At our next opportunity, we separated the car/motor home and, having bought a can of spray lube at Wal-Mart, we washed and flushed the tow bar extension arms, moving them in and out while flushing to free everything up. Now the tow bar latches up in the extended position like it should.
Our second full day of travel was much better, the wind died down considerably. We left Patoka Lake and decided to head toward the interstate (I-64) in hopes that our drive to St. Louis would be a little faster getting us there around noon or so. Guess what? That didn’t happen.
Turns out we had trouble with the tow bar, thankfully while we were still on the state routes so we were able to pull over twice to work with it. I kept hearing (and feeling) a “clunking” in the back and thankfully because of the rear view camera I could see what was going on.
The tow bar has two telescoping arms on it that allow you to hook it up to the car when the car is within a certain distance (plus or minus 18″ or so).
Once you hook up on each side and drive, then the arms telescope fully and are supposed to automatically lock in place. With each arm fully extended and locked in place, the car follows dutifully behind the motorhome and tracks right on center. However, with each arm moving in and out at whim, the “toad” (as it’s referred to in motorhome circles), wants to pull and push on each arm with every sway and curve in the road and as a result tracks behind but moves from side to side “clunking” the telescoping arms with every sway.
Twice we stopped along the road just outside of Birdseye to fiddle with the tow bar and I finally was able to get both arms locked in the fully extended position so we could once again get under way. Next time we have a need to disconnect the car, I’m going to lube the arms heavily. I suspect (this is a used tow bar) that the latching pawl inside the arm(s) is not always fully seated when the arm is extended due to some rust and dirt. I’ll flush it all real good with a silicone spray, hopeully that will loosen up the inside mechanism and get it to latch fully every time. Otherwise, it’s off to find a Camping World or other large RV store that can help us out.
Good thing we’re not in a hurry, eh?
We’re happy to report that the coach came home from Fort’s Industrial Engine in Mansfield today where they replaced the fuel filter and the fuel pump in the Onan diesel generator and the gennie is working fine.
I spent most of the rest of the day filling the fresh water tank and then flushing out all the water lines and also fired up the water heater – both electric and propane and it works in both modes. Also checked out the refrigerator in both LP and electric modes and also works well.
Stu and I drove the Saturn around and hooked it up to the coach with the Roadmaster tow bar just to make sure everything fits and works as it should.
Once it comes back from Craig Smith RV, we’ll then have the trailer light connection working and we will be ready to connect the coach lights to the car and we’ll be ready to hit the road!