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Old 07-05-2012, 12:28 AM   #21
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A bit of an update for you all. We are still wrestling with the Equalizer hitch. It came with a 2-5/8 ball; we needed a 2". Turns out to be more of a problem than anticipated since the ball shank size is 1/4" bigger than a conventional ball shank, which causes a bit of a snag in finding the right ball in time to do the setup, then take it for a pre-trip trial run. In addition, the ball nut is 1-7/8" and is recessed into the hitch assembly, which requires a special socket to get to. We are hoping to get all of that stuff solved this Friday.

I have been figuring out the electrical setup and think I have a wee bit of understanding. The refrigerator works in all modes; I will have to find a Dometic door lock and a mode control knob, but that bit can wait. Any suggestions where to look?

The lights all work. The pump/plumbing appears to work without leaking. Haven't tried the hot water heater yet, or the furnace, but heading back to the solar-blasted midwest in the middle of summer makes me think the furnace can wait.

It anyone can tell me where to find the fresh water drain plug, I would appreciate it. I have crawled around under the front of the rig without much luck; I know it is there, but I can't spot it. Fortunately, we are at the front end of a spell of good weather coming here in the normally-rainy northwest, so crawling around on the ground is not so unpleasant as usual. I won't complain about the cool and rainy weather; I know a big chunk of the country is suffering with just the opposite.

Hilltool, thanks for the advice about the bearings and tires; they are on my list for this weekend. I checked the manufacture date of the tires: looks like 2006. They appear to be in perfect condition, no checks or cracks, plenty of tread. I think I will run them back to Illinois & Iowa--they have enough tread and then some--but watch them as we go.

I expect to spend a couple of nights each way at freeway rest stops and am wondering about setting up the rig on the parking apron. Anybody done that before? The literature seems to say that the rig has to be level in both directions to avoid warping the frame, but I wonder whether I may have to unhitch in order to get the longitudinal level. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Is "close enough good enough," or is precision required?

My tech-minded son convinced me I need a wireless-enabled iPad to take on the trip. It runs off the Verizon wireless network, which covers our entire anticipated route, and has a GPS, which means we will have our maps and trip literature at the touch of the screen. Of course I will take my maps and books along too. I am too much old school to rely entirely on technology.

10 days and counting until we leave. Houston, we can begin countdown!

Again, thank you to you all. I don't know what I would have done without your experience and advice, AND this amazing forum.

Happy July 4th. Thank God for our founding fathers (and mothers), and their collective wisdom!

Ron
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:26 AM   #22
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Default Getting set up for towing

Do you have a RV dealership near you? They should be able to help you with your hitch set up. Get on the website for dometic and you should be able to get the parts you need have your model #. If you are stuck on a question feel free to call Mantelli Trailer sales. Ask for Jay in parts.(716) 625-8877. He is a very long time employee and extremely well versed in HiLo. Should you need any parts they will ship anywhere. Does your Towlite have AC? Make sure it works. Hopefully other forum members will be able to answer your questions.
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #23
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Close enough is good enough. If you have set up the hitch correctly the RV should be in an almost level position when towing on level ground. If it is slightly lower in the front I just raise the front with the tongue jack without unhooking. Being near level is also required when running the fridg. You can damage the fridg if way out of level. We have raised our HiLo in rest areas many times but some states do not allow overnight parking. Just check first. Are you aware many Wall Marts allow overnight parking in their parking lots. My fresh water drain valve is under the trailer up front, right side. Know they are in different places on other models and years. Have a good trip.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:24 AM   #24
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Thanks, Jim. I thought close enough would be good enough, within reason, but recognize this rig is a whole new thing for me. I appreciate your experience. Regarding the drain plug, I scoped out the entire area under the water tank, back to the axle, without spotting the plug. Obviously, I need to give it another go. Thanks again.

Ron
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:47 AM   #25
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Ron

Wow! on the plug. Mine is located near the front on the curb side and I have a 2001 22ft so I can't imagine they changed it much on yours. Try to locate the tank-its black and plastic on mine from the underside----and located very close to the front of the frame. The drain valve on mine is white. It it isn't there at least there should be a hole where it was ! Actually- mine is easier to access from the curb side corner where the body and A-frame of the trailer meet.

Sorry about the hitch set-up. But, I agree with Sam if you go to a local dealer they should have all the tools etc to get it configured correctly- though it sounds like that is in your plans.

For leveling side-to-side many us carry those square plastic leveling sets that fit together like legos. I also carry a 24 inch carpenters level around just to check the inside level on the floor and refrig top----in case my bubbles mounted on the side are off or the top is off a hair or two when I raise it.

