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Old 07-28-2014, 11:01 AM
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Default Lessons learned from first trip with TM

OK, took TM on first trip this past week. I learned some things the hard way. First night, I was at a dog event in Rist Canyon (Colorado) which is close to Fort Collings. Drove up from Albuquerque area. The event was held in a big field... no level ground. But, I figured no problem, I've read up on how to the level the trailer, side to side and front to back.

First thing I learned (for me anyway) is do not have the TM where it is higher than the TV when you back it up into where you're going to setup (might not be such a great idea to have the reverse either, where the TV is higher than the TM). Anyway, I had the tongue support on a wood block and the TM unhitched (and wheels chocked), and went to get into my truck to pull it forward out of the way, and heard a BAM. Went back to look at trailer and the tongue support had flipped the wood block over and the tongue landed on the ball mount... but not on the ball. I figured since it was resting on the ball mount I could raise the tongue support, get the wood block back under it and then would be ok. That worked, got it situated again and then pulled truck out of the way. You would think that since I'd already had the wood block flip over once, I would have oriented it differently so that the length of the block would have been up and down the grade of the land (block was about 4" x 6" x 12"), but no... I put it under the tongue the same way I had as the first time. So, guess what happened? Wood block flipped over again and tongue support slid off and landed in soft ground... buried itself a good inch or more. Now I'm thinking... holy cow... what do I do now to raise this thing? Scissor jacks... I used the scissor jacks to lift up the front of the TM and got the tongue support out of the ground and this time put the wood block oriented the right way.

I've decided scissor jacks are a great thing. Got the TM leveled and everything else setup, then fed the dogs and crashed. Was exhausted after the drive up from ABQ and the stress from getting the TM setup by myself.

Next day, after the dog event was over, I had to pack up and move to a State Park where I planned to stay for a couple nights and see how things worked being hooked up to electricity. I'll say this, I was much more aware of the level of the trailer this time (and it was easier as I was parking on asphalt). Weather looked bad next morning, so I decided to pack up and head home a day early.

Got home and was really tired from long trip and got in too big of a hurry backing my TM in thru the gate of my driveway. It's a little tricky because I need to come in at an angle and then back into the garage. I have a light pole and intercom by the gate and I was watching that and cut it a little too much and instead of being at an angle I had the trailer backing in too straight and failed to negotiate the retaining wall in front of my house. While I was backing up I heard a BAM and it felt like I hit something which didn't make sense because there was nothing behind the trailer. I got out to check it out and saw that one wheel was over my retaining wall and the axel was sitting on the wall... So, what did I do? Called my neighbors

Thank goodness for great neighbors! One of guys said, no problem, we'll jack it up and put stuff under the wheel and you'll drive it out... and, I'm like WHAT!!?? So, he said chill out... this is guy stuff... we've got this. Normally, a chauvinist attitude might bother me, but not this time... I was really, really glad that they did know what they were doing and sure enough after 2 hours of jacking up the TM and putting blocks under the wheel, I was able to drive it out. Amazingly enough, there was no damage to the TM. The axel and the stairs are what landed on the wall and nothing else was touched underneath. Of course, I've got to have the wall repaired, but big deal, all things considered. (See attached picture of my neighbors getting me out of this jam.)

So... what did I learn... 1) where you park matters, 2) get a better wood block for the tongue support (am building one that has a wide base), 3) do NOT get in a hurry no matter what, and 4) try to live where you have great neighbors in case you really screw up.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:38 AM
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a) do the levelling jacks swivel ? Mine ('06) point out the side.
b) chock wheels before removing TV.
c) Anything odd happens, stop where you are and find out what it was.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:50 AM
rvcycleguy rvcycleguy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
a) do the levelling jacks swivel ? Mine ('06) point out the side.
b) chock wheels before removing TV.
c) Anything odd happens, stop where you are and find out what it was.
a. Guy is using a scissor jack not mounted to the TM.
b. the OP states in the post the wheels were chocked.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:12 PM
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Also need to check the inside of the tire that dropped for cuts.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:47 PM
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We use a tongue jack stand. Works great and can handle some of that unlevel ground.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000BG...&robot_redir=1

Our local RV store was selling it for the amazon price.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:49 PM
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Yep, in the photo one of the guys is actually using a scissor jack underneath the TM scissor jack. We couldn't get the TM scissor jack down because the wall was blocking it. Wheels were chocked in my earlier mishaps, but not in the retaining wall mishap. TM was still hooked up to TV and park brake set.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:52 PM
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It might be a good idea to also have the axle checked for possible damage. http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ight=Bent+axle
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:52 PM
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Thx Clan... I'll look into the tongue jack stand thing.
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:01 PM
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Thx Wilson... I'll look into having the axle checked out. Just looking at it, it looks ok, but there might be something I can't see.
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:41 PM
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Hate to say it, but it looks like some of the guys in the photo are actually enjoying themselves...great neighbors indeed.
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