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Old 01-28-2012, 11:12 PM   #1
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Surveyor SP 293

We have never towed a trailer before, and have signed paperwork for the SP293. Does anyone have any pointers for us?
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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Keep your tires at 50 psi. Do not drive over 65 mph as that is the highest speed limit the tires are rated. Check the DOT number on the tires so you will know when they were manufactured as you need to go by the age of the tires to know when to replace. Don't overload your trailer as to exceed weight limits. Use a weight distribution hitch with sway control or a hitch that eliminates sway before it begins such as the ProPride P3. Have your water connected and turned on before you turn on your water heater. Bring a level with you so you can level your trailer. You need to chock the the tires to prevent it from rolling. Have some short 2x6 boards or pads to put under tongue jack and under the stabilizers. You can purchase pads for this use. Purchase some levelers to go under the tires on one side to raise one side of the trailer as to make it level.

Hope this helps. I am sure others will chime in as I am sure I forgot something. Have fun and good family quality time as that is what it is about!
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:56 AM   #3
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* Get yourself a cordless drill to keep in the camper
* A tool kit with pliers, screwdrivers, vise-grips, washers, pipe clamps, electrical tape, duct tape, drill bits, spare 12v fuses, silicone spray, WD40
* Go slow, don't worry about the people behind you.
* Wide, slow right turns
* Use those mirrors to watch your right camper wheels when making those right turns
* Plan ahead, look down the road for potential obstacles, slower moving vehicles, cars merging onto the highway in front of you. Just like when you learned to drive, but 3 times the distance and guard the brake (don't ride the brake)
* Stay in the speed limit. Powerful trucks have a way of lulling you into going faster when at highway speeds. It's very easy with our trucks and rigs on level highways to get moving way too fast.
* Practice an emergency stop with your new rig so you get the feel of how it will handle. Better to get that practice in the Wal-Mart parking lot so when you hit the open road, you'll know what to expect.
* Every hour or so of driving, pay attention to how your camper is braking. You may have to give a little boost to the brake controller as the brakes warm up.
* If you've been driving for a few hours, it's always good for yourself, your family and your rig to take an hour stop for a meal. Your engine and your rig's tires need to cool down.
* When stopping for gas, always look for the station off the interstate that has big wide lanes between the tanks.
* When stopping for gas, touch your wheel hubs. Too hot to touch? Get those bearings checked / repacked.
* Plan ahead - I never like to let myself get to less than 1/4 tank of gas. You never know where that next gas station might be and when towing, with decreased mileage, that last amount of gas tends to drop off pretty quickly.
* Check your tire pressure before each trip. Check the tire pressure of the spare.
* Don't freak out if there is construction and you have to drive through a narrow lane with concrete walls on both sides. Reassure yourself that tractor trailers go through it all the time. Do not look in the mirrors at that point to see how close that wall is - it just freaks me out all the time. Concentrate on what's ahead, keep that truck centered in the lane and you'll come out fine.
* When changing lanes around a slow moving vehicle, give yourself plenty of room, be patient, keep an eye on that mirror to make sure no one has snuck up beside you, use your signal and begin your lane change slowly -- again, watching that vehicle in the lane your moving to to make sure they don't do anything erratic.
* Find a good friend or family member that has experience towing and take them with you on the pickup and when you bring your new rig home.
* Have fun!!

Sally Wally? Funny name. wump wump!
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:33 AM   #4
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first, it would help knowing what you're towing with, where you plan to tow and what type of WDH/brake contoller you have.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:59 AM   #5
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Also where are you located? Someone on here might be willing to meet up and help you out. I will if you live in the Piedmont and/or foothill area in NC (Winston Salem, Statesville, Elkin/Jonesville, Mt. Airy, Kenersville, ect...). I've been towing trailers since I was 5 (grew up on a farm, learned at an early age on a tractor).
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:41 AM   #6
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To Sallywally. You have received some excellent advice so far. Perhaps your greatest challenge will be backing up. Find a large empty parking lot to practice, and set up a mock parking space to back into. Move the bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to move. Just practice until you begin to get an understanding of the geometry involved. Initially you should probably go to RV parks with pull throughs. Even these can be a bit tricky. Make a wide turn going into the space so your trailer will straighten out behind the tow rig. Sometime pull into a rest stop and take few minutes to watch professional truckers pull into parking spaces. You will learn a lot from watching them. It's a whole new world out there, and great fun. Enjoy!
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Thanks, everyone! We r towing with a new Ram 1500, and we r getting the Reese weight distribution hitch and brake controller installed by the rv dealer. We will be towing in the mid Atlantic area.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:13 PM   #8
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better ask for the Reese Dual-Cam for that long of a trailer and i would recommend the Prodigy over the Reese brake controller.