I don't know where on the nw coast you are located and it sounds like you are going to run the interstates----but i did that trip 20 years or so ago and I ran rt 20( or 22-but I think 20 was the more scenic one...) out of Seattle all long the northern border of Wash and Idaho and down through glacier. Beautiful trip ....though I was young and driving a Toyota pickup with a camper shell and a sleeping bag. Pulling a trailer through there in a hurry may not be as much fun.....

Let us know if you still can't find the drain plug...

Rick
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:28 PM   #26
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Ron

Just because it is pushing 100 deg here and I felt obligated to try and get out of the house one more time before it actually hits 100---I just went out and crawled under my 2201 TL and took a closer look at my drain plug. It IS on the curb side and near the front of the tank housing-just behind the back of the batterey compartment. Mine has some clear tubing coming down about 1 inch or a bit more and then the white drain cock. The hose seems to go up and connect to slightly recessed fitting that is located in the middle of a hole that appears to have been cut out by a large key-hole type bit in the plastic housing. I'm thinking that , possibly, for some reason the hose and valve apparatus got removed and, maybe, it was easy for you to overlook the "hole" where everything is coming out of. Otherwise-you may be able to crawl around inside and locate the tank under the couch and see if you can spot anything from that perspective.

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Old 07-05-2012, 09:45 PM   #27
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On my 2009 22' Towlite, the fresh water drain is on the curbside forward. It has a plastic valve on the side of the TT. I don't have to crawl under the TT inorder to open the drain valve.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:29 PM   #28
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Just goes to show how reliable your logic is sometimes. I searched all over the driver side of the trailer for the drain plug without success. Never occurred to me that it would be on the curb side, UNTIL Hilltool and Atlee said, "Look on the curb side." After dinner tonight, I went to look and sure enough, there it is on the curbside, back behind the tongue. If it was a snake, it woulda bit me. Thanks.

Sam, I took my hitch to an Equalizer dealer today during my lunch break to install a 2" hitch ball & rushed back without inspecting it. Tonight after work I looked a little closer and discovered the shank of the ball extends beyond the nut recess, which means the sway control arms can get hung up in a sharp turn: here we go again, back to the dealer. Hope he has a ball with a shorter shank.

Actually, I am kind of enjoying the steep learning curve involved in this project; I was getting fat & lazy, and this process is definitely sharpening me up. I find myself lying in bed, solving puzzles half the night, then fixing things during the daylight hours. Reminds me of when I was young and footloose, like Hilltool talks about in his cross-country jaunt with a pickup and a sleeping bag. I have done that same route--it is Hwy 2, WA State 20 connects with 2 at the Idaho border.

I expect to run Interstate 5 to 84 from Portland to Salt Lake City, then 80 on to Iowa, where I will get off the interstate onto the old Lincoln Highway 6 that runs mostly parallel to Hwy 80 through Iowa, but still goes through the, unfortunately declining, little farm towns. I would visit the farm house I was born in, but it is buried under Hwy 80 north of Earlham, Iowa. After poking around Iowa a few days, I will move on another 300 miles to visit my brother on the Wisconsin-Illinois border.

I got my Tekonsha brake controller and wiring harness in today's mail from Mantelli Trailer Sales in NY State--ordered it on July 1, and here it is in WA State today. Talk about service! I have read good things about Mantelli on this forum, but the proof is in the pudding--not only fast shipping, but a great price. Wow! One more project to complete and cross off the list.

Again, thank you for your much appreciated help.

Ron
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:01 AM   #29
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Well- at least I knew it had a "2" in there somewhere. Actually, it was about 25 years ago-----and that was a damn fine little Toyota truck, too, now that I think about it. One of the few vehicles I ever bought brand new.

Well- a little aging will do that to you....screws up your memory and makes you nostalgic at the same time.

Glad you found the drain.

Rick
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:31 AM   #30
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Make sure you take Mantelli Trailer sales inc. Phone # with you. They will answer any questions for you should you run into any problems. They have been our RV dealer for 12 yrs. They will answer any HiLo questions and will try to help you even if you don't order parts. Their prices are lower than camping world and will ship parts anywhere. Just good honest service and very comitted to HiLo owners. (716)625-8877. Jay in parts or Steve in service.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:14 PM   #31
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Yesterday (Friday) was a day off work for me, so I put it to use getting ready for the trip. Went back to the hitch dealer for the right ball, then off to get my truck windshield replaced and my canopy resealed. I'll be bringing back a few pieces of furniture from the old family home, and need to be reasonably certain that my truck bed doesn't leak too badly. My brother in Illinois has been storing the stuff for me, but I think he would like to free up some space.

