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Old 10-30-2008, 08:58 AM   #1
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Some grumblings

1. The tow vehicle taking the '67 Overlander to the frame and floor restoration shop is our 2004 Nissan Titan. The Titan does not have towing mirrors installed. The cost for the mirrors... $350! Hey, I don't need the heat or power. I just want to see what's behind me. It is too much to ask for a reasonably affordable after-market towing mirror?

2. During our year-long hiatus, we plan to do 49 states. Yup, that means a pull up and down the Al-Can. We'll probably trade out of the Titan (crew cab) into a plain Jane extended cab 3/4 ton truck with 4-wheel drive. I've driven to the Artic Circle and back before... and I like the idea of a "four-legged" rig. Since we plan to settle out west (hopefully in or near Montana), it's not like four-wheel drive will go to waste. I'm grumbling, however, because I hate the thought of spending money on the Titan where I'll never see a return on the investment... and I hate the thought of going to any dealership.

3. Can buying tires be a bigger pain in the backside? I wouldn't mind running the original 7.00 x 15 rubber if I could find a quality tire. In looking around for a decent trailer tire, I called the local Cooper dealer who told me he only sells Carlisles. The "cheap" places around like Sam's Club and Wal-Mart only carry Goodyear Marathons, the tire with possibly the worst reputation on Air Forums. The existing rubber is four 225/75/R15s. So, what can I find in an LT-rated tire? Not much. Sam's Club's carries Michelins LTX/MS at $125 a pop (special order). So, I call the tire place at Sam's and get put on terminal hold while someone sees if there are any in stock. Sure, I could order through the Internet, but I tried a couple of sites about about fainted when I saw the shipping costs. Ouch.

4. I'm breaking down the interior of the Overlander for transit. I pulled the refrigerator (Kenmore) which was wedged into the opening and the Magic Chef range with aqua blue front. I finally have some elbow room in the micro-shop, but by the time I'm done gutting the interior, I'll be back to square one. So... do I invade the basement? Do I rent some bulk storage? I have already made the point with my lovely wife... next time, half as much house, twice as much shop.

5. We're supposed to do our tow the day before Thanksgiving. (My wife wants to enjoy a quiet "just-the-two-of-us" turkey day.) It's all good... except that if we have any problems on the tow, it's one of the worst time to find any sort of assistance. Now, since we doing an empty box pull, we're going to run on the old axles. The shop we're using thinks it will be fine. I'll have four new tires on and I'll pull and repack the bearings for the trip. The trailer will be running lighter than it has since it was built and we'll take it nice and easy. Still, I remember (with little fondness) blowing a head gasket on Grapevine north of LA on Christmas Eve back was I was in the service. A friend and I were heading to SF for Christmas at his mom's house. We finally managed to get back to his apartment at about midday Christmas (after a lift from a state trooper, a bus ride and a long walk). Ho, ho, ho. At least this time I'll have cash, credit cards and a cell phone... all things I lacked in the early 80s.

Well, that's enough grumbling for any Thursday where the weekend (and hopefully some progress on the trailer) is only a day away.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:19 AM   #2
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Hampstead,
In her "gutted" condition could she be too light for towing??? You may need some ballast in strategic spots to keep her within trailering trim. Or I could just be full of hot air.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:29 AM   #3
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Some Grumblings

Greetings Hampstead38!

Have you considered McKesh trailer towing mirrors? A pair with convex spot mirrors is usually in the neighborhood of $150.00 and besides being a great quality mirror you can use them with about any tow vehicle. I have a set for my Suburban and a Vintage Chromed set for my Cadillac -- They have made a tremendous difference in the comfort of towing for me.

Unless I am mistaken, you may be able to place your order for Michelins from Sams Club with to-the-store-delivery. If I remember correctly, there is either modest or no cost to use this option when available.

Kevin
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:49 AM   #4
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Tow Mirror - Nissan Titan
These are $200 for the pair of tow mirrors.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
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Carl, she's not going to be completely gutted... but it will be close. I'll do a trial run and see how she handles. If she feels a little wiggly, I can always add some sheets of plywood over the existing floor to keep the center of gravity nice and low.

Kevin, sold. I'll order them today. And, yes, I think I can do the in-store delivery thing. I just need to find my Sam's Club card to do the whole ordering thing. So, what do you think about running the LT rated Michelin's?
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
Kevin, sold. I'll order them today. And, yes, I think I can do the in-store delivery thing. I just need to find my Sam's Club card to do the whole ordering thing. So, what do you think about running the LT rated Michelin's?
I have been considering going with the Michelin LTX as I have been utilizing them on my Suburban for the past eight years -- have been able to get 88,000 on my first set and now have over 70,000 miles on my second set. I just have to make the final decision on whether I am going to splurge for a new set of aluminum wheels for the Overlander or make do with my steel wheels (they are about 14 years old).

Kevin
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Old 10-30-2008, 10:49 AM   #7
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On the subject having trouble finding stuff, I had to cut off the u-bolts on the wd hitch system. The trailer frame at the tongue is 4" x 1.5." The bolts are about 2" across (interior distance). I can't swear to the length (since I didn't measure before I cut), but I'm guessing between 5" and 6". The bolt diameter looks about 1/2"

Anyone have a good recommendation on a firm that sells u-bolts? By the way, thanks for the tip on the tow mirrors via Craigslist. I think I'll go with the "temporary" mirrors which can at least follow me if the truck doesn't.

Added: I think the wd hitch is a Reese. The number on the assembly is 5508-A... just in case someone asks.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
Anyone have a good recommendation on a firm that sells u-bolts?
Hampstead,
Up here near Reading there is a place called The Fastener Place. If they don't have it nobody will. I just had to get an odd ball bolt and they had it in stock.

Their number is 610-372-6666

The Fastener Place
2684 Bernville Road, Reading, PA.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:30 PM   #9
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I had to buy those same U bolts for our Reese. I got them from a trailer repair shop, they had bins full of them.
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
3. Can buying tires be a bigger pain in the backside? I wouldn't mind running the original 7.00 x 15 rubber if I could find a quality tire. In looking around for a decent trailer tire, I called the local Cooper dealer who told me he only sells Carlisles. The "cheap" places around like Sam's Club and Wal-Mart only carry Goodyear Marathons, the tire with possibly the worst reputation on Air Forums. The existing rubber is four 225/75/R15s. So, what can I find in an LT-rated tire? Not much. Sam's Club's carries Michelins LTX/MS at $125 a pop (special order). So, I call the tire place at Sam's and get put on terminal hold while someone sees if there are any in stock. Sure, I could order through the Internet, but I tried a couple of sites about about fainted when I saw the shipping costs. Ouch.
Have you asked Sears what they can do? For the trip you are considering, I would be looking for a company with a fair number of locations to service any warranty issues.

Good luck. I am envious to say the least.

Tim
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