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AstroMark 03-02-2019 10:40 AM

longest distance with your fiberglass camper
 
I am not sure where this should go so if you need to move it please do. I am wanting to tow my campster across country from California to Texas then to New Hampshire and would like to know what other have done and what kind of prep I should do prior to leaving. This will take place over the summer so no rush for answers. Thank you Mark:D

Dave Fish 03-02-2019 11:10 AM

We have only made short trips so far with our Campster but did a 10,000 mile 8 week trip with our Casita. As far as prep, there aren't very many moving parts. As long as the bearings a lubed and in good condition and the tires are good, I think you should be good.

Your tow vehicle has more moving parts but normal maintenance should be good.

NW Cat Owner 03-02-2019 11:31 AM

The main thing is don't overestimate how long it'll take to get to various points on your trip. If googlemaps says it'll be 5 hours, I add probably 2 hours to that route. I'm going slower than what the speed limit is, have to stop for gas (which can involve several attempts as you might not get in an out of your first choice), meals and pee breaks.


You also don't know about construction, accidents and what not. So, don't plan on going too far each day. But the distance will depend on the roads and your abilities. Try not to arrive at dusk or after dark, if at all possible. Lots easier to set up during daylight.



If spending one night in a spot, you probably won't have to unhitch or any of that other time consuming stuff.

thrifty bill 03-02-2019 03:22 PM

8,000 to 10,000 is our typical trip, 12,000 miles is the longest.

Generally, do any maintenance at home before you leave. Any question about tires? Just replace them and don’t forget the spare either. Batteries the same.

Generally maintenance on the road costs more and is disruptive of travel plans than just doing it at home.

And don’t forget the TV: tires, battery, oil change, air filter, etc.

We separate travel days where we cover a lot of miles from staying put days. We tend to take more tools with us than others. I keep a full tool box in the trailer at all times and a separate tool box in the TV.

Make sure you have all the stuff you need to change a tire on the road, both TV and trailer.

John in Michigan 03-02-2019 04:54 PM

Speaking from experience, before embarking on a long journey with an older camper, make sure to check condition of tires, bearings, and brakes, but also very important to assess the condition of the axle, frame, coupler, and chains. Also ensure the towing lights work correctly and are firmly fastened. Also the check the door and door latch to ensure the door doesn't pop open or fall off while towing.

In addition, on an older camper unforeseen problems can develop such as the screws holding the door hinges can loosen while towing, a worn out axle can result in vibration causing fasteners to loosen, and previously unknown leaks can be discovered while towing in heavy rainstorms.

Radar1 03-02-2019 09:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
On our long trips we make sure we check the trailer tires and bearings, plus brakes. Do the same with your tow vehicle. Our longest trip was in 2016 when we were in the FL Keys one month, and a couple months later were up in Alaska. Second longest started in GA, went to Oregon, up into Canada, and then to NH before we headed home.
On both of our trips we had to take care of oil changes, but being retired military I can usually find a base with an auto hobby shop so I can change my own if I prefer.
We also changed the antifreeze, and it's a good idea to have a spare fan belt or radiator hoses if yours are near their limit and you will be doing any really hot driving (We crossed Death Valley in the 110's in July and it hit 106 in Teddy Roosevelt National Park in ND in mid August)
For trip planning, RVPARKY has a trip planning feature that shows campgrounds along the route you select and shows mileage between stops. We found it useful on our last long trip. I've attached an image of our 2018 long trip.

CPW 03-03-2019 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thrifty bill (Post 734661)
We tend to take more tools with us than others. I keep a full tool box in the trailer at all times and a separate tool box in the TV.

Make sure you have all the stuff you need to change a tire on the road, both TV and trailer.

I, too, try to anticipate which tools might be needed and I carry them in the tow vehicle since if I am at the trailer, the tow vehicles and tools will also be there. But I have a couple of screwdrivers in the trailer as well so for “simple” repairs and adjustments I don’t have to “retrieve” one from the TV.

