we had any issues on a Sunday, good luck finding anyone to help you out of your dilemma.

    We got gas around 3:30 this afternoon after driving 10 miles. Then it took me another 3 1/2 hours to drive the rest of the way to Alabama. I felt very fortunate since even though today's events were somewhat painful, it could have been a whole lot worse.

    Good thing that time and money fix most problems. $80 bucks for a new extender for my tow bar. They let me have the pin for free. And I got a lesson that was priceless. So when things aren't looking too promising, remember there are a lot of people that would love to trade problems with you.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    Last edited by Monello; 06-02-2018 at 01:34 AM.
    "Is Uncle Monello homeless?"

    Monello thinks he is king of the forum, now. Just keep that in mind.
    I do this #### all day long, deal with freaks and wackjobs - BM

    Veterans before illegals

  2. #2
    Board Mommy vraiblonde's Avatar
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    His new ride is pretty sweet even though its maiden tow voyage was pretty much a pain in the ass. But as Monello said, it really could've been a lot worse and we got lucky on a number of counts.
    "Too much agreement kills a chat."
    ~Eldridge Cleaver

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Monello View Post
    So today was time to say goodbye to Panama City Beach. Next stop is Mobile, Alabama, less than 200 miles away. Plan is to get the RV oil changed then hit the road.

    A month ago I bought a new vehicle to tow behind the RV. I got a 2017 Jeep Cherokee to replace my 2002 Ford Sporttrak. It was time for a replacement and with 2 months in PCB, it seemed like a good time. I had to have the Jeep configured for towing. I have a baseplate along with connectors for the lights and additional wiring for my assist brake. I also had to put on a wire harness to allow steering movement while the key is out of the ignition.

    While the oil is being changed we kill time by getting an early 10:30 am lunch. We hook up the Jeep and the RV tech comes out to see our handiwork. He's the one that did all the replacement work. We get it ready to go and he says this dreaded phrase. "That's not going to work". It seems the new baseplate is 7 inches higher than the old one. I didn't realize that would be an issue. Since the other part is already attached to the RV, I guessed incorrectly that one size or in this case one level fit all. They look for an extender but don't have one.

    So we get on the horn to the local Camping World. He gets put on hold both times but nobody in parts ever picks up. I head out to inform Vrai, who is babysitting Apollo and also roasting outside, and I run a few plan B scenarios by her. Before we can agree on anything the tech says they have 1 over at RV Connections. Tech tells me how much it will cost and that they have one waiting for me. I've seen that place in my travels and have a vague idea where it is. Off we go to the other side of town.

    When the service people look for the part, they have a few different pieces but none are the price I was quoted. I told them that my guy spoke with Connie. Of course Connie isn't there but low and behold, on the floor in her office is our holy grail. I pay them and thank them while sprinting out the door. We are burning serious daylight but #### happens and you have to remain flexible.

    My Blue Ox tow bar was installed by Leo's RV up in Gambrills in 2007. I have a locking pin to prevent anyone from taking my tow bar and leaving me high and dry. The problem with a locking pin is that you have to remember where you put the key. I haven't ever removed the pin since it was installed. I failed to mention to Vrai that I'm not really sure which key ring contains said key. I have a lot of keys since I hardly ever toss them out. I have an S ton of them from decades of being a landlord and other various locking endeavors.

    I grab 5 key rings that I think might be winners. I eye the lock opening and the first one I try unlocks it. I'm thrilled and relieved to say the least. I fess up that I was sweating the location of the key. I figured it could be drilled out if necessary but now we seem to be ready to roll. The tech walks out and inspects my handiwork. He asks where's the pin? I tell him this is all they gave me. Well we are short 1 pin. Connie was suppose to make sure I got a pin along with the extender. He goes into his shop and a few minutes later he comes back out with one.

