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It floated a couple minutes but then Sank...Total loss

Old 11-12-2019, 06:17 AM
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Default It floated a couple minutes but then Sank...Total loss

Had a good day fishing last week then pulled up to the dock. Got my car and trailer backed up onto the ramp, put in park, set the emergency, let the car run, and went to the boat to drive it around. I heard a loud pop and looked up to watch my car and trailer slowly roll backwards into the water floating away, trailer jack knifed, and then sinking. I stayed calm and watched it all happen, too far away to do anything so why go crazy? After a couple minutes the car sank and settled on the bottom with the water just a few inches over the sitting part of the seats.

I then called for a tow and as he winched it out the car started on fire.....but after using a couple extinguishers we put it out. A few days later now and I have bought a Volkswagen Tourage diesel that will pull 7700 pounds. My friend that used to work in the Coast Guard told me a few months ago that SOP for them when loading or unloading was to turn the steering so if the vehicle would coast back it would coast into the dock or wall. Also choc the front wheels and turn the engine off.

With my new car I think I'll be sure to put it in park, put on the emergency brake, turn the ignition off, maybe turn the steering so it would coast into the dock, but chocs under front wheel.....don't know yet. People would probably laugh. Maybe I would do it on a really steep ramp. What do you do?

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Last edited by SWF Pontoon Angler; 11-12-2019 at 06:19 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:19 AM
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What did you catch?
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mckee4Me View Post
What did you catch?
Bunch of garbage but fun catching.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:24 AM
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Was there any determination on what failed to let your truck roll back? This is one of my biggest fears as I am usually launching and retrieving by myself.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:26 AM
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I always roll the windows down. In case one of the kids is in for whatever reason so they can swim out if it ever happened. I always make them get out and wait on the dock/beach, but just in case. If the ramp is steep I also put it in 4HI so park in the trans is connected to the front diff.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:27 AM
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I always use my parking brake. Along with the park engagement mechanism I've not seen any reason to chock the wheels. Yet..
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by CruiseToFish View Post
If the ramp is steep I also put it in 4HI so park in the trans is connected to the front diff.
This is important. Slick ramps are usually the slickest right at your rear tires.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:41 AM
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It is most likely the "P" park gear that failed; and a lot of cars; even if the Ebrake is cranked on it isn't enough to stop it from rolling. You should have your ebrake checked every 2-3 years if you are using your vehicle as a launch vehicle to make sure its solid. Test it yourself on a hill to make sure it can hold the weight of the car by itself solidly. Also; when you back down a ramp; put the E-brake on first; THEN the park brake, that way the load is on the ebrake first and P as a secondary. The P gear is not really meant to support the full weight of a stationary vehicle on an incline by itself. It's just an accident waiting to happen as it did above.

Sorry for the loss of your vehicle; and way to stay cool when it was happening. Not sure i'd have been able to keep as cool of a cucumber myself....
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:42 AM
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4X4 behind the rear tire. Always.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by LITECATCH View Post
4X4 behind the rear tire. Always.
How can you put a 4x4 behind rear tire when it's down maybe almost or even in the water?
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:52 AM
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Kids are never in the car. Never. I always chock both front wheels. Ebrake then park and cut the wheel. I sometimes launch at a ramp that is notoriously slippery and swallows a few every year. Atlantic Highlands Marina has this posted. Forget the folks who have to wait an extra two minutes.


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Old 11-12-2019, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by blake0723 View Post
Was there any determination on what failed to let your truck roll back? This is one of my biggest fears as I am usually launching and retrieving by myself.
Most I've talked to said linkage on transmission must have broke.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:54 AM
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That sucks. Sorry it happened to you
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:56 AM
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E-brakes are not designed to work in reverse.
They use forward rotation to work.

Doug
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by CruiseToFish View Post
I always roll the windows down. In case one of the kids is in for whatever reason so they can swim out if it ever happened. I always make them get out and wait on the dock/beach, but just in case. If the ramp is steep I also put it in 4HI so park in the trans is connected to the front diff.
I waded out to it as it was sinking with windows open. I could not open the door at all so I went half way through driver's window to grab my wallet and cell phone. The car was still running but I shut it off and removed key. When tow driver went out there to release brake and take out of park the door opened easily.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:00 AM
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This is a good reminder for me to start using wheel chocks.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:02 AM
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Older Fords never had a good Park detent for the Shifter.Many years ago they had a Recall on some for slipping out of Park. Parking Brakes don't hold as well backwards either.Especially if it's the Drum in Hat Rotors. Park Brake Shoes are small as crap! Sorry for Your loss..
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:06 AM
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Was there any determination as to what caused the fire?

I haven't been using e brake or chocks. Just put it in park. Guess I have been really lucky........I think I will start with chocks
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rdmallory View Post
E-brakes are not designed to work in reverse.
They use forward rotation to work.

Doug

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Old 11-12-2019, 07:08 AM
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Use a wheel chock on the driver front wheel and add a rope to it. You can pull it up and out of the way once you get the vehicle going.

In your Touareg is it the switch that says "on road" and "off road" (no 4HI?).
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