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Old 09-24-2015, 08:47 PM   #1
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long distance trips

We are about to venture on our first long distance trip, TX to FL with our 5er and kiddos.

we have a Heritage Glen 356QB (42.5') being towed by a 2010 350 SRW.

Can anyone provide good tips on tools etc or what you found necessary to bring along.

I have been using the good sam travel planner, mapping out the trip to include all truck stops along the way and our over night location as well as backups in case we don't make it as far as desired.

tips, tricks and life lessons are appreciated

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Old 09-24-2015, 09:10 PM   #2
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Tire chang'n stuff, and a square drive (Robertson) bit.....the list never ends.

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Old 09-24-2015, 09:29 PM   #3
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We commonly travel long distances with our 2 kids (now ages 11 and 3).

If you are smart phone users, buy the $10 AllStays Camp & RV app. It's worth that much and more.

Otherwise, keep plenty of activities for the kids to do. For us, iPads and iPods are paramount. After them, we keep books (reading, coloring, look & find), crafts, and a plethora of snacks and drinks. Ask them what they'd like and let them pack a bag (Mom/Dad approved, of course- no that whistle is NOT a good idea).

A special pillow and blanket per kid can be quite helpful. Due to the 3 year old, both of our kids still take naps in the truck.

We do car games- looking for license plates, or words with specific letters, etc.

As Bob said, make sure you have the equipment and know-how on how to change a tire. I had a flat in Indiana and while the Hoosier Helper/State Farm assistance guy showed up, we needed my breaker bar and sockets to fit the lug nuts.

Plan on the trip taking a while. For planning, I figure we average about 50 mph once you include stops. Truthfully, we actually run slower than that- maybe 45 mph but the math is easier at 50; I just round up my estimates.

Personally, I don't do a whole lot of planning outside of overall route. I don't like having fixed stops that I *have* to make. If we're trying to make time- we usually get a late start (10am) and around 4pm, we'll get a feel for where we'll be later. We use the app to find some places at 9pm-11pm to see about overnight/transient availability and then just pick one once we're good and done for the night.
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:43 PM   #4
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Something that will work for adding air to the trailer tires when you are hooked up. We bought our 1st TT in June and went on a 3,600 mile trip the next month. I had a portable 12v air pump that worked if I could bring my TV next to the trailer. But I realized if I had to add air when hooked up that wouldn't work. I now have a 3gal compressor.

Someone in our party borrowed my multimeter as they were having some electrical issue with their FW. I brought that along just in case.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:05 AM   #5
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As some have mentioned, the necessary tools to change a tire. Socket, extension, breaker bar (I use my long 1/2" torque wrench), jack, highway warning flares, lighting for night work, etc., but you must have a spare tire to change to as well.

Best to try and eliminate some potential issues like checking wheel torque and tire pressures (including spare) before leaving (or use a tire pressure/temperature monitoring system). Stay off highway shoulders and medians except for emergencies, these are collection areas for nails and screws, etc.

Towing heavy requires a safe and reasonable speed. I takes much longer to stop as you probably know. Safety is no option. Have a safe trip.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:44 PM   #6
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I always carry sockets wrenches screw drivers tire tools flashlights etc. just pick a nice safe speed and enjoy the ride. You picked a great time to head to florida as the weather has just turned really nice. I have basically the same 5er we purchased in June and love it. Waiting to get it back from the shop getting a couple warranty repairs done before a quick trip in November. What is your Florida destination?

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Old 09-25-2015, 08:20 PM   #7
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Don't tire yourself out, come up short, nothing worse to ruining a trip is tired grumpy parents which is not the kids fault. Always plan for an issue on the highway which will kill your timing. Four tires on a trailer and one spare, check their condition...maybe on a long trip it would be good to have to spares. Seems all the rules change when you go long distance. keeping kids bust is big.

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Old 09-25-2015, 10:25 PM   #8
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we are surprising our oldest (turning 9) with a trip to Disney fior his birthday, we are no rookies on long distance driving as we have family in MI and try to get the kids up there every year to see them, although we typically switch out drivers ever 4 hours and go straight through. But this will be the longest trip pulling the 5er and the DW isn't as comfortable towing.

we are going with a group, my folks, my in laws and some close friends. our plan is to run in a pack so that assistance won't be far behind if needed.

I've been prepping the TV, just installed new Bilstien 5100S on the rear, checked spare tire and will complete a fluids check before the trip as well as take equipment to check while enroute. also planned on taking f a pancake compressor and house as my parents have a toy hauler with gen.

our trailer just got out of warranty and will be checked over as well before trip.

we are only taking meat and plan on buying all dry groceries when we get it to help reduce some weight.

as far as our plans, we have all agreed we would rather have 1 long day of driving followed by a short run to the park so that we could all get a good rest before hitting disney on monday. if my kids follow their typical routine they will sleep for about the first 5 to 6 hours of driving to make it easier on them.

thanks for the tips m please keep them coming
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:59 PM   #9
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If you have a smart phone, download the app for Gas Buddy, Loves, Flying J/Pilot, Petrol and Truck Smart, these are invaluable tools. If you don't have a smart phone, you can do the research on your computer as to where these particular gas stations are prior to your trip. Make notes of them.

I prefer to use these gas stations simply because it's on the highway and they can accommodate TT, RVs and travellers. Plus I've already done my planning, in a week we will be moving from Tehachapi, CA to west of Portland, OR. DW driving the car and utility trailer and I have the loaded truck and TT. Approximately 1000 miles.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:03 PM   #10
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