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OT/ RV and trailering tips...add yours!

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by recurvyarcher, Aug 7, 2007.

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  1. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    I bought a 23' Fleetwood Prowler pull-behind travel trailer, and used it at the Millington shoot this past weekend. This was my first time setting up and taking down, as I have never had my own trailer before. It was great!

    Since I was by myself and it was my maiden voyage, I ran into a few issues. I have some tips for newbies like me, and am hoping that others will add their tips to this thread as well.

    Here are some:


    1. Make a test run around a parking lot BEFORE you set out for a longer trip. Make a right hand turn, and a left one. Get out and check your connection. My cord from the trailer was too short for the stabilizer hitch that was installed, and the connector would pull out on right hand turns. Make sure your connection is still there.


    2. Park on a straight away where you can check your sideview mirrors, and make sure that you can see down the side of your trailer. You need to be able to see traffic that is over-taking you on either side. Make sure they are adjusted before you get out of the parking lot.


    3. Check the braking before you leave the parking lot.


    4. If you have an adjustable sway control, test the performance before you get on a freeway. You can pull over in a grocery store parking lot to make adjustments.


    5. Turn your fridge onto the gas setting and fire up the tank before you leave on the trip. It takes a LONG time for those fridges to cool, and you probably don't want to wait until you get to the campsite. Or else fill the fridge with ice bags. You can switch over to electric once you get there.


    6. Take a hose splitter, in case you have to share a connection with an adjacent camper. Fill the hose before connecting to the trailer, so you will get less air in the lines. Bleed the plumbing from the inside taps (bath and kitchen).


    7. If you are hooking up to city water, and not a well pump, be sure to hook up a pressure regulator between the city source and the hose (get it at your RV store). The pressure from the city pump may be too high for your RV plumbing.


    8. Be sure to carry a tool box, and extra connector, extra bulbs (for your running and signal lights), some wiring and electrical tape, an awning repair patch, some wire snips, etc. just in case. Duct tape is always handy, too.
     
  2. trapshootin hippie

    trapshootin hippie Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget the spare tire.
     
  3. mobear

    mobear Member

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    Make sure after dumping your holding tanks, that if you put the sewer hose in the bumper storage area, that it is closed securely, or you will find yourself buying another hose.
     
  4. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    It's easier to gas up the truck if you are unhitched, so do that before hooking up.
     
  5. C H S

    C H S TS Member

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    Get a whole-house water filter with a replaceable cartridge and attach it between the water supply and your RV. You will not believe what comes out of some water systems. (About $30 at home centers)

    Buy a pigtail adapter that lets you plug a 30 amp RV into a 50 amp service or vice-versa. Some places (like South End in PA) have one outlet box for every 2 camp sites with 1 30A outlet, 1 50A outlet and a 20A household line. If 2 30 amp RVs need power, one has to use the 50A outlet. (About $15 from most RV stores) And always carry an adapter to adapt your RV power line to a regular household plug.

    If you are going to use a pressure regulator, go to a home center like Home Depot and by a Watts residential regulator and the fittings needed to hook to a garden hose. An RV pressure reg feeds through a 1/4" hole and REALLY kills the flow. The Chamberlain comes preset at 50 PSI (just right for RVs) and feeds through a 3/4" opening. (About $40 at home centers)

    If the weather is hot, RV refrigerators are generally more efficient on gas than they are on electric.

    Always use the white RV hose for water. It won't grow critters inside. And sanitize it in the spring when you sanitize the plumbing using the same technique. If you get you water from a well (so it's not chlorinated), empty the water heater, the water tank and the plumbing after each trip.

    Andy
     
  6. ec90t

    ec90t Guest

    An easy way to check the lights for proper operation when by yourself is to turn on the lights and hazards at the same time. Do your walk around and if there is any lights burned out it will be easy to catch.

    ec90t
     
  7. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    Lower the TV antenna.
     
  8. trapshootin hippie

    trapshootin hippie Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and don't forget to roll the awning back in before taking off. Yeah, I saw the movie "RV" too.
     
  9. Jeff P

    Jeff P Well-Known Member

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    You sorta covered it...

    1. Remember your braking distance is HUGE. If you tailgate, it will be self-critiquing before too long.

    2. Remember you're twice as long as you remember being...don't go pulling out in front of folks
     
  10. cableguy

    cableguy TS Member

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    Remember to swing as wide as possible on turns, especially right hand ones. Watch your mirrors. Avoid backing up whenever possible. If you must back up, always back into your parking spot so that you can pull out. Never back out into traffic. Watch your mirrors. Don't be shy about using the pull through parking at a truck stop or a rest area. When leaving a camp ground, verify that all connections are disconnected and stowed. ie. power, water, cable tv,sewer. I watched a really spectacular electrical fire caused by an unverified power cord once. Again, watch your mirrors.

