Where to begin.... I just picked up my trailer on Sunday in Tennesee. Boy have I learned a lot this week! FiberglassRV has saved my life, literally, and a whole lot of aggravation. Wasn't sure where to post this saga, but here goes....
I picked the trailer up late in the day. The sellers were very kind, but there was a lot to absorb and I wanted to get to the campground before dark. The campground was only about 20 miles away, so I figured I could ignore a few of my doubts about the setup and figure it all out later.
Lesson #1: Do NOT move until you are sure everything is right.
We hitched up and all looked good, then they asked if I wanted the custom made plywood cover for the tongue. I didn't think I'd use it, but wanted more time to think about it. They offered me a rack for the back of the trailer. I knew it could cause problems, but figured I'd be ok until I got to the campground and could rearrange things.
Their home was out in the country so there were no parking lots to practice towing. We were only going a short way, so I went ahead and got on the freeway.
I accelerated slowly and things were going smoothly until I hit 55 MPH. Suddenly the rear rack started to sway wildly as the plywood cover caught the wind like a sail. I took my foot off the gas, but we didn't slow down much. It started swaying the trailer and one of the bungee cords broke.
This started a rapid whip like action through the rig as the rack flailed and the trailer began to fishtail. I couldn't hold the wheel steady and the car became like the end of the whip, cracking back and forth. I tapped the brakes
lightly a few times to try to slow down some, but of course, that made the fishtailing worse because the trailer brakes
were not adjusted properly. I was starting to envision my new trailer splattered all over the highway and who knew what would become of us? Camping World had installed the controller very low, and I couldn't steer and use the manual brakes
at the same time.
Suddenly the right hand trailer tire blew. We turned 180 degrees. I was sure the trailer would tip and we would be t-boned by a passing car. Miraculously we came to a complete stop on the left shoulder facing oncoming traffic. I had just enough presence of mind to see to it that the trailer was straight and out of traffic. I turned to see one of the trailer hubcaps rolling across the median and coming to rest at the edge of the opposite lanes.
The trailer door had popped open and a few things were scattered over the median, but otherwise, all appeared to be fine.
Lesson #2: Make sure your trailer is covered by your roadside assistance plan.
I had not yet joined an RV club, so I had to pay for the tow truck to come out and change the tire. Fortunately, there was a good spare on the back. The driver also kindly turned the vehicle around for me.
While I waited for the tow truck I unhooked the rack from the back. I deposited the plywood carrier in the middle of the median strip (I am not one to litter, but there was no way on God's green earth that thing was going back on the trailer!). I gave the rack to the towtruck driver.
My nerves eventually calmed enough to get back in and tow the trailer to the campground. We asked for a 30 amp site and discovered to our horror that it was not a pull-through. By now my nerves were in no mood to learn to back a trailer into a downhill sloped campsite. But, I also REALLY wanted to settle down for the night.
Backing was NOT fun, no matter which direction I turned the trailer kept pivoting in the same direction. Eventually my traveling companion decided she could do a better job since I wasn't following her directions well enough to suit her. She got it in far enough to get the car off the road and we decided we liked the jaunty angle it was at.
I started to set up. I plugged in the trailer cord with adapter attached. The a/c unit (which was turned on) kicked on for 2 seconds and then there was a pop. The circuit on the power pole tripped and I was unable to get it to work again. Clearly there is a short in the trailer. The obvious fuse is fine and the 110v fuse is fine. DC power works great though so at least we have had lights
The biggest problem has been getting it to pull well. It has been bucking and swaying and my nerves are pretty shot. The first problem turned out to be that the spare was at 28 psi and the other tire was at 45 psi. I didn't have a compressor and I had to deflate both to equalize until I could find a Walmart. Setting both at 35 helped, but still it was very hard to control. I flipped the hitch bar and lowered it 2 1/2 inches. Again, much better (except that the hitch bottoms out from time to time) but still hard to control. I didn't feel like I could pull it through the Appalachians with any confidence.
After much ado I finally located a place in Nashville that installed a sway bar for $170. AND they took me the same day. Camping World wanted $350 JUST FOR THE PART and they couldn't get to it until they had a cancellation. It tows beautifully now!
I took the plywood cover off the a/c unit and found a nest of tiny ants. Inside, after a little exploration, I discovered that they were living on the mold growing under the dinette seats. I used my new cordless wet/dry vac to suck up over a quart of water from under the seats and around the water tank in the middle. There is floorboard rot where the water has collected. Don't think it is structural.
I decided to forego using the water system until I can locate the leak. I was upset because the sink did not drain, but eventually figured out that there seems to be no gray water holding tank. I quickly bought a grey water tank and a hose and all seems to be well there.
I found out after driving in the rain most of the day that there is water coming in around the a/c unit (it is in the window supposed to be an escape
hatch). I tightened the cover, which helped, but my bed is soaked as is most of the bedding. I truly hope that this is the source of the water under the seats, because it is the easiest to fix. The seller did give me the window in case I pull the a/c out.
The stove works. Haven't tried the fridge
yet. However, the propane
tank is old, so when it empties, I'll need to buy a new one with the new valve. Grr.
The door pops open if we go over a bump. I have to bungee cord it closed even if it is locked.
I eventually noticed that the tongue has a small dent and the battery
case is cracked slightly. I quickly matched up those dents with the wide part of the hitch. Seems the tongue hit the hitch when we spun. Probably prevented much more severe damage.
So, not quite in the condition I was told it was, but thanks to this site, I think I can fix most or all of the problems. It seems to be in good overall condition. It has been a LONG week and I am still 300 miles from home, but I am slowly figuring things out. Overall it is pretty clean and in good shape.
Thanks to FiberglassRV I knew to adjust the tire pressure, hitch height, how to fix the drain situation, and many other things. I truly would be a mess right now without all of the wisdom I have gained here. Thanks all!!!