"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"heck I can do that myself"

We are still cooling our heels in Indiana, no word from the company on our next assignment yet but we are hoping it will come soon. In the mean time we have been catching up on chores and spoiling the grand youngins. :-)

The biggest advantage of trading the 5th wheel for our motor home was the fact that Rudee and I can once again be in the same vehicle while we are traveling. Our Dodge Dakota can be towed "4 wheels down" meaning you don't need one of those car dolly's and can just attach a tow bar to the front of the truck and hook on. When we bought the truck (used) it had a Roadmaster baseplate already installed by the prior owner. The problem was he did not include the arms that attach to the baseplate and then hook to the tow bar. I figured all I had to do was call and order the arms and we were good to go, or so I thought. :-(
I called Roadmaster and got the part numbers and placed the order. The next day one of their technicians called me back and said they redesigned their arms a year ago and I would have to  cut off a tab and re-weld it in a different place on the arm to make it fit. He said even before they redesigned them the arms were made specific to the base plate and it was a crap shoot making another pair that would fit. Well alrighty then. The tow bar I purchased (used of course) is a Blue OX and would still need an adapter to hook up to a Roadmaster base plate but all this would be moot if I couldn't get the correct arms anyway. I decided to cancel the order and called Blue Ox and ordered a whole new base plate for the truck.
The base plate arrived on Wednesday and I made some calls to see about installing it. Camping World was booked until the first of December and would be almost $300 for them to do it. I called another place and they told me their labor rate was $80 per hour but could not give me an idea of how long it may take them. They said it would take longer than an hour but wouldn't know how long until they were finished with it. Ya right, well how about I just give you a blank check then?
I looked at the directions and decided I could probably handle the job myself, didn't look too hard and I could save some $$. The problem was having to do it in the parking lot of the RV park in the cold but good buddy Rob Runion came to my rescue and offered his help as well as his garage!
Thursday evening we all met at Rob and Jany's and us guys started working while the women started ........... well doing what women do when they are trying to stay away from the men who are doing "guy stuff". :-)
We got the bumper off and started removing the old base plate. Everything was going great until the final 2 bolts. We worked for over an hour trying to get these removed but they wouldn't budge. I even started calling around for a torch to borrow. "Look out girls, the guys are talking about using FIRE"!
Rob then pulled out the trusty hand held grinder and we ended up cutting the Roadmaster brackets off. Whew, I was getting worried there for a minute.
The Blue Ox bracket went on pretty easy. We had to position it and then drill 4 holes in each frame rail end for the bolts and then "bolt er up" and put the bumper back on. We both stood back and admired our work, even the ladies were impressed! :-)
We are now ready to tow the Dakota! Thanks, Rob. I couldn't have done it without ya!

Saturday we are baby sitting the grand kids so Amanda can work some OT. They spent the night last night and enjoyed sleeping in the new rig. They are staying with us today until Amanda gets off work, I just hope I can keep up with them! I'll keep you posted.


  1. Always nice to save money and do it yourself..

  2. Phil it's always nice to save money by doing it yourself and my son still has my torch. Are you planning on installing an auxiliary braking system in the Dakota? If you don't I wouldn't be trying to stop while going down a hill.Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.