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Old 04-29-2016, 11:05 AM   #1
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Safety Moment

I'm indoctrinated in the habit of a safety moment, still being a working stiff (except for today, well for the most part.) As we embark on our 120 mile journey to the campground, the safety topic today is proper tire pressure (72 psig) and regular checks on lug nut torque (new 16" Sendel wheels / Michelin tires). This is my special safety focus, in addition to all the other pre-trip checks, and normal cautious driving. Time to be attentive and cautious.

Any safety shares from any fellow cautious (risk-averse) types? I promise not to read them while driving.

Safe travels to all.

Regards - Ron
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:31 AM   #2
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When you hitch up and close the coupler lock, take a moment, and raise the tongue back up slightly until you see the hitch assembly rise slightly in the receiver. That way, you know the coupler is latched, so it doesn't pop off in transit.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:42 AM   #3
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After hitching any trailer I've ever towed, I stop a few hundred yards down the road, get out and do a walk around the rig.
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:30 PM   #4
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This allows me to ask a fairly basic (and possibly alarming question considering I've towed about 5k miles) -- what would you recommend re equipment needed to be able to set a proper torque level and validate the lug nuts are correctly tightened? I'd rather something that can be executed manually rather than requiring power off a compressor or genset (though I do carry my genset with me, so if I need to go 110/120 I will...
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:10 PM   #5
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Safety Moment

Ian - all you need is a torque wrench. You set the amount of torque you want (either 100 or 110 foot pounds based on steel or aluminum rims per your user manual) and when the wrench hits that point, it won't advance any further - you just get a "clicking" sound which tells you you've torqued it properly.

I got mine at Lowes. You can get them anywhere. Good to have in your tool kit!!

Ps - it's manual - no compressors or electronics required! 😀
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:31 PM   #6
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Thank you for your safety shares - we made it to the Bryce Zion CG without incident. Here's a photo of what I am using for torque checks:

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Old 04-30-2016, 09:34 AM   #7
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Check even the small stuff. I picked up my 26u from the dealer on Thursday and on the way home a fellow waved at me an told me one of my doors was open. I was surprised to find the water heater door open and the louvered grill was missing. Is it common for these to come open? I did 2 walkarounds before leaving the dealer and it was not open then. It is held closed with one of those little spring loaded twisty things. Should these be locked, clipped, pinned or whatever. The same clips hold the bumper lid closed.

The dealer stocks the grill and that tells me that this is not the first time this has happened.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bgibbs View Post
I did 2 walkarounds before leaving the dealer and it was not open then.
But was it turned to the lock position?
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:39 AM   #9
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Happens. Driving down the freeway once I noticed some motion in the mirror. One of the windows was unlatched and swinging in and out (top hinged window). Another time, while backing into my driveway one of the hitch weight distribution bars fell off. I'd forgotten to insert the locking pin. Got lucky both times.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bgibbs View Post
I was surprised to find the water heater door open and the louvered grill was missing. Is it common for these to come open?
I used to lock mine with a tiny padlock, but when I had my Airstream in for service the service tech cut the lock off even though the key was on the keyring I left with him.

So I found a different alternative. I added rubber weatherstripping to the inside face of the door around the edges, so that the weatherstripping has to be compressed by leaning against the water heater door in order to latch the door. The door stays latched now, without having to lock it.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:16 AM   #11
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I would add to drive the first hundred feet with radio off and windows down.
Listen.

We have heard dragging sounds (darn cover on the sewer dump, I forgot to close it), and if the hitch ball isn't locked in securely it will sound different.
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Old 05-06-2016, 03:58 PM   #12
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Sounds like you work for Kennecot. I used to work for Rio Tinto. I have a checklist for the inside and one for the outside. Otherwise there is something I forget to do. J


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Old 05-06-2016, 04:36 PM   #13
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I have to ditto some of the earlier comments. We don't have an AS yet but when towing our boat I have taken a right turn out if the driveway only to have the boat try to go straight. Only happened once and now I check to make sure the hitch is fastened (I thought it was). I always start out with windows down and check the trailer within the block after starting out. We were recently driving in Germany and passed a rest stop. The on ramp from the rest area was blocked by what we would refer to as an 18 wheeler whose trailer had become un-hitched. So it happens.
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Old 05-06-2016, 06:00 PM   #14
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My small contribution

I had the umbilical cable come out of the plug on the tow vehicle once. Tiny bungee cord now wraps around it and the locking cover for the 7 pin connector.

Double that when using a Hensley with an extension - I also now use a second bungee cord with both hooks over the license plate holder to keep the extended cord RAISED above the hitch. Snagged it royally IN the hitch on a sharp turn and it ate up the plugs to a point where I had to hold them together with the now notorious "pink duct tape emergency fix".

OH and drive with the truck's lights ON - that way you can verify that the trailer running lights are also on so the electrical connection is good.

If everyone is waving at you - don't assume they're friendly - assume that you've got a problem and PULL OFF and inspect your rig. People on this forum have reported losing a wheel on a tandem axle and not knowing it, doors open, steps down, tv antennas up, broken windows, etc. Years ago one older couple in an SOB dragged a trailer with a flat tire along the ground for miles - and caused several forest fires to start due to very dry conditions. T

AND test your breakaway cable 2-3 times a year.... even with dielectric grease it can rust. AND don't let anyone tell you to run that cable through your chains. Hook it independently to the bumper (some say to the hitch, but the hitch can theoretically break off - both the hitch and the bumper going at the same time? Unlikely.

I take ZERO credit for this one - seen the thread where the propane bottles fell off the rig because the threaded lock down rod broke? Strap or lock those suckers down!
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