Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dragging The Jeep

We were so excited to have a mobile mechanic like Chris from Car Won't Start Mobile Service.  We first met Chris when he provided us a prepurchase inspection of our 2006 Itasca  Sundancer.  Four hours plus with comprehensive notes cost us just under $500.00.  It was a great investment!

After a few road trips, we noticed how the cab got very warm even when running the AC and especially when we were accelerating uphill.  We contacted Chris to check our the AC on the Ford chassis.  He came to the house, worked in our driveway and determined the problem was the accelerator cut off check valve.  Took it to Tommie Vaughn Ford and they fixed us up right.

Getting the Jeep ready to tow was a long process.  We decided to do it ourselves and ordered the base plate (Blue Ox,) tow bar (Blue Ox) and wiring harness (Demco) from Amazon.  Ordering online and installing ourselves would save us a lot of money. As it turns out, we ended up paying a shop to install the base plate ($100), and paid Chris to fix some electrical issues with the Jeep and install the wiring harness. Installing the tow bar was easy - just slide into the receiver hitch! LOL

We found Chris somewhat by accident while searching the internet for best auto electrician in the Houston. Surprisingly, Chris' name came up and we jumped at the opportunity to have him work for us again.  Since we were both working, Chris actually came out to Joy's school and installed the wiring harness in the parking lot.  He also cleaned all the terminals, replaced some bulbs and ultimately fixed the light issues.  His price was a little high but it was convenient and he agreed to teach how us hook everything up once we were ready  We aimed for a Saturday afternoon rendezvous at Fiesta for the maiden hook up.  We texted him but he didn't respond until late that evening and by then we'd decided to tackle the task ourselves.

Saturday morning came and we broke down our camp sight and drove to the Fiesta parking lot, Kathy and the dogs in the RV and Joy in the Jeep.  We read the Jeep manual about how to disengage the transfer case and ensure everything was in neutral.  Joy discovered her "butch" side and crawled under the Jeep and attached the safety cables as Kathy read directions. Then Kathy figured out how to align the blue ox tow bar to the base plate as Joy read directions.  

Several men offered assistance and we thanked them, politely declined and kept working. The pins lined up properly and almost everything fit together quickly and accurately. Turns out the the wiring harness cable was a foot too short so we decided to make our maiden towing voyage to Lowe's to get a longer cable.  Kathy dragged the Jeep around the parking lot for a test run as Joy filmed it.  

We arrived at Lowe's with the Jeep still attached. Success!  Kathy remembered to buy a cable lock for the quick release pins which seem to have a tendency to disappear.  Joy unhooked the Jeep and put the cables, etc.. back into storage.  We sent a bunch of photos of our handiwork to our favorite master RV tech (Jim) who immediately called us.  He tried not to sound too surprised when we told him we did it all ourselves and proceeded to give us more tips about towing, etc.  He's an expert and an even better friend and there's no way we could have done all of this without him and Ruth.  

Feeling very proud of ourselves, we parted ways with Kathy looking for a gas station and Joy looking for breakfast.  As Kathy drove she looked over to the passenger seat and saw a partially chewed rawhide bone. She remembered that the last time she'd seen that particular bone was in a Petco shopping bag.  Apparently, Frances had gone shopping and dug into the Petco bag.  She apparently ate HER bone and had started on Keila's prior to us returning to the RV.  We guess she was calling "shotgun" by leaving her bone in the seat as a marker.

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