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I took the whole month of December off work and the wife and I are driving clear across this great country (and hopefully, back). I may do a dedicated thread for this trip since I've learned a lot of valuable lessons about living in my camper under these circumstances (add in our three cats -- one of whom has worms and has to be kept separate from the other two -- and it gets really "interesting"). Anyway, here we are dry-camping at Pine Springs Campground (at the base of Guadalupe Peak) in Texas.



Did a short hike in the mountains. If you look carefully you can see my truck and trailer (at about a 135-degree angle to each other) on the left side of the campground in the center of the pic.



And this was taken at White Sands just last night.



Not a camper pic, but I thought the view of the sunset from White Sands was truly spectacular.

 

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I took delivery of this one the day after Thanksgiving two weeks-ago. Left at 0400 the next morning, from Olympia, WA bound for Chico, CA where I donated the trailer to the Salvation Army to help one of the 1,000's families left homeless by the wildfires. I did not do this alone. The funds for the trailer purchase came from friends and family, I contributed the truck and time. Some friends of mine piggy-backed, and raised close to $2,000 in new goods and gift cards to equip the trailer and donate to other families as well. This friend and I tag-teamed the drive, and covered 1250 miles in 20 hours of drive time. We were gone only 22 hours total.
 

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I have a 2006 Sierra (LBZ) 3500 DRW and looking to get a 16000 lb 5th wheel. I get so much conflicting information and don't know if I can tow safely.
 

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What's the conflict?
 

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Sounds like you’re good to go. That truck should tow that trail fine.


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New to me SLC3505 Weekend Warrior. Had the axles flipped to give me more bed rail clearance(pic is before, don't have a current). Shake down trip to the local lake went well, so we headed out to Glamis sand dunes this past weekend.
 

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I took the whole month of December off work and the wife and I are driving clear across this great country (and hopefully, back). I may do a dedicated thread for this trip since I've learned a lot of valuable lessons about living in my camper under these circumstances (add in our three cats -- one of whom has worms and has to be kept separate from the other two -- and it gets really "interesting"). Anyway, here we are dry-camping at Pine Springs Campground (at the base of Guadalupe Peak) in Texas.



Did a short hike in the mountains. If you look carefully you can see my truck and trailer (at about a 135-degree angle to each other) on the left side of the campground in the center of the pic.



And this was taken at White Sands just last night.



Not a camper pic, but I thought the view of the sunset from White Sands was truly spectacular.

Where are you now?
 

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Where are you now?
Hurricane, UT. Las Vegas by noon.

Getting two things addressed over the next few days. First is that the coupler on my trailer has a crack in it from an incident of contact with the weight distribution platform, so I'm having this one cut off and a new one welded on. To prevent this from happening in the future, I'm replacing my trailer ball with one that has a 2-inch rise above the platform, so that the coupler will clear the platform. Something similar happened on the opposite side but without a visible crack. In any case, I'm not taking any chances. I found a guy in Las Vegas who is going to do the whole thing (parts and labor) for $200, which sounds good to me. In/near NYC I'd have paid $500 or more.



The next is a problem with the truck. I think there's a problem with the BCM or a relay somewhere because whenever my headlights are on (I drive with them on all the time), I can hear a barely audible high pitched whine. Additionally, my left turn signal (including four-way hazards) causes a much more audible whine at the same interval as the signal itself. And lastly, my backup camera is extremely fuzzy/blurry. Note that all of the foregoing occurs only when the headlights are on; if I turn them off, everything behaves as normal. I have a service appointment with a Chevy dealer in Las Vegas and I'm hoping it's just a matter of swapping something out so we can get back on the road, as we're planning to be in Sequoia National Park by the 14th.
 

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Hurricane, UT. Las Vegas by noon.

Getting two things addressed over the next few days. First is that the coupler on my trailer has a crack in it from an incident of contact with the weight distribution platform, so I'm having this one cut off and a new one welded on. To prevent this from happening in the future, I'm replacing my trailer ball with one that has a 2-inch rise above the platform, so that the coupler will clear the platform. Something similar happened on the opposite side but without a visible crack. In any case, I'm not taking any chances. I found a guy in Las Vegas who is going to do the whole thing (parts and labor) for $200, which sounds good to me. In/near NYC I'd have paid $500 or more.

The next is a problem with the truck. I think there's a problem with the BCM or a relay somewhere because whenever my headlights are on (I drive with them on all the time), I can hear a barely audible high pitched whine. Additionally, my left turn signal (including four-way hazards) causes a much more audible whine at the same interval as the signal itself. And lastly, my backup camera is extremely fuzzy/blurry. Note that all of the foregoing occurs only when the headlights are on; if I turn them off, everything behaves as normal. I have a service appointment with a Chevy dealer in Las Vegas and I'm hoping it's just a matter of swapping something out so we can get back on the road, as we're planning to be in Sequoia National Park by the 14th.
Hopefully its fixed easily and quickly, how's the aux fuel tank working?
 

