THE JEEP IS LOOSE!!!!! (the words no RV’er ever wants to hear!)


We heard those words today…….in fact, the DH shouted out those exact words…..and I felt the bottom of my stomach drop out.  Our toad, our little Jeep Cherokee was loose!!  We are going about 55-60 in the last of the Smoky Mountains, having just crossed into North Carolina.  We heard the blue SUV before we saw it, horn blasting as he passes us, arms waving frantically.  When I heard the horns, I knew there was trouble.  Nobody knows us in NC; this can’t be good.

When my husband was trying to find the source of the horn honking, he looked out the left rear view mirror and saw our Cherokee, still coming along behind us, but well over the line to the left.  He shouts those words, and since I can see nothing from my shotgun seat……I am imagining the Jeep careening off the road somewhere well behind us……didn’t really know what to think.

DH handles it well, bringing the bus to a stop, not panicking, steadily and quickly without any sudden moves off the road and onto the shoulder…..if you could call it that.  We are on a corner, at the top of a hill.  Could there be any worse place?? Those coming up on us have very little time to move over.  Most everyone tries and makes it into the passing lane, but it’s busy and some just can’t get over.  The tractor trailers are passing within mere inches, as we can’t get more than two three inches off the white line.

He has to go out there and get it completely unhooked, shouts to me to get ready to drive the jeep once he’s done.  The longest five minutes of my life…..him out there in between the two vehicles, bus and jeep.  Praying the whole time that every one of those interstate drivers is really paying attention.

The tow bar has broken and the wing on the passenger side is on the ground.  The weight of the jeep was being pulled by the wing on the driver’s side and caused the jeep to jump out with it’s wheels over the line.  This is a nice Blue Ox tow bar, and we are shocked beyond belief that this is even happening.

Jeep disengaged, the DH runs back to the bus, and tells me has moved it further away from the line, left it running with the AC on even, and to follow him to the next exit.  I google a truck stop at the next exit and hastily give him directions on how to get there.

Carefully finding a place to get back into traffic with no rear sight line, we head up about three miles and get off the interstate.  Found a place to park and check for damages……wow.  My hands were shaking the whole way there.  The left front tire on the Jeep is scraped up a bit, as it wasn’t turning to fit the road.  But other than that, nothing too bad.

I have a great app on my iPhone called All Stays Camp and RV that I use constantly when in motion on the road.  Within seconds I have all the contact info for a Camping World eleven miles away.  Call them up and they are open for two more hours.  So we hurry that way to get there and hopefully fixed up before they close.  When we arrived, I am still shaking.  The eleven mile drive to Camping World, alone in the Jeep, gave me the time to think about how this could have played out differently.  What if the Jeep had somehow wrenched itself free, totally free and involved other cars……I am still shuddering to think.

Camping World sells Blue Ox, but only as a special order.  None in stock.  The brand they carry, the name escapes me now, has a Blue Ox adaptor, and they have ONE on display, and ZERO in stock.  We need two to make their tow bar brand fit our Blue Ox set up.  Two of the guys from their service department feel they can make our tow bar work again, and it’s the only option without waiting until Wednesday or Thursday for a new Blue Ox to arrive.  They worked past their closing time to make it right, and we are forever grateful.  Camping World in Asheville, NC…….you are our heroes for sure.  While I trust that they wouldn’t send us out on the road if they didn’t think it would tow perfectly… can bet we are getting a new tow bar before we go out again.

Any thoughts on tow bars from any of you out there?? Do you have a better brand that you prefer?  Could use any input you have.  If we have to change over to something else, this is the time to do it.

We had hoped to be out of Pigeon Forge early this morning, but wouldn’t you know..……some of my symptoms from the last week have returned.  So, while breaking camp, I have to get up the courage to tell the DH that I think I need to go see a doctor again before we get on the road.  I know we need to get back to work, and he has had enough of this whole kidney thing…..but he takes it well.

I call the campground office to find a good, nearby urgent care, and explain we may not meet the check out time, and he goes out to start the Jeep who’s battery will not spring it to life.  It’s been acting a little strange lately, but apparently it wasn’t us leaving things on, it had two dead cells.  We thought something with the Brake Buddy was draining it.  He drops me at the referred urgent care and goes to get a new battery.  Glad we did the doctor thing, as I’m back on antibiotics again….it was all back….or never went away completely.

