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Old 19 August 2002, 09:11   #1
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Trailer Breakdown

At last got the new boat at the weekend although the trailer was not quite so new.

I had previously read on the forums about the Sea Start trailer insurance (£59 per year) and thought that it probably wasn't worth it as I did not intend to do much towing apart from when I bought the boat as it is being kept at Port Solent. Then on Thursday afternoon I thought that I might as well bearing in mind my RAC membership only covers trailers up to 18 feet and if they could not do a repair by the roadside they would not pay for the trailer to be recovered. The last thing I wanted was to ruin my first day with the boat by something going wrong with the trailer.

Lo and behold on Saturday morning on the M25 heading down to Portsmouth a car behind me was flashing its lights and sounding the horn signalling for me to pull over. I and he pulled over onto the hard shoulder where we found that the bearings had gone one one side of the trailer. I don't like to think of what might have happened if I'd carried on and wheel became parted from trailer.

Anyway, one call to the Sea Start number and after a short wait a big lorry came to collect the trailer and take it down to the coast. We arranged a meeting place and I drove down there ahead without trailer. 2 hours later, trailer and boat were safely in the mariner. I am trying to sort out a repair at the moment.

Basically, I can not recommend the trailer insurance enough. I think the cost of the recovery would have been in the region of £300 plus VAT and my car breakdown insurance would have been of little help!

I attach a picture of the boat being recovered from Clacket Lane service station on Saturday where you can imagine I'd I was delighted to be on one of the hottest days of the year!

Finally got boat on the water and went to Cowes for a great weekend eventually. Even treated to a display by the Red Arrows yesterday afternoon on the way back through Portsmouth.

Nigel
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Old 19 August 2002, 10:47   #2
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And thats exactly the piece of mind I wanted when I took out the Sea Start trailer rescue package! Glad to see that it works well even if I hope never to have to use it myself!

Cheers,
Alan
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Old 20 August 2002, 14:23   #3
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Er,
How did they get it on to the flatbed truck?
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Old 20 August 2002, 14:33   #4
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Back of flatbed truck comes out and then down on hydraulics. The lorry has a winch which pulls trailer on (with expert guidance from myself as jockey wheel would not behave!)

Trailer now has to be moved again by lorry to Hayling Trailers for service/repair. Not ideal!

Nigel
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Old 09 February 2003, 13:17   #5
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Trailer cover - for free!!

Well my AA cover was up for renewal and as they would not cover a large trailer I decided to have a look at the options - As a member of the Camping and caravaning club (I take the tent and camp for the weekend with the rib) the C&C club do a special deal with the RAC

Normal RAC cover
Max trailer length 7.6 Meters (25ft)
Conditions
" If your trailer breaks down in a way that means that it cannot be be repaired, we will be unable to recover your trailer, however we can arrange for its recovery although you will be responsible for any costs incurred."

So if you have a big trailer - or your wheel bearing goes your stuffed

"Arrival" RAC cover (Special Camping and Caravanning Club scheme)
Max trailer length
For motorised vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes there are no vehicle weight, width or body length restrictions for either your vehicle or trailer.
For motorhomes there are no vehicle weight, width or body length restrictions

Now the important bit-

If your vehicle or trailer cannot be recovered by normal trailer or transporter and specialised equipment is required (e.g. the trailer is rendered untowable due to incidents such as broken axle or tow bar etc) we will arrange recovery and the use of any specialist equipment at no extra cost to you, upto an overall limit of £2,500 per membership year.

All this extra cover is FREE - infact it was cheaper than the standard RAC rates !!! (Full Roadside, Recovery, At Home for me and the wife covering any vehicle cost £110ish - cheaper than my AA without trailer renewal)

Trailer rescue from seastart is £59 on top of your normal AA membership - and you have to join the RYA (£23) if not already a member. They also only cover upto £400 per claim to a max to £700 per year

When I rang the RAC I just asked for the "ARRVAL" package - they didn't ask for my C&C membership number

Hope thats of use!!

Jools
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Old 09 February 2003, 14:40   #6
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We have been with Green Flag/Mayday (caravan club scheme) for years and have nothing but praise for them. Years back whilst towing a friends boat down to S wales on the back of my car to get the Irish ferry his trailer sheared three of the four wheel studs on one side
Called Green Flag who sent out a low loader, winched it on and brought it home for us. Used them since to change wheel when tyre had gone on caravan ( I don't fancy doing that on the motorway with cars doing god knows what speed inches from me!). Always there within the hour and no problem if its trailer or car its all the same to them.
In contrast friends parents who are knocking on a bit and not at all mechanically minded had wheel bearing fail on boat trailer and despite having trailer cover the RAC refused to recover it to garage, apparently trailer is recovered if car breaks down but not if its the trailer itself that fails! All this despite having purchased the cover specifically as they wanted trailer cover. So read the small print eh!
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Old 09 February 2003, 14:59   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by wavelength
read the small print...
- sorry, not boat related, but last weekend I had a small print related incident with breakdown cover. My engine just stopped as I was approaching a roundabout in Basingstoke, and as my car's automatic, it just coasted along. Now, because you can't turn the starter without returning the key to "0" (which would lock the steering), and in the heat of the moment, I couldn't remember if the selector has to be in "park", I decided to avoid stopping on a busy roundabout, so pulled over the low kerb onto the grass. Engine restarted straight away, no problems. Into "drive". Nothing. Uh-oh! Looked at the back wheels - sinking fast into the soft wet grass . Thought - OK, call the breakdown people. Told them the facts, and they told me "You're not covered for that - £70 to get the garage out". Dammit - should have lied.

