Awesome summer with an OOPS

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jnlo2000

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Posts
85
Location
Home is where we park it.
So, we had a great summer.  This was our first adventure as fulltimers!  The campground we workamped at was fantastic!  Met great people, learned LOTS of tricks, heard LOTS of stories.  Not without it's quirks, all went well!  We left our summer home and started our trek south.  Our plan is to stay at another campground just south of where we were for a few weeks, but keeping us in the area close to where our son goes to school.  We arrived at our next destination on Oct 1st.  I WILL NEVER FORGET.  Pulled in, got to our site, unhooked and BAMMMM!!!!  We were having some trouble getting the trailer to unhitch, kept pulling the pin and it would close again.  Finally all looks good, he clears the hitch and yep...I forgot to put the tailgate down!!! OMG!!!  Soooo...a smashed up tailgate, 5er fine, feelings hurt and embarrassment at peak levels (mainly for me).  I thought for sure hubby would divorce me! LOL.  Brand new truck, just 9 months old!  BUT no one was hurt, I called Ford about 15 minutes after it happened and 3 days later...new tailgate..No problems! 
So many lessons to be learned in the stories of fulltiming...we heard them all summer and of course a part of you says, "I will never do that".  Oh yes, yes you will.  We are certainly young enough that depending on how long we fulltime, I do not doubt for a second we will have so many more stories to tell!!  I will just wait a few days/weeks/or months to ensure that they are truly funny when we tell them! :)

Happy travels all to your winter homes!
 

Foto-n-T

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Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
1,121
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
Our first tow vehicle was a 1999 F250 that the previous owner had used to drag his 5th wheel.  He had two tailgates for it, one was stock (sort of) and the other was a custom 5th wheel tailgate.  He bought the custom because he had "modified" the stock one with the kingpin.  The truck we now have is a medium with a flatbed and I built custom stake rails for it including a wooden tailgate that had the drop in it for the kingpin.  Last year I unhooked and forgot to dump the suspension (air bags) before I pulled out and CRUNCH!!!  This summer while we were at home I managed to fix it but it's one of those things that is just gonna happen I'm afraid.  At least you didn't drop the whole shootin' match onto the bed rails because the landing gear wasn't down!!  I haven't performed that trick yet but you just never want to brag too much about these things.
 

jnlo2000

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
Posts
85
Location
Home is where we park it.
Right after it happened, a few choices words and onlookers shaking their heads, we both decided that it could have been WAY worse.  Yes the landing gear was down (thank goodness) and he pretty much slammed the brakes when he heard the crunch.  I even joked later that the V-gate is looking better and better!  HAHAHAHAHA....but alas...attention to detail is a good thing and I am certain that I will likely NOT forget to put it down again (at least for a while!) It is one of those processes that we haven't quite got down yet.  We don't use a checklist (and should) and I think the standing around chatting with folks made us a little less attentive to the task at hand.  :)
 

RoyM

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Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Posts
1,972
I have not done that yet being the operative word here although the propane compartment door looks a little worse for wear. Our fiver has a short nose, east west bed, so when unhooking I have to release the hitch, pull ahead so the pin clears, drop the tailgate then pull away.  If I don't back straight in when hooking up, the corner of the tailgate can and has contacted the trailer. Gotta get one of those rv gates.
 

Billy Bob

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Posts
224
Location
Texas
I have a system that I use when hooking up to leave a camp site that allways worked just fine. I back under my 5wheel get out close the latch hook up the breakaway cable. Then go do all the other things lower the jacks ETZ. This time the campground owner waves at me from the back of my trailer I go back to see what he wants and foeget to close the latch after talking with him. You can guess what happened when I pulled away.  I now get kind of upset when some fellow camper or host wants to help me get ready to leave the camp site. I do much better with just my DW helping.
 

Foto-n-T

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Posts
1,121
Location
Cody, Wyoming - Sometimes
As a haz-mat tanker yanker by trade I can tell you that most other haz-mat tank drivers will not assist you very much when you are loading/unloading a tanker.  The risk of distraction and missing something that could cause either a spill or worse is too great.  It was the same way when I drove small airplanes for a living, distraction during pre-flight can cost you your life. In the RV world we all have or will develop our own way of doing things and most of use learn how by making mistakes, mostly small ones.

A good friend of mine called me a few years ago after learning about distractions the hard way.  He was setting up at a casino in AZ and his neighbor came over and started to complain to him that the spot he was going into was supposed to be his and questioning how long Dave was going to be in it so he could make plans to move when he left.  During this inquiry Dave had put down his leveling blocks and pulled up onto them but neglected to double check his level and then pulled the release on his kingpin (landing gear still up).  When he remembered to double check his level he found that he was still off just a tad and decided that he should get in and move off the blocks to add another.  The phone call I got that afternoon contained the question, "Hey know when you see one of those pickups with a 5th wheel hitch in it and the bed rails crushed and you know exactly how that happened?  I've got one now!!"

It's wonderful that the majority of RV'rs are freindly, it's one of the reasons we do what we do, but a simple distraction or break from routine can be expensive.  We all make mistakes, we all mis-judge once in a while.  The nice part is most of the time in the RV world is that it's not fatal it just wounds the pride a bit.  We all have to re-learn humility once in a while.
 
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