Well……..they say it comes in threes???  Urgent care, battery, and broken tow bar??  Can we quit for today?  We left Camping World, stopped at the SC Welcome Center, and I refused to budge from here until some sleep takes place.

I am emotionally exhausted, so will end this here.  We have two day’s of driving and only one day to do it in………you didn’t hear me say this, but work is actually starting to sound kind of good right now…….

Until next time, Happy Trails,

Janet, Randy and Molly


21 responses to “THE JEEP IS LOOSE!!!!! (the words no RV’er ever wants to hear!)

  1. Glad things worked out, it could have been far worse, sometimes you just got to say , “Damn, Thankyou lord”

  2. Omg what a day for you Guys! So glad you are all safe but can only imagine the scare. Did you have to go to urgent care? You, Randy and Molly make it home safely and get some good rest!

  3. I can’t imagine being in your situation with that Jeep coming loose on one side. Way too scary! Glad all turned out all right.

    Sorry to hear you are still having problems.

    Travel safely and carefully! Thinking of you.

    • We are home and researching tow bars. Still no conclusion as to what exactly went wrong. Thank you for the good thoughts!

  4. OMG…’s to getting back to work and feeling better real soon. I think you’ve had enough excitement and adventure for a while. Safe travels and well wishes.

    • Made it home safely, but worried the whole way. Looking into a replacement for this tow bar. Just can’t trust since we don’t know what went wrong.

  5. so glad things turned out ok. we’ve been having trouble with our towbar..but the car wasn’t hooked up to it at the time..but one time was Don’s doing..I had to drive the car home..its an adventure! hope you feel better soon!

    • We’re home safe and back to work……was I really wishing to be back at work just a few short days ago??? We learned a good deal on this trip. Thanks for the good thoughts!!

  6. Oh my gosh! What a scary turn of events! I’m so glad everything worked out as well as it did for you guys! Wow… can’t even imagine! Sorry to hear you are in pain again too. Jeez… I know it’s bad when work seems like a respite! Feel better and safe travels home!

    • Thanks for thinking of us, and the good wishes. We are home and looking into a good replacement tow bar. I hope everyone out there just takes the time to check and recheck their equipment. Not that it would have helped in this case……but I will probably spend the rest of my life worrying about the tow bar.

  7. That is really scary and that is actually one of our fears. We have a Blue Ox tow bar and we had that maintained when we were in Quartzsite last January. Glad you made it safely. Another thing to keep watching out for while on the road.

    • I’m not sure how I missed your comment here…..other than when we returned home, we dove into work, it got crazy and we went for 50 days without a single day off………that might have been it…LOL. I don’t know if you’ll see this question, but I am curious what they did to “maintain” the tow bar in Quartzsite?? I need to do some googling. We did buy a new one, but we will want to make sure we are not missing any important steps in taking care of it!!

      • Hi Janet, Well it just so happen that while we were in Quartzsite, AZ (you know that big RV gathering show in the desert), Blue Ox was offering to check/maintain tow bars. Honestly we dont know what they do but it only costed us $25. It was quite popular for the line was very long and we have to wait for two days before it was ready.

  8. This is the first time I read your blog, and such a scary story, I’ve wondered what might happen if we had something similar take place. We too have a Blue Ox. Glad you’re ok, sounds like you both handled the situation in the best way possible, good for you. And I do believe in the “things come in threes” theory, so everything will be looking up moving forward. Good luck. Brenda

    • Nice to meet you Brenda, thanks for checking out the blog. I have been absent for better than two months due to work. I miss it, and need to get back on a posting schedule. Will be following your travels, because you have great stories, and your photos are lovely. Thanks for stopping by!!

  9. We have a Roadmaster All-Terrain and have used it on two motorhomes and two cars. The only time we have had a problem was when I forgot something (like taking the car out of reverse). I’m sure you’ve lit on something by now. Scary story. I know those roads! Do you know what broke or came loose?

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