Well, it happened. Since I bought my FW and truck last year, I never had to use the slider. While I came close a couple of times, it seemed that I was able to do those tricky tight turns without having to slide to the manuvering position.
The odds finally caught up with me this past weekend. My son and I went camping out in the Mohave Desert and the directions to the campsite had us turn onto a local road. What the map and directions didn't tell us was that the road was for off-road vehicles . We drove on a single-lane road that ended about 500 feet and became dirt. It looked like a bulldozer plowed a path into the desert so the berms were about 12-15" on either side. There was no way we could turn around without bottoming out the FW. We drove on a fairly bumpy path for about 2 miles looking for the "road" to widen or find a wash or break in the berms to allow us to turn around (somewhat reminicient of the logging road scene from "The Long Trailer"). Finally the berms were low enough for us to pull the truck onto the desert floor (with scrub rubbing along the bottom of the truck). The tires on the trailer got as far as the berm (about 5-6 inches high) and the truck tires started to spin with sand and gravel being kicked back to the trailer, so I stopped that immediately. My son and I got out and looked back of the trailer, and I figured that we had just enough room to pivot the trailer around to where the combination could evenutally be turned around, so we started backing up. As the front of the trailer came close to the cab, I'm thinking, "OK. It's gonna be close, but it won't hit the cab." The trailer tires then hit the berms on the opposite side and we needed to pull forward again to pivit more. The next time, I'm thinking, "Hey, we may actually pull..." BANG!!! Sound of glass shattering.... Front of FW took out one of the fixed panels of my rear window (I have a split window). Had I put the slider hitch into the proper position, the FW would have easily missed.
Well, after going back to the main road and taking the next road (paved) we made it to the campsite, and I cleaned up the glass (no damage to the FW or body to the truck) and put a cardboard piece with duct tape on, and am getting estimates today.
Moral of the story, a sliding hitch won't work unless one uses it.
Between RVs at this point
but I continue to tent camp!
Wow Lou, Sorry to hear about your broken window. I have been in similar situations and it's no fun. When I first got my slider I always pulled it back to the maneuvering position. Now I have gotten lazy and I push it to the limit. I hope I have learned your lessen.
What great timing "LL".I have been shopping for a hitch since I bought my 5.I just didn't want to shell out the cash for a slidder. Well today I bit the bullet and ordered a Reese 16k slidder.
Boy you sure know how to make a guy feel good about a purchase. Now if I will just use it .
"ARE WE THERE YET"
2002 f-250 sd cc 4x4 off road lariat V-10
2002 cougar 286 efs
Reese Hitch 16k slidder
Prodigy brake controller
Saw your other post mentioning estimates for the rear window. Surely you have comprehensive insurance on the truck? My vehicles have a "glass deductible" of $100, and that applies to them being broken when I've done something dumb too (flinging a pebble from my weedeater is the last instance of that I remember).
Have you checked with your agent?
(edit): I quit using my slider since the last time I tried, it wouldn't lock into the rear position. I'm going to take it apart and lube the thing so that it'll work properly, and then I'll be more inclined to use it (Reese 14K).
*This Message was edited on 19-Mar-02 08:03 AM by Phils*
Sorry to hear about the glass. The good news is that there was no body damage. Your experience will help remind me to USE the slider. I came very close to punching my rear window out when I brought the 5th home for the first time . I was in a hurry and did not THINK to use the new slider. I got as close as you can to punching out the rear window (left paint/rub mark on the glass). We won’t go into detail about lowering the tailgate after you disconnect the 5th wheel (vent tailgate now on order). Good luck and thanks for the reminder.
As I posted in another area as an off-topic P.S. the estimates for the replacement rear window is running between $385 - $715 plus tax. Yeah, I've got collision/comprehensive for this ($500 deductible) and I consider it more of an incovenience than a catastrophe (the $500 is my personal threshold). It's more of sharing of a lesson learned than a whine (but I thank you all for the commiseration just the same! ).
I am a little taken aback at two things:
1) That a section of a split window cannot be replaced except as a complete unit. It appears that the glass is bonded to the frame as a unit and cannot be "split" to only replace the broken panel; and,
2) The wide range of prices. The labor appears to be the same and the source for the unit is one of two manufacturers, so the only apparent difference must be the mark up by the installers.
Anyway, it's a lesson learned and I asked both my wife and son that when we get into this situation again (and I am sure we will), to be my "conscience" and not let me repeat the mistake again.
*This Message was edited on 19-Mar-02 09:50 AM by LLeopold*