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Old 06-09-2004, 12:38 PM   #1
Chuck's Avatar

1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,547
Images: 260
A couple of things that worked

just wanted to report a couple of things I did last week to get my camper ready last week.

Since I descovered some serious floor damage from a leak that "may" still exist, I decided to do some more sealing. got some Vulkem, and this time, I borrowed my dad's heat gun for removing the old stuff. (when I did my roof vents, shortly after buying the trailer, I spent hours and hours scraping, picking, rubbing, soaking with all kinds of solvents, up to and including straight xylene...nothing worked well at removing the old crud. It was an awful job!). This heat gun isn't the typical "paint removal" thing that is the size of a blow-dryer; it was meant for de-soldering printed circuits, applying heat-shrink tubing, and the like. has a very small nozzle...probably dime-sized...just about the size of a bead of Vulkem over the windows. Anyway, I gave it a try, and let me tell ya, that old sealant, whatever it was, came right off. It may have taken me all of 10 minutes to completely strip the rear window's sealant. (that's the big window!). only minor, gentle scraping of a few scraps was needed. used a metal putty knife, as I would have assumed anything plastic would have melted. but it didn't require any hard pressure, and any potential scratches would have been covered by new sealant, anyway, so I wasn't too worried about it. as it turned out, I dont' think I scratched anything, anyway.

there was talk a while back about the noise from the reese dual-cam hitch. I had plenty of that...the groaning and creeking really sounds very "painful". I tried the "petroleum jelly" suggestion...and this is also on Reese's site...and son of a gun if it don't work! The idea didn't sound to me like it would do anything...I mean, "vaseline????" well, it really did seem to tone it down, not just a little, but the creeking is almost gone.
Reese says that the petroleum jelly isn't a good enough lubricant to interfere w/ the sway control action, as regular grease would. but I could almost sort of detect a teensy bit of tail-wagging back there on my recent trip. just a little. nothing to be concerned about. But I don't remember feeling that sensation before. Then again, there were a couple of other adjustments made for this trip. I pumped my rear tires all the way up to their max of 65lbs...which I hadn't done before. But everything I read here says that should dampen sway, not increase it. I also made a small adjustment to the tilt angle on my ball mount. I think it was too far back before, and the spring bars were too tight. (they had a bow in them, and it really took some effort to snap up the snap-up brackets). I only moved the adjustment nut up "1 tooth". still using the same number of links, and it still takes 2 hands and an "ooomph!" on the snap-up to hook up..just not as much. it was just enough of an adjustment to take the bow out of the spring bars. I didn't take any measurements, as I didn't have any flat ground handy, but at a couple of stops that seemed pretty flat, everything looked good. I'm starting to think that the front end shouldn't really drop much w/ 200 or so lbs on the axle...but I had it set before so that it did. but if I stand on the front bumper, nothing moves. If I stand on the rear moves down quite a bit. So it comes back to (again) the only real way to know exactly what's going on is to take it to a scale.

but ANYway...I think my point was that the vaseline really did quiet the hitch down.
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:12 PM   #2
Rivet Master
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Originally Posted by chuck
just wanted to report a couple of things I did last week to get my camper ready last week.

..... So it comes back to (again) the only real way to know exactly what's going on is to take it to a scale.


You hit the nail on the head there!!!

I don't know how the scale situation is where you are, but here in the Houston area Cat scales are popping up all over the place.

Every weighmistress I have dealt with has been extremely helpful - they don't seem to mind RV weighs at all.

Weighs are 10 bucks, with reweighs only $1 each.

There are usually 3 weigh pads available per scale, and with someone spotting you you could probably get each axel weighed (utilizing the front two pads for the Tow Vehicle (with trailer and WD hooked up) with the trailer axels on the rear pad, -- then, on the second weigh, get the individual car axels without the trailer (drop the trailer on the long (rear) pad for a total trailer weight) the same time you are using the front two weigh pads for Tow Vehicle weight (each axel without the trailer and WD hooked up) -- then, when pulling out, get one more weigh of the trailer axels with one set of tires off to the side (for side to side loading of the trailer).

All for about twelve dollars!

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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