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Old 11-20-2008, 08:34 AM   #1
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One week to the big tow

We're pulling out the day before Thanksgiving, towing the Overlander to a shop for frame/floor work. The new Maxxis 8008s are on... after a bit of persuasion here and there. The interior is empty. The hitch feels a little light, so I think we'll add some ballast up front. Bags of pellets (which can be used for the pellet stove) should serve nicely. The tow mirrors will get a workout today as I take the old girl to Charlie's RV Center for a professional hitch set up. They will eyeball the old Reese Dual Cam and see if it's up to snuff or if I would be better served by a new one. Oh, and since it was darn cold yesterday and the tires were more work than I expected, I'll have them take care of repacking the bearings and making sure I'm not rubbing anything within the hubs. I'm excited to get the new axles on eventually. Oh, the temporary towing lights are installed and work. I'll post some photos on the blog within the next day or so. I have LED tail/stop/turn lights that will get recycled onto a utility trailer. I also have the marker lights working, albeit "temporarily" in the rear where I remain bedeviled by a short in the circuit.

With a little luck, we'll leave Maryland Wednesday afternoon, spend the night in North Carolina and then finish the trip to South Carolina on Thanksgiving Day. We'll enjoy some southern hospitality and a "low country" feast. I've always enjoyed the gracious manners of the south and we're looking forward to the trip. Hopefully, the truck and trailer will make the journey without incident.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:48 AM   #2
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Good luck on the trip!
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #3
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good luck on the trip.

If it is cold start off slow and check tire pressure after a few miles(50 to 100) as the tires heat up pressure will change. Good luck
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Old 11-20-2008, 04:00 PM   #4
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Thanks, and good advice.

I ran to the house at lunch, hitched up the Airstream and eased it down to Charlie's RV. It was a fairly uneventful trip despite a cold, gusty day and the lack of the Reese Dual Cam installed. This morning, I called "John" at the service department, let him know I was heading down at lunch and asked him what kind of beer he drank. As a general rule, I try to "tip" my mechanics with a little good cheer. John was very gracious and declined, not a beer drinker.

So, I rolled into the place around midday. The service department was empty. I shuffled around for a minute or two and then wandered in to the main showroom retail area. I stood around with my hands in my pockets for awhile, then a guy about my age (40s) emerged from another part of the store. "You're going to have to wait a few minutes. We're having a meeting."

OK, the place is open for business. They knew I was coming. I end up standing around for another 20 minutes and another guy pops out. It's John. "The meeting is still going on, but I couldn't stand making you wait any longer." Naturally, I thanked John profusely for breaking away, particularly since I had to get back for meetings of my own. John took my information, was informative, gracious and generally a very good guy. I told him I trusted him to make the call on whether or not the old Reese was worth saving and that I would back whatever decision he made.

Now, John may not be a beer drinker, but "Santa" is going to make sure he's gets a bottle of something smoother than a baby's backside when we pick up the Airstream in a few days. As for whoever thought the meeting was too important to interrupt for a customer... it's looking like a lump of coal.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:30 AM   #5
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Gentlemens Jack is a good mechanics tip also. A little more pricey though.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:14 AM   #6
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A few last minute questions. The Overlander is as ready to go as she will be. I'm running the Maxxis 8008 tires. With the trailer gutted, I'm guessing the curb weight is around 3200 to 3400 pounds. About what PSI should I run the tires? I plan to pull over every hour or so and check things including hub temps and wheel temps. I'll bring a gauge with me to check pressure. I'm not sure I should worry about it, but the coupler lock doesn't seem to want to settle all the way down. The ball is seated but the coupler lock rides up a bit. Should I get a bigger hammer?
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:27 AM   #7
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check it again

"the coupler lock doesn't seem to want to settle all the way down. The ball is seated but the coupler lock rides up a bit."

Watch out here! I have seen, and experienced, where the locking "lip" within the coupler does not clear the ball when lowered. The ball actually pushes up the locking lip. From the outside it appears as if all is OK except for the trailer coupler "riding a little higher." You can now pull out with all appearances of normality....until that first bump in the road. Now you will have a bad day. I always check the attach by raising the jack again after I have the hook up completed....just to verify that the hitch is complete and the rear of the TV raises too. Raise the jack again and hit the road.
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:15 AM   #8
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I dont know what ply rating tire you are using, but if they are D rated tires, you can run up to 65 pounds (max load). If the tires are C load range, the air pressure is 50 psi. Refer to the tires sidewall and adjust accordingly. The tires should be fine as far as pressure is concerned once inflated properly.
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the advice. The Overlander is sitting safely in the deep south having made the long trip from Maryland. The old girl towed well... though there were some patches of washboard pavement on I-95 that transmitted every bump on the tired old axles, through the Reese dual cam, into the truck and up my spine. We made the tow at steady 65... which on I-95 is like standing still. On the positive side, some of the aspiring Formula One drivers found the state police out in force. The tires ran well, the hubs were never even slightly warm. The makeshift running lights worked like a charm. There weren't any close calls, near misses or operator errors. Again, part of my Thanksgiving this year is my thanks for this forum and all of the great people here.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:29 PM   #10
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that sounds like a nice first run. i hope you have many more to follow!
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:56 AM   #11
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Congrats Hemstead
Any safe run is a successful run. Hope ya had a great Thanksgiving
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:09 AM   #12
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Thanksgiving was great. We had an incredible meal in Beaufort, SC, compliments of Southern Graces catering. The trip back was easy, except for the Thanksgiving traffic of the dread I-95 corridor. The gas mileage of the Titan (towing) left me thinking about going diesel.

On the trip back, my wife and I spend a fair amount of time talking floor plan. Do we stay with the bathroom in the back... or do we try a radical change to putting the head amidships? Ah, well, there will be time for second guessing later.
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