As I noted in another thread I just bought a 1997 Casita
Patriot 13' trailer. It's been stored indoors since the previous owner bought it used in 2002. It's history prior to 2002 is unknown.
The trailer looks to be in good shape. I plan to work my way through each of its systems, learning as I go and trying to avoid expensive missteps.
The first three items on my 'to do' list are to wash it, put new tires
on it and replace the battery
. I took the spare tire off and took a close look at it. It looks beautiful. I don't think it's ever been on the road. It just rode around on the back of the trailer holding up the tire cover. Despite its appearance I don't trust it any farther than I can throw it. As far as I can tell it's date code is "326" (yes, 3-digits, see attached picture), which suggests it was made in 1996, since tires
manufactured after 2000 should have a 4-digit date code. I wonder if they are the original tires
on the trailer? Could they be 19 years old? If so, I don't think I even want to tow it to the tire shop, I should probably dismount the wheels and take them in without the trailer. Of course, it's possible the spare is OEM and the tires on the pavement are newer. Time will tell.
My local tire shop has a set of Goodyear Marathon ST175/80R13 tires waiting for me, which brings me to a question. Should I put on new 13" tires? Or should I buy new wheels and put on 14" or 15" tires (assuming they would fit)? This is not a "cost is no object" project, but I can afford new wheels if that is the wise choice. I did a quick search on the forum but haven't yet taken the time to find where the question may have been answered previously. I need to do more searching/reading.
Another question is whether it would be practical to replace the factory tounge jack with a one that attaches to the side of the hitch and pivots out of the way. That would give me some clearance to open the swinging tailgate on my Jeep Wrangler while it's hitched to the trailer. I need to look at the dimensions and how everything lines up. It may be doable, but impractical. I might gain clearance from the jack only to have the gate hit the propane
Enough for now. The trailer has a new home and I've got time to ponder questions and answers as I prepare it to once again be a traveling trailer.