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Getting back into T-trailer camping
#11
Is your name 'Clever Elsie' LOL, the last tags on the plates expired in 2015. I haven't checked the dates of the tires, not sure where to look for the date code or whatever. Thanks for the heads up, I hadn't thought about that. The tires look excellent but you're right, could be older than that. How long is rubber good on a tire when not in use?
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#12
My van dwelling journey

I started with a used-high mileage fleet cargo van from a local electrical firm. Their fleet was their life blood so they kept them mechanically sound & serviced. Paid $1,000. Had a reputable mechanic thoroughly go through it, change the belts, hoses & fluids ($1,000+). Installed high mileage heavy duty tires ($500). Installed tow package/brake control ($600). Still could use a new windshield. Into it for $3,100 not counting all the unnecessary conversions to it. I didn't listen to the experts, it was too short to stand up in, being old with a bad back wasn't good. Next step found a suitable 19' self contained '98 travel trailer ($1,800) came with a sway control hitch. Now more than $5,000, had an ugly van (every door/window handle has an issue but found that a $4 vise grip solves those problems), pulling an older travel trailer. Small repairs & new mattress for the trailer set me back another $300 - total invested $5,300.

I pulled it to Utah to get a little training from my trailer-pulling son. Drove it down I-15 to Las Vegas then down 95 to Quartzsite arriving the 30th of October '17. Stayed at the first RV park I had found on the web. Low rent district, but most amenities. Crappy internet, non-drinkable water, dirt parking, dusty, hot (Oct is still summer in AZ). Upgraded to a better (a little) for $20 less than I was paying. Better wifi (a little), cable, still couldn't drink the water, everyone around me has a monstrous rig & a 1 ton dually 4x4 or is pushing a home on wheels. Price & convenience were my goal. Everyone has a little scooter/ATV to run around in. Watched yesterday as my neighbor took a bad exit from his ATV onto the ground, ya that worked! Also, question why seniors whom can't walk a straight line insist on having a big dog to pull them around?

Why not the $180 BLM land you ask, well it was my first travel trailer experience in more than 20 years wanted to learn the ropes.

Lessons learned:

I have figured out most of my workings of my small trailer.
I've learned to shower much like they do in the rest of the world. Use less than 2 gals.
I use paper plates & paper towels either burnable for now, disposable.
I've learned what a 'sewer slinky' is & how to use it.
I purchased a RhinoFlex sewer line for drainage, best according to sources.
I purchased 2 10' hoses (with water filter between them) that are designed for potable water sources, no rubbery taste, can't drink it anyway.
I've also learned what 'potable' means. I still get my drinking water from the many machines that dot Quartzsite. But hope to use my new tank.
I'm a drug store expert on the propane setup & where to get the best prices, have 2 spares.
Learned that solar power with converter is most efficient running my fridge, only use propane as an emergency. 2 battery system.
Learned how my furnace works & how to change the thermo-coupler & light the pilot light on my 5 gal water heater.
Making my bed was a pain, decided to get a sleeping bag, use my blankets under me, then use the sleeping bag as a comforter.
Keep what dish ware I've used washed immediately after use.
I use the laundry services here, close, cheaper & more convenient.
Learned to wear my clothes multiple days rather than change daily.
Learning all about solar panels & their varied uses.
Learned to open my black water drainage first then flush with the gray water drainage. Keep both lines closed, drain every other day.
Keep the trailer as orderly as possible, space is precious everything needs to be in it's place.
Overheard storage can be a head bumper, learned to close the doors when not in use.
Learned the easiest way to make coffee - French Press.
I've been practicing backing & parking my trailer, a monumental task for me.
Utilizing my sway bars for maximum safety while pulling my trailer.
How to prepare my trailer for safety & proper load for non sway action.
Learned that Parker is closer than at first thought, 35 miles with a Walmart & quite decent cafe (the Crossroads). Make a weekly trip up for supplies.

That all being said, I'm sure there are many other things I will learn as time marches on.