My new iPad came in yesterday (along with my new snap-on towing mirrors), so I asked my son to come over for pizza and coke and give me some iPad instructions. The travel software is more than a little amazing, and we will be able to search the net while we're on the go. Perfect for a go-go-go traveler like me. Christine can search for a place to stop while I keep my foot on the gas.

One bonus of getting the Towlite ready for the trip is that my sons have been helping out, giving the old man a hand (no daughters, unfortunately, to help Mom; we are still waiting for daughters-in-law). It's hard to beat the pleasure of the young'uns shouldering me aside so they can take over. We raised them to be competent and productive and kind, and it's rewarding to see it in action.

Today it is on to getting the brake controller hooked up, getting the hitch weight equalized and the tow bars installed, then checking again that all the electrical stuff works. Somewhere in the day I'll get both propane tanks filled up. We may take it out for an hour or two trial run as the evening cools off.

It's supposed to be in the 80's today--a scorcher in this part of the country. I sometimes wonder how we managed to work in the field baling hay all day with that Midwest heat and humidity, and then in the middle of winter with temperatures in the negatives (I've seen 30 below, and it ain't pretty) we'd go tromping around the fields, hunting for whatever was in season.

Our last winter there, 1978-79, I had my wife take pictures of me shoveling snow, throwing it higher than my head. I said, if I ever think I want to go back, I will take out those pictures to remind me. Of course, just like my memory, those pictures have faded, and things don't look nearly so bad anymore. It's like Hilltool said, age screws up your memory and makes you nostalgic at the same time.

As I have said already, I am grateful for your collective wisdom and experience. If anyone has any thoughts of things to look out for, anything I am overlooking, I would appreciate a heads up. My brain is still a-buzz with all the to-dos, but slowly and surely, we are moving forward. Thanks for your help.

Ron
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:16 PM   #32
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Sam,

I forgot to thank you for the idea of taking along Mantelli's contact info. I have been getting a stack of just-in-case contacts, and I will add Mantelli to the list. Keep the ideas coming.

Ron
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:12 PM   #33
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Ah---the IPAD!

Now you can start downloading Apps. I found one I have just messed around with but it is " Allstays Camp and Rv ". You can search for it in the APP store. Lists campgrounds in whatever area you are travelling through and though I have just played with it around here (Wisconsin) I was surprised at how thorough it was in identifying all the campgrounds in the area. There is a bit of learning curve but [I]'m sure your navigator will have plenty of time to try it out. There are a bunch of others, of course. One I just saw is "iExit Lite" which is free and lists all interstate exits and rest stops and what is located there. What else you gonna do on interstate for two or three days?

Hope the rest of your shakedown is uneventful. Welcome back to the midwest They say this heatwave will break tonight----so hopefully it stays away for awhile.

Rick
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:31 PM   #34
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We even had to call them once when we had a Amonia smell from our dead refrigerator. Glad we had a cooler with us. I have read about some who have had to remove the burners from their stove because they won't stay in place during travel. Better to take them off and play safe. I don't know all the hours for Mantelli as they have changed and they are now open later on some evenings. Take a multi meter with you. Check your voltage at the campground before plugging in. They are cheap so get one to leave in the trailer or tow vehicle.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:36 AM   #35
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You might want to check out the propane system and go over it to make sure you don't have any leaks. I found a leak on my trailer when we went out for our first trip, luckily it was on the pigtail going to one of the tanks, I heard a hissing noise when I turned on the tanks and it was easily contained by just not using that tank and I replaced the hose when I got back home. I know they make a pressure tester that you can put in line with your propane tanks and then charge your system and monitor it for pressure loss to determine if you have a leak further down the line in your gas lines.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:50 PM   #36
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A good reminder to check all you propane connections with a spray bottle of two drops of dish soap and water. Be sure to lift your stove top and spray at the connection where it goes into the stove. We had a crack at our stove connection. We had to replace our regulator,hoses and tanks. You have a steel line,then maybe copper that could go underneath the trailer to be tapped into the stove,hot water heater and furnice. Different trailers may have a somewhat different route. We had the leakdown test performed at our dealer. Maybe it was around $25.00. We replaced our components due to old age.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:04 PM   #37
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I must be getting a little rummy: I don't recall exactly what I have posted, and I don't want to look back to see. Anyway, we have the Tekonsha P3 brake controller installed and programmed; have the Equalizer weight distribution/sway control adjusted; and took the rig out for a short run yesterday. No problems!

