A newbie's lists! For camping and for troubleshooting. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-08-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
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Name: Mary
Trailer: 1985 Burro 13'
Oregon
Posts: 46
A newbie's lists! For camping and for troubleshooting.

We are going to look at a Burro tomorrow - woohoo! It's several hours away, though, and since I am the queen of "what if," I think, "What if (fill in the blank) happens between where it is at and home." Is there a list of things we should bring with us for on the fly repairs? I'm assuming you probably carry a small tool kit when you have the trailer - anything important that, as newbies, we might overlook?

I'm also curious what all you keep in your trailer on a fairly permanent basis and what you pack each time, or things that you've thought are handy to bring that I probably wouldn't think of bringing when you go camping.

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #2
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I'd take a portable air compressor and a set of towing lights. There is a good chance the lights won't work properly. Also the tires may be old and rotten. You should also check the wheel hub temperature with your hand every 25 miles or so. It should be the same on both sides and not burn you. Also bring a jack and a lug wrench.

12 Volt, 100 PSI High Volume Air Compressor

Tow Lights - Save on this 12V Magnetic Towing Light Kit
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:27 PM   #3
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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If I were taking a several hour trip that may result in towing home a trailer, I would be sure I had the correct size hitch ball to start out with, or I could take a couple with me as I have several. Next concern would be do the lights work, so I would take everything imaginable to check and repair if necessary, test light, wire, wire connectors, wire ties, bulbs, spare plug that matches what is on my tow vehicle, spare fuses that fit the tow vehicle, and some tail lights that I could clamp on if necessary. Problem here may be availability of these items, I have them all but most people probably do not. Tires could be a concern, so I would take a jack and tools to change a tire, couple blocks of wood, 2 X 6 & 4 X 4,. A 12 volt air compressor could come in handy. How about a license plate to put on it, hope this doesn't start a big controversy, but are you better off to tow it with no plate, or one from another trailer. I refuse to say what I would do. And in a worse case option, do you have a big enough tow vehicle to tow a rental car hauler trailer [Uhaul] with the Burro on it. When we bought our vintage teardrop 5 years ago it didn't look roadworthy so I brought it home in a Ryder truck, but I worked for Ryder so getting a truck and ramps was no problem. Our Uhaul was bought 20 miles from home so I had no concerns moving it that far. If you have AAA, they have a RV option that is around $20 extra on your policy, at least that is what I paid. Good luck, hope it's a good trailer and worth the trip, be sure to let us all know how you make out. Oh, bungees may come in handy too. Hopefully you won't need any of this stuff. edit, Tom replied while I was typing, I'm real slow at that! Edit again, Mary says take money, cash works good in negotiations!
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:41 PM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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A new to you trailer wont have a spare tire jack or lug wrench. For your first tow remove the trailer hub caps and drive for 20 minutes. Then stop and grab the trailers axle hub to see how warm it is. If you cant comfortably keep yor hand wrapped around the hub because its too hot you need to stop and repack the wheel bearings. To do otherwise is to risk wheel failure on the road. These trailers sit a long time and maintanance is usually neglected. I believe in bringing some form of compressed air and a tire guage with you. It seems like the tires are always low or flat when you go to look at a trailer. A Bicycle pump is better than nothing and can get you to a place for more air. Check your spare before you hit the road. If you have Auto Club towing service call them now to add RV coverage so your covered if there is a miss hap. Call the seller and find out what size trailer ball you need and what is the hitch heigth. You cant tow it if your hitch doesn't match up. You might have to adjust your equipment once you decide that you want the trailer. The only real other issue is can you hook up the lights and make them work. Every used trailer I have ever bought had trailer light issues. everything from a different plug, to too short a plug pigtail, to just a bad bulb. I carry my own wire set just in case with 2 lights that I can C-clamp to the bumper just in case I cant get the lights to work. The older and cheaper the trailer the more these issues can creep up. See the trailer early, it easier to fix things in the morning than at 6:00 pm on a sunday night on the way home. Check the web before you go and see if there are any trailer supplies outlets in route just in case of trouble its nice to know where to go if you get stuck along the way.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just mary View Post
I'm also curious what all you keep in your trailer on a fairly permanent basis and what you pack each time, or things that you've thought are handy to bring that I probably wouldn't think of bringing when you go camping.

