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Show us your emergency, break-down Tow Pics!!
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hozbee
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:23 am    Post subject: Show us your emergency, break-down Tow Pics!! Reply with quote

Moderator note: This topic is for sharing your van being towed. For towing with your van, please use the "what do you tow with your van?" topic: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=413266 .

Alright...I know many of you have been in this situation before where your beloved (or not at the time) Vanagon/Westfalia has broken down leaving you stranded in the most inopportune time. Show us your tow pics and tell us how many times and where/why you were left to temporarily curse and kick the wheels while waiting for the tow truck. Here's mine...

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Several miles outside of Brawley, CA July 2010 during road trip from Seattle to Joshua Tree NP, CA. Culprit: Rear Wheel Bearing failure

Total # of tows: 3 (SoCal, Seattle, Seattle)
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Syncroincity
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every time I see something like this, I pull out my AAA (plus!) card and kiss it. Razz
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

been driving the same Vanagon since 2001. Always came home in it.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you need to carry a spare vanagon in case of tow.


this was a 1,000 mile tow after mom's blew a headgasket. from N Myrtle beach to Tampa FL and back to NY (-850mi on Autotrain north)
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a first time for everything.

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Frozen clutch release bearing.
AAA Premium.
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danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncroincity wrote:
Every time I see something like this, I pull out my AAA (plus!) card and kiss it. Razz


I wish I could feel the same warm fuzzy feeling for AAA...last time I was stuck (blown turbo due to my mistake) AAA told me they "couldn't tow me because I was in an RV". Evil or Very Mad WTF? After going round-n-round they agreed to send a truck...2.5 hours late, he shows up with a lame excuse and a too-small rollback truck. Rolling Eyes Once under way, he realized the van was causing the front wheels to be light, so the truck had considerable sway. Rather than stop and re-load it the opposite way, he decided to keep going to the destination, a friend's house where I would park the van until I could haul it home, 450 miles. Miraculously, we made it. BUT, more danger - my friend's driveway was slightly down hill to unload. As the truck bed went back and down, the front of the truck went up about a foot in the air, and the parking brake was not fully engaged. The whole rig started to drift backwards - toward my friend's Splitty! Shocked Quick action - he jumped in the truck and grabbed the brake, saving the day by about two feet.

I'm not too sure I will renew this time around. Exclamation

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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hard to blame a whole industry on one bad tow truck operator.
I know there's more but that's not the point.

my AAA experiance was how friggin hard is it to have a call center.. that can't take a locaiton when I'm broken down on a major interstate (at night int he pouring rain fwiw)

Yes, I am I-81 northbound at mile marker #132..

no I am not in XXXville

Yes I am on the highway. norhbound,
Yes on the side of the road..
no I don't have an address. I'm on the interstate.

Mile marker #132..


the truck's directions were southbound 10 miles away..
the good thing was they took my cell number for the driver, a real english american (redneck) driver called, and said.. Oh.. that's not where/what they'd told me I'll be right there. Rolling Eyes
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
hard to blame a whole industry on one bad tow truck operator.
I know there's more but that's not the point.



Yes, well, the AAA agent arguing whether I had an RV or 'normal sized' VW van was one thing...the promises of one hour and the calls from the agent every half hour to "review my AAA experience" were rather tiring...and explaining (to deaf ears) exactly where I was, what highway number, exactly how many miles from the next city's intersection (GPS miles) yet it still took 15 minutes for her to 'calculate my location'. Ah well, all ended well.
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seanjenn
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always heard good and bad things about AAA. I've got towing covered with my insurance. Unlimited mileage, from wherever I'm broke down to wherever I need to take it to get fixed.
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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No pix (the loading onto the flatbed was so fast I didn't have a chance to grab my camera out of the van) but AAA was incredible. I've told this story here before but I'll give an encore:

10 miles south of Raton, NM w/ a broken timing gear (yes, they can break, though apparently it's rare) in the middle of freakin' nowhere.
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Called AAA and they sent a truck from Trinidad, Colorado, 30 miles north of Raton, 45 minutes away on the other side of 7800 foot Raton Pass. The truck still got there in not much more than an hour from the time I rolled to a stop.

