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Loading and Unloading Your PodRunner®
What kind of vehicle is required to transport a PodRunner®?
Any vehicle equipped with a Class III (3) or Class IV (4) trailer hitch rated for up to 600 pounds of tongue weight. Required a 2” square hitch receiver to install the PodRunner® hitch adapter that connects the PodRunner® to the vehicle.
Do I move the license plate before or after attaching PodRunner® to the car?
Is there a video I can watch to see how to load and unload the PodRunner®?
Yes, check out our Instructional Videos.
Do I need to adjust the hitch adapter before I put the PodRunner® on the vehicle?
Yes, the first time you will need to adjust it. It comes from the factory set in a default position that will work on most all vehicles, but occasionally the vehicle will not be sitting level to the pavement for a variety of reasons. The hitch adapter can adjust three ways: Height (up/down), Roll (side to side) and Pitch (forward/back). A set of tools come with each PodRunner® and should be kept with the unit at all times. Go to the home page on the PodRunner® website, find the Help Center drop down menu and then click on Instructional Videos for a complete lesson in how to adjust the hitch adapter.
When I try to lower the PodRunner® onto the hitch adapter I can’t align the large hole with the large pin. The hitch adapter is pitched forward. What is wrong?
Pull up then towards you on the hitch adapter. This puts it into the load position. When it is pitched forward it is in the carry position. Look at the side of the hitch adapter and you will see to large pins that slide up and down when you lift up on the hitch adapter. Get those pins to be in the up and rearward position while loading.
Do I need to put grease in the hitch adapter?
Yes, from time to time (every half dozen uses). Grease the large hole in the hitch adapter, plus around the pins that slide up and down when loading and unloading. Also grease the large pin on the PodRunner® that slides into the large hitch adapter hole. Only a thin layer of grease is required; be sure not to apply too much to avoid grease from dripping out of the bottom. Have a paper towel or rag to wipe any grease from the outside of the unit and possibly your hands. A tube of grease is provided with the hitch adapter’s toolkit. Keep it with the unit at all times.
How do I know when the unit is on the vehicle tight?
You should crank the handle bringing the bottom frame of the PodRunner® up in contact with the bottom of the hitch adapter. Once it contacts it will squeeze the two rubber buffers and the blue compression ring on the crank handle will begin to compress. Once the blue compression ring starts to compress stop turning the handle within one full turn it is tight enough. The PodRunner® is now clamped onto the hitch adapter.
Once I have it mounted on the vehicle it is tilted to the left or right?
If it is just a slight tilt, it is fine. If it is a large tilt, take it off and follow the hitch adapter instructions included with the unit, or watch the video found in the Instructional Videos.
If the PodRunner® has been installed correctly how will I know?
It will be level side to side; slightly pitched forward towards the vehicle (back to front), and the height will be appropriate for the type of terrain you will be driving the vehicle over. Higher for bigger dips and off road, middle position for typical highway driving, low for totally flat terrain like a big parking lot area. See Instructional Videos
If I don’t hook up the lights to the vehicle can I still drive it?
Yes, but it may not be as safe if you did and possibly a vehicle code violation. We put lights on the PodRunner® to be sure that motorists behind you can see the brake lights, turn signals, etc. PodRunner® is no different than having a bicycle rack or other device attached to your car. People behind you need to see your indicator lights. We highly recommend using them on all deployments.
When I crank it up to take it off, sometimes it does not just pop-off the hitch adapter and gets stuck, what is wrong?
You may not be on level ground, so try to find level ground if possible. You can still take it off on slanted surfaces but you will have to jiggle it around to get it to release from the hitch adapter. You may not have the hitch adapter adjusted properly. You may have cranked it up too far. To see if you have cranked it up to far, look at the PodRunner® from the side, if as you crank it up further it is bending rearward, you have raised it too far. Lower it so that the wheels come back off the ground slightly, then start cranking the other way to get the wheels back on the ground and then turn it about four more cranks and then wiggle (shake) the PodRunner® by pushing it from the rear toward the vehicle. This will cause the PodRunner® to disconnect from the hitch adapter. Then finish cranking the PodRunner® up high enough to pull it away from the Vehicle.
If you have not greased the hitch adapter recently, this can also cause it to not easily release. See the FAQ "Do I need to grease the hitch adapter" above.
What is the maximum weight I can put on my vehicle?
Check you vehicle's ratings, usually found on the door jam, on the trailer hitch or in the owner’s manual. PodRunners® can weight up to 600 pounds; make sure the vehicle is rated for it.
My vehicle has a 2” square trailer hitch on it but is rated for only 350 pounds tongue weight. Can I carry a PodRunner®?
