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Old 08-31-2012, 07:51 AM   #1
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Exclamation The mistake I made - and got away with.....

I got a way with a huge mistake......

We keep the camper '12 X18D at a local storage place about 2 miles from home. In the process of picking it up for laborday weekend we first had to go to Best Buy and replace the camera that bit the dust at the Jimmy Buffett concert. Of course the local store din't have that model in stock so we drive to Oshkosh, 20 miles, get the camera after a long paperwork delay, and pop into Olive Garden for dinner.

So by the time I get to the storage facility it's dark, and I have no flash light, other than the one in the camper that I was to lazy to unlock the door and get. No problems right, been hooking up trailers all my life, seasoned camper..... just completed a 2,500 mile summer vacation with the family and our new camper. All is good!

So like always I back up, get the WDH out of the passthrough, properly install it into the reciever on the TV, jump in and follow the better halfs directions as I back up to the TT. All is going smooth DW says stop, your good, I feel tyhe camper come down on the hith and hear the distinctive "click Click" of the ball latch being push into place. So I jump out, watch my 10 year old son hook up the saftey chains, break away cable, and the lights/brake plug. He is such a good helper ! And we are good to go.

Now we are less than two miles from home, city streets in good condition, and very little traffic. No need to attach the WDH bars or go back into the glove box and get the pin for the tounge latch.... right!?

We get home, back into the driveway, I jump out to unhook...... and thats when it hit, that sick feeling that washes over you when you realize, " I just really messed up". The hitch was sitting on top of the ball....
After a few deep breaths I finished up, parked the truck went into the house and calmly explained to everyone what happend.

Lesson learned, No More Short Cuts, pin goes in every time, and while I appreciate the familys help hooking up, l came to the realization that I need to go though the whole process with them step by step so they know how to do it properly and I need to double check their work.

Rick, Michele, Two Boys and a Puppy named Twister!
2004 Toyota 4Runner V6
2012 Jayco X18D

PS TTChamp is for a game we play.... had no idea it had a completely different meaning on this forum.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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Lucky!! I will not let anyone help me hook up, I need to feel how things lock into place and know in my own head that everything is connected properly. I have my routine and if it is changed in any way I can't feel comfortable that everything is connected and connected properly. Maybe I'm being a little anal but that is how I roll :-)

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Old 08-31-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
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yup - you dodged a bullet... On the other hand we all got a great story out of it... Sure glad nothing bad happened...
Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA

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Old 08-31-2012, 10:22 AM   #4
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Hey TTC, thanks for posting your story! I've had my own foul-ups (forgetting to plug in the wiring harness, turn off the water heater...)
I always appreciate hearing these stories since I can file it under "things to double check". Now if I could only remember..... but that's another story.
Extremely glad that the story has a good ending.

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Old 08-31-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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Sounds like a good candidate for the now famous "bonehead thread"!

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Old 08-31-2012, 12:37 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting your story; it should drive home the need to verify our hookups. I do not mind help. I do make it my responsibility to verify all hook ups are done correctly. I ALWAYS do a double and triple check to ensure everything is hooked up correctly. I never tow without a tong pin lock installed, even if I am only going around the block. Every time we stop (gas, rest stop, dump station, etc) I verify the hookup once again.

Here is my little story. we were coming home from a weekend campout about a month ago. I made a comment to my DW that someone with a cargo trailer stopped on the side of the road in a poor location, as he was not fully off the road and was parked next to a portable road signs on wheels, and if he had pulled up another 50’ he would have been fully past it and better protected. As I pasted I realized that his trailer tong was on the pavement and his chains were hooked to the truck. We can pretty much guess that they did not lock the tong down, and the trailer bounced off the ball.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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Wow, what a story. Glad it all turned out for the best.

I have forgotten to remover wheel chalks before. And they said you can't move a trailer with them in place. Silly people.

As far as bone head moves go, I think I could put quite a few things on that list!!!!!

I locked the key in my truck, with it running, and not 1, but two sets of spares.....in the truck!

I unhook the trailer one time, and forgot to chalk the wheels. Opps.....do you know a trailer can go a long ways before the jack digs into the ground.

I think that everybody at one time or another has done something, either being in a hurry, or they just plain forgot. Now, how many people will admit that.

Thanks for sharing....

Rick "Grumpy" Bond
2004 Dodge 2500
2012 Jayco Eagle 330RLTS
NRA Endowment Member
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:14 PM   #8
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Being in a hurry and trying to get too many things done in one day has bit me also. I've got everything done, but maybe not done right.
2008 Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3/ 3.73 Tekonsha Primus brake controller
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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My wife and I have a system of checks and double-checks that we follow every time we hook up !!
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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Wow..lucky! My family, kids & wife included, love to help out. The routine gets mixed up every time, or so it seems. However - after a similar experience (trailer jumped the ball) I do a walk-around every time. I start about 20 feet in front of the truck, on the passenger side, and touch everything that matters...mirrors, chain, hitch, pin, WD, doors, awning, latches, tires...all the while looking up & down. Once I get to the back of the trailer (lights), I walk up the drivers side and do the same thing on that side, and I always do it after the family is in the truck, so I'm the last one in. Some might say it's overkill, but the 30 seconds it takes is worth it to me.

3 kids and Buddy the Dog;)
Victoria, BC

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