AAA Premier RV ($200 a year with 200 free miles). It was four hours and 203 miles to my driveway east of Albuquerque. Nice driver, interesting conversationalist. Dropped me off and turned around and drove 4+ hours back to Trinidad. AAA never bothered to call me about the three extra miles. If I had paid for that myself I'd still be in debtor's prison today. Renewed it this year with hesitation.
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Last edited by MootPoint on Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the best strategy for getting your vehicle home if you're over 100 miles away and don't have AAA? I recently had some overheating issues with my car while traveling down in Oregon, and I was debating whether if the situation called for it, to either have it professionally towed or rent a truck and a flatbed trailer (one-way). Anyone with experience ($) using either method that they would recommend in these instances?

Thanks,
Casey
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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
What's the best strategy for getting your vehicle home if you're over 100 miles away and don't have AAA?

I'd say the best strategy is to have AAA in advance. Like any insurance, you have to pay for it even if you don't need it but when you DO need it, nothing else will do.
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:59 am    Post subject: Towing Reply with quote

I lost a rod bearing at the top of a climb on the way to the Oregon coast to go camping with friends. We showed up at Cape Lookout on the back of Rick's flatbed and camped for a week, then rented a U-Haul truck and car trailer to get Dixie back home. It wasn't cheap but I didn't know anybody in Portland, time was limited and I didn't want to take pot luck on a used engine so...

CAA/AAA was terrific and Rick was a good driver and tour guide. It could have been worse. I almost don't want to say this out loud, but in 20 years and 240,000 miles of having a Vanagon as a daily driver, its the only time we've needed a tow truck.

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purplepeopleeater
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't be like me, I blew the motor in my deluxe and forgot I had towing on the bus...and it had to be the time I had the wife and daughter with me during summer....I hitch hiked back home got the tahoe and rented a trailer to haul it back.

no pics, just a stupid story.
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skivan
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

westyventures wrote:


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cosmic, dude.

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indytriple
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No pictures, but I've got videos!

Here I am having my Westy towed to the mechanic after 3 weeks of non-start madness. Ended up being fixed by a new ECU.


Link


Here's a video (click to view) of me picking up my $500 '91 passenger van. One of the nipples on the coolant distributor tower broke off causing a massive coolant leak. What can you expect for $500? I've driven it over 6,000 miles since then with nary an incident.

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MuesliNZ
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We got our campervanagon towed out of trouble by a ride-on lawn-mower Embarassed It was a john deere at least, so I guess it could have been worse. And the guy riding it was really nice and didn't laugh at us very much Laughing

We were at the end of a very long clay road in a remote area which people mainly access by boat (probably cos the roads are so very very shite), it was winter and raining and the van only had street tyres. Not a good start. Add a steep hill, deep ruts and a wheezy 1600 aircooled motor to the mix and you can begin to see where we went wrong. Surprisingly we got to the bottom of the hill ok, it was just getting back to the top that we couldn't manage. We ended up in the ruts, wedged against the bank with no way up and no way down until our unlikely saviour chugged up and yanked us out.

I wish I'd taken photos, but at the time my other half wasn't seeing the funny side so I thought I better not!
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Syncroincity
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, awful lot of Wolfram Grey on trailers. Coincidence?? I'm upgrading my AAA. Wink
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncroincity wrote:
Hmm, awful lot of Wolfram Grey on trailers. Coincidence?? I'm upgrading my AAA. Wink


Our Wolfram Grey GL has never needed a tow in the 160,000 miles we've had it. Wink
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine isn't Wolfram gray. It's actually Slate blue, and a Canadian-market van. Cool I've only seen two other vans this color, surely there are more.
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