Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ready For Towing

We are now set up for dingy towing, which is great since Misty and the kids can now ride with me in the RV and not have to follow behind.  Our "toad" is ready for the road.

Just so you know the vehicle you tow with your RV is referred to as a toad.

We came from WV to TX driving two vehicles, which was not fun and will not be missed.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, we had to have a drive shaft disconnect put on our Yukon since it had a single stage transfer case which could not be put into neutral.  So the only way to tow it all wheels down was to disable the drive shaft so the transmission would not turn.

We had the job done at Smitty's RV and Welding located in Houston, TX.  They are a family owned business, very friendly, and answered all of my questions.  They made it easy to get the Yukon set up for dingy towing and installed one of the best combinations for the job.


 Tow brackets.

The drive shaft disconnect is manufactured by REMCO and was the answer to how we would tow the Yukon.  The Yukon user manual states that our model has to be dolly towed with the rear wheels up and the front wheels down.  First off, I could not find a dolly big enough for our Yukon.  Second off, our steering column does not lock, so the vehicle would sway back forth if we did not find a way to stabilize or lock down the steering wheel to keep the front tires straight. 

Drive shaft disconnect at the rear of the drive shaft on the Yukon. 

To use it, you have to either pull out on the control knob (located in the driver's compartment) to disengage the drive shaft and then push it in to engage the drive shaft.  Pulling it out is pretty easy, but you have to have some coordination to get it to engage.  After some practice though, it becomes pretty easy. 

 Drive shaft disconnect control knob.  Pull it to disengage and push it to engage the drive shaft.

Smitty's RV and Welding also installed an air brake system on the Yukon that is one of the best available.  All you have to do is hook up an air hose from the RV to the Yukon and your brakes are enabled.  You do not have to put a brake buddy or anything in the driver's compartment and hook it to the brake pedal.  

The brake system they used on the Yukon is manufactured by M&G Engineering out of Athens, TX.  It is their air brake system with a patented air cylinder that applies the Yukon's brakes the same time the RV's brakes are applied.  It is very efficient with the manufacture claiming that it will reduce the towed vehicle's stopping distance by one-third.
   
Air hose hookup on the Yukon for the air brakes. 


Air cylinder installed on Yukon.

Vacuum cylinder used with air brake system.

Another option that was installed on the Yukon was the wiring of its lights so that I could hook up the Yukon to the RV through its seven pin trailer light plug and have the Yukon's tail lights work off of the RV's tail lights.  This way I do not have to have the removable signal light systems used on some towed vehicles.

Tail light plug on Yukon. 

Now that all this is done, we can easily tow our Yukon using our Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar and know that we are doing it safely.  It will also be nice for all of the family to travel in the RV now, rather than being split up between two vehicles. Our son Ethan said, "Now, no matter where we drive, we are always home!" 

Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar, air line, break away line, safety cables, and wiring harness. 

Of course I was a little nervous about driving the RV with the Yukon being pulled behind, but it really is not that hard and the only time I feel the Yukon is when it hits a big bump or something similar in the road.  Other than that I can not tell any difference in driving the RV with or without the Yukon.  I do have to allow for more room when changing lanes on the highway, but I will get used to that too.

Yukon viewed in rear view camera from inside RV.

Another thing that I learned very quickly when unhitching your vehicle from the RV or tow bar is to make sure you either set the emergency brake or re-engage the drive shaft so that the vehicle does not roll away.  Luckily we were not on a hill and there were no other vehicles close to us.  I just hope there was no one else watching.


video
Don unhitching the Yukon for the first time.

We will finally leave Houston on 14 June and drive over to Galveston Bay RV Resort and stay for a week.  We are pretty excited since we will be on the bay with our lot facing the water and there will be plenty of sites to see to include the Space Center Houston

I hope you enjoyed today's blog and that you keep coming back to see what we are up to next.

Don

Home is where the slides are out.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Dinner

As I stated in my last post, Misty was going to make pan seared tilapia covered with a lemon basil butter sauce for dinner tonight, so I though I would share it with everyone on-line.  It was very delicious!

Pan Seared Tilapia

She also made a strawberry walnut salad, which also tasted very good.  Between me and the kids, there were no left overs of the fish or salad.  


Strawberry Walnut Salad


Don's 1st bowl of salad

When it comes to food, both Misty and I are pretty good cooks with my speciality being grilling, while Misty does most of the indoor cooking and baking to include cookies and cakes.  She made some banana nut bread this morning, which also did not make it past lunch.  If I had been on the ball I would have taken a picture of it, but was too late.

Misty could grill if she wanted to, just like I can bake when I really want too, but if you do not like doing it, then you probably will not be as good at it either.

Today has been a very lazy Sunday for the most part with Monday creeping up around the corner.  I have May end-of-month processing to work on first thing in the morning, which will take up most of my day, so will be pretty busy, but that is better than not having anything to do.  That makes for a very long and boring day.

I am really hoping that I get a call from Smitty saying everything has been ordered and that they will be ready to fix up our vehicle Tuesday or Wednesday.

Well Misty took the kids to the pool, so I thought I would get on the laptop and do a quick post, but my time is running out because I still have to clean up the mess from dinner.  Sometimes Misty cleans up after she cooks, just as I will do, but then other times I clean up if she cooks and vice versa.  I need to get off of the laptop and start cleaning or I will run out of time.

Dishes to wash

Don

Home is where the slides are out!