We had our first major ouch with our 16' Scamp
as it neared it's first birthday.
We trundled north after teaching a 3 day acoustic bat workshop in far south of Florida (Big Cypress) to Clearwater north of Tampa. The goal; was to visit friends who started the Florida Bat Conservancy. No on board GPS as such, but we used an 8" tablet linked with our Verizon Hot Spot and Google map navigation directions. As we made a right turn onto a street nearby the final destination we were traveling about 20-25 MPH as we scanned the side streets on the right.
I suddenly was nose up in our Ford Freestyle as we hit a "Speed table" not a speed bump. A speed bump is short attention getting hump... a speed table is some 7' wide at the top and perhaps 10' wide at the base AKA road surface.
What happens when you go over one of these at greater than 3-5 MPH?
OMG, Ouch, OS!!!! followed by more potty mouth.
When the TV was over the long hump the trailer was still very high and when it dropped off it dipped low enough that the tongue jack hit the pavement!
Instant stop and the impact even at 20ish MPH bent the jack back and simultaneously ripped the bolted on hitch from the frame of the TV!
The end result was that the hitch was nearly 3" lower and clearly no longer level.
This was a Friday afternoon about 5:10 so most repair facilities were closed. A quick Internet search after our arrival 2 streets later showed a trailer hitch shop only 4 blocks away. Yes they were open Sat. at 08:00.
So after a few glasses of wine and very concerned about the TV and what appeared to be massive hitch damage we went to bed after a lovely dinner with our friends.
One of them followed me to the hitch shop where they indicated easy to replace the tongue jack, however the under part of the TV frame where the hitch was bolted had completely ripped away.
"This vehicle will never tow again, two sections were ripped away like sows ears!" I was told.
I thought Wrong answer... we need to get home eventually and I am not in the market for another TV at the moment. The hitch shop indicated they would and could repair the trailer quickly. So far OK.
So I drove off with our Ford TV in search of a body shop or someplace like that.
As luck had it, there was one within 1.5 blocks. The manager came out and I explained what I needed and the manager and a tech peeked under the car and emerged shaking heads absolutely nothing we will/can/would touch. Your vehicle is now history for towing.
I asked about a serious welding shop and the manger shook his head that he was clueless. The Tech guy said just down the street is a welding place I drive past on the way to work every day.
- Off I raced. What I found was a super industrial welding place that had stack of 1/4-3/4" thick steel plates on a rack in the entrance drive.
OK if they can weld that, they can fix this I thought.
So I walked into the metal strewn yard and saw the multiple welding rigs going (one a heliarc doing aluminum!) OK they know what the "He double hockey sticks" they are doing.
I in interrupted one guy who turned out to be the boss/owner of the company. He was welding aluminum struts onto a competition kayak trailer.
I explained my plight and he went over the crawled under the TV and indicated no a problem. He never, ever just has hitches bolted, but always welds them as well.
Told me to call in the afternoon and it should be ready.
Long story short...
DW and I and friends had lunch then I called the trailer place. Yep our Scamp
was ready to go. Then with trepidation I called the steel welding shop. The TV had been waiting for 2 hours and it was ready.
So a quick ride to the welding shop and WOW it was all looking good then off to the trailer place and hooked up and puling away in 10 minutes.
The good news was that the replacement jack on the trailer and labor was only $85 and the welding and fixing the hitch for perpetuity was only $60!.
So we continue to be happy Scampers!
Seems the older Ford 2006 had some rust on the frame from Mi. salted roads, even thought 100% garaged, hence the frame failure. Good it has been fixed.
So mind those speed table thy can be a killer.