First things first I have to say, yay, Heather and I are now the proud owners of an automated safety hitch.
As you read from Heather’s last post we were not able to pick up the hitch on our first ride down to Texas. Well, this time my mother offered to ride with me back to Texas to get the hitch. Plus, we got to stay in hotels for the overnights away from the Texas heat. We stayed in the Sanger Inn on Tuesday night and it was a pretty nice hotel.
Waiting for the Hitch
I called Joe (the owner) on Monday to make sure the hitch was ready. He said it had one part left to put on and would be ready when we got down there on Tuesday night. Well, that deadline went out the window. New deadline of Wednesday at 2pm.
Given our free time we decided to see downtown Sanger, TX. I have to say it was everything you’d expect from a small town that’s only ten minutes from a much larger city (Denton, TX). In other words there was very little there and what was there didn’t open until noon at the earliest. Given that we struck out in Sanger and it was starting to rain we headed to Denton and an indoor mall. This was your typical American mall in a city of 100k. My mom and I walked around inside until it stopped raining.
Then made our way to a very nice little restaurant right next to the downtown area called The Greenhouse for lunch. If you’re ever in the area, this place had some great choices for both the meat lover and veggie fan in your family. Oh don’t forget the margaritas and beer.
If you do head into Denton, you won’t miss the city hall as it has eastern european style spires.
Time to get the Hitch
It’s just about 2, time to head back and pick up the hitch, when we get there the hich is now in the state you see below.
So looking pretty good and we’re 10 minutes away from going into qualification tests. They get the last pieces put together we hook it up to the truck and…
Ugh, there is wiring issue. So back to waiting while they troubleshoot. It happened to be something relatively minor, but required a rerouting of some wires. We’re talking another hour to fix. Now onto the final testing. As my truck was already all setup with the triple receiver to haul the hitch and trailer, we put it on my truck with the owner’s 42` gooseneck flatbed on. This is a heavy steel trailer which weighs over 10k lbs unloaded.
I pulled it out and wow, it felt like there was nothing back there, this is going to take some getting used too.The trailer pulled on my hitch just like when it was on Joe’s truck in the demo last week. I pulled it around for a bit and then Joe took over to do some final safety checks on the hitch to make sure all systems were operating up to par. He check the brakes with the trailer brakes, without the trailer brakes (just the hitch) and using the truck brakes with the other brakes. We then verified the steering axle unlock was working. All systems were go (they had done all the other checks while it was still in the bay).
We took the trailer back and got it perfectly lined up straight so they could do the final block attachment for the steering axle and put the fifth wheel hitch on.
As this whole process took a bit longer then expected we weren’t going to make it home tonight (it was already 4:30pm by the time we left). So my mom called ahead to the Best Western in Clarendon, which happened to have a couple food choices just down the road. We got into Claredon just as the sunset, perfect timing.
On the last leg we stopped at the Colorado City rest area (this is becoming a favorite for Heather and I, we seem to stop here each time we go this way). My mom and I had just gotten out of the truck when two gentleman come up to us and start with “wow I’ve never seen something like that, what is it?” I’m sure explaining the Automated Safety Hitch is going to get old quick, but it’s still kind of novelty for now. We also got a large number of double takes by pickups, motorhomes and semi drivers on the way home.
Now the hitch is safely in our garage in Colorado until our next trip picking up our fifth wheel!