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Hopefully its fixed easily and quickly, how's the aux fuel tank working?
Spectacularly. I average 10 MPG so I'm able to go 750 miles between fillups with a good bit to spare. I would be going nuts with the stock 36 gallon capacity.
 

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A few pics of our Orlando/St Augustine trip this past week. Weather was nice and cool. Wifey was happy to have the patio open. Truck pulled it like a boss. Hit 14k miles. Still breaking her in.
 

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Hurricane, UT. Las Vegas by noon.

Getting two things addressed over the next few days. First is that the coupler on my trailer has a crack in it from an incident of contact with the weight distribution platform, so I'm having this one cut off and a new one welded on. To prevent this from happening in the future, I'm replacing my trailer ball with one that has a 2-inch rise above the platform, so that the coupler will clear the platform. Something similar happened on the opposite side but without a visible crack. In any case, I'm not taking any chances. I found a guy in Las Vegas who is going to do the whole thing (parts and labor) for $200, which sounds good to me. In/near NYC I'd have paid $500 or more.



The next is a problem with the truck. I think there's a problem with the BCM or a relay somewhere because whenever my headlights are on (I drive with them on all the time), I can hear a barely audible high pitched whine. Additionally, my left turn signal (including four-way hazards) causes a much more audible whine at the same interval as the signal itself. And lastly, my backup camera is extremely fuzzy/blurry. Note that all of the foregoing occurs only when the headlights are on; if I turn them off, everything behaves as normal. I have a service appointment with a Chevy dealer in Las Vegas and I'm hoping it's just a matter of swapping something out so we can get back on the road, as we're planning to be in Sequoia National Park by the 14th.

If you make it up to Reno on your trip and you have a few minutes, let me know and I will buy you and your wife a beer or lunch or both.
 

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If you make it up to Reno on your trip and you have a few minutes, let me know and I will buy you and your wife a beer or lunch or both.
Thanks man! We may pass through there on our way out of California. I'll let you know.
 

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So, it turns out that my electrical issues were self-imposed. My bootleg Chinese LED bulbs were the culprit. With the stock halogen low beams I can't see a damn thing, but at least I don't have any more annoying noises. More seriously, I'm no longer worried that my BCM is on the verge of melting down.

New trailer ball and coupler are working great. NG RV and Trailer Repair did a great job replacing the coupler; the whole job was $200 and was complete in 90 minutes.





Only problem is, it's now the best looking part of my trailer.



Even with the new Curt 40087 ball, the weight distribution platform will contact that frame during a locked-out u-turn, but it's not in a critical area like with the old configuration so I'm not worried; that part of the frame has little (if any) load on it.



Anyone have any recommendations (with pics, hopefully) of how they've connected their breakaway safety cables? Pretty much any way I try to connect it makes me worried that it will get snagged on some sort of road debris; to me, that seems like a much greater risk than the truck and trailer actually becoming detached while driving. I'd like to find a way to connect it so that it will pull out the breakaway connector just before the safety chains become taut but without risking the trailer brakes being engaged accidentally.

On that note, does anyone have any experience (second-hand anecdotes included) with a trailer becoming detached due to a mechanical/structural failure (i.e., not operator error like failing to properly couple)? I personally don't, and I'm beginning to wonder if this is just some doomsday hypothetical that someone thought up a while back and it just hasn't died yet.
 

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On that note, does anyone have any experience (second-hand anecdotes included) with a trailer becoming detached due to a mechanical/structural failure (i.e., not operator error like failing to properly couple)? I personally don't, and I'm beginning to wonder if this is just some doomsday hypothetical that someone thought up a while back and it just hasn't died yet.
Yep.
Headed up City Park Rd from 2222, there's a 1/4 mile ten-percent gradient hill to climb, right after a sharp right/then left blind corner.

Up near the top of the hill was an F-150 towing way more than it's rated for, hooked to an equally overloaded small tandem axle utility trailer that had large (as in 3'x4' x 2' thick) limestone rocks (are those considered boulders at that size?) stacked on it.

That coupler you just replaced?
On the last hard downshift jerk, the coupler broke loose (as in, the front half was still hooked on the F150), snapped off the poor excuse for safety chains, and off it went, down the hill (towards an innocent/unaware @Hook'em_Horns!). 'uhNo

The tongue on the dancing trailer made a quick swipe left & right, then spun around, tongue 1st headed down the hill. Heavy TW, those two frame channels started plowing up the asphalt, until it came to a stop, half way down the hill.

I took a moment to clean out my shorts, then tried to position my rig and lights to warn others, barreling around the corner for their hill climb.

A break-away device wouldn't have helped much in this case,.....as the trailer didn't have any brakes on it to activate. :cookoo[1]:

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Not too long ago, I was coming back from the coast and noticed a Ram driving erratically with a trailer in tow. My 1st thought was 'texting', but as I passed, I glanced over to the horror show goin' on.