Thanks!
Welcome to the forum! You will find below links to a number of old threads on the topic of what people pack in their trailers and what stays in it all the time. I keep everything but my clothing and perishable foods in the trailer all the time. So all I need to do is throw some clothing in it and I am good to go once I stop at the grocery store on my way out of town.


What do you always keep in Your Egg?

Stocking Your First Trailer

Pack Mule

Putting together A Tool Kit
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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A wheel bearing failure can cause a fried axle. Fifty cents worth of grease and 20-30 minutes of your time can save you hundreds of dollars.

Be safe. Best of luck!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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Trailer: U-Haul 1985
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I'm glad that my UHaul has sealed hubs! I have my tire place check them periodically and so far so good. Welcome to the group, and please post photos of the Burro if you get it!
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:43 PM   #8
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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The failures that have cost me the most money are "sealed and life-time lubricated".
Who's lifetime?
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:35 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
Kansas
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
A wheel bearing failure can cause a fried axle. Fifty cents worth of grease and 20-30 minutes of your time can save you hundreds of dollars.

Be safe. Best of luck!!
What she said. A jack, a big pair of channel locks (normally I would shudder at this mention, but it's the best for this type of impromptu service, a couple cans of brake clean, two cotter pins, a roll of shop towels, and some grease (normally I would say dust seals, but if you're careful, you can make the old ones last to get you home).

I don't take the tire off the drum to service the bearings, just takes extra time. Just jack it up, pull the dust cap, pull the cotter pin, pull the axle nut, and slide the whole thing off as an assembly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
The failures that have cost me the most money are "sealed and life-time lubricated".
Who's lifetime?
x2, there is no such thing. Give me a grease zerk, etc., any day.

Odds are, you wouldn't have trouble without doing it, but consider the other option. If you weld a bearing to a spindle, now you're sitting alongside the highway, needing a new non-standard axle to put under your camper, which is probably welded in. It's that or a long-distance flatbed tow.

At the very least, I would pull the dust caps and check. If it was suspicious, I would be greasing them. Even if you had to putter to an auto shop and pay them to do it, it would still be cheaper than the possible failure, IMHO.

Greased bearings and a set of emergency lights as mentioned above will take care of 99% of the problems you will have.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:56 PM   #10
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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Bungee cords of different sizes - they come in handy to secure all sorts of things - even keeping doors that will not stay shut closed - dont laugh that has happen to a lot of folks picking up trailers for the first time.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:09 PM   #11
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Name: Mary
Trailer: 1985 Burro 13'
Oregon
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You guys are great, thank you! We know the bearings need greased, so if we get the trailer, we will do that before we leave the area. I will keep you posted!
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:14 AM   #12
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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You guys are great, thank you! We know the bearings need greased, so if we get the trailer, we will do that before we leave the area. I will keep you posted!
WHEW. Good to hear and very smart IMHO

BEST of luck and safe travels.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:19 AM   #13
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Name: Kinga DeRode
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
The failures that have cost me the most money are "sealed and life-time lubricated".
Who's lifetime?
I agree with this sentiment in general, but the UHaul sealed units are really bullet proof. They are automotive grade, same as 2000's Camaro / Firebird front wheel bearings. They are also used on rental car-dolly wheels.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #14
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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I agree with this sentiment in general, but the UHaul sealed units are really bullet proof. They are automotive grade, same as 2000's Camaro / Firebird front wheel bearings. They are also used on rental car dolly wheels.
I'll agree and disagree both. I believe someone here had a Uhaul bearing fail, was it Cindy & Kevin maybe. Some heavy duty trucks, Freightliner for one, have used sealed bearings on the front axle [steer axle]. I have only seen one go bad, and it was hard to detect when it started to fail. The driver felt it when turning. When I jacked up the wheel and spun it I could barely detect a problem. We ended up with an elaborate device to check those bearings that involved attaching a magnetic strip to the wheel, a device to read it, and a crank handle that went on a lug bolt to spin the wheel. Never found another bad bearing. I carry a spare hub assembly when traveling, bolted into my spare tire.
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