Trailering Rules of Thumb - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-05-2007, 08:16 AM   #1
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So, we seem to have a bit of a knowledge base here. Broad as all outdoors. Maybe we can capture a bit of it. If you had to give one or two bits of advice to a newbie starting out, what would it be. Keep it general, not brand, person, religion, politics, gender, national origin, specific. Here are two to start:

- Chock the tires before unhitching the trailer.
- Put and keep a foot/rock/weight on the black water hose where it enters the dump hole BEFORE opening the valve.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:22 AM   #2
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Backing:

Practice, Pratice, Practice.

So many folks "give up" and let others do it for them. There is no magic bullet for backing correctly other than experience. Keep trying, you'll get it.

After hitching up, raise the tongue on the trailer and verify that the ball is firmly attached. If the car lifts with the tongue, you got it! Do this EVERY time!
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:40 AM   #3
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Don't forget to fold up the stabilizers before towing. We've come all too close to dragging them out of a campsite!
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:46 AM   #4
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Already I'm guessing from looking at these that we shouldn't inquire too closely as how these lessons were learned!
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:02 AM   #5
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Don't ask me how I know this!!!!
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:14 AM   #6
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Close the windows and vents!
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:21 AM   #7
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Close the windows and vents!
This has the makings of a good rule of thumb, but we'll have to flesh it out some. Before moving the trailer? Whenever you leave the trailer? Our fictional Newbie needs a little more direction...
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:03 AM   #8
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Always strive to keep 10-15% of the total trailer weight on the tongue of the trailer. If you have any question, load the front of the trailer heavier than the back. While it is best to have the correct amount of weight on the tongue, it is always better to err on the side of having too much tongue weight than not enough, lest the tail begin wagging the dog.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:40 AM   #9
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Don't over pack with clothes and non essentials--It needless weight.Remember you are camping.
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:58 AM   #10
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When plugging into an outlet at a campground, turn the breaker off, plug the cord in, THEN turn the breaker back on. Reverse the process to unplug.

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Old 01-05-2007, 12:43 PM   #11
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Replace the trailer tires BEFORE they get cracked and dry-rotted. Trailer tires often need to be replaced before all the tread is worn off.

On a trip, feel the trailer hubs when you stop for gas or a potty break. If they are very warm, especially one more than the other, it's a sign of bearing problems and they should be checked out ASAP. If the trailer has brakes and you've just come down off of a long hill it's normal for them to be pretty warm, though.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:34 PM   #12
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Before hooking the freshwater hose up to the hose bib, wash the bib down with diluted bleach water. Owners have been known to water their dogs at the bib and allow them to lick the faucet (there again, don't ask me how I know). AND, previous site folks have turned the faucet on and off while wearing the same rubber gloves they wore while dumping their black water tanks.

Great topic!
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:30 PM   #13
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When you unhitch, put the rear stabilizers down before going into the trailer. Most important if you own a trailer with its door in the rear. Don't ask ......

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Old 01-05-2007, 03:45 PM   #14
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Make a list and check it each time before you pull out for such things as, TV down and secured, doors and drawers locked, loose items removed from tables and sink area.

Understanding your backers signals is important. Signals can mean so many things you need to talk about what means stop and turn. Does it mean turn the front, or back of the trailer, or front of the truck?

Only use your water hose to bring fresh water into the trailer.
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:14 PM   #15
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When you get to your camping spot, take time to get out and stretch your legs and look around before you unhook, especially if it is somewhere you have never been before. That nice hill behind you might conceal a railroad track along the top, or the hookups might be on a different side than you can conveniently use. Also, check into any common usage paths that may go through your campsite that others camped behind you might use frequently to access the facilities.

Just like all the regulars here, somethings are learned by experience
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:24 PM   #16
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Stabilizer jacks:

Yeah... I left a pair of stack jacks somewhere in Montana...

Backing Up...

To be honest, I'm still not very good at it. I figured that was one of the advantages of a small lightweight trailer. You can just get close, unhitch and then shove it wherever you want it to be. When we still had our Boler my two kids (then about 7 and 9) could push it through a rough dirt camping spot. I could easily lift the tounge up onto the hitch too, so hitching up was just a matter of backing up to get close then dragging and lifting the trailer onto the hitch.

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Old 01-05-2007, 04:25 PM   #17
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When backing into your campsite don't forget to look up. Many a newbie has forgotten to look up and snagged a branch with their a/c or entered a gate or parking garage that they were too high for. Sometimes just lifting a branch with a broom can let you back into spots that otherwise might cause problems.
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Old 01-05-2007, 05:04 PM   #18
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When connecting camper to provided services, water-electrical-sewage

1) Connect potable water "FIRST" and then run water out of "ALL" faucets

This to assure mainly the hot water tank is full.

This will save you from burning out a water heater electrical element.

(If you connect electrical first and had forgot to turn off electrical breaker to water heater last time you used it, by the time you connect the water to trailer the element in water heater will be burned up)
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Old 01-05-2007, 05:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (adamp @ Jan 5 2007, 07:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Quote:
[b]Close the windows and vents!
This has the makings of a good rule of thumb, but we'll have to flesh it out some. Before moving the trailer? Whenever you leave the trailer? Our fictional Newbie needs a little more direction...
[/quote]
Close all of the windows and vents when you break camp, before you hitch up to leave.
Do this if you'd rather spend your time camping than vacuuming & dusting; or to prevent having to replace vent covers...
this also applies to storage compartment hatch covers too.
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Old 01-05-2007, 05:59 PM   #20
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Walk around the trailer at least 2 times 3 is better check high and low. Check that the ball mount is secured to hitch. Coupler is latched? Safety chains attached?

I use a locking pin for the ball mount and a locking pin on coupler latch. My list has me check that theyare both locked.

Everytime you stop for gas or a rest, walk around the trailer and check inside. I the closet door come open on one trip. When I made a rest stop I discoved it before it's banging around caused damage.

Use your list each and every time. You may think you know what's on the list, but ....

I printed my list on 3x5 cards. Notice I said cards. I printed several and keep them in the trailer. The list is catorgized by Inside, Outside, and Hitching.
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