Thursday, December 8, 2022


Trailer Towing Challenge: 3 winch cables vs. HUGE fifth wheel


By Cheri Sicard
“Y’all going to put us in the newspaper?” That was the question the owner of the 41-foot, triple-axle fifth wheel in the video below asked the towing company that had come to rescue him.

Road trip mishaps and miscalculations can happen to anyone. That’s why tow truck drivers are the unsung heroes of the RV industry. We may not think about them much until we need them. But they are our rescuers.

While trying to turn around at a dead-end road, the owner of the 5th wheel managed to start sliding in the grass. This got his truck stuck down an embankment into a 4-foot-deep grass-covered ditch. Meanwhile, his fifth wheel was stuck above with the front part of it sitting flatly on the ground.

It was one heck of towing pickle to be in, but not unsolvable. I am not quite sure it raises to the level of being included in the Towing Hall of Fame. But it was a challenge, nonetheless.

The job did take three winches and some careful planning.

While the video is a little long, it is fascinating to watch how the tow truck driver solved this trailer towing challenge. Like the part when even after getting out of the ditch, only three truck wheels were on the road.

The entire time I watched, the thought that kept running through my mind was, “I am so glad this is not me.”

And also, “How can I prevent this from ever happening to me?”

Once out of the ditch with all four truck wheels on solid ground, they still had to get this beast of an RV rig turned around.

In the end, it all worked out and the only lasting after-effect was some minor body damage on the 5th wheel’s tow vehicle.

So check out what it takes to get out of a jam like this. And be thankful that’s not your RV.

Mishaps like this one can and do happen on the road. And when they do, a savvy tow truck driver is the RVer’s best friend.


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3 months ago

I tow a lot of RVs. One day I ended up on a wet, slippery, narrow, gravel road with my 4X4 one ton dually, 4X4 locked in, towing a 40 foot tow hauler and for every foot forward I got an inch closer to the ditch. Finally when I got to the edge of the road I had to stop or I would slide into the ditch and overturn. I called a tow truck from 15 miles away and they didn’t have 4 wheel drive. They wouldn’t come out. I waited a 1/2 hour until my son got off work and he brought out my half ton 4X4 with its 10,000 lb winch. This got me on my way. Sometimes you just have to solve the problem yourself.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
3 months ago
Reply to  Impavid

Smart man! But some folks aren’t as smart as you are so need to rely on someone else and cross their fingers. Have a good night. 😀 –Diane

3 months ago

I’m trying to see how he got stuck so far down the gully- wouldn’t you know the front wheels were already on the grass?

Bob p
3 months ago

If you can’t back out of a situation you better not drive into it! Once had to back a 53’ semi trailer over 3 miles due to faulty directions in MS in the dark on a county road, not fun. My consignee was supposed to be 2 miles off of US 45 except in that local area there is US45E and US45W and the person who gave me the directions didn’t tell which 45 she was 2 miles off of, naturally with my luck I was on the other one. Lol

Bob p
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

P.S. they only used 2 cables with snatch blocks to double the pulling strength.

Donald N Wright
3 months ago

Reminds me of the “Highway thru Hell” television program. (even folks in Canada cannot drive on ice)

Jesse Crouse
3 months ago

Very lucky RV’er.