So, I am posting this to serve as a reminder of one more thing to check before heading out on the road when towing. I got extremely lucky and I hope that maybe this post can help save someone else down the road.
So, I was following behind some fellow boaters Saturday morning around 7am heading to Skagens Boat shop to caravan up to the Tastin n Racin event. Just past Hwy 140 on N 167 going over a bridge at about 55mph I hit a bump and then felt a tug and saw my trailer detach from my vehicle. I was in the right lane, it slid down the left lane, tongue down, sparking, the left side brushed against the guardrail, almost flipped (it came up on two wheels), and then veered off the road right where the grassy median began and went through the median and up the embankement.
Turns out the nut holding my ball mount fell off and the whole trailer lifted off the receiver (ball still locked in coupler). Both my safety chains failed and snapped. Amazingly the boat never came off the trailer and there was NO damage to the boat.
I got it towed to Skagens shop. Meanwhile I ran to Tork Lift (an RV/tow shop) in Kent and bought new heavier duty safety chains, a ball and a coupler lock (my lock got bent and had to be cut off).
Went back to the shop and Jerry Skagen jacked the trailer up and pulled the one tire off that had blown and replaced it with a spare he had in the shop. I was all ready to go and made it to the race event around 11am. I put the boat in the show still covered in dirt!
All in all, just busted my already busted fender up a bit more, blew a tire and that was about it. The state patrol was impressed with how I had the boat tied down and that is what saved the boat coming off the trailer. He said I had done all the necessary safety stuff so it was just a freak accident and he would not ticket me. Just ended up paying the tow bill and thats it. Crazy!
I was pretty frazzled and it took awhile to relax! Needless to say, a million other things could have happened and I or someone else on the road could have easily been hurt or killed. But for some reason everything that needed to happen to protect me, my vehicle, the other cars on the road and the traffic coming in the opposite lane, all worked out. I am still in awe I still have a boat!
Here are some photos:
where the boat came to rest..
Had to dig it out..
Here are a couple shots of some minor damage to the trailer..
Ground a bit off the handle to my trailer jack...
This bar (skid bar?) on the underside of the tongue probably saved me from more damage as it took the brunt of the impact and sliding when still on the freeway...it used to be rounded nicely..
So I got very lucky. Please everyone add this to the items to check before you head our to tow.