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Old 07-11-2014, 02:35 PM   #1
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L.C.Gray's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
Posts: 243
Straying further from home...

Most of our trips are relatively short as we live in a region that has a lot of great camping opportunities. Most of the time we're within a 100 miles of home and out about 4 days. We do this several times a year and more and more frequently. We also usually take 1 or 2 longer trips a year of 300-400 miles, mostly to the coast and stay 7 to 10 days.

I've long been wanting to return to the areas in Colorado that my parents took me when I was little. At that young age I had no concept of the logistics and costs of trips like I do now. I have slowly been planning that trip for the near future, even to the point of recently upgrading my tow vehicle to one that'll be more comfortable, efficient and more oooomph in the hills on the near 1,000 mile haul each way.

My basic plan is to load my UTE in the bed of the truck then hook onto the trailer. We want to have the UTE along to run the mining and logging trails while we're up there for our weeklong stay. With the UTE on board, we'll be very limited with what else we can take along. I always have a spare for truck and trailer, first aid kit, 30 ft HD tow strap, clevises, gloves, spotlight, wader boots, jumper cables and basic hand tools on board. I'm figuring on adding some extras for roadside/trail emergencies, a bottle jack, HiLift jack, 4 way lug wrench, gas can and a couple of gallons of coolant.

What other things besides vehicle general vehicle maintainence/inspection/servicing should I might be thinking of before headed out on the longer haul?

2011 F-250 Sooper Dooty 4x4 "Menthol"
2010 Sunset Creek 267 RL "Not Far"
(Not far sale, not far lease, not far rent, not far loan and not far from home)
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 2,761
Here's what I told my daughter:

Hook up the trailer and drive it out into a field or pasture with rough ground. IOW, simulate an emergency stop in a rough barrow ditch (that's "bar" ditch for you Texans). Then change a trailer tire by mounting the spare on the ground and the "flat" in the spare tire carrier. Then be certain you load everything you used to change that tire back into either the truck or the trailer. Jack(s), lug wrench, any other wrenches. Did you use a base for the jack, such as a big piece of plywood or 2x lumber? If you did, then be sure that jack base goes with you. A floor jack makes changing tires easier, so if you used a floor jack, that floor jack goes with you too. (I always haul a full-size floor jack and a 2'x4' piece of 3/4" plywood as my jack base when towing on long trips.)

Next, change a tire on the truck by mounting the spare on the ground and the "flat" tire in the spare tire carrier. Then be certain you load everything you used to change that tire back into either the truck or the trailer.

I drive newer tow vehicles that will not likely need spare parts such as water pumps and fan belts. But if your tow vehicle is older than about 3 or 4 years, then do research to determine what is the most likely parts to need replacing before you get home, and take those spare parts with you - just in case.

When I first replace a fan belt on a new tow vehicle, the old fan belt goes in the spare parts area (behind the back seat). It may be on its last legs, but it will probably work until you can get to a place where you can buy a new fan belt.

Before you leave home, complete all routine maintenance that might come due during the trip - oil change, coolant change, ATF change, brake pads, shocks, brake fluid flush, replace fan belt(s), trailer brake shoes, etc.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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