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Share your "Learned the hard way" stories

 
Old 02-26-2019, 09:54 AM
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Default Share your "Learned the hard way" stories

I thought I would start this as a just-for-fun thread, but one that might actually help out people like me who don't have experience pulling or dealing with trailers, campers, etc. I was reading through the share your pictures thread for campers, and noticed that there were a few "learned the hard way", or "don't ask me how I know" type posts in there. Generally there is a good life lesson, or some helpful bit of information that could be gathered so others don't have to repeat those same "experiences".

So, if you would like to share, I'm sure we can all learn something, and maybe it will provide a little humor along the way. After all, misery enjoys company.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:45 AM
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This should be fun thread to follow! I have been fortunate that I have not had any 'hard way' of learning, but a lot of small things along the way. Learning the hard way to me sounds very significant and being **** about safety due to having kids I triple check nearly everything I do. If I was younger and maybe single, I surely would have done more crazy and even stupid things lol.

If I had to write one up, the closest thing I did was almost drop the TT tongue on the ground because I had a TRAX power dolly (loved that thing, lots of power) and some how the plate that should have stayed in place that flushes under the tongue came loose and the tongue nearly almost came off the ball. I didn't have enough weight at the dolly and the rear went down thus the front wanted to do a wheelie. I knew I didn't have enough weigh on the dolly ball so I told the wife to sit on the dolly and I would try to put my weight on it and try it with a faster run/approach...no bueno...once again, nearly lost the TT connection to the dolly ball. I said screw this, I'm hooking it up to the car and back her in...success. In all honestly, from the road, to the driveway approach, then on the sidewalk was all cement, BUT, after that it was a new gravel driveway that I had put in. The gravel was still loose and the dolly wheel did spin out and dug in so I couldn't get it to move forward. Yes it has worked a few times before but that was when it was spring, gravel was wet, still locked in and compacted. This scenario was during summer, hot, dry and gravel had come loose overtime. I've decided to sell the dolly and just back the TT as usual. I bought the dolly to be able to make tight turns and so that I can pull my TT forward into the driveway so that the door opens to the yard instead next to our fence. I didn't loose much on the sale but damn I loved that dolly!
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:31 AM
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Once upon a time ...
Improper Brake controller setup coupled with poor braking technique cost me a very uncomfortable drive home and a set of front brake rotors and pads as they over heated.

Always make sure your brake controller is setup correctly according to the brake controller manufacturer's instructions.

If it's time for front rotors and you tow a lot I do recommend high quality drilled and slotted rotors and premium low dust brake pads. Remember it's the front brakes that really take the stopping abuse.
Don't cut corners too close (Remember there is a trailer back there) Making a left turn I cut it too close and the trailer tire intersected an island just right. It pinched the tire and dented the alloy rim, I had to buy my friend a new rim and tire. (borrowed trailer) On this same note, I can't tell you how many times I've seen damaged trailers from turning too sharp right or left turns.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by i2oadi2unnei2 View Post
This should be fun thread to follow! I have been fortunate that I have not had any 'hard way' of learning, but a lot of small things along the way. Learning the hard way to me sounds very significant and being **** about safety due to having kids I triple check nearly everything I do. If I was younger and maybe single, I surely would have done more crazy and even stupid things lol.

If I had to write one up, the closest thing I did was almost drop the TT tongue on the ground because I had a TRAX power dolly (loved that thing, lots of power) and some how the plate that should have stayed in place that flushes under the tongue came loose and the tongue nearly almost came off the ball. I didn't have enough weight at the dolly and the rear went down thus the front wanted to do a wheelie. I knew I didn't have enough weigh on the dolly ball so I told the wife to sit on the dolly and I would try to put my weight on it and try it with a faster run/approach...no bueno...once again, nearly lost the TT connection to the dolly ball. I said screw this, I'm hooking it up to the car and back her in...success. In all honestly, from the road, to the driveway approach, then on the sidewalk was all cement, BUT, after that it was a new gravel driveway that I had put in. The gravel was still loose and the dolly wheel did spin out and dug in so I couldn't get it to move forward. Yes it has worked a few times before but that was when it was spring, gravel was wet, still locked in and compacted. This scenario was during summer, hot, dry and gravel had come loose overtime. I've decided to sell the dolly and just back the TT as usual. I bought the dolly to be able to make tight turns and so that I can pull my TT forward into the driveway so that the door opens to the yard instead next to our fence. I didn't loose much on the sale but damn I loved that dolly!
Ouch. I can't imagine what that must have been like to have your TT nealy fall off the dolly.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:33 PM
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Don't make tight turns--either forward or backing up--with your trailer attached and the tailgate down. The wheel jack makes a nice big indent in the top of the tailgate.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TerryD64 View Post
Once upon a time ...
Improper Brake controller setup coupled with poor braking technique cost me a very uncomfortable drive home and a set of front brake rotors and pads as they over heated.

Always make sure your brake controller is setup correctly according to the brake controller manufacturer's instructions.

If it's time for front rotors and you tow a lot I do recommend high quality drilled and slotted rotors and premium low dust brake pads. Remember it's the front brakes that really take the stopping abuse.
Don't cut corners too close (Remember there is a trailer back there) Making a left turn I cut it too close and the trailer tire intersected an island just right. It pinched the tire and dented the alloy rim, I had to buy my friend a new rim and tire. (borrowed trailer) On this same note, I can't tell you how many times I've seen damaged trailers from turning too sharp right or left turns.
I disagree with slotted/drilled rotors. Your want more surface area. Good rotors with good pads are fine, but getting the trailer braking set up right is key....it will prevent premature wear and excess heat on the front brakes.
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:14 PM
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Watch those storage access doors and furnace exhaust vents if the door will cover the exhaust vent when open.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:20 AM
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I thought the square tube bumper on my Travelstar hybrid was strong enough to attach a Curt receiver and bike rack. It was until I hit an unplanned bump. The ensuing torque busted the welds loose at the frame. Now there's two-inch angle iron and gusset plates to strengthen the connection. Should have known better.

On a side note, a friend with a similar setup was cited by the fuzz because the bikes "obscured" the tail lights and license plate.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ifallsron View Post
I thought the square tube bumper on my Travelstar hybrid was strong enough to attach a Curt receiver and bike rack. It was until I hit an unplanned bump. The ensuing torque busted the welds loose at the frame. Now there's two-inch angle iron and gusset plates to strengthen the connection. Should have known better.

On a side note, a friend with a similar setup was cited by the fuzz because the bikes "obscured" the tail lights and license plate.
yep. salesmen don't tell ya to consult with the manufacturer on camper bumper strengths. Most of 'em aren't meant to support anything aside from maybe the spare.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by chimmike View Post
yep. salesmen don't tell ya to consult with the manufacturer on camper bumper strengths. Most of 'em aren't meant to support anything aside from maybe the spare.
I would and do question the ability to support a spare tire. I'm pleasantly surprised my spare is still there on every trip.
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