My goal is to get out on the BLM land with my 2 solar panels, 325 gal potable water tank, 2 extra propane bottles,,,etc for dry boon docking.
I learned that you can filter your gray water through 14 inches of sand in a self draining 5 gal bucket & have acceptable waste water to dump, no bleach.
The $40 commode I bought, not use the tiny porta potty in my cramped TT. it will be my black water waste using plastic bags, pet bedding, lime for proper disposal.
Burn all my paper products. Dump my non-burnable waste in a dumpster along the way. If I can solve this I will start boon docking in Oregon, Idaho, Nevada & Arizona full time.
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#13
Way to go!

I wanted to ask on the fridge, is it a propane fridge? If so the 120v side uses a considerable amount of power verses very little propane.
Sparky created, (Sparkles on some Saturday nights)  Max the Wonder puppy approved

2011 Ameri-lite 25 ft bunkhouse with 750w of solar and a 675 Ah bank
2003 Ford Expedition with 435w of tilting solar.
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#14
(08-20-2017, 12:19 PM)RVWanderer Wrote:  I haven't checked the dates of the tires, not sure where to look for the date code or whatever.  Thanks for the heads up, I hadn't thought about that.  The tires look excellent but you're right, could be older than that.  How long is rubber good on a tire when not in use?

There's a 4 digit code that is on the tire, 1st two digits are the week of the year, 2nd two digits are the year, usually found within an oval, so that 4616 would be the 46th week of 2016. A rule of thumb is a tire life span (for safety, not tread wear) of 5 years. Weigh your trailer to obtain a baseline to work with (about $11 at Flying J), and your truck & trailer together to be sure your within the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating of your truck. Happy Trails!
Cheers, Rick
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#15
(12-21-2017, 09:38 AM)rm.w/aview Wrote: There's a 4 digit code that is on the tire, 1st two digits are the week of the year, 2nd two digits are the year, usually found within an oval, so that 4616 would be the 46th week of 2016. A rule of thumb is a tire life span (for safety, not tread wear) of 5 years. Weigh your trailer to obtain a baseline to work with (about $11 at Flying J), and your truck & trailer together to be sure your within the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating of your truck. Happy Trails!

The code on the trailer tires (4+ spare) say Jun, 13.   The van I'm using for my towing vehicle is a 1 ton Chevy cargo (6 x 10 with bulkhead), overload springs.  350 engine equipped with professionally installed towing package & commercial sway control hitch.  I think it will handle most loads, the trailer is just over 1,900 lbs or so the papers indicate.

Ha! - My 20 year old 19 foot travel trailer is now considered 'VINTAGE' or retro on one forum, if I ever do decide to sell it I can get top dollar for that classification.  Who would have thought, 'What goes around, comes around'.  I believe that the van is not considered Vintage/Antique/Classic until it reaches 25 years, it's 23 now.  

I wish I had saved all the comic books I had back in the late 40's early 50's along with the original 'Star War' toys I never bought but was told to accumulate.  I did have a 'Hopalong Cassidy' lunch box that would have paid off all my debt.  Not to mention the Fess Parker 'Davy Crockett' collectibles & large pile of 501 Levi's my mother tossed/donated when I joined the service, she needed the room for her hoarding.  Woulda, shoulda, coulda!
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#16
1900 lbs or so sounds light for a 20 year old 19 foot travel trailer, prolly best to verify that. The towing capacity of your truck is obtainable on the net. I share this only because I would have to know this information for my own peace of mind, no harm intended.
On the vintage stuff... who'd a thunk it. All that stuff we used and played with was for just that, not to put away and save. I often try to pick a vehicle out of today's line-up that has the possibility of being a future classic, unsuccessfully so far. What, if anything, would one purchase now and hoard for 30 years waiting for the item to be desirable?
Cheers, Rick
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#17
(12-22-2017, 01:05 PM)rm.w/aview Wrote: 1900 lbs or so sounds light for a 20 year old 19 foot travel trailer, prolly best to verify that. The towing capacity of your truck is obtainable on the net. I share this only because I would have to know this information for my own peace of mind, no harm intended.
On the vintage stuff... who'd a thunk it. All that stuff we used and played with was for just that, not to put away and save. I often try to pick a vehicle out of today's line-up that has the possibility of being a future classic, unsuccessfully so far. What, if anything, would one purchase now and hoard for 30 years waiting for the item to be desirable?
You're right, it should have been 2415 lbs dry weight,  I remember looking at the specs but must have looked at the 16 footer.


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