Hello, New to FGRV & Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-22-2015, 10:39 AM   #1
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Name: Lois
Trailer: Casita
Nebraska
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Hello, New to FGRV & Casita

Hope I'm doing this correctly. Seeing a lot of info on various vehicles, but nothing about a Lincoln MKX. It's an AWD 2011 with the factory tow package. Picking up my new (gently used) 2001 13 ft Casita this weekend. It is pretty much a bare bones model, with no AC, Bathroom, etc. Just a cook top, ice box and one propane tank. I don't have trailer brakes and can find nothing about a transmission cooler on the tow package info. Will the 60+ mile trip home be okay, since it's pretty hilly? Book states a 3500 towing capacity and GVW on the trailer states 2450. Thanks for any input.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:10 AM   #2
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Your MKX should be fine to tow the Casita. It probably weighs under 1500 pounds empty. Be aware of increased stopping distances without trailer brakes. Keep your speed down around 50mph or less for the maiden voyage.

The biggest concerns are tires and bearings on the trailer. Treadwear is NOT a good indicator of the condition of trailer tires, age is. Check the date stamp in the sidewall, and if they are more than about 6 years old, consider them trash. If necessary you could buy new tires and bring them with you to be installed near the point of sale. Check to make sure lug nuts are tight, too.

Regarding bearings, try to ascertain from the seller whether they have been serviced within the last year or so. If not or without documentation, and you want to be safe, you can look for a nearby service center (any automotive garage can do it). Worst case, since it's only 60 miles, you could attempt the drive, stopping every few miles to see if they are getting hot. I'd stop at 1 mile, 3 miles, 5 miles, and every 5 miles after that. Bring the back of your hand cautiously near the hub to check. If they're getting hot, you'll know it! Unfortunately, then you'll need a tow.

One more thing… you'll want a drawbar with the correct drop to get a more-or-less level tow. Ask the seller to measure the height of the coupler on the trailer on level ground. Measure the height of your receiver, and the difference is the amount of rise/drop you need in the drawbar, allowing for a bit of settling in the rear suspension. If in doubt, having the trailer slightly tongue-down is better that tongue-up.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:44 AM   #3
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Name: Lois
Trailer: Casita
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New tires are being installed since I pointed out the date on the current ones read 08.(perks of buying from a dealer) They will also be packing the bearings. Thank you so much for the info. Will also be installing the proper drop when I get there. My car has 20" rims -- big drop! Plan on towing from NE to WA in a couple of months, so trying to make sure all bases are covered. Hopefully you can teach an old dog new tricks, since I'll soon be 63! *gulp!*
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:49 PM   #4
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My mother is 89 and recently drove her new Roadtrek RV from MD to AZ via FL and TX and back. Alone. She has slowed down a lot since her "younger" days... She now only drives every other day and limits herself to about 250 miles at a whack.

You're young! Have fun!

One more thing (again)… Take time to read everything your owner's manual says about towing. Pay attention to what it says about using the transmission when towing, especially regarding overdrive.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:45 PM   #5
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You go Jon's Mom! Had a class B before this trailer, so it's an experience. It's home now and did great in the ferocious NE wind. The MKX did well also, but the mileage dropped to 15 mpg. Normal? Hoping it was the wind. �� Using the manual shift will take some getting used to, but noticed it made the mileage drop even more. Since the trailer has brakes, will have them put in the car. Transmission cooler recommended? GVW on trailer is 2450. Car is rated 3500.
The tires look new, no weather checks and still showing nipples, so they left them on. They are from 08, so this concerns me.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lois L View Post
The tires look new, no weather checks and still showing nipples, so they left them on. They are from 08, so this concerns me.
It should, from what I've read here. The problem, as I understand it, is that the rubber breaks down from the inside until boom… blowout… possible fiberglass damage… You might go online to the tire manufacturer and see if they say anything about it. If so, it might give you some leverage with the dealer. Maybe you could offer to go half on the cost?

