Tow Vehicle Maintenance - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-26-2015, 10:43 PM   #1
sxj
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Name: Bert
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Tow Vehicle Maintenance

Some of you members have very high mileage on your tow vehicles. Are there any "special" maintenance requirements or driving techniques that promote tow vehicle longevity?
Thanks
Bert
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:25 AM   #2
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Our '04 Toyota Sienna just rolled over 280,000 KLMs
Towd our boler to Ca. where we are now.
We retired our 1990 Toyota pickup after the last trip south with 375,000 on it, was running great just wanted more interior room.
No, nothing special. #1 Fluids #2 rubber - belts, hoses etc, #3 bearings and #4 brakes is what I focus on.
Driving habits! I put a marshmallow between my foot and the accelerator!
I have nothing to prove, as an example on real steep grades I'll slow to 50 and drop into 3rd gear, allows the engine to free up some horsepower to ascend the incline easlily.

Fred
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:39 AM   #3
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Our 4 cylinder 2004 Honda CRV had 250,000 miles (400,000 km) on it when we traded it in after 10 years. We towed a 2600 lb, Scamp 16 about 8 months a year all over NA averaging 21 mpg towing. We traded it in this year for a 2014 Honda Odyssey.

Our primary service consisted of oil changes at fast change locations, plugs at 150,000 miles, a couple of fan belts, numerous sets of brake pads (rotors never turned), a couple of cv boots, a thermostat and a fan motor.

The car was about as reliable as it can get. We would have bought another if we could have gotten one with a manual transmission.

Like Fred we're not hard accelerators. We drive between 55 and 62 depending on the road. I seek good mpgs and drive accordingly, including downhill free wheeling when possible. We rarely drive Interstates and are very often alone on the roads we drive. We tend towards the rural and out of the way.

When crossing severe western slopes we're typically in third (generally alone on roads), spin a few rpms, and take a little longer than some to reach the peak.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxj View Post
Some of you members have very high mileage on your tow vehicles. Are there any "special" maintenance requirements or driving techniques that promote tow vehicle longevity?
Thanks
Bert
A good post worth talking about Bert.

Our first TV a 93 Nissan Van was still working great with 465,000klm's on it.

Our current TV an 03 G35 sedan has 250klm's on it and it also runs like a new vehicle.

Regular maintenance it the key plus being aware of any potential problems. Being pro active by replacing items like water pumps, rad hoses, etc before end of life is also recommended and has worked for me.

I also buy vehicles that have a good reliability rating (consumers report).
Also Fred's practice of using the transmission gears really takes stress off the drive train which I understand and use on steeper grades.

I also use synthetic engine oil (Mobile 1). I also use synthetic fluid in the tranny and differential.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:47 AM   #5
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Well my Colorado just went out of warranty this past December with the three years but still only has 34,000 miles on it. And of course in January the rack and pinion steering started leaking. Wouldn't you figure. Dealership wanted $600.00 just to replace and then I would still have to have it realigned. Luckily I have a really good mechanic that lives 10 miles from me. He replaced the part for $340.00 and then it cost $60.00 to have realigned. So, $400.00.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:49 AM   #6
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That is all good news, B/C my 2012 rav4 lease is up in July, it has 31000 miles on it and I am pleased with it. So i am going to buy it out.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:10 AM   #7
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Don't forget timing belts in those vehicles so equipped. Generally replaced every 60,000 miles.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:13 AM   #8
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I always have mine serviced every 3000 miles. FYI
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:07 AM   #9
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A letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by papa-t View Post
Well my Colorado just went out of warranty this past December with the three years but still only has 34,000 miles on it. And of course in January the rack and pinion steering started leaking. Wouldn't you figure. Dealership wanted $600.00 just to replace and then I would still have to have it realigned. Luckily I have a really good mechanic that lives 10 miles from me. He replaced the part for $340.00 and then it cost $60.00 to have realigned. So, $400.00.

