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Old 07-11-2011, 08:52 PM   #1
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1964 19' Globetrotter
Chelsea , Michigan
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Worrying too much?

How do you get to the point when you feel like your vintage trailer is ready for the road? I have been repairing things on my Globetrotter since April (well, actually, for a few years). I think sometimes when I spend so much time fixing things, it starts to seem like nothing is quite right and it will never be ready for a serious road trip.

I had a nice shakedown trip a couple weeks ago - 8 nights in one spot, but only 50 miles from home. On that trip everything I tried to use worked well except the clearance lights which I had recently toyed with and created a short. I managed to fix that when I got home.
Today I repaired the shower faucet which was leaking and then turned the waer on. More leaks under the sink in the kitchen and in the bath. Got those fixed but haven't tried the water heater since I rebuilt it and replaced the tank which 'sploded after leaving it full over the winter a couple years ago.
Just looking at the trailer I see all of the dings and dented panels and other imperfections and it makes me wonder if the thing is really ready to go on our upcoming 2 week trip covering some 1,500 miles.

It seems like I should feel ready to go - Tires, axle, shocks and brakes are 3 years old with very low miles. New rear end subfloor, new screens, new drapes, new intellipower and fuse box, restored black tank with new fittings and new box holding it up, new pex water supply throughout, new floor covering, newly repaired original Dometic fridge, etc.

I just keep seeing the dings and dents and things that don't quite fit and work like new and wonder why a rivet occasionally shears here and there from the interior panels when I travel...

What do you do to gain confidence in your coach when you go down the road? How do you keep from being nervous about everything working right? Is it a case of just enjoy it and fix stuff when it comes up and quit worrying so much? Is it better to fret over every little thing? Is it normal to worry about catastrophic hitch failure? Have I spent too much time wrestling with issues instead of just enjoying my Globetrotter? Am I the only one who thinks about this stuff???
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
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1976 Argosy 28
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Well, my Argosy is younger than your GT, and the PO did lots of good upgrades and maintenance, so I didn't have that period during which everything needed to be fixed, but I've had quite a few things I needed or wanted to do before using the trailer. We had a good shakedown trip, farther from home but shorter in duration than yours, and had a great time.

My recommendation is to make a tool kit for the trailer, and perhaps a reasonable set of spares. Also remember that lots of things can be temporarily worked around or "patched" and then fixed properly when you're home.

I've had old cars I liked to drive, and that helped me get over the idea that the only 2 possible states are perfection and junk. I've always thought most people who have perfect Concours-grade classics are a little twitchy. I've never decided if it's the way they naturally are, or if they get the twitch from that urge to make everything absolutely perfect (and the frustration that results from the fact that nothing is ever quite perfect.)

Make the big stuff work well (brakes, hitch, if you're coming very far south of the Great Lakes maybe AC!) Fix the little stuff but accept the fact that there'll always be something we want to improve, update, adjust or polish. If you ran out of things to do, you'd need another trailer. (You think I'm kidding, but I think that's how lots of our fellow forum freaks have ended up with multiple trailers they have no plans to sell.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:16 PM   #3
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1966 17' Caravel
salida , Colorado
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i think what you need to realize is that camping whether you're in an airstream, an s.o.b., a tent or just a bed roll and a canteen, things can and will go wrong. try to look at it as part of the adventure. take with you all the tools that you can think you might need (just in case) and make sure your trailer and tow vehicle are in good working order when you pull out. and really that's about all you can do. mayhem happens. and although when it does it can be a real bitch. but when it's all over and the dust settles it's what makes for the best stories! i do know what you're saying though,i think about all the same kind of things with my '66 i think it would be much easier if these stupid things weren't so damned pretty!
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:24 PM   #4
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1961 22' Safari
Union , Oregon
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Make it safe, make it legal, then use it, while always making sure it remains safe and legal. All the rest is just frosting.

You can go from a "tin tent" to a fully functioning trailer. I have found that the more I use my trailer the more I take care of the details. The main thing to realize is that you will never "be done". There always seems to be just one more thing to do.

This is supposed to be fun, and only you can make it that way.
Sam
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #5
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1964 19' Globetrotter
Chelsea , Michigan
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These are all great thoughts. I really like "safe and legal." It is definitely legal and as safe as I know how to make it. I have a tool kit on board including pretty good improvisational materials. It's light years ahead of my former '74 Apache popup, which was a pretty cool unit for what it was.

It's great to hear your perspectives and I'll take another look with an eye toward assuring basics and fretting less about the "frosting."
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:08 PM   #6
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Sault ste Marie , Ontario
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Our first trip with ours was last year to a campground 35 mins north of town on the shores of Lake Superior for a couple of nights to try out systems and make a list of what we forgot to bring. (long list!!!) A couple of weeks later we left for a month long voyage out to British Columbia and back. 8000 kms and the worst thing that happened was the oven door fell off in the mountains. 37 year old trailer, 12 year old truck, BRING TOOL BOX!!! but have fun..............Phil.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:36 PM   #7
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Just go, if it is going to break, it's just going to break. You fixed it once, you can do it again...it's just a camper!!
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:49 AM   #8
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1964 19' Globetrotter
Chelsea , Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgr32e View Post
Our first trip with ours was last year to a campground 35 mins north of town on the shores of Lake Superior for a couple of nights to try out systems and make a list of what we forgot to bring. (long list!!!) A couple of weeks later we left for a month long voyage out to British Columbia and back. 8000 kms and the worst thing that happened was the oven door fell off in the mountains. 37 year old trailer, 12 year old truck, BRING TOOL BOX!!! but have fun..............Phil.
Phil - thanks! A few nights of our upcoming trip will be in the vicinity of Desbarats - your neck of the woods!
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:45 AM   #9
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ANN ARBOR , THE GREAT LAKES
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Mr Trottin,
If you'd like to relieve some anxiety, which I expect is more about the safety and comfort of your family, than your trailer, come look at my globetrotter. It is only a few minutes from you. I dragged it out of the hills of Tennessee all the way to Ann Arbor with no equalizer and no brakes, through wind and ice and snow this February. Zero towing issues.

Next year, go to Autorama at Cobo Hall. After viewing all the beautiful shiny custom "Hot-Rod" cars, go down into the basement where the "Rat-Rods" are... You'll get a new perspective on what's cool.

We've E-mailed but never met, so if you'd like to see one that is
in process but tow-able, I'm at 1411 Broadway back-yard. Easier to find from across the brewery on Jones Dr.

I'm happy with my "Rat-stream", Wm
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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Our first trip was 3200 miles in 7 days with a lot of it on Rt 66 since one of my dreams was to cruise 66 with a vintage Airstream. Took the tools and left. We had never spent even one night in an RV before that.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:27 PM   #11
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Nothing is every perfect and you can just keep making it better. It moves and you know everything about it. You know where things are and how to fix them.

There's always more work to do and more ideas to try out, but for now, it moves and you can camp in it.

Yes, you worry too much and so does everyone else. That's why we bring tools.

Gene
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