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Old 04-25-2008, 01:56 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Surprise , Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 52
Can you solve this mystery?

Today I noticed some unusual scratches on my Safari's tongue, and since I'm sure I didn't make them, I'm very suspicious. Could someone have tried to steal my Airstream?

These scratches were made recently, they're evenly spaced, they go completely through the paint and down to the metal, and they were made after my storage yard put the "security tag" in place a couple of months ago. While the trailer was stored, I had two locks on it: one on the ball-hitch socket and another through the latching pin.

What the heck made these scratches?

Thanks for your help solving this mystery!!

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Old 04-25-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
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2005 25' Safari
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Are the scratches on both sides? Evenly? If you store it in a security type rental space, there is a possibility that they (the storage people) moved it around. That's how some of the guys/gals have had their rigs damaged.


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Old 04-25-2008, 02:24 PM   #3
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1982 34' Limited
panama city , Florida
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My Guess

It looks like natural scratches from the weight distribution hitch.

Who put the plastic ties on there and when?

Have you used it since the security tags was stuck on?

Is the black bracket part of your hitch?

Was it ever attached on the scratched part of the tongue?

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Old 04-25-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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If this was my unit, I would be inquiring also !
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
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2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
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Originally Posted by Tool Time
Is the black bracket part of your hitch?
This trailer uses an Equal-i-zer brand hitch (I use the same brand). The black bracket you are inquiring about are the "L" brackets that equate to the tension chains on a conventional weight distribution hitch. The spring bars rest on these brackets when the WD hitch system is engaged.
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:15 PM   #6
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Willoughby , Ohio
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Maybe they have a really LARGE cat roaming the storage facility?

Does the guy in the spot next to yours wear golf shoes? Looks like he could have put his foot up to tie his shoe and it slipped.

We have that same hitch and the spring bars don't come in contact with the tongue (they ride on the bracket) so I don't think that is the answer.

Did you remove your batteries when you stored your Safari (she's beautiful BTW) - maybe you scraped them down the side of the tongue?

Ditto for the propane tanks? I don't think the propane tank cover is heavy enough to scratch like that.

Did you use a ladder to clean the roof? Maybe it scraped?

You're in Arizona - any desert beasties that could have done it?

Too far apart for rattlesnake fangs - unless he's a REALLY big boy!

They are evenly spaced - like the tines on a rake. Is the surface in the storage lot gravel? Somebody raking it and got carried away?

No other marks on the Safari or around it?

WAIT!!! Weren't there FOUR strange lights in the sky out your way afew days ago? Four lights, four scratches .... you do the math!!!

That's all I can think of - let us know if you figger it out!
Steve & Susan
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:33 PM   #7
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Surprise , Arizona
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Thanks for all these helpful replies!

As some posters noticed, we have an Equalizer hitch, and I double checked to make sure the anti-sway bars couldn't have made these scratches. I'm also sure I didn't make them myself (while removing batteries, etc). It's quite a puzzle, since the scratches are deep and evenly spaced, and they were made in an up-and-down motion. What could do that?

Our storage facility doesn't move rigs, and I checked with them to see whether they could explain these scratches. Not a clue! They also have excellent security procedures...but still, I've started to worry about theft. I think I've heard that if a trailer is well secured (mine had two locks on the ball latch), then thieves try to connect to some other part of the tongue and drag it off.

Thanks again for all the helpful comments! I'm sure one of the Airstream geniuses will soon solve this mystery!

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Old 04-25-2008, 03:44 PM   #8
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2003 25' Safari
Yakima , Washington
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hope it wasn't one of these!

We haven't had the courage to go inside to see what this is

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Your scratches are indeed mysterious...I'm thinking that if they moved it with a tractor and the hitch point is really close to the back wheels of the tractor, tight turns will put the tires in contact with the tongue...I know from experience using my Kubota to park mine.

I'll keep studying this though...I love a mystery.

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Old 04-25-2008, 03:48 PM   #9
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Who or what is parked next to you at the storage facility? It looks like something fell against the tongue.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:57 PM   #10
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Surprise , Arizona
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Uh oh!! I'm starting to think maybe B25Guy and some other posters are on the right track. There WERE mysterious lights in the sky above Phoenix not too long ago. And there have been lots of rumors that the you-know-whats (hint: NOT of this Earth!) are moving west from Roswell! The truth IS out there! I'm just hoping it isn't covered in green slime.

As for the neighbors, I don't think they've moved their rig in a long time. I agree, though, that it looks like something fell and swiped the tongue on the way down. Our storage lot is covered w/gravel, so I guess it's conceivable someone dropped a rake while they were spreading it around. Maybe...but it sounds like a long shot.

In the meantime, I'm glad no one has said, "Oh, yeah, that's an obvious sign that someone was trying to grab your rig." Whatever the explanation, I'm starting to think it's a freak occurrence and nothing to be concerned about.

Still...on the very remote chance that the slimy green aliens from another time dimension are among us, it makes sense for all us Streamers to be extra careful with our rigs. After all, if you were invading Earth would you waste your time on Some Other Brand?

Thanks again for all the great replies!

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Old 04-25-2008, 06:36 PM   #11
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If you're that worried about theft, I would also chain or cable the trailer's wheels together.....makes it kinda-a tough to simply drag away!
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:42 PM   #12
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Some things to consider.
1)The forward scratch seems to be covered by the plastic tie, hence it must have preceeded the installation of the tie.
2.)The scratches appear to be related to the abrasion on the top outer frame edge.
3.) The four scratches seem to have been made by something pivoting with the center on the top of the frame rearward of the rearmost (smallest) scratch, because the scratches, especially the longest scratch (the most forward) appear to be curved.

Does/did something clamp there?
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:19 PM   #13
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Genoa , Nevada
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Those look like marks from two tines, done twice, same tool. Not 4 marks once. Possibly something that was put on that shelf behind the propane tanks.
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:37 PM   #14
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Surprise , Arizona
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I agree with your analysis, Excella CM, and with yours too, NevadaGeo. It really does look like a series of tines swept across the upper part of the tongue. If so, it's motion was complicated. In other words, if you look carefully, you'll see that the upper portions of the tracks are pretty straight and that the curves show up at about the halfway point of the longest scratches.

Oh by the way, someone asked whether there were any similar scratches on the other side of the tongue, and the answer is no.

It's really quite a puzzle, because I've never seen anyone in the storage lot except RV owners, and I've never seen any of them use a tool that could leave such marks. Still, I'm leaning toward the conclusion that someone had a rake or a "weeder" of some sort out there, and they dropped it. Not a very satisfying theory, but I'm coming up dry.

As I've said, I'm relieved that no one is saying these marks look like someone was trying to haul the trailer off (with a cable wrapped around the frame or ????).

I'm hoping it's a freak event with no real importance.

Thanks to everyone who posted comments. And for those of you who are scratching your heads about this, please keep thinking...because the truth IS out there!


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