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Thursday, May 18, 2006


Well, Howard, it wasn't so bad. At least the truck caught the trailer. If that is the worst "bad" thing that happens to you, consider yourself lucky (and smart).

But you remind me of something: 2 places to never try to save money - tires/brakes (including the controller), and the hitch. Not that this applies in your situation, but for those readers contemplating buying a rig....

Also, WRT rig maintenance and fixing problems: With bad or weird electical stuff it is often a bad ground. Always check the ground first, and on vehicles clean the battery posts and chassis ground before looking for something more complicated. On RV house systems low voltage is often the root cause of a problem.

Wow, Howard, it was scary just to read that - I can only imagine how scary the actual event must have been. I really appreciate you sharing this experience. It is a good lesson to all of us to remember to be safe, to take the time to be sure things are properly set for the job at hand. So glad you came thru it ok!

It is always difficult to admit to making mistakes but I believe it makes a person more credible to others. I thank you for publishing this because like you I made dumb mistakes when we camped and learned from each one of them. The difference here is not only have you learned from the mistakes but an unknown amount of others will be saved, hopefully, from making the same mistakes.
Thanks for sharing this.

Thank heavens you are safe! What a gem you are for sharing your life- threatening experience with everyone. RVing is an ongoing learning experience whether newbie or veteran, so don't feel bad about it. We learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. It's the joy of RVing, we get to laugh at ourselves more often.

Brenda L., Harrisburg, NC

Ah, Howard, the lessons we learn! Our truck was 2 months old when we drove to check out a campground near Picton, Ontario. My husband backed up in the campground into a ditch. No problem we have 4 wheel drive. The good news is that we did get out. The bad news is that the whole driver's side has dents in it. We've left it that way for 2 reasons - if you fix it, something will happen to damage it again and also insurance does not look fondly on single vehicle accidents and we don't need our rates going up! Next thing was forgetting to put the tailgate down before unhooking the hitch - big mistake - big dent in tailgate. Oh well, that's life.

Thanks for writing about your experience and glad you're ok!


Dear Howard and Linda

We are faithful readers and are extremely grateful for your journal. This includes the joys and the tribulations, of our cyber friends. Yes, we are heavy hearted after reading of your events today, but that is the reality of life. Thank you for your honesty, and the reminder to us to take the necessary steps, so we can "error" on the side of caution.
We remain huge "Howard & Linda" fans, and are making it our goal to meet you one day, and thank you in person for what you have given us !!
Sincerely, the Shipleys
Regina, Sask, Canada

What a shame, any damage to the trailer? I have not droped my trailer (Yet)but I did have my tailgate drop open at the same time I was turning into a gas station. You can imagine the damage that was done to the trailer as well as my truck. Another thing to put on your check list, "Make sure your tailgate is firmly closed and latched". Good luck in getting your truck repaired. I've been reading you posts for about a month now and can't wait until I am able to full timing myself. 2 years and 9 months to go. For health reasons I have to wait for that medicare.

Thanks for your honesty, Howard. No one's perfect anyway. You should appreciate that even a bad day fulltiming makes you feel alive. I envy your adrenaline rush. My big thrill yesterday was discovering that CSI was not a rerun! Love your writings. How about some pictures of the farm? Stay safe. Don Traverse City MI.

Well, I don't have a truck to pull my 5th wheel with so I had a friend of mine move it and set it up. The only thing is I had only had it two days, upon hooking it up to the truck, my friend explains to me it is very important to make sure the pin is locked to keep the rv from unhitching. All was well till we got to where we were going. As we were letting the legs down, my friend undoes the pin. Bad move. I now have one leg half way down, one not down at all. He had dents in the bed of his truck (which his insurance paid to fix) but not my trailer. Fortunately, for the time being, I am full timing it in one spot, just waiting to find someone that knows how to fix my problem. The legs wont go up or down.

Glad to hear no one was hurt and YES you can always repair vechiles. We are all in the same "boat" (in this case RV) here to learn, after reading this I made DH read it also then he took me out to our RV and truck and explained to me what happened. Thank you for telling about this as it is sometimes hard for a man to admit when things go wrong.:) Just kidding you.
P.S. good thing Linda wasnt there..
Judy and Bob and 2blackdogs

Happy to hear you are okay.Maybe you can start a new link title LIVE AND LEARN. and maybe other folks that read this about you and will past it on to others for their safety

Hi Howard,

I have been part-time 5th wheeling for 13 years. The first year I owned a 5er I did the truck box drop! I always check if the hitch is locked properly about 2 to 5 times before I do anything.

A hard lesson learned,

Terry and Teri Meyers (TnT)

Yikes, Howard. You're scaring me. I had chills reading today's entry. I'm so glad you are alright. It did remind me of our own incident at the ocean. You're very brave to put it out there for all to see, but I'm sure it will save many others from making the same mistakes. And after all that you bowled a great game! Way to go Howard.

Well Howard, another lesson we have learned from you. Thank goodness you are okay.

You scared me to death!! but I am glad to hear that you are okay. Your experience will help us all to remember that we need to take extra precautions when we are not in a campground or in a situation we are not familiar with. I am sure it will save others from making the same mistake, myself included. Everytime I go to hook up my 5th wheel I will think of you.
Another thing to put on my check list.

So thankful you're okay.


Howard, it takes a fine man to admit when he's wrong or has screwed something up. How admirable that you would write about this so others may learn from your mistakes. Certainly a different kind of stress than the 9 to 5 workday, isn't it? At least you weren't hurt; after all, vehicles and trailers can be repaired. Glad everything turned out okay and you weren't injured.

I am thankful that you are alright. Thank you for sharing your story and for your honesty. The truck and 5er can be replaced but you and Linda can't be. I am a Howard and Linda fan and have learned so much from both of you. Thank you for taking the time to share your life with those of us who follow your travels.

Howard, just read about your adventures, whew! Glad you're OK. You're not alone. I drove a 20K capacity 5th wheel equipment trailer for 2 months before discovering the latch on the ball style 5th hitch didn't lock due to manufacturing defect. I only found out while loading when the hitch lifted off the ball and "bounced" off the bed. Thankfully the safety chains held it from crashing into the cab or elsewhere! KEY RULES: 1. Never be in a hurry. 2. Always hitch your own trailer. (This stems from someone hitching my 2-5/16" receiver trailer to a 2" ball). 3. Always test the connections between trailer and tow vehicle. Thankfully, I've never had problems on the road, always in a parking lot. Take care, Dean from Milwaukee.

So glad you were not injured ~ that is the important thing! Scary stuff! And thank you for sharing. We learn from our mistakes, and now from yours, too. Valuable lesson ~ we appreciate your honesty!

Your journal really needs to be published - I have learned SO much more from your notes than I have from any of the dry, how-to-rv books that are on my bookshelf! :))

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