The trailer tongue (not coupled) was all the way up under the rear end of the truck, with some rear bumper slammin' goin' on. :pimp

He did get it stopped safely though.
I've always been undecided on it; "do I really want to be attached to a breakaway trailer or not?"

Not a fun ride, any way you look at it. But the break-away is to help others dodge the bullet, or stop a head-on collision.

I wouldn't be concerned with having it activate before your chains get stretched, as that's the last of your worries at that point.
 

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Yep.
Headed up City Park Rd from 2222, there's a 1/4 mile ten-percent gradient hill to climb, right after a sharp right/then left blind corner.

Up near the top of the hill was an F-150 towing way more than it's rated for, hooked to an equally overloaded small tandem axle utility trailer that had large (as in 3'x4' x 2' thick) limestone rocks (are those considered boulders at that size?) stacked on it.

That coupler you just replaced?
On the last hard downshift jerk, the coupler broke loose (as in, the front half was still hooked on the F150), snapped off the poor excuse for safety chains, and off it went, down the hill (towards an innocent/unaware @Hook'em_Horns!). 'uhNo

The tongue on the dancing trailer made a quick swipe left & right, then spun around, tongue 1st headed down the hill. Heavy TW, those two frame channels started plowing up the asphalt, until it came to a stop, half way down the hill.

I took a moment to clean out my shorts, then tried to position my rig and lights to warn others, barreling around the corner for their hill climb.

A break-away device wouldn't have helped much in this case,.....as the trailer didn't have any brakes on it to activate. :cookoo[1]:

----------------

Not too long ago, I was coming back from the coast and noticed a Ram driving erratically with a trailer in tow. My 1st thought was 'texting', but as I passed, I glanced over to the horror show goin' on.

The trailer tongue (not coupled) was all the way up under the rear end of the truck, with some rear bumper slammin' goin' on. :pimp

He did get it stopped safely though.
I've always been undecided on it; "do I really want to be attached to a breakaway trailer or not?"

Not a fun ride, any way you look at it. But the break-away is to help others dodge the bullet, or stop a head-on collision.

I wouldn't be concerned with having it activate before your chains get stretched, as that's the last of your worries at that point.
Well, that settles it. Thanks for relating your firsthand experience. I still haven't made up my mind yet as to whether to connect it; I'm really concerned it'll get snagged on some rough ground or debris and cause an accident, rather than avert one.
 

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Take a look at this one from Equalizer hitch. I ordered one for my trailer and liked the way it cleaned things up and stayed out of the way, so I ordered another on for a spare. If you come through town I will give you one.
 

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So, it turns out that my electrical issues were self-imposed. My bootleg Chinese LED bulbs were the culprit. With the stock halogen low beams I can't see a damn thing, but at least I don't have any more annoying noises. More seriously, I'm no longer worried that my BCM is on the verge of melting down.

New trailer ball and coupler are working great. NG RV and Trailer Repair did a great job replacing the coupler; the whole job was $200 and was complete in 90 minutes.





Only problem is, it's now the best looking part of my trailer.



Even with the new Curt 40087 ball, the weight distribution platform will contact that frame during a locked-out u-turn, but it's not in a critical area like with the old configuration so I'm not worried; that part of the frame has little (if any) load on it.



Anyone have any recommendations (with pics, hopefully) of how they've connected their breakaway safety cables? Pretty much any way I try to connect it makes me worried that it will get snagged on some sort of road debris; to me, that seems like a much greater risk than the truck and trailer actually becoming detached while driving. I'd like to find a way to connect it so that it will pull out the breakaway connector just before the safety chains become taut but without risking the trailer brakes being engaged accidentally.

On that note, does anyone have any experience (second-hand anecdotes included) with a trailer becoming detached due to a mechanical/structural failure (i.e., not operator error like failing to properly couple)? I personally don't, and I'm beginning to wonder if this is just some doomsday hypothetical that someone thought up a while back and it just hasn't died yet.
I'd want to to activate if the chains fail, personally.

Anyway, happened to my dad. Trailer had many 10s of thousands of miles (way more than most campers) and was worn out, apparently.
Expressway bridge bump bounced it off. "Caribeener" type couplers (don't use those) opened right up. Ebrakes set off. Skidded to a quick stop straddling the center line of the bridge.
Hooked back up, took a bit to unlock the brakes, and carefully continued on. Replaced the hitch at home (which was close).
Only damage was the jack was a bit shorter than anyone remembered it being...... Tires probably weren't quite the same either.
Very close call.

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Take a look at this one from Equalizer hitch. I ordered one for my trailer and liked the way it cleaned things up and stayed out of the way, so I ordered another on for a spare. If you come through town I will give you one.
That's what I have on the GN. Works well in staying out of everything going on there. @jdwarren, one of these^ hooked in the center should work in staying out of the way.
 
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