In terms of avoiding breakdowns, have your recreational vehicle regularly inspected and maintained by professional technicians. This includes regular inspection of the chassis components such as brakes and tires, as well as house systems like propane and batteries. The heart of the RV system is propane and electricity, so it is important that these systems be kept safe and in good working condition.
Bear in mind that towing a motorhome or trailer is more costly and complex than having your passenger vehicle towed. Coach-Net provides affordable peace of mind because they specialize in assisting RVers and dispatching the proper recovery trucks and crew for the job. This is true whether you have a break-down while towing a popup trailer or in a 40’ diesel coach. In the latter case, you will be serviced by a large tandem-axle tow truck that can easily carry the weight of a heavy diesel pusher. However, even a small tent-trailer requires special skill on the part of the tow driver, especially if there is a problem with the wheels or axle.
Since motorhomes can’t be towed backwards, and because they are rear-wheel drive, the tow driver will have to remove the driveshaft from your vehicle before it can be towed. They will usually put the shaft somewhere on their truck during the trip, then leave it with the mechanic at the destination shop. The shop will reinstall the drive shaft during the repair process, but it is important to understand that this step does occur during the recovery process. Don’t be alarmed when the driver crawls under your rig to remove your drive shaft. This is a perfectly routine process and mechanics are familiar with replacing the shaft.
Given the specialized equipment needed and knowledge necessary to tow all types and sizes of recreational vehicle, the cost to have your vehicle towed to a mechanic could be exorbitant without a Coach-Net membership. Whether you are pulling a trailer or driving a motorhome, you will likely need specialized service, be it from an RV repair shop or heavy duty mechanic. If you are like most RVers and enjoy traveling to parts unknown, it is unlikely you will be familiar with where these repair locations are. Coach-Net works with tow providers to ensure your vehicle or trailer is towed to the closest capable mechanic or technician, regardless of the distance. One of the many benefits of driving a diesel pusher is that the heavy duty truck shops equipped to perform mechanical service are generally open until very late at night, or sometimes even 24hrs. Many of these truck shops have driver lounges and may even have RV electrical hookups for your convenience while you wait.
Another thing to be aware of is the laws pertaining to passengers riding in vehicles in tow. If you are driving a motorhome with no tow vehicle and you have a breakdown, there may be a law preventing you from riding in your RV while it is under tow, and you may not all fit in the cab of the tow truck. In this case, you must arrange for alternate transportation. Your tow driver will inform you of the local laws.
Hopefully you never have to use the safety and towing tips but if you find yourself stranded with your RV, perhaps you will remember them.
About the Author:
Steve Froese, an avid RV owner, traveler, and Coach-Net member since 2013, is the principal of “A Word to the Wise Technical Communications”, a published RV author, certified RV technician, and licensed Professional Engineer. He frequently collaborates with the “RV Doctor”, Gary Bunzer, and has worked with the RVIA/RVDA as a technical and training writer and consultant. Professionally, he works as a quality engineer and musician. Watch for more of Steve’s work in upcoming Coach-Net publications.
Ricky R. ~ “Just wanted to let you know that we had a tire go out on a recent trip to Florida, and for the first time, was able to use my Coach-Net services. Not that I really wanted to ever use this, but that is the reason we have it. We contacted Coach-Net and was assisted by Kristen, who was in constant contact and extremely patient and helpful during our whole, stressful event. Being broken down somewhere strange is not very comforting. She was able to source a tire repair service along with a new replacement tire, which was covered 100% under our plan. Kristen kept in touch up until the repair service arrived. We received an automated call verifying the repair was done and go back on our way. There are so many horror stories about poor service and customer support with roadside plans, so I thought I would share a GOOD story and great outcome. Thanks, again, for great coverage and excellent employees who care.”