They are not designed to be carried by a Class 2 trailer hitch, even though your vehicle has a 2" receiver. Know the weight of your PodRunner® and know the maximum tongue weight capacity of your hitch. Be sure the PodRunner® does not weigh more than the maximum tongue weight rating of your hitch.
When I drive it I can see it tilt side-to side, and over bumps it slightly hops up and down, is that a problem?
No, it is normal and part of the design to provide a cushioned ride for the components inside.
What if a car hits it or I back it into a pole, etc.?
Just like anything that gets hit by a car or backed into a pole it will be damaged and need repair. PodRunner® sells parts. Drive carefully. Contact us for help.
How fast can I go with the PodRunner® on the vehicle?
PodRunner® has no speed restrictions. Operate your vehicle within the boundaries of the law and PodRunner® will reliably ride on the vehicle, even at emergency response speeds.
How can those little wheels travel down the road at highway speed?
They don’t, PodRunner® is carried by the vehicle—not rolled down the road.
How do I raise and lower the wheels?
Please watch the loading/unloading video on the Instructional Videos page. It takes less than 5 minutes.
What kind of maintenance is required for the PodRunner®
- Keep it plugged into a power outlet so the batteries can be kept charged.
- Check the brakes from time to time to be sure they are working properly.
- Replace the batteries about every 4 years.
- Keep it clean; wash it with a damp cloth, don’t spray it with a hose.
- All the lights are LED so they will last years.
- On-board electronics and software should be placed on a maintenance schedule you decide.
Generator and Batteries
Q What kind of fuel does the generator burn?
Always check the label on the generator. We only sell them with gasoline powered generators; however be sure you have not switched out generators with a diesel.
Will the batteries leak or vent gas? How long will they last?
No, they are AGM or Lithium Ion batteries are sealed and will not leak or vent. They should last about 4 years and can be replaced locally.
How do I get replacement Parts?
Let us know what you need here.
How do I make a warranty claim?
- For electronic components, go to the website of the component manufacturer and follow their claim procedure.
- For workmanship and PodRunner® components, tell us about your claim here. You MUST file a claim and obtain a RMA number from us before sending any parts to us.
Satellite Backhaul Throughput Speeds
What speed should I expect on the Podrunner® satellite unit?
This depends on many factors. The Satellite data services provider, your contract parameters, the type of transmission Ka or Ku, your location, obstructions, cloud cover, fog, snow, dust, smoke. We can’t answer this question perfectly because of these variables. You can test it by using OOKKLA Speed Test app on the web (www.speedtest.net). Just connect a laptop, or Wi-Fi device to the Star-Runner® network and run the speed test. Run the test no less than four times because some systems throttle the speed based on demand, so as you use the unit the speed will increase. Typical speeds should be no less than 15 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. In many scenarios, speeds of up to 25 Mbps down and 6 Mbps up are attainable.
In an emergency I want to be assured of bandwidth when all other satellite users are on-line; how can I be assured?
Either purchase a Committed Information Rate (CIR) plan from a provider of Ku services, or determine if the spot beam technology of recent generation Ka services, along with their reserve spot beams for added emergency capacity needs will suit your requirements. Costs should also be thoroughly understood.
What is a Spot Beam?
A satellite signal that is specially concentrated in power so that is will cover only a limited geographic area on Earth. Modern Ka satellites have dozens of spot beams to cover North America increasing a single satellites capacity. They have extra/reserve spot beams that can be directed towards land areas needing additional bandwidth in an emergency. Spot beams eliminate much of the problems associated with contention.
I am worried about the latency of a typical satellite connection, what is its impact?
Latency is the time it takes for a signal to travel at the speed of light from the ground to the satellite, back to the ground station and then make the round trip back to you. Typically it takes slightly over a half second for this to occur. I am sure you have seen examples of this on live television before, where a person is being interviewed remotely and it takes time for them to hear the question and they answer it slightly delayed. That is latency. It does not impact voice or data at all because the users don’t realize there is a lag (they can't see each other). It can have impact on streaming video services and video conferencing. General voice and data users have no idea any latency exists.
Will my data services be interrupted by storms?
New Ka services use a satellite dish radio that can be dynamically adjusted by the satellite when signals are being impacted by snow, dust, rain, clouds and smoke. Rain fade used to be a much larger factor depending on where you are at in the world. Heavy thunderstorms in particular are problematic to satellite transmission. However newer Ka systems have the ability to adjust the power output of the satellite dish receiver so it can overcome interruption from the particles present in conditions that used to fully interrupt transmissions. Now temporary slower transmission may occur but the transmission will go through.