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 Post subject: Radio trip!
PostPosted: Jul Sun 16, 2017 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 534
Location: Crossville, TN USA
Cliff and I attended the MARC Extravaganza in Kalamazoo and had a great time. This is one of the better events and well worth attending. We especially liked the indoor venue and the air conditioning and the good lighting and real rest rooms! But this story is about our return trip.

We loaded up and stopped by Battle Creek to pick up a Johnson Kilowatt desktop AM ham radio amplifier. Let me tell you this baby is heavy, over 500 pounds, and it took three of us to drag and lever it in the trailer. We had an uneventful trip back on I-75 until we approached Cincinnati, OH where they are working on the bridge across the Ohio River. Interstate 71 is closed there and I-75 is down to one lane. As we were approaching we heard a bang from behind, but no way to stop and everything seemed OK. We made it across the bridge and as we were heading up the hill in Kentucky from the bridge we heard a much bigger bang, the car started shaking, the trailer was weaving back and forth and there was a cloud of blue smoke behind us.

We managed to get off the road next to a Jersey Barrier and I got out and found the trailer had come unattached from the car and was being dragged behind us by the safety chains. The draw bar had pulled out of the receiver and was still attached to the trailer but was facing backwards. The spare tire had all the tread ground off it for about 8 inches and was now facing upwards as one of the bolts attaching it to the bracket had been pulled completely out of the bracket and the bracket was bent and twisted. (Cheap Chinese Steel!).

We were fortunate in that we were able to still jack the trailer up, remove the draw bar and insert it in the receiver, but we had no 1/2 inch steel pin! I remembered a piece of rebar in the trailer we had to use for a handle for the hydraulic jack so we inserted it in the hole in place of the pin and held it in place with a bungee cord! Cliff jokingly said we should be able to make the next 300 miles with that, but we found an auto parts store and got a new Chinese pin. Need a new tire and bracket and we were lucky it wasn't worse. If it had happened on the bridge we would have been on the evening news as the Tennessee Hillbillies responsible for closing I-75 and for the traffic jam back to Dayton!

Always an adventure!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio trip!
PostPosted: Jul Mon 17, 2017 1:58 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 8616
Location: Halfway between Possum Trot and Monkey's Eyebrow KY
wow,

I just made it back from Kalamazoo as well. basically un eventful drive for me other than driving thru INDY where every inch of interstate is under construction. Usually I go back roads to miss INDY but noooo I had to drive thru...... never again.

Had a good time, bought 1 radio at the silent auction.( I don't have room in the car to haul a bunch of stuff)
I helped Bob Dobush with the silent auction and the payouts.

I had a nice time camping at the state rec area about 12 miles East. ( Michigan DOT however decided to repave M96 between camp and Kalamazoo, so I had to find alternate routes ( besides i-94 which I hate) )
Had good weather except wed nite it came a gully washer about 3 am, I stayed dry but the campsite had 2 inches of water after the rain. I was using my iphone as a flashlight and dropped it in the water. I had to stick it in a bag of rice. it thought headphones were plugged in and i could not use phone as a phone. Later Thursday the rice did the trick and the phone works as it should.

I noticed Louisville's brand spanking new bridge on I-65 is now toll. and there was hardly any traffic crossing it. I imagine it will take a long time to pay for it as no one wants to pay to drive across it. ( $4 each way if you don't have a "river pass") It was worth the $4 to me to not drive 45 mins out of the way to avoid it.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio trip!
PostPosted: Jul Mon 17, 2017 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Sep Fri 07, 2007 2:27 am
Posts: 4906
Location: Grand Chute, Wisconsin
I had an old radio buddy (now deceased) tell me that in the old days pranksters would pull the safety pin out of hitches to scare the crap out of drivers. Ever since, I have always made a walk around the trailer to look for problems before driving away from any truck stop, restaurant, etc. Not sure if that would have helped in your instance, but I do wonder why are you running with your safety chains above the hitch and without a coupler safety pin or lock? Trailers can occasionally pop open the coupler latch, and then any bounce can pop the coupler off the ball. And I've always understood the chains are to be crossed below the assembly, though I'm not sure exactly why.

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 Post subject: Re: Radio trip!
PostPosted: Jul Mon 17, 2017 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 227
Location: Wauseon, Ohio, USA
The chains are crossed to catch the tongue of the trail if it comes off the ball. That way it hopefully doesn't dig into the road and flip end over end. Glad you were able to make it home ok Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Radio trip!
PostPosted: Jul Mon 17, 2017 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 534
Location: Crossville, TN USA
Thanks for the info on the correct way to hook up the chains, but I do prefer crossing over the top of the draw bar for the reason stated.

Also, I have a lock that I put through the hitch to make sure it does not open up. Would never trust the mechanism not to open. We didn't put it on in the picture as we were only limping up the Interstate (with blinkers on at slower speed) an exit or two to find the parts store. Although I do not expect this to happen again I will always carry an extra pin. We have gone several thousand miles and never had a problem. Thankfully no one was injured, the trailer and tow vehicle were not damaged and we will be extra carefully inspecting everything before a trip. But then I usually do this anyhow. I am not sure we could have detected the faulty pin with a cursory examination. Just a freak accident. Thank God it did not happen on the bridge as there was nowhere to go!


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 Post subject: Re: Radio trip!
PostPosted: Sep Sat 16, 2017 1:12 am 
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Joined: Dec Sat 24, 2011 9:17 pm
Posts: 1555
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Lucky indeed. Now that you have a spare pin, you'll never need it. But that's good.

I had a camper trailer jump off the ball at night one time, and it was a memorable spark show! :lol:

Another time I was following that same trailer on a work trip when it jumped off again, pulled the shackle off the chain, and made a left-hand turn for the opposite ditch. The problem was a very rough road and a low hanging brace under the tongue that would hit the road if you drove too fast. Also, only one chain, live and learn.

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