I would note, however, that tools = weight and also RVers are for the most part friendly and helpful. The owners of the large coaches often carry as many tools as one could possibly use and on two occasions I can remember have asked them if they had a tool I needed and they gladly loaned it to me. Of course that doesn’t help on the side of the road, but if you are in a campground you probably will luck out. One of my loaners was a jeweler’s screwdriver (to fix eyeglasses) and another was a large socket (larger than what I have in my tool box). I have since added a jeweler’s screwdriver and have used it to repair a 12 volt plug. Funny, when putting together my first RV tool kit, it did not occur to me that I might need such a tiny screwdriver!

ZachO 03-03-2019 09:42 AM

Good advice already. My camper is newer but I make sure wheel bearings are in good shape, and brakes, and tires. Other than that, make sure you have a spare and know how to change a tire. In fact do it. Take off a tire, put it back on. On the shoulder of busy interstate, or off in the dirt on the side of a county road with crazy traffic or crappy weather is not the place to start learning how to change a flat.

For the most part, a 600 mile trip doesn't require any less care than a 12,000 mile trip. Anything more than just across town means good tires, good bearings, good brakes and proper connections and safety features.

Barb & Bob MacD 03-03-2019 11:39 AM

Hi-In 2017 we took part in the Canadian Coasters Tour to celebrate Canada's 150 birthday. We towed a 1976 Boler with a 1956 Mercury 100 pick-up. We live in New Brunswick (East Coast). The Coasters Tour started in Victoria (West Coast) on June 29th with 100 old cars and trucks. Over 80 vehicles were towing trailers. Most were the fiberglass ones. We took a route that didn't use the Trans Canada Highway. We toured all ten Provinces including Newfoundland. The round trip covered 16,634 miles! We arrived home on September 4th. During this outing we slept in our Boler every night. Before the trip we redid the wheel bearings, and tires and spare. Checked tail lights, signals and markers. Hitch and safety chain. Also insure that roof vents and windows don't leak. You didn't say if you'd be using the trailer on route. Happy travels.

David K M 03-03-2019 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AstroMark (Post 734614)
I am not sure where this should go so if you need to move it please do. I am wanting to tow my campster across country from California to Texas then to New Hampshire and would like to know what other have done and what kind of prep I should do prior to leaving. This will take place over the summer so no rush for answers. Thank you Mark:D

I had to have a wheel bearing replaced last year while on a road trip. It was a challenge to find a shop to do the work and also to locate the correct bearings. I now carry a spare bearing kit in the trailer.

Burrito 03-03-2019 12:41 PM

We did a cross country trip in our older burro and the propane regulator went out, now we keep a spare onboard.

Wayne Collins 03-03-2019 03:26 PM

11K miles in '04
 
With our 16 Scamp DLX and Honda Oddysey we drove over 11,000 miles summer of 2004. From Dubuque to Alaska via Seattle, Vancouver, Prince George, BC, and back by Edmonton, Regina, SK. Only problem was a worn out right side tire, swapped in the spare.
Other long trips were to Newfoundland/Labrador, California, Key West, FL. All that took 2 1/2 months. The Alaska tour was 50 days with Adventure Caravans. they took care of all the campgrounds, some meals, some local bus tours, a great way to go. We were the smallest rig of 20. Mostly class A motorhomes, Fifth Wheels, a couple of Class C's.

charlsara 03-03-2019 08:49 PM

We have done a 3500-7000 mile trip and other shorter trips each year since 2014. Our 2014 LIL Snoozy now has 28000 miles. We do preventive maintenance before each trip including checking brakes, suspension, bearings, hitch and tires. Replace wear parts before they fail. That always pays off.

Gerry 03-04-2019 04:05 AM

Wow all great advice as I too am planning a round the US trip this summer from Maine to CA, north to WA then back.
Like the idea of carrying an extra set of bearings and will for sure do that.
thanks for the thread.

Al and Cindy K 03-04-2019 11:01 AM

Lots of good suggestions here and I agree that pre-trip maintenance for the camper and the tow is the key no matter the distance. How handy are you when it comes to repairs? There's no sense in taking a lot of tools and spares along if you're not comfortable with doing the work. What type of roads will you be driving? If mostly interstate, a cell phone and a good roadside service plan might be adequate.

