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Old 02-22-2012, 06:49 AM   #15
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 16 ft U-Haul VT
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Good luck! I have only known of some people in the Midwest who worked on the campers. Briefly, we had a guy who worked on the VTs on uhaulcamper.com, but I think our constant questions scared him away. The Uhaul dealer we talked to had never seen a camper. It is just that some parts are interchangeable with Uhaul's moving trailers. We have a surge brake (that does not work) from their dual axel moving trailer. The hubs we bought were for some kind of moving trailer. That guy's dealership had been one that repaired Uhauls. Uhaul used to let the dealer keep parts on hand. That was why he had extra hubs that he sold us.

As for paperwork, what I know of is here on this forum: Fiberglass RV - Document Center - U-Haul. A lot of the CT stuff is applicable to the VT too.

There are several VT owners here who will help, as well as CT and any of the other fiberglass owners. As you have specific questions, like how to repair the damage, start a new thread that others will see and maybe title it generic to fiberglass repair, so others check the thread.

I hope I am not being too much of a Debby Downer. Being a VT owner has changed our lives. We have seen places we never would have seen before buying our VT. It just takes some creativity and willingness to work on your camper.

CindyL
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #16
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Trailer: U-haul 1985
Colorado
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You guys are a great resource, much appreciated! I'll be looking at those .PDF manuals today.

Jonathan
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:03 AM   #17
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Name: Roger
Trailer: U Hall VT
Michigan
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You guys are a great resource, much appreciated! I'll be looking at those .PDF manuals today.

Jonathan
Todate we have not found a VT Manual, does yours have a privacy room?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:52 AM   #18
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It does have a shower room with a door, but no port a potty currently. There's a sink in there with a hand pump for water.

The link Cindy sent me above had three .PDF documents, a Users Guide, Parts Manual and a Repair Manual. There is an illustration of what looks to be a 16' model in all of these, I assumed it was specific.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:11 AM   #19
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Name: Roger
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It does have a shower room with a door, but no port a potty currently. There's a sink in there with a hand pump for water.

The link Cindy sent me above had three .PDF documents, a Users Guide, Parts Manual and a Repair Manual. There is an illustration of what looks to be a 16' model in all of these, I assumed it was specific.
I think you will find they are for the 13', CT, the user is for both, the rest is for the 13', but alot of the parts were used on the 13' & 16'
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:43 AM   #20
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Thomas -- I drove it about 125 daytime highway miles yesterday with no problems after my initial inspection, though I was concerned about the brakes as well. I have a class III hitch on my Toyota 4Runner with a variable brake controller, but was unsure as to the functioning on that. Are surge brakes compatible with this? It has been used to tow a 17' Casita before. There seemed to be a certain amount of slamming around in the hitch on deceleration. Odd configuration on this hitch, there is a shock absorption mechanism of some kind in line after the ball socket.

I'm loath to take it to an RV service facility, but having the brakes and axels inspected is probably a good idea. The running lights appear to be out as well when headlamps are on, there is a second set of brake lights that have been wired up to the bumper. The brake and backing lights are working.

Thanks, Jonathan
What you call a shock absorption mechanism is the surge brake. When the tow vehicle slows, the tongue telescopes and applies pressure to a hydraulic cylinder. Depending on what hardware is still there and the condition, you may need only to flush and bleed the system to make it work. If the drums are there and OK, you can swap out the brakes for new hydraulic brakes, as I believe they are standard 10" brakes. (Kevin and Cindy did this) You can also buy new surge mechanisms. Converting to electric brakes is problematic due to the drums, which lack the friction surface on the vertical wall needed for the electric brake electromagnet to drag against.

I would avoid RV places. If you need help, go to a utility trailer building and repair shop. They generally have lower labor rates and can fabricate anything.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:02 PM   #21
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Name: Kevin
Trailer: U-Haul 16 ft Vacationer (VT)
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As Thomas noted, the surge brake is that large mechanism right behind the ball hitch on the trailer tongue. The clunking sound when slowing and stopping is caused by the surge piston moving back and forth. This can be disconnected by lifting the metal flap that sits over the piston. It is really hard to move, so you will need to pry it up with a pry bar or something similar. It will suddenly snap up toward the ball hitch, so be careful and prepared. I use a long metal rod with a flattened end to get it up in disconnect mode. You may also have to pry the moving mechanism around the large side springs, too. Such fun! When disconnected (or opened), this stops the piston from moving and eliminates the clunking back and forth. However, many states will ticket you for running with the brakes disabled. We've never been stopped, but it can happen.

The brake controller you have in your tow vehicle is only for electric brakes, so it can't be used with this system. Surge brakes are commonly used on boat trailers, so a marine/boat place that does trailers could probably help you. By the way, my wife is CindyL, also known as Debbie Downer (by her own words above). She wants electric brakes so I don't have to mess with these hydraulic brakes any longer!
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:11 PM   #22
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...........

The brake controller you have in your tow vehicle is only for electric brakes, so it can't be used with this system. Surge brakes are commonly used on boat trailers, so a marine/boat place that does trailers could probably help you. By the way, my wife is CindyL, also known as Debbie Downer (by her own words above). She wants electric brakes so I don't have to mess with these hydraulic brakes any longer!
Nuthin' wrong with surge brakes, but they don't like to sit. I know that once Kevin replaces his rusty old plugged up brake lines, he will be a happy camper.
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