And yes, wind is a pain. We often encounter stiff headwinds climbing the mountains into Southern California. Mileage can drop into single digits towing the trailer for those stretches. Gear down and take it slow. Side winds can induce sway, a dangerous condition in which the trailer starts to wag from side to side. Reduce speed at the first sign of that kind of instability. Working trailer brakes are the best way to stop it, so you'll want to get them set up before your long trip.

We typically average 17-19 mpg on a round trip towing our Scamp (equipped very similarly to your Casita) with a 2011 Honda Pilot.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:11 PM   #7
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Time for Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lois L View Post
You go Jon's Mom! Had a class B before this trailer, so it's an experience. It's home now and did great in the ferocious NE wind. The MKX did well also, but the mileage dropped to 15 mpg. Normal? Hoping it was the wind. �� Using the manual shift will take some getting used to, but noticed it made the mileage drop even more. Since the trailer has brakes, will have them put in the car. Transmission cooler recommended? GVW on trailer is 2450. Car is rated 3500.
The tires look new, no weather checks and still showing nipples, so they left them on. They are from 08, so this concerns me.
Sorry Lois, tires deteriorate from the inside as well, it's time to replace those 7 y.o. tires before you have a tire failure... The dealer knows that!

A tire failure on the road is like landing a plane with the wheels up, it will ruin an otherwise perfectly good day!

BTW: What's with "Manual Shifting". Usually about all the manual will say is to (maybe) lock out overdrive when towing and, sometimes, locking into
a lower gear on hills.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:27 PM   #8
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Name: Lois
Trailer: Casita
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Thank you so much for the great advice. I love this site. 😊 I'm a freak about tires, so I'm just going to have new ones installed, as well as the transmission cooler. This is like getting a new pet. Shots, neutering etc.. always added costs up front including licensing, lol! Can hardly wait to enjoy it!
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:37 PM   #9
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Sorry, forgot to a knowledge the manual shifting on the MKX. It has P N R D and M. You have to shift to M, then, with your thumb, push + or -. A little hard to figure out, since the gauge on the dash, changes to a number 1 - 6. I can only assume 5 is drive, since the owners manual tells me nothing. I wound up in 4 a few times, hearing the engine really reving. How this happened, I have no clue. Was VERY careful, making sure to only depress once. Hopefully, will have everything figured out before heading west.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:49 PM   #10
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Have you read the owner's manual?

My Pilot has a 5-speed auto, and the top two gears are both overdrives. Mine doesn't have a manual mode (wish it did, actually), but there is an overdrive lockout button on the side of the shift lever, and engaging it drops the transmission into 3rd. My manual says it's okay to tow in overdrive on flats, but to lock it out on grades (I treat a stiff headwind as a grade, hill or no).

Yours is set up differently, and your owner's manual will unlock its secrets.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:03 PM   #11
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I think that you will find that the + & - only works in the M (for manual) mode. Try just sticking it in D and use M only if you need to lock it in a lower gear for hills. Again, look in the owners manual under "Towing" and see what it sez.


If it doesn't drive normally in D you might need to see a dealer or a transmission shop.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:21 PM   #12
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If it doesn't drive normally in D you might need to see a dealer or a transmission shop.
I'm hearing her say that in manual mode, it sometimes drops several gears when she believes she only pressed the downshift button once. It sounds like operator error to me, but perhaps a drive with a Lincoln service rep might be in order? A 2011 is likely still under the factory powertrain warranty.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:31 PM   #13
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Name: Lois
Trailer: Casita
Nebraska
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Read through the owners manual quite a few times, it just says put gear shift lever in the "M" position, then use + or - to shift up or down. No great detail at all. Yes, it did go into 4 by itself, my sisters witnessed it, so I plan on taking it in. Bought the extended warranty, so why not use it, right? Older cars were so much simpler... *sigh* Thank you all.
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Old 05-23-2015, 06:28 AM   #14
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Why do you think you need to shift manually in ordinary conditions. My truck has that feature and the only time I use it is if I want to limit which gears are being used. Just put it in D and go. Since your transmission is a 6 speed, 5th and 6th are most likely two different overdrives. Same with my truck.
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