We had our Honda CRV's air conditioner fail after 60,000 miles. I thought this was ridiculous. I went on line and found a number of people had the same failure. I wrote a letter to Honda America and they replaced it for free ($1000) without an argument. I said thank you.

A steering failure at 34,000 miles is a reason to 'request a free repair'. I'll bet you're not alone.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:30 AM   #10
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I think the key with ANY high mileage vehicle is proper preventative/scheduled maintenance - that does a lot to avoid major problems.

That's not to say that you won't run into any mechanical problems that need to be addressed, but you can in fact prevent a vast majority by taking care of your vehicle and not "waiting" until something bad happens... and a lot of issues, like CV joints, start to show some signs before they are a severe problem - you do get a little time to plan for repairs if you are more aware of your vehicle than just going from failure to failure as a lot of people tend to with their cars.

I had 141k on my last car when it was totalled in an accident - mechanically it was just fine (because of proper maintenance and replacing parts that had worn out - and I had just replaced it's worn out CVT transmission at 130k) and I fully expected to get to 200k and beyond. I was majorly disappointed that I wouldn't be able to.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:47 AM   #11
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Sarah,

We have never been big on the regular dealer maintenance. Some one always wants to turn your rotors or the like. We do get regular oil changes but again do not use dealers.

Personally I think the key to any high mileage vehicle is selecting a well built vehicle.

One of the reasons we did not buy a new Honda CRV is that they now come with a CV transmission and I was concerned about long term reliability.

We never had our CV joints fail, just the rubber boots.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:04 AM   #12
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I've never had a CV joint fail on a newer car, but I have had boots get holes - which can be really bad if you don't notice right away. I've always noticed right away (and I wonder how someone wouldn't notice there is suddenly grease slung all over underneath their vehicle), but there have been people in my own family who have claimed to "not notice anything" while their CV joints are clicking and popping and I'm wondering how they are still able to drive.

That person ended up replacing their vehicle because "it had too much to fix" (it didn't, a majority of what they were facing apart from the CV joint was just regular maintenance items they'd been neglecting) and it only had about 64k miles on it - but they never really did ANYTHING other than change the oil, forget actually getting in there and looking at things and making sure everything is fine - I'm not suggesting someone needs to rely on the dealer or a shop else to make sure their car is working well - I do a lot of my own vehicle maintenance and between my husband and myself we can tackle a lot of repairs on our own - but my point is more that we are not simply waiting for the next bad thing to happen - and if something does happen, we're usually aware of it sooner than the average person who just waits for it to break..
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:31 AM   #13
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In my maintenance I believe in doing the extra. Use premium belts and hoses. When replacing the belts replace the tension-er too, especially if its a special order item. If going in for a water pump repair have associated maintenance parts replaced too. You don't want to pay big money to replace a timing belt and 2 weeks later the water pump fails and it all has to come apart again. This is where an independent shop can really advise you. I am not big on dealer service when out of warranty. I am big on synthetic oil and running better gas long term. I use Chevron gas as I think it keeps the fuel injection system cleaner and the exhaust system and sensors operating longer. People I work with don't follow my path and they start seeing exhaust system and sensor issues starting around 100,000 miles. Replace the engine coolant every 2 years and make sure you use the proper coolant. Flush the brake system at least every 5 years. When in doubt follow the manufactures guide line. A couple of weeks before a big trip get the car off the ground and have your wheel bearings checked for rotational smoothness or noise. Most cars now are using unit bearings and are not adjustable and are maintenance free. As soon as they start making noise they are in self destruct mode. This also applies to the u joints in your drive shafts and CV joints in your drive line. If you have impending issues you want to have this close to home when its convenient not out in the middle of nowhere on route 66 on your vacation. Stretching a car to its extreme can have financial rewards but requires a little more due diligent inspections.
Just make sure when you get extreme mileage on your car you carry the title with you so if it fails you sign the title and junk it and go find another rig to finish your trip. You don't need to run up bills for some sake of loyalty till death do we part.
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