    By this time we are drenched from attaching the various parts of the tow bar accessories. There are 2 cables, 4 pins, 2 pig tails, a brake assist. But with the new piece it's a thing of beauty. To tow the transfer case is put into neutral. As this is the first time, we dig out the manual. Vrai reads out loud each step and I confirm after each step is done. We think we are good but the tech says no, you did it wrong. He says the xfer case isn't in neutral. But the N indicator is lit up. Anyway we did have it correct. We test the blinkers and light. Then off we go.

    So here's the rub. Several things could have gone incredible bad for us. Such as, if I didn't get the oil changed, most likely we would have hooked up the Jeep to the RV in the campground. With the height difference between the tow bar and the connecting points of the Jeep there could have been a mishap when I applied the brakes while going over 50 MPH. The Jeep could have come up over the tow bar. Not being mechanically inclined I had no idea 2 items can't be any different than 4 inches in height from each other.

    2nd is we usually travel on Sunday. If we had any issues on a Sunday, good luck finding anyone to help you out of your dilemma.

    We got gas around 3:30 this afternoon after driving 10 miles. Then it took me another 3 1/2 hours to drive the rest of the way to Alabama. I felt very fortunate since even though today's events were somewhat painful, it could have been a whole lot worse.

    Good thing that time and money fix most problems. $80 bucks for a new extender for my tow bar. They let me have the pin for free. And I got a lesson that was priceless. So when things aren't looking too promising, remember there are a lot of people that would love to trade problems with you.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    "It's nice to be important but it's also important to be nice."

  4. #4
    Power with Control glhs837's Avatar
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    Wifes 2015 has almost 72K on it and she loves it.
    "I aim to misbehave."

  5. #5
    Doris Day meets Lady Gaga Bann's Avatar
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    Sounds like you all had a day! (or two all rolled into one!) All's well that ends well, though, so I'm glad it all ended well!

    I have relatives on my mother's side of the family from all over Mobile (including Grand Bay, Bayou La Batre, Irvington) I messaged my auntie to see if there are any must do's, must eats, etc. while you're there. Dauphin Island used to be a place we visited when I was a kid.

    Since my dad was military we never spent a lot of time down south. We spent more time in the mid-atlantic area and overseas, so I am only vaguely familiar with places we visited when I was very young. Nowadays, there are only children of distant cousins left and I am not in touch with them. After HS, I'd visit my aunt (and grandparents before they passed)in NOLA where they'd lived for 40+years, and I would fly to save time. I haven't driven the Gulf Coast in years, although my aunt & her husband drove us along part of it when they took us to a casino on the coast in MS "for the free buffet". (it was more for the drive than anything!)

    I hope your week in Mobile is great and the rest of your trip to TX is uneventful!!

  6. #6
    Good outcomes are always the best! ;-)

    Good buddy of mine just completed a trans-country roundtrip from MD to California and went through 8 tires on his big vehicle hauling trailer....the trailer only has 6 to begin with. On the plus side...he and his riding partner got tire changes down to less than 15 minutes...LOL
    "Dark humor is like food. Not everyone gets it." - J. Stalin

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Monello View Post
    Jeep
    First mistake!

    Glad everything worked out in the end.

    Oh, tour the battleship if you get the chance.
    Maryland* - A nice place to live!
    (*excludes Baltimore City, and Prince George's and Montgomery Counties)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Monello View Post

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    Are you using a tow dolly to tow the jeep?

  9. #9
    Awww, jeez Monello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoWhat View Post
    Are you using a tow dolly to tow the jeep?
    I have a blue is tow bar that is attached to the rv. Blueoxtowbars.com
    "Is Uncle Monello homeless?"

    Monello thinks he is king of the forum, now. Just keep that in mind.
    I do this #### all day long, deal with freaks and wackjobs - BM

    Veterans before illegals

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jrt_ms1995 View Post

    Oh, tour the battleship if you get the chance.
    Absolutely worth it...and the museum next to it. Not to ignore that there are some incredible places to eat along that shore road too. ;-)
    "Dark humor is like food. Not everyone gets it." - J. Stalin

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