Getting out of town, not as easy as you think

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
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:

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
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.
 

frequentflier

happy to be living
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.
:huggy:
 

Bann

Doris Day meets Lady Gaga
PREMO Member
:faint:

:yikes:

:jameo:

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! :huggy:

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". :killingme (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!!
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
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
 

DoWhat

Sexy Stud
PREMO Member
I have a blue is tow bar that is attached to the rv. Blueoxtowbars.com
:yay:

A hell of a lot easier than that hell tow dolly.
My parents first started using a tow dolly when they started their fulltime RV'ing.
Total hell.
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
The hits just keep on coming

Yesterday was get out of town day. Towing the new Jeep is still not a routine for us. We have to use the manual to disconnect the drive. Then there is the issue of the steering wheel that has it's own mechanism to de energize it, so the wheels will turn when it's towed.

The Jeep came with 2 key fobs. I've rented a few cars that had fobs but I'm not familiar with them. They get the car to start and for me that's where it ends. The Jeep has a key entry on the driver's door only. More on this in a moment.

After we get the Jeep hooked up and it passes our initial inspection we start to head out. I then realize that I forgot to remove the GPS from the Jeep and move it to the RV. I stop then I realize that the Jeep is de energized but the doors are locked. The last time we towed I didn't lock the Jeep doors. I have 2 fobs but no key to open the door from the outside.

We stop and get gas about 3 miles up the road. I'm weighing my options when Vrai comes to the rescue. While I was scratching my chin wondering what to do, she announces happily that she has solved the key fob rubix cube problem. It turns out the door key is actually hidden inside the key fob. I wasn't aware of this and when I bought the Jeep it wasn't pointed out to me. I guess if I didn't wait 10 plus years to upgrade my vehicle, I would have been aware of this.

So we hugged and got a good laugh out of my ignorance of certain modern devices. We rolled down the road and got to our new campground in pastoral Livingston, LA. We are a short jaunt to Baton Rouge from here.

So once again what appeared to be a disaster was actually a minor irritant for a short while. I should have bought a lottery ticket because I thought my afternoon would be spent waiting on a locksmith. Oh happy dayz.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
she announces happily that she has solved the key fob rubix cube problem.
I knew the key had to be in the fob somehow but they sure didn't want to make it easy to find. We had both looked at that fob before and that tiny little release button didn't exactly jump out at us.
 

glhs837

Power with Control
You should have asked. Never had to use mine yet but I am aware of it, use it to cut the tape on boxes sometimes :) That Blue ox setup looks sweet, I watched the install video the other day. Also love that the Jeep is set up out of the box to flat tow with nothing more than a simple button press and a couple other steps. When I told the wife that it gets towed in Park, she was a bit freaked out :)
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
Towing the new Jeep is still not a routine for us. We have to use the manual to disconnect the drive.


so you are flat towing the jeep ?



is the transfer case output shaft bearing lubed by the spinning of the drive shaft ?

[sometimes the oil if flung around by a different part]
 

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
That Blue ox setup looks sweet, I watched the install video the other day. Also love that the Jeep is set up out of the box to flat tow with nothing more than a simple button press and a couple other steps. When I told the wife that it gets towed in Park, she was a bit freaked out :)
so you are flat towing the jeep ?



is the transfer case output shaft bearing lubed by the spinning of the drive shaft ?

[sometimes the oil if flung around by a different part]
These are the steps necessary to flat tow a 2017 Jeep Cherokee:
1. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop on level ground,and shift the transmission to PARK.
2. Turn the engine OFF.
3. Turn the ignition to the ON/RUN mode, but do not startthe engine.
4. Press and hold the brake pedal.
5. Shift the transmission into NEUTRAL.
6. Using a ballpoint pen or similar object, push and holdthe recessed NEUTRAL (N) button (located by theselector switch) for four seconds. The light behind the Nsymbol will blink, indicating shift in progress. The lightwill stop blinking (stay on solid) when the shift toNEUTRAL (N) is complete
7. After the shift is completed and the NEUTRAL (N) lightstays on, release the NEUTRAL (N) button.
8. Start the engine.
9. Release the parking brake.
10. Shift the transmission into REVERSE.
11. Release the brake pedal for five seconds and ensurethat there is no vehicle movement.
12. Shift the transmission to NEUTRAL.
13. Apply the parking brake.
14. Shift the transmission into PARK, turn the engine OFF,and remove the key fob.
15. Attach the vehicle to the tow vehicle using a suitabletow bar.
16. Turn the ignition to the ON/RUN mode, but do notstart the engine.
17. Press and hold the brake pedal.
18. Release the parking brake.
19. Turn the ignition OFF, remove the key fob, and releasethe brake pedal.

Then we have to put a fuse in the wiring harness then active the harness via a switch in the armrest console.
So far we use a 2 person process where Vrai reads the manual step by step and I reply when each step is done. My 2002 Ford Explorer was a lot easier to tow. But I'm stuck with the Jeep for now.
 

itsbob

I bowl overhand
These are the steps necessary to flat tow a 2017 Jeep Cherokee:

So far we use a 2 person process where Vrai reads the manual step by step and I reply when each step is done. My 2002 Ford Explorer was a lot easier to tow. But I'm stuck with the Jeep for now.
WOW.. all the 4WD I've had was place gear selector in N.. shift Transfer Case into N.. GO!!
 
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