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Old 08-09-2015, 09:12 AM   #1
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First long haul; how should I prepare?

Hi all-my family and I have filled our first year with our TT with over a dozen trips within a 300-mile radius to our home in the San Francisco Bay Area, but will be heading to Coeur D' Alene, ID in a few weeks.

We have a 32' (bumper-to-bumper) Springdale TT with a WDH and sway control (just installed both) and our TV is a 2014 Ram 3500 mega cab.

As I'm preparing for the trip; storage upgrades, re-stocking supplies, taking off hideous wall-paper border and such, I started to think about a TPMS and a better setup for changing a tire with an addition of a portable compressor and other told to make my life easier.

Do you have any recommendations or wisdom as this 2k mile trip is just around the corner.

I have been looking at the following products based on some lurking.

-EEZTire TPMS
-VIAIR 400P
-Camco Trailer Aid

I appreciate your $0.02

Cheers!
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:56 AM   #2
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First long haul; how should I prepare?

My wife and I, too, are preparing for our first long (5,000+ miles) pull with our new TT after five shorter, under 300 mile trips. So, we are also very interested in what advice and suggestions flow here. We have a 2016 Coleman 23' TT and pull it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee with 5.7 L Hemi, using a WDH and friction sway bar. We will be traveling from Florida out through Colorado, Yellowstone, etc.
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:05 PM   #3
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I have the EEZ tire system. I've had a problem with a couple of sensors but these have been replaced by EEZ. A TPMS is a must even on a TT. A blowout at 60MPH can cause quite a bit of damage before you recognize something is "not quite right".
I carry a Sears 150 PSI portable compressor. You may not need one that goes that high.
Things get out of adjustment sometimes so a basic tool kit is handy to have. A road side emergency kit that include reflective triangles, and an emergency bottle of wine.
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:35 PM   #4
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:39 PM   #5
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I got back from a 3600 mile round trip from Wisconsin to Corpus Christy, TX just a few days ago. I pulled a 19' TT with my 2013 Silverado 1500.
This is my suggestion. Concentrate more on preventing a problem than reacting to one. Your good to still be ready if it does happen, but try to prevent it from ever happening in the first place.
Your rig sounds great. Enough truck for the trailer. If the trailer is new, you are probably good to go but if not, and even it if it is, you should check these things before hooking up. Tires: What are the age of the tires? If they are more than 6 years old, they should probably be replaced. Do they have any cracking or other signs of undo wear and aging? Even if the trailer is new or the tires were purchased recently, check the age stamp on them. Sometimes you will be sold three or four year old tires. Even if they were not used, they still age and deteriorate with age.
Check the brake system on the trailer. Don't just assume it is working. It sounds like you are going to be doing some mountain traveling. This is a must. Check the breaks themselves and the system for proper operation.
Also, the wheel bearings. Make sure they are not worn out and if they have not been physically inspected this year, then you should pull the hubs and inspect and regrease them if necessary. A quick easy way to check the bearings is to put the wheel up on a jack so the wheel is off the ground. Then grab the wheel on either side and try to rock it back and forth. If it moves more than a very slight bit, it needs attention.
Make sure you hitch, chains, hitch pin, light hookup, emergency trailer brake and other hitch components are adjusted and working correctly.
And, since your truck is going to take the brunt of the wear and tear, make sure it is properly prepared. Transmission, engine, and other fluids topped off and within service intervals.
Then, go ahead and consider planning for the unexpected problem should it arise. During my trip last week, I had a blow out at 72mph on my single axle trailer and it wasn't a great experience. I got over quickly and was able to swap out the spare within 20 minutes. I had 100 miles to my next destination and then got the two original tires replaced and the spare back on the spare mount and was good to go. Slight undercarriage damage to my trailer but nothing bad. I had the tools to make the change with me. My mistake was not having new tires put on before the trip. They were 5 years old which isn't bad, but last winter when I put my trailer up for the winter, I let the pressure drop down to about 20PSI in them over the winter. When I aired them up in the spring, I noticed some cracking where they sat nearly flat. But, I disregarded it and they were fine for the summer local camping trips and even the first 3000 plus miles of my long haul in Texas summer heat and everything. But just south of St Louis, BOOM. It was my fault for sticking with my clearly compromised tires that were nearing the end of their life span. I am sure I could have gotten away with my short summer trips at 55mph for another year or two, but the long hot trip was more than they could handle. Lesson learned....one you would be better off learning from me than from your own experience.

