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Old 06-14-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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1st long haul, any tips?

A week from today we are taking out 27hfs from here (western Montana) to the Mt Rushmore area of South Dakota. About a thousand miles one way. This will be my first long haul with a big trailer. Any tips, tricks, suggestions are welcome.
Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:44 PM   #3
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Check your tire pressures before you leave and keep checking. When you stop feel the tire temperatures and carefully the drum temps with your fingers too have a good trip
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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65 mph or less
stop often and stretch the legs
check tires and hubs for high temps at every stop
carry plenty of water and a few snacks in the TV
get roadside assistance from your insurance company or Coach-Net or Good Sam or...
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rah.rrt View Post
A week from today we are taking out 27hfs from here (western Montana) to the Mt Rushmore area of South Dakota. About a thousand miles one way. This will be my first long haul with a big trailer. Any tips, tricks, suggestions are welcome.
Thanks!
No more than 5 hours per day. Getting in while there is still plenty of daylight and leaving after rush hour makes for a pleasant first trip. My first one was based on an 8 hour driving day. By the end of the first week the DW was looking at Orbitz for airline tickets home,

Take your time setting up and tearing down.
Nothing will ruin a trip like leaving your spouse or one of the children behind.

Watch I Love Lucy's "The Long Trailer" and Robin William's in "RV" -
DON"T do anything they did.

Watch your speed.

Check tire air pressure before you leave.

Chocks in first thing and out last thing.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:58 PM   #6
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Fuel, try to use big truck stops, nothing worse than getting jammed into a fuel station that was designed for automobiles or navigating through a large busy city! Stay safe have fun!
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:40 PM   #7
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Thanks. Not much in the way of rush hours between here and SD. Mostly I90 wide open country with lots of truck stops. Will check the hubs and tires frequently. As far the safety, my wifes nickname for me is "safety officer Bob". We should be good.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:51 PM   #8
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I agree with Herk on the 5 hr days. When we travel across Canada I try to keep our days to 5 hrs of driving. With rest stops and stop for lunch is is usually 7 to 8 hrs. If you have the time just relax and make as many stops as you can. Some days I only drive 100 to 200 miles and stop at a great CG. Setup the chairs and relax. It makes for a drive you can enjoy and keeps the DW happy. Remember happy wife, happy life.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:05 PM   #9
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Check your tire pressures before you leave and keep checking. When you stop feel the tire temperatures and carefully the drum temps with your fingers too have a good trip
Agree with Nigel 100%. Would suggest investment of a few dollars in an infrared temp gun for checking the hubs and tires. I never leave home without mine. Use on motor home as well as travel trailer.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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So what kind of hub and tire temps are you looking for?
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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So what kind of hub and tire temps are you looking for?
I just check to make sure they are all about the same. One higher than others will indicate a potential problem.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:51 PM   #12
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I would agree with those that say limit your miles to less than 300 a day. That's an 8-hour day with gas stops, lunch break, potty breaks, etc. We like to lmiit ourselves to 200 miles a day or less.

Since we're retirees, we don't push ourselves, unless it's the last day headed home, when we might tackle a 300 mile segment, since the last stretch is on familiar roads.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:12 AM   #13
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oh my I guess I went to far on my first long trip. Denver to Branson 822miles in 2 days. Stayed at Walmarts the travel days. Did all the checks tho. and the TPMS helped with the tires and was entertaining to check them every so often as we rolled down the road. We could tell which side the sun was on by the tire temp.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:38 PM   #14
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We did Baltimore to Yellowstone and back (about 6000 miles round trip w/ sightseeing). I had done meticulous planning - how far each day, where we were to stop etc. so that we would get to the campgrounds in time to relax by the pool and had reservations everywhere. Totally forgot about time zones though (though the time zone changes worked in our favor coming back east)
Also had an issue with a holiday weekend - campgrounds seem to require 3 night minimums - go figure.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #15
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Build in some "down time," either just to relax and listen to the breeze, or to explore some unexpected gems that you learn about along the way. Besides the expected -- Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Deadwood, Rapid City -- there is so much to do around the Black Hills that you will undoubtedly find some things that you never knew existed.

Will you be spending a night in the Badlands, or at least close enough (maybe the KOA just south of the visitor center about halfway through the park) to sit out and listen to the coyotes? There's a visitor center for a tour of abandoned minuteman missile silos at the I-90 exit at the east end of the park. Since you're going to be seeing Wall Drug signs for at least 400 miles, you might as well stop by and see it. Don't forget your free ice water and your 5-cent donut -- free if you're on your honeymoon. (If you try to tell them that you've been honeymooning ever since you got married, they'll roll their eyes and take your nickle. Don't ask how I know.)

Custer State Park is a must-see, and the amount of time it takes depends on how long the bison decide to occupy the road, and whether you take the Needles Highway, do some climbing, and accommodate the "begging burros."

Above all, ENJOY!
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:46 PM   #16
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Will do. Plan on the usual plus they are planning a large night blast at crazy horse, my son and nephews (and me) really want to watch that. We are doing a full day 4x4 trail (not with the trailer) through the badlands. Plan on the air force museum at the sac base in Rapid city, the needles, and Custer. We are staying at the Horse Thief campground in Hill City. Smaller, quieter, half the price of the KOA with full hook ups. Have only boondocked so far so looking forward to that!
Thanks for all the input.
Btw picked up a temp gun today. A lot cheaper than i thought it would be. Will post some pics when the time comes.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:56 AM   #17
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If you drive a Diesel, carry an extra can of DEF. Keep your speed to a max of 65, save fuel. Have a safe trip, take pics and always carry maps!
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:03 AM   #18
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You have just gotten a lot of good advice. A gun temp that you aim at you hubs and tires is a must have. You want all your temps within 10 degrees, If all your hubs and tires are let's say 110 degrees but one is at 130, you know that there is a problem waiting to happen.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:03 AM   #19
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All great tips!! I know high on my list for a long trip like that will be a RV specific GPS.
My travel buddy swears by his..keeps you out of trouble spots for length,width,hight etc..also highlights fuel stops, eats, campgrounds etc..I am a meticulous planner but not everything goes as planned...imagine that..final advice...be flexible with your plan, stay safe and have fun!
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:29 AM   #20
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When your sailing along at 65mph or so....just take a deep breath, relax and look around outside. Try and take in as much scenery (even if it's only sagebrush) as you can. Make sure your SPARE tires are also fully inflated and you know where the jack, jack handle and torque wrench for the lugs are because you never know. DO NOT go and touch your brake drum with your fingers. It could be a great way to lose some skin. They will get hot. As the OP mentioned, buy an infrared temp gun. Start searching out fuel and potty stops way in advance. I have a short bed diesel and on a long trip especially to some place I've never been, I carry a jerry can with 5 gals of fuel strapped down in the bed just in case. Enjoy your trip and it'll be memorable!
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