Is it safe to tow? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-24-2016, 07:15 PM   #1
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Is it safe to tow?

I am going to look at a circa 2000 21' big foot trailer that has been parked, and not moved, in a heated garage since 2008.

Original tires (apparently hold air), have maybe 4K miles on them, bearings last packed in 2007. Previous owner only took it out 3 times, current owner took it out once.

Trailer is about 400 miles from me so I'm arriving in late afternoon to have a look and if it all checks out, complete the sale. Pictures show an immaculate trailer. I'm considering having a mobile RV service person meet me there to assess the Trailer but we have spoken and he does not do bearing on the side of the road and want it in his shop.

Location is on a secondary road about 35 miles from any Service center. I know I need new tires, new or repacked bearings, brake and propane inspection etc.

Question is if I can carefully pull it to the service center behind my truck or if I should call a flat deck and get it towed. Mobile service guy does have the ability to tow.

I'm thinking tow and my wife thinks i'm nuts.

I know we can assess things at the scene but I'm a bit OCD and like to have a plan
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:27 PM   #2
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I would tow at a reduced speed (not 70 mph) with hazard flashers on. Fill the tires and make sure you can call the mobile guy in for a tow should it be needed before you get there.
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:05 PM   #3
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Trust your own judgement but,
I took this home (600 miles)...
[ notice the green valve cap!]
Attached Thumbnails
Shelly#8 001.jpg   Shelly#8 004.jpg  

Shelly#8 002.jpg   Shelly#8 005.jpg  

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Old 10-24-2016, 09:12 PM   #4
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You can pop off the dust caps and get an idea if the grease is still useable. If you want specific tires buy them before hand or contact a shop near the trailer and ensure they have what you want on hand. Buy a good RV road service policy before hand (Good Sams or AAA RV policy). If you get on the road and decide you need to tow it just call for a tow on your policy. You need to be on the road I don't think they tow from a homeowners yard. Take a portable compressor jack and 4 way lug wrench and like Charlie said take it slow.
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:33 PM   #5
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The only possible problem I see is tires. They will have flat spots and may not survive the trip, but I'm betting they will. Just air them up and travel at a reasonable speed. Make sure you have a spare too.

There is no reason for the bearings to have a problem. Sitting in a dry and heated garage does not ruin bearings.

Good luck! You should be fine.
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:58 PM   #6
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Name: Bill & Pam
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 17.5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Trust your own judgement but,
I took this home (600 miles)...
[ notice the green valve cap!]
The green valve cap normally means that the tires have been filled with nitrogen, which is good. With nitrogen in the tires, they won't be sensitive to temperature changes like normal air is.

But... maybe the previous owner just put on a green cap because that was what he had on hand.
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:03 PM   #7
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The green valve cap normally means that the tires have been filled with nitrogen, which is good. With nitrogen in the tires, they won't be sensitive to temperature changes like normal air is.

But... maybe the previous owner just put on a green cap because that was what he had on hand.
Nitrogen is 78% of the atmospheric gas. All tires filled with normal "air" are 78% nitrogen filled. What do you mean they won't be "sensitive to temperature changes"? All gasses expand with temperature increase.
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:08 PM   #8
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Nitrogen is 78% of the atmospheric gas. All tires filled with normal "air" are 78% nitrogen filled. What do you mean they won't be "sensitive to temperature changes"? All gasses expand with temperature increase.
In a previous lifetime, I was a pilot for Boeing, and the tires on the airplanes were subject to extreme temperature changes - it's cold at 43,000 feet, and it's hot in desert areas. Our tires were always filled with nitrogen.
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:32 PM   #9
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Here's a pretty good article on the subject from Tirerack. I don't see the benefit of filling severely outdated tires with nitrogen just to get home.

Tire Tech Information - Clearing the Air About Nitrogen Tire Inflation
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:45 PM   #10
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Name: Bill & Pam
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Here's a pretty good article on the subject from Tirerack. I don't see the benefit of filling severely outdated tires with nitrogen just to get home.

Tire Tech Information - Clearing the Air About Nitrogen Tire Inflation
Agreed. Perhaps those were just green caps, without nitrogen in the tires. Or not.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:17 AM   #11
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Maybe, you could borrow a set of tires and wheels from someone locally, just in case you needed them.


If you are really worried, you could buy new tiers and wheels and take them with you. It's likely you'll be buying new tires and wheels soon anyway. The price of a professional tow is probably more than the cost of new wheels and tires. Check out recstuff.com.


I personally would be inclined to just go with what is there now, avoid excessive speed, check pressure and temperature frequently.
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Old 10-25-2016, 01:54 AM   #12
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Some additional thoughts here.
A very few 2000 bigfoots were the millennium edition. They are not two piece molded construction they are constructed from panels on a frame. They are worth much less than the molded ones. The only millennium units I'm aware of were 20 foot units, so 21 is probably a molded unit.


You'll need a brake controller if you don't have one. According to the trailer weights in the real world thread, the 21 Bigfoot that is listed weighs 6360 pounds and 1160 of that is on the tongue .
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:45 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the great comments, wife is a lot less dubious about my plan to pull it, and I was actually more worried about the bearings than the rubber.

gotta love this forum
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:32 AM   #14
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given the low mileage and parked inside, I think the tires and bearings are good to go. Just check and adjust pressures.
Hit the road, and stop to check hub temps after 50 miles or so.
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