Good luck with your trip and enjoy it. I stayed at military base camprounds on my trip. If you have access to military bases, I highly suggest you checking into them for your trip. Most are $20 or under for full hook ups and very well kept up.
Post back when you get home and let us know how your trip went.

Oh, check your hubs by hand for excessive heat (indicating bearings going out) at each stop. The hubs should be warm but not hot. About 100 degrees or so. Not uncomfortable to the touch. Also, check tire air pressures regularly while traveling. Each fill up at the gas station is perfect.
If you get TPMS monitors for the tires you are set there, but if you like gadgets and want a quick, easy and accurate way to check for excessive heat on the hubs, you can get an infrared temp gauge that you simply point at the hub and it tells you temp. They are under $25.00.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...ed+thermometer
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:08 PM   #6
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Good info! Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:20 PM   #7
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I appreciate the answers! My TT is only a year old and the tires are just a little bit older than that, so all looks well. I had some issues with the tires on my TV, but Toyo is honoring their warranty as the tires only have 5k miles in them.

Thanks again! And I'll be sure to post once we are back from Idaho. We had to make reservations at a few places along the way as some campgrounds seemed a bit busy due to Labor Day approaching, but we are staying at a friends place on the lake for Labor Day...should be an amazing trip filled with a lot of good times (and some fishing in the mornings while the wife and daughter are sleeping )

Cheers,

J
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:08 PM   #8
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I carry a big block about 10 inches wide 6 inches high and two feet long with about a 45 degree a angle cut in one end. I can either pull forward or back up to get one wheel off the ground to make the tire change. Need to loosen the lugs nuts first. Works great for our TT used it several times.
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:37 PM   #9
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I agree that prevention is better than reaction.

You didn't mention tire type but if they are ST then you need to remember they are probably only rated for 65 mph MAX.

THIS post might answer questions on selecting the BEST TPMS

Inflate your tires to the pressure on the sidewall. This will lower the Interply Shear. If you don't know what that is simply Google "Tire Interply Shear"

I assume you have confirmed the actual load on each tire is lower than 85% of the tire max load capability.

IR temp gauges are good and fine for hubs & bearings but tires do not conduct heat very well so in all probably you will miss the hot spot and it is the hot spot that will fail first.
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:57 PM   #10
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You MUST check the torque on the lug nuts. Keep speed down. Have the height of your trailer posted in the cab of your truck.
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:09 PM   #11
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Melvo-Thank you for the recommendation.
Tireman-Thank you, that was actually a very solid assessment and recommendation without getting into the politics of brand...and the answer I was hoping for . I think the brand/model I'm looking at fits the scope of what I need.

It's in the Amazon cart ready to go.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selah View Post
I have the EEZ tire system. I've had a problem with a couple of sensors but these have been replaced by EEZ. A TPMS is a must even on a TT. A blowout at 60MPH can cause quite a bit of damage before you recognize something is "not quite right".
I carry a Sears 150 PSI portable compressor. You may not need one that goes that high.
Things get out of adjustment sometimes so a basic tool kit is handy to have. A road side emergency kit that include reflective triangles, and an emergency bottle of wine.

Thank you Selah

Great tips and there is no doubt I'm getting a TPMS on the rig. Do you have them on your truck as well? Or just the coach?

For some reason, I've added a lot of things to my TT over the last year, but feel I've neglected some important items after everyone's responses. Well, thankfully there is a great community here to help me get rigged properly for our journey.

I think my wife has secured real estate in one of the storage compartments for a few cases of wine...I'm hoping she shares

Cheers,

J
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:23 PM   #13
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I pretty much have my trailer set whether it's a long or short trip. I tend to focus on other things on longer trips like places I want to get fuel. I use the trucker app on my phone and figure miles between stops so I know about where I'll want to stop. These days I also keep my towing to about 6-8 hours a pop. I've towed 12 hours straight before and I'm not a fan. I'm wore out, the kids are wore out, and the wife is wore out on those long hauls. We all feel better and get along better if I keep it under 8. Snacks and drinks is another place I spend some time before a trip.....I like to make sure I have a good bag of pork rinds, a candy bar or two, and some ice cold pepsi.
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Old 08-09-2015, 05:41 PM   #14
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Pepsi???
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