2014 Parkliner towing issue - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2018, 12:38 PM   #1
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Name: Patti
Trailer: 2014 Parkliner
Virginia
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2014 Parkliner towing issue

Just got our 2014 Parkliner through a second year of inspection (bought it used) and learned some interesting things:

1. The fellows at Blue Ridge Trailers in Ruckersville Va said that the towing bar from the camper was improperly done. They used the one bolt which is in front of the jack to hook up the chains to the towing vehicle which they said would not hold if it broke away and would shear off the jack in the process. It is only held in place by a bolt on the bottom. Scary. They propose to put two bolts (one on each side) of the bar to hold the chains. Design flaw? Unsafe? Comments welcome.

2. Our white ground wire got "fried" and damaged from the hot mess tire blow out we had last year in Wyoming so the brakes did not pass until they repaired that.
BTW, we never used the camper brakes last year as we read somewhere on other forums we could travel just using our Honda Ridgeline truck breaks which seemed to work fine, but I suppose will wear out one's truck breaks faster?
The inspection station said we would be in violation of the Virginia laws if not using the camper breaks. Other inspection station in 2017 did not mention that. Uh oh did not know that one! So now we are hooked up properly.

3. We will buy 2 new tires before heading out West again this year and the debate is weather to get the Maxxis vs the Carlisle brand? Input appreciated.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:54 PM   #2
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Many states require you use the trailer's brakes if it has them. Some go by weight (in NY any trailer over 1000 pounds must have working brakes).

As to tires, I went through two sets of Maxxis tires, getting over 30,000 miles on each set. When I sold the trailer it had a set of Goodyear Endurance tires, which are made in the US & have good recommendations.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:24 PM   #3
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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As to the chains, yes, it is best to have two, bolted to the sides of the A-Frame.
But, the way Parkliner did it (we have a 2016) with one long chain, using the one bolt in front of the jack, seems OK. as long as it's a high strength bolt.
I went out and looked - the bolt holding the chain is a grade 5. the other two are grade 8…as good as it gets. With the chain wrapped around the jack, then down and forward it has more strength than just being anchored to one bolt.
The chain itself is heavier than the one we had on our Scamp. It was longer than needed, so I cut off the excess links.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:28 PM   #4
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Name: JD
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Some states require two chains, crossed under the hitch so that the trailer tongue will not drag the ground.

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Old 07-01-2018, 12:38 PM   #5
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Some states require two chains, crossed under the hitch so that the trailer tongue will not drag the ground.

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You cross the chains to allow for turning. They should not be too long as to drag on the ground. Nor too short to get tight in a turn.
When they're the right length they will catch to hitch before it drags on the ground.
BUT, your best insurance is to be sure the ball and socket are properly connected and locked. The chains will just be along for the ride.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ47 View Post
Just got our 2014 Parkliner through a second year of inspection (bought it used) and learned some interesting things:

1. The fellows at Blue Ridge Trailers in Ruckersville Va said that the towing bar from the camper was improperly done. They used the one bolt which is in front of the jack to hook up the chains to the towing vehicle which they said would not hold if it broke away and would shear off the jack in the process. It is only held in place by a bolt on the bottom. Scary. They propose to put two bolts (one on each side) of the bar to hold the chains. Design flaw? Unsafe? Comments welcome.
Well that wouldn't be legal in Washington State for sure....

WAC 204-70-070
Safety chains and attaching means required.
(1) Every towed vehicle must be coupled to the towing vehicle by means of two safety chains, cables, or wire ropes in addition to the regular drawbar, tongue, or other connection which is certified by its manufacturer as complying with SAE J684 revised July 2005.
(2) The means of attachment of safety chains must:
(a) Be located equally distant from and on opposite sides of the longitudinal centerline of the towing vehicle and of the trailer.
--<snip>--
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Old 07-01-2018, 03:29 PM   #7
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2000 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe...Tow vehicle 2015 Toyota Tacoma Dble Cab V6 Prerunner
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I was always told that you cross the chains so that if it became unhooked from tow vehicle the crossed chains would prevent the hitch from dropping to the pavement
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:12 PM   #8
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Name: bill
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I got close to 40K miles on the original stock Carlisles so I am putting another set on my trailer. They still have life left, but we have a long trip planned, so I would rather do it now.
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:22 PM   #9
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Name: Patti
Trailer: 2014 Parkliner
Virginia
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Thank you for all of the great responses

Sounds like both brands of tires are good.
We will check the grade of the bolt but will most likely have them bolted on the sides.
We do crisscross our chains.
So much to learn...
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:35 PM   #10
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Name: Harry
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Virginia
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Thanks to your posting, I learned that I needed a VA state inspection on my 2013 Parkliner. As there was no expired inspection sticker anywhere on the trailer, obviously the first owner had never gotten an inspection. Like you, I went to Blue Ridge Trailers for the inspection.
The trailer passed with no problem. The only item even mentioned by the inspector was that the tires were original to the Parkliner (mfd Dec 2013), but still serviceable and obviously kept covered. Not a word about the safety chains which are installed like yours to the front bolt of the tongue jack assembly. All three bolts are grade 8. I’m leaving my chains the way the factory in NC installed them.
I discussed trailer sway, load equalizing hitch and anti-sway bars. The technician said that it would be difficult to attach a load equalizing hitch due to equipment already installed on the tongue. He could install a light-duty anti-sway bar, but felt I would be better off just to watch weight distribution and balance. If sway did occur to use only the trailer brakes to stop the sway.
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:39 PM   #11
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Name: Huck
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Virginia
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I checked Virginia DMV site and it took a while, but I finally found this:

Trailers with separate braking systems must also be inspected
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:43 PM   #12
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Name: Patti
Trailer: 2014 Parkliner
Virginia
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Parkliner

HP in Va

Glad you got it inspected. Maybe you had a different fellow there inspect yours? Going out to check the bolts now, if they look good will not change it.
I am buying 2 new tires before we leave due to the age of the ones on our Parkliner (also 2013) and the fact we will be going across country. Having a blow out is no fun. We learned to keep the pressure at PSI 50 (cold filled). which counter intuitive to use when we were driving in 100 degree weather (thought we should leave a few lbs out). We also learned to drive at 65 instead of the higher MPH on Western highways as the revolutions on the small camper tires are going around twice as fast so lots of friction.

Did they jack your Parkliner up from the back as the manufacturer recommends?
Or from the axel? They almost did mine incorrectly as it is counterintuitive to do it from the back, but after they looked underneath they understood why it is to be done this way.
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Old 08-22-2018, 06:42 AM   #13
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Trailer: 2012 ParkLiner #006
New York
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Chains

I have my chains attached to the rear bolts that hold my power tongue jack, same bolt holes as any manual jack would have. I'm not home, so forget whether I have grade 5 or 8 bolts, but they're HD ones. I cross the chains.

I've had a lot of trailers, boat, utility and RV's, and always make sure the chains are effective. Then again, I am overly compulsive about safety.

Frank
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:22 PM   #14
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
I have my chains attached to the rear bolts that hold my power tongue jack, same bolt holes as any manual jack would have. I'm not home, so forget whether I have grade 5 or 8 bolts, but they're HD ones. I cross the chains.

Frank
Grade 5 bolts have 3 radial lines on the head. Grade 8 bolts have 6 radial lines.
Plain heads are mild steel - don't use them.
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