    Have fun
    Shawn
     
  11. quicky

    quicky Member

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    Make sure that you have tongue weight on the hitch; 600 to 900 lbs. is about right. I have seen many trailers whip from side to side because the weight balance shifted from a week in the mtns. and water being held in different places as it becomes waste water. I have also seen some truck/trailer rigs flip from the whipping motion, including one right in front of me on an interstate that had a large generator and a tank of diesel fuel. Everything went end over end and the driver was seriously injured. I think this is the most common of newbies trailering problems. Quicky
     
  12. JRW

    JRW Member

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    When getting ready for a trip, I plug my trailer into 110 in the yard and run fridge. Then when I leave I switch fridge to gas for the drive. Jerry in MI.
     
  13. Pull & Mark

    Pull & Mark Well-Known Member

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    trapshooting Hippie, started off right, just left a few things off the list for pulling a trailer, first spare tire on rim. A jack that will work for your trailer,with plywood for bottom in case you have to change in soft sand. A lug wrench for your tires. The ones for your car/SUV/truck may not work or fit your trailer tires. Make sure you have a grease gun, and a spare set of bearings for your trailer axil as well. Spare set of fuses for your trailer lights in you tow truck.When backing up the trailer I like to hold the bottom of the wheel, that way if you want trailer to move to right you move your hand to the right,just reverse for left. Its easyier than trying to remember to reverse your thinking. Hope this helps.I'm sure I left at least one thing off list. Break-em all. Jeff
     
  14. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    Refrigerators work fine when you go down the road, but when you stop the trailer must be absolutely level or it will not work. It's too bad science hasn't come up with a better method. Once they are going, though they work great.

    HM
     
  15. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    Always chock the wheels before unhitching.

    I use my cordless drill to raise and lower the stabilizer jacks on my trailer. Got a 6 point socket to fit the jack bolts and welded a bolt to the end of the socket so it would fit in the drill chuck.

    Remember your stabilizer jacks are really just to steady the trailer, do the largest part of trailer leveling on uneven ground with boards or blocks under the wheels.
     
  16. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    CHS...those were really great. You should be our ts.com camping guru.

    I also liked the tip on putting the ice chest in the bathtub!

    Keep them coming! All of these posts will really help everyone out.
     
  17. JB Logan Co. Ohio

    JB Logan Co. Ohio TS Member

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    Turn your gas refridgerator off prior to fueling. That way gasoline fumes won't accidently trigger a fire. Close all windows prior to backing up, especially on the corners of the trailer. Always roll your built in jacks up before leaving. Also give the built in jack threads a squirt of lube every now and then so they won't get all gummed up and quit working.

    JB=Jerry Beach 8503917
     
  18. MXSHOOTER

    MXSHOOTER TS Member

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    when winterizing don't forget about your ice maker, also instead of anti freeze use compressed air to blow water out of the system that way you don't have to rinse out anti freeze in the spring, just make sure you get all the water out
     
  19. Gold E

    Gold E TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
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    I pull a lot of trailers so first I’ll relate a scary story and then add a few other tips.


    On the way out of town pulling a 16’ loaded with a tractor and shredder, I stopped at the local Wal-Mart, got out of the truck, stopped to look at the connections (including the pin clip in the receiver drawbar); all was fine. Came out of the store, stashed my purchases (probably shells and Remoil), and once a gain took a quick look at the connections. Something was amiss but I had to stand there looking for a minute until it registered that the pin clip for the drawbar pin was missing. Whether it was done maliciously or kids thinking it would be funny, I’ll never know. Just the thought of what could have happened if the drawbar had come out at 70 on the highway scared me to death. I immediately went back in to Wal-Mart and bought a locking pin and have told this to many of my friends who have in turn installed locking pins.



    1. Install a locking drawbar pin.
    2. Grease the ball with wheel bearing grease.
    3. Check hub temperatures several times a day by feeling them whenever you stop for gas or grub. It is normal for them to run slightly warmer than ambient but not hot. High hub temps indicate bearing failure is just down the road.
    4. Feel the tire sidewall temp as you feel the hub temp. If one (or more) feels significantly hotter than the others have them checked.
    5. Wheel lug torque should be checked every time you head out; no exceptions.
    6. Adopt a sequence of events when you hook up to your trailer and follow the same sequence each time. This will greatly reduce the possibility of forgetting something. Talking to yourself as you verbalize your checklist is considered normal!


    Happy Trailering!
     
  20. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    When backing up, always stop when you hear glass breaking.

    Oh, and always lock the door at night unless you really want some weird type of company.....

    I haven't camped in a number of years, but back when we did, we always took canned bacon. Don't know if you can find it anymore, but it didn't have to be refrigerated. Plus, we always took canned potato's too. Never have to worry about them getting old.

    There are a lot of things that you will learn by being out and among the campers. Have fun, that's what it's all about.

    Hauxfan!
     
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