I'm with Direct Line (was Green Flag), and whilst I was waiting for the garage, in a foul mood with visa card balance £70 further into the red, I called the AA - same policy! Now I guess that all the 4x4 owners here can giggle, but anyone in an ordinary car would be well advised to lie if in my position ("Oh, funny it's started now Mr Breakdown man. But I seem to be a bit stuck...")

Hey, Crazyhorse - where were you when I needed you in your tractor?
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Old 09 February 2003, 15:50   #8
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Is direct line actually green flag? I dont remember them changing name again, they used to be motorists breakdown or something like that- but there are a lot of things I dont remember these days, anniversaries, wifes birthday, wifes name, kids names etc etc
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Old 09 February 2003, 15:51   #9
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....and to think I wanted to buy your Merc, Richard?!
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Old 09 February 2003, 15:57   #10
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I'm also on the RAC arrival scheme which covers the caravan and the trailer; I haven't had to put it to the test but the wife tried getting assistance on the van in Austria last summer and the nearest agents to phone were in France - luckily the problem was sorted out locally
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Old 09 February 2003, 16:13   #11
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bearings

Bad luck with the bearings, I have heard a similar story about bearings going,remember always in salt water,and then salt gets into them so a good idea is to always pack with grease before a long tow, if their is a grease nipple on them or remove the bearing cap and pack grease in here hopefully the repair wont be so expensive gavin
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Old 09 February 2003, 16:29   #12
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Dave - yes, they got bought by Direct Line. Now called "Direct Line Rescue" One of those things that doesn't matter if you just sign up to the direct debit. As for the birthdays, anniversaries, etc, that's what we have women for... (either to remid us or just do the appropriate card/present/whatever) isn't it? (Takes cover in anticipation of female backlash )

Charles - would I sell you a duff motor? (I did say it wasn't the car for you ). Actually the first hint of a breakdown for over 75k miles!
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Old 09 February 2003, 17:43   #13
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Bearing failures

I have been unfortunate enough to been the victim of Trailer problems, usually attributable to bearing failures. Nearly on first name terms with the breakdown services at one point.
Using a Rib for diving with some tricky launches inevitably the wheels frequently got a good soaking, and seldom got a summer out of one set. Regreasing before every tow is definately good advice. Carrying a spare set "a must".

There are a few companys that do special sets with waterproof seals, these seem to give better longevity then the standard ones, Indespension trailers i think it was.
The whole problems a tough one.
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Old 09 February 2003, 18:06   #14
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Re: Bearing failures

Quote:
Originally posted by parahandy
...a few companys that do special sets with waterproof seals...Indespension trailers i think it was...
- yes, Indespension certainly do them. It's a fitting which replaces the front grease cap, has a disk with a gasket pressed onto the bearing by a spring. It keeps the grease under a slight pressure, so the grease will "weep" its way through the bearing as it becomes more fluid when heated (as you drive). My SIB trailer has these.
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Old 09 February 2003, 21:51   #15
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Wheel bearings have been discussed last year, maybe this info will help Nigelt.

Try this link...

http://rib.net/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1033
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Old 10 February 2003, 03:03   #16
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Jools

I had my cover with the RAC via the C & C club, and had a problem with the Caravan I was towing. They came out, but would not recover the caravan as there was nothing wrong with the towing vehicle. They claimed afterwards that ther cover is for the vehicle, and if that had broken down they would have recovered the vehicle AND Caravan, but would not just recover the caravan.

Worth checking if ths is still the case.
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Old 14 February 2003, 18:27   #17
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Reading the small print carefully if definately says if your vehicle and/or trailer cannot be recovered..... eg the trailer has become untowable due to incidents such as broken axle or tow bar.

So to me that means that the trailer is covered!

Note - this is not the case with standard RAC cover - only with the C&CC "Arrival" scheme which has its own Terms and Conditions leaflet that they suggest you keap in your glovebox - obviously so that you can argue with the breakdown man!!

regards
Jools (who is very good at making the smallprint work in his favor!!)
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Old 17 February 2003, 06:41   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by GraemeCooper
Jools

I had my cover with the RAC via the C & C club, and had a problem with the Caravan I was towing. They came out, but would not recover the caravan as there was nothing wrong with the towing vehicle. They claimed afterwards that ther cover is for the vehicle, and if that had broken down they would have recovered the vehicle AND Caravan, but would not just recover the caravan.

Worth checking if ths is still the case.
Just pull your HT leads off put them in the nearest bit and call them out again. Then the car is broken down as well! And the recovery people can take the lot home. Don't think their is anything that says you canít break down several times a day is their
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Old 18 February 2003, 13:46   #19
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I have had problems with trailers too, but not the bearings. Mine has been Jasperised. This involves recovering a boat back on to a trailer moving it a short distance but not enough for the water to dry out of the hubs then putting the hand brake on as hard as possible. Leave in damp weather for a fortnight and low and behold you have the best anti theft device imaginable. A 4x4 with low ration and lots of violence won't break the shoes free.

Stuart will I ever see my boat again ?)

Lesson for all, don't touch the hand brake! ever! under any circumstances!, its not to be used, just to look at and keep the Police happy so they think your legal.

Pete,

{Getting some big spanners and a hammer ready
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Old 18 February 2003, 14:35   #20
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If you hit the hubs right in the center hard they will prob come free. If you have baring savers on take them of first. I know what you mean about the hand break. I have been in boat yards where the staf put the breaks on thinking they are being usefull. then you have a nice drag to the slip and back every time u want to launch / recover.
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