We made ready to leave Florida to see our doctors in Indiana for one last visit. Since we have moved to Florida, we are lining up doctors here so we can doctor in the winter months when we are living here and then travel during the summer months when it's so hot in Florida. Sounds like a plan anyway.
Terry was having some problems while we were getting ready to go and had to take his time to get much done. He continued to be plagued with tremors and was starting to have some speech difficulties. So we were hopeful the doctors could find the problem and treat it. He was also scheduled to get his ICD changed out.
We started out our trip by camping over near Brandon and spending time visiting with them on the weekend. Always a good time. He fixed us a tenderloin on the Big Green Egg and, as usual, it was great!
We left his place on Monday, the 21st of September.I wish I could say the first day of our trip from Florida to Indiana was uneventful, but nothing could be further from the truth. After 30 years of towing a toad, ours broke loose from the motorhome.
I saw it probably almost immediately as one towbar pulled out from the sleeve in the baseplate. Running 62 mph on I-95 around Titus. I eased off the throttle and turned on the flashers as I eased toward the shoulder, not too fast or braking too hard, either of which would spell disaster. I got Phaeton Place stopped and had to pull up and adjust to get the toad off the roadway as it had drifted toward the travel lane. We both got out and rushed back. The towbars, one of which was completely loose, the other intact, but they were folded together like when they are stowed. I had to back the toad up so Terry could get between the coach and car as the car was "kissing" the back of the motorhome. Fortunately, no damage there, but some scratches in the gel coat which can be rubbed out. We got the toad loose and decided to drive both separately to the next rest area a short ways away and try to regroup.
We got a tech from Demco, the towbar manufacturer, (on the phone) who after requesting a dozen or so pictures, determined the tow bar to not be damaged. The parts on it that were bent are aids for stowing and would not interfere with the normal operation of the tow bar. What happened was that one of the bars that is inserted into the baseplate on the car and locked in plate by a spring clip had come out. This is a standard part and is used to convert a Blue Ox base plate to a Demco towbar. Thousands of us use these and we have been trouble free with towing this way for years. But somehow it came undone. How? Well, suprisingly, the part was still functional even though it had suffered some dragging and grinding on the road. But Terry has extras of these and removed the old one and put another on. The Demco rep thought we would be good to go although he didn't care for that system and wishes Blue Ox would find a better solution. We continued on our way another 250 miles without incident.
Terry thinks, and we have all heard this but don't think it could happen to us, that someone at the truck stop where we had just fueled up may have pulled that locking pin on that part. Just pulling it a tad bit would have done it. We had so much wind that a good jerk on the loose pin could have done it. There just seems to be no way it could fail by itself. I think surely no one would do such a thing that could result in a serious and perhaps fatal accident, but then I look at what has been going on around the country and think. . . . oh yes it could.
Fortunately we had a good ending. Arrived at our predetermined place for the night, albeit a couple hours late, but got a good night's sleep.
Till next time. . .