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Old 01-19-2014, 08:12 PM   #1
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Towing long distance

Hi folks,
In a few months I will be driving from Alaska to Missouri. Yes this is going to be one heck of a road trip. I will be towing my camplite 13QBB travel trailer too. I probably will get the oil changed in the spring but what else can I do to prepare my Rig for the journey and not kill it?

My Rig is a '12 DBSB V6; picks for clicks:
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:13 PM   #2
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BTW, it does have trailer brakes and timbrens in addition to the factory towing package.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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I don't really think there's really a whole lot you can do, but I'm also not a towing expert haha.

That camper doesn't look to be that heavy, I think the truck will make it just fine! Have a safe trip!
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
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Here are some specs I grabbed from their website:


Box Length 13'-0" Dry Weight *2,350 lbs
Overall Length: 16'-6" Load Capacity: *650 lbs.
Overall Width: 7'-0" Hitch Weight: 170 lbs.
Height w/AC: 9'-6" Grey Water: 27 gal.
Tire Size: 13" Black Water: 14 gal.
GVWR: 3,000 lbs. Fresh Water: 20 gal.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:31 PM   #5
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I have learned to become self-sufficient when traveling. I've had too many dead camper batteries die when I was thought I was GTG. So here is a list of what I I will bring:

- honda 2k generator
- battery voltage reader
- battery charger and engine starter
- fuel
- tow straps
- extra rubber gloves for the water dumping station

Just to name a few things. I am debating whether or not I should bring an extra mounted and balanced tire.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:34 PM   #6
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Changing the rear diff gear old to synthetic 75W90 (or even better, 75W140) would be about the only thing I'd recommend. At 3000 lb gross, the trailer isn't heavy. Make sure the trailer tires are in good condition and at the right pressure.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robm7 View Post
I have learned to become self-sufficient when traveling. I've had too many dead camper batteries die when I was thought I was GTG. So here is a list of what I I will bring:

- honda 2k generator
- battery voltage reader
- battery charger and engine starter
- fuel
- tow straps
- extra rubber gloves for the water dumping station

Just to name a few things. I am debating whether or not I should bring an extra mounted and balanced tire.
No doubt if you can, bring an extra trailer tire and obviously an extra truck tire. Always good to have those!
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:52 PM   #8
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camper looks pretty light so weight shouldn't be much of an issue.
A couple of common sense things:

1. Towing mirrors (didn't see any in the pic)
2. fix a flat (couple of cans)
3. tire plugs
4. 12v air compressor
5. extra cans of gas (expect 10 or so mpg)
6. check all your fluids (brake fluid, coolant etc...)
7. tools for roadside fixes, including jacks and lug wrench
8. Duct tape (never leave home without it)

drive safe and enjoy the views!
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:57 PM   #9
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Yes tools are a must! An extra trailer wheel would be good too. I have been towing this TT for the last two summers and after adjusting the mirrors to view the dead space I don't think I need towing mirrors.

The back up camera on the Taco has been a God-send; I know I would have more dents in the back of my truck without it. I am getting better at parking a single-axle trailer tho :-p
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robm7 View Post
Yes tools are a must! An extra trailer wheel would be good too. I have been towing this TT for the last two summers and after adjusting the mirrors to view the dead space I don't think I need towing mirrors.

The back up camera on the Taco has been a God-send; I know I would have more dents in the back of my truck without it. I am getting better at parking a single-axle trailer tho :-p

Some states require by law extended mirrors when towing.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:04 AM   #11
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In NH you can get pulled over if you do not have extended mirrors. Even with a camera, they will pull you over because they can't see that you have one. Last time it happened to me, the cop said he does the same thing for every stop... gets about 7 car lengths behind you and if he can't see the reflection of his lights in your side mirrors- the blue lights go on.

I use the cheap strap on mirrors more for compliance than anything.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:28 AM   #12
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I'm checking out the K Source mirrors from etrailer. Does anyone own these? They look pretty sturdy and inexpensive.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLyns View Post
Changing the rear diff gear old to synthetic 75W90 (or even better, 75W140) would be about the only thing I'd recommend. At 3000 lb gross, the trailer isn't heavy. Make sure the trailer tires are in good condition and at the right pressure.

How good is this stuff?
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:28 PM   #14
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^Very good. The trailer isn't heavy, but you are pulling it for a long distance, so the rear diff would be running hotter than without a trailer. Synthetic gear oil doesn't degrade as easily as conventional oil when hot.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:49 PM   #15
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Thanks for the tip. I will be sure to get that done. Does Toyota have a synthetic LSD oil? Or do you recommend a particular brand?
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:50 PM   #16
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Correction; not LSD but rear diff fluid.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:06 PM   #17
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Toyota doesn't have a synthetic gear oil, at least when i checked at my dealer. Use whatever famous brand synthetic GL5 75W90 or 75W140 that's on sale. Castrol, Lucas, Mobil 1, Quaker State, whatever.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:56 PM   #18
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Make sure your wheel bearings on the trailer are good and greased and check tire pressures .
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:22 AM   #19
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Had them re packed last summer. Winter has lowered the tire pressure tho
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:47 AM   #20
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As others have already mentioned.....make sure you have a spare trailer tire that's in good shape. Make sure the spare is not old and dry rotted, has plenty of tread left, and can hold air.

Make sure all your suspension components on the trailer are tight and in good working order..... Trailer brakes, bearings, seals, are good.

I've been on a couple long distance trips with groups of people...and have seen some ugly issues on the highway that was LUCKY nobody got hurt. From locked up trailer brakes that created so much heat that destroyed the bearings and the entire wheel came off. To..... rusted frame/suspension components that broke while doing 65mph down the highway.

Crawl under your trailer and inspect everything!! Make sure your trailer brakes work... Even though the bearings were packed last year - I would still remove the tires and inspect the internals, brakes, bearings, seals.

I wish you luck for a safe & 'trouble free' trip!!!
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