Tires and batteries are what I have the most trouble with when travelling. At a minimum, I'd carry a set of jumper cables and/or a booster pack, a 12V air compressor, tire gauge, can of fix-a-flat (a plug kit is better if you know how to use one) and make sure you have a jack that will work on the vehicle and trailer (a 12x12x3/4" piece of plywood is useful to put under the jack if the ground is wet).

Have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Edit: As to distance, we go from NC to the west (AZ, UT, WY, etc.) for 4-6 weeks each year.

Uplander 03-09-2019 11:59 AM

I know this duplicates much of the earlier advice already given and that advice has been great. My longest trip was a six week tour of the National Parks in the west...it was a learning experience for me and the family. When making a long distance trip make sure you have at least one spare tire. (I went through 2 in the western desert.)
The desert can be unforgiving on tires. Before you depart get your vehicle serviced and keep track of your mileage during the trip and get re- serviced when needed. Carry extra water.

If you are an advanced planner figure daily mileage at between 300 and 400 miles a day. Be aware you will only average 50 miles per hour on a long haul.
Stopping for fuel, food and bathroom breaks can even reduce that MPH estimate. You might consider advanced campground reservations if travel is during prime time vacation season. Current supply of RV travelers is exceeding
available campground space in most popular areas.
If no space is available you can overnight at Walmart but check with store manager first. Many Cracker Barrel Restaurants, Lowe’s and Home Depot home improvement centers allow overnight stays. Some states allow overnight stays in rest areas...but do not extend your awning, set up a fire ring etc...you are not camping just stopping for an overnight rest. This also reduces your campground expenses for the trip.

Keep an eye on your fuel gauge....in the western states gas stations can be few and far between in some areas...fill-up when you go below one- half tank of fuel.

Have a safe trip...Happy Camping !

TWelch 03-09-2019 12:10 PM

I am following this with interest, as this is my dream. . . . Don't know if long trips like this, from one corner of the US to another, with trips into Canada thrown in, will ever happen. . . but maybe someday . . .

Thanks for all the good info here.

Tonie

Scamper881 03-09-2019 12:10 PM

We've been on a few long distance adventures. Always made sure all maintenance was current & up to date on rig and TV before departure. I brought along a small grease gun and gave the bearing a small shot every 1500-2000 miles. Continually checked tire pressure and side wall temperature. BTW, as a rule put on new tires every 5 years regardless of use or wear, and make sure your spare(s) are good too. In my experience, if you get five years service out of a battery that's great, then buy a new one, as they can go south after that time. Only add distilled water to a battery--never tap water. Plan to change oil and oil filter during your trip. If you travel dusty roads especially, plan on changing your air filter, both the one for your engine and, if you have it, the one for your passenger compartment. Enjoy your travels.

Dave40 03-09-2019 08:46 PM

300 miles and 3 pm bed down
 
Much of the preceding comprises equipment advice. But we need to consider human factors too. Exhaustion can lead to bad decisions...

We have always tried to restrict ourselves to no more than 300 miles in a day, and to bed our trailer down no later than 3 pm. Not always possible, but these rules prevent tired driving and having to scratch for a campsite late in the day - or heaven forbid - after dark.

caderider1 03-09-2019 08:55 PM

Coasters cost to cost
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Barb & Bob MacD (Post 734735)
Hi-In 2017 we took part in the Canadian Coasters Tour to celebrate Canada's 150 birthday. We towed a 1976 Boler with a 1956 Mercury 100 pick-up. We live in New Brunswick (East Coast). The Coasters Tour started in Victoria (West Coast) on June 29th with 100 old cars and trucks. Over 80 vehicles were towing trailers. Most were the fiberglass ones. We took a route that didn't use the Trans Canada Highway. We toured all ten Provinces including Newfoundland. The round trip covered 16,634 miles! We arrived home on September 4th. During this outing we slept in our Boler every night. Before the trip we redid the wheel bearings, and tires and spare. Checked tail lights, signals and markers. Hitch and safety chain. Also insure that roof vents and windows don't leak. You didn't say if you'd be using the trailer on route. Happy travels.

We are going to do that in the summer of 2022, Victoria BC to St Johns NFL.


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