Brakes are they worth the effort? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-29-2010, 12:47 PM   #15
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I used the trailer brake panic button once to stop the CAR from hydroplaning. That millisecond was worth all the effort to have the brakes on the trailer operational.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:42 PM   #16
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
Minnesota
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Hi Roy,

Since you tow a 16' Scamp with a Ranger would you have any towing/driving advice for me? I have a 4x4 Ranger with a frame hitch (5,000 lb. rating), 2" ball (5,000 lb. rating) and transmission cooler. Owner's manual states the max I can tow is 3,600 lbs./350 tongue weight. I flipped my ball mount so the ball is at about 21 inches from the ground. My 16' Scamp is pretty basic -- no A/C, toilet or shower. Have 2 propane tanks and a 3-way frig, so I'm guessing the loaded weight will come in at something over 2,000 lbs. Lots of margin weight-wise, but the 16-footer has a lot more wind resistance than anything I've owned before. Ranger is an automatic and I will tow in Drive not Overdrive. I'm adding a brake controller.

Thanks!
Darnelle
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:37 PM   #17
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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Hi Darnelle,

I don't tow a 16' Scamp. My only experience so far is with my 13' boler American. My 94 Ranger 4.0 V6 4x4 specs are somewhere around the same. Wind resistance is noticable, I would think with the 16' being a little taller the wind resistance would be a bit more. What year is your Ranger and what does your manual say about total frontage area.

Advice? I'm not sure what you want to hear. In the city and on hills, I keep it out of overdrive. On relatively flat highway (grades equivalent to train tracks) I keep it in Overdrive. If it starts hunting for gears, I'll drop her out of overdrive. IMO the tranny is weak on these. Mine likes to shift up and down in the 50-55 MPH range in OD.

Though I've got a tonneau, I've always wondered if a full cap or some canoes / kayaks over the bed might help with the wind resistance. Being a 4x4, I did notice less resitance when I raised my trailer a few inches when I replaced the axle. Some have suggested you get an air dam under the truck when it hits the lower trailer. I do know of members here that tow Scamp 5th wheels with Rangers.

My opinions may change once I get my 16' Uhaul VT. Till then, I'm a little nervous if the tranny will hold up to it.

Roy
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:05 PM   #18
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
Minnesota
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Thank you Roy.

Yeah, I'm wondering mostly about the transmission. I'm getting conflicting info here in town so would like to hear from Ranger drivers. Mine is a '93 V6 4.0 with a fiberglass topper. Boiled the transmission fluid on my maiden tow with the 16' Scamp, but I had left the truck in overdrive. I'm pretty in-tune with the sounds and feel of my truck, plus keep an eye on the guages, and I didn't notice anything working too hard, in fact I was thrilled at how it towed! But it was late and I was tired -- I'd better watch the rpms since the sound and feel was good. I'm getting a flush and fill with a filter change. Can't get a different vehicle right now and don't want to fry my tranny! We bought the 16-footer believing the Ranger would handle it just fine. Can the transmission cooler get plugged and then not provide any help? Would a flush and fill help the cooler as well? I have the appointment with a transmisison shop tomorrow. I'll ask them questiions, but it seems most mechanics just want to bill me for repairs rather than give me advice on maintenance and how not to need repairs.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:31 PM   #19
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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Darnelle,
I've been told by a few tranny people not to power flush and fill the A4LD tranny.

They say, drain it, drop the pan and inspect for warning signs, change the filter, top up with new fluid then repeat after a few thousand klicks. My cooler has rubber hoses so it would be easy to flush alone but there is not that much fluid in it. OTOH the torque converter holds a lot more fluid.

If your tranny needs work they usually offer a rebuild and a remanufacture. I always get the two mixed up but one replaces all the parts (preferred) and the other only replaces what they think is gone.

I'm no expert on this, but suggest you check out the tech library and forums at:
http://therangerstation.com/

I've been expecting mine to die for a few years now. When it starts slipping it is usually low a touch.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:10 AM   #20
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Name: Darnelle
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Oh my gosh, thank you! I'll be leaving for the trans shop in an hour!! I will go to your link and print out the advice so I can point that out to the trans guy.

So far there is nothing wrong with my transmisison -- no slippage, noise, leaks, etc. I wonder if the cooler is plugged (if that's even possible) and I did boil the fluid so best get that changed (perhaps not via a flush though!). I'll have the trans people do an inspection.

Also checked again (and again and again!) via specs and owner's manual regarding tow capabilities. I should have plenty of margins on vehicle weight, camper weight and total weight. Trailer front exposure can be up to 50 sq. ft and I am just under that. If towing in Drive only doesn't do the trick I will bring all to a scale.

THANK YOU so much Roy! You are a sweetie!

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Old 04-30-2010, 07:20 AM   #21
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Though I've got a tonneau, I've always wondered if a full cap or some canoes / kayaks over the bed might help with the wind resistance.

Roy

Effects of wind...Now this could start a whole new thread.
I often carry one or two canoes when camping and had a soft tonneau on the back of the pick-up. My first tonneau was one of those innexpensive vynl types that attached with velcro around the edge. The wind travelling under the canoes actually caused enough UPDRAFT to lift the tonneau off the truck and set it flapping in the wind. Although not a complete driving risk, it still meant that you had to find a place to pull over and reattach the cover. Normally to remove the tonneau I had to start at one corner. To open it from any other point was very difficult. SoIi would immagine that there was a considerable upforce caused by the wind. Later I used another soft tonnear only it was a three fold model with a full metal frame that clamped securely to the truck bed. Even then you could see it trying to raise when at highway speeds. When carrying a kaak, whether upright or inverted, unless I had a cockpit cover on it the wind would suck any unnatched article, like seats or flotation bags, out and would be missing on arrival at your destination.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:41 AM   #22
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Darnelle,

Do a search here for "transmission" posts by Pete Dumbleton. He had a lot of good advice including transmissions.

James,

Maybe this could be a different thread, but do you notice a difference in wind resistance while towing with the canoes/kayaks or without?

Roy
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:53 AM   #23
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Kinda drifting away from brakes to wind resistance, aren't we?
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:58 PM   #24
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
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Roy is THE MAN!

Long story short: transmission flushing is a scam. Nothing wrong with my transmisison or how I have been taking care of my vehicles all these years!

THANK YOU ROY!

Sorry, it seems I've highjacked -- back to topic:
IMO, yes, brakes are VERY worth the effort. Where I live hills are not an issue -- other drivers are!
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