by the way, how much more is the WDH and controller costing you?
an Equal-i-zer costs around $430 and the Prodigy cost around $99 from RVW with free shipping.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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Congratulations on the new trailer.
Some good info in the previous posts - practising in a big empty parking lot will make life easier when you get into the CG's
IMHO your 293 will tow nicely when dialed in correctly with your truck, I agree with Bikedan in getting the WDH with sway control and going for a proportional brake controller - some links that may help:
Trailer Brake Controller Information | etrailer.com
2012 RAM Trucks | Towing & Payload Specifications | RAM Trucks
Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
BTW for us the tongue weight for the average trip sits just shy of 800lbs with no water.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:51 AM   #10
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We've had our SP293 for a year now. I feel very comfortable towing it with my 2004 Tundra (w/tow package). I've got a weight distributing hitch which made me feel a little wonky the first trip out. You'll overcome this wonkiness quickly enough though.

Tail swing! When making sharp turns in close quarters be very aware of this evil phenomenon. When pulling out of the storage unit, I caught the tail end of the trailer on the chain link fence/gate and it pulled the corner of the TT apart slightly. A rubber mallet and a small tube of silicone caulk put it back together. Still, if I hadn't been in such a hurry to get to the NASCAR race in Atlanta I would have made sure the gate was open wider.

Make sure the hot water bypass is closed so you have hot water on your maiden voyage. Ours was open and it took some time figuring it out when we tried to wash dishes.

Make your maiden voyage a short (ours was 60 miles) drive. That will give you plenty of time to get a feel for the tow, and still give you plenty of time to set up at the camp site. Setting up in the dark the first time can be a little frustrating. Once you have "your" standard operating procedures in place, you will be able to do it blind folded. Until then, you'll want lots of daylight.

Have a pad and pencil handy during your first couple of trips out. You're always discovering little things that you'll need/want to make life easier on the road. Most of what you'll need can be purchased at yard sales, local auctions, eBay, etc. We're still trying to find a decent set of light weight pots & pans at a yard sale. Always buy your stuff with an eye towards "light weight". We're in the market for a Dutch oven to try our hand at campfire cooking, but the sheer wight of the thing makes me cringe.

We have a plastic box 12"x12"x24" that is our "trailer box". Since our TT is kept at a storage unit 6 miles away, it's not always feesable to run to the trailer to add or remove something. We use the box to accumulate the laundered sheets, towels, wash cloths, etc. Any little items we buy for the trailer get put in the box. When on a trip, we use the box to accumulate all of the dirty laundry, towels, etc.

Try to use your TT often and at different times of the first year of warranty. That way you'll make sure you've operated most everything. Heaters, A/C, fridge, stove, oven, air pump, water pump, water heater, etc. It's easy to go one or two trips without utilizing a piece of equipment. We had to take ours back to the dealer twice during the first month to get the fridge fixed. Not a problem since however.

After a year of having the trailer, I'm ready to remove some of the crap that we thought we couldn't live without. Never used most of it even once. It's dead weight and takes up space.

Lastly, visit this forum on a very regular basis. I try to read it every couple of days or so just to pick up tips on what to do and what not to do when it comes to this great hobby. There are a lot of very bright folks here who are very experienced in RVing. I guarantee that if you post a question, you'll get plenty of quick information that will help you out of a jam.

Have fun.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sallywally View Post
We have never towed a trailer before, and have signed paperwork for the SP293. Does anyone have any pointers for us?
We have a SP293 And we love it. It feels like a much bigger unit with the openness of it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:23 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Great feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by DnJ View Post
Move the bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to move. Just practice until you begin to get an understanding of the geometry involved. Initially you should probably go to RV parks with pull throughs.
This is great advice, and simple to understand. RV dealers could make a fortune and provide a great service to all if they offered a 4-hour driving course for people purchasing a new trailer.

After investing $$$$$$$$ in the TT and TV, adding $ to keep it all safe would be the best insurance ever!
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