Got my propane tanks topped up last night--drove all over creation to find a place that would fill rather than replace, but got it done. PappaP and Sam, good advice about the propane system; I'll give it a going over this week.

Sam, thanks for the idea of taking along a multimeter. According to the fella I bought the trailer from, I have a 60 amp plug with a 30 amp adapter for house current. I am not certain what type of adapters I might need along the way; I seem to recall that when I ran my Class C, the RV parks would loan adapters, if needed. I would appreciate any insight anyone has regarding electrical adapters. Also, I assume that at least one plug in the trailer allows direct 120v current. Any idea where such a plug might be located?

I have at least one more trip to Camping World before I head out, so if anyone has any more suggestions before the coming weekend, I would appreciate your help. I will be taking back the black water hoses and fittings that I bought at Camping World a few days ago. I bought the Rhino system; trouble is the end connections are proprietary, which means I can't just change fittings as necessary. I think I will replace the Rhino system with the EZ system, which looks to be pretty universal. Any thoughts about it?

Hilltool, I did a web search today for more travel apps for my iPad. I bought the iExit Plus (I think it was), and installed a bunch more. Now I have to sort through them, and see which I will keep. Maybe I'll do a review of the different apps for this forum, things like accuracy, application, cost, etc. On the other hand, I tend to get highway fever and just go; drives my wife crazy, but does get us down the road. But it would make it tough to review the apps; I'll see how it goes.

Keep the ideas, suggestions, thoughts coming about things to look for before we head out next Tuesday. Our relatives out this way tend to think we are nuts to drive 5,000 miles in an untested trailer--"at our age". Maybe we are. But in our younger years we drove the same routes several times, patching up whatever outfit we were driving as we went. Makes for some great on-the-road repair stories, but I'm not sure I still have the flexibility and gumption to crawl around on asphalt and gravel; hopefully, I won't have to. Thanks for all your help.

Ron
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:07 AM   #38
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Ron

In my old Class "c" it came with a heavy duty extension cord as well as an adapter. This one came with an adapter also and I would certainly stop by camping world and ask them what they recommend and then get one---I would not trust a campground to have one available. You might also want to get a drinking water approved hose- they are white- you can also get water filters that attach to hose but I would definitely get a pressure regulator to attach, as somebody has recommended, to the FAUCET side of the hose going into the pressurized water fitting on the trailer when hooked to "city" water----that may have already been mentioned.

At least on mine- all the outlets are for 120. There are no DC outlets except for the cigarette lighter one near where the antenna leads come in. The other outlets are located in kitchen area on mine, which, again, is also a 2001. Also- if you have air cond-there is one in the bathroom for the air conditioner, though the 19 footer set up may be different on that.

Sounds like you are good to go for now and I'm sure you will figure out the rest on the way. I carry a couple of collapsible plastic water jugs left over from my tenting days so I know I have water in case I end up somewhere where it is not readily accessible right away. i also carry my backpacking stove in case my propane /stove top goes capoot----because I handle almost anything but I CANNOT ABIDE NOT HAVING COFFEE IN THE MORNING.

At "YOUR age" you probably can handle a crisis better than in the old days because, if you are like me, you probably have more credit cards now than you did then. Though- I find it detracts from the "adventure " a bit----but not enough to make me give them up.

Rick
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:25 AM   #39
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Ron,

Campgrounds don't loan anything anymore. The adapters that I carry are: 50 amp male to 30 amp female (corded type), 30 amp female to 15 amp male (puck type), and a 30 amp male to 15 amp female (puck type). These 3 adapters covers all the bases. I use the Rhino system sewer hose and think it is the best. It is made of stronger material and holds it's shape when compressed. I bought the 5' Rhino extension also, just in case.

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Old 07-09-2012, 08:00 AM   #40
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"According to the fella I bought the trailer from, I have a 60 amp plug with a 30 amp adapter for house current. I am not certain what type of adapters I might need along the way; I seem to recall that when I ran my Class C, the RV parks would loan adapters, if needed. I would appreciate any insight anyone has regarding electrical adapters. Also, I assume that at least one plug in the trailer allows direct 120v current. Any idea where such a plug might be located?"

Ron,

You will have to "piggy-back" the adapters to plug your 60-Amp power cord into a regular 110/ outlet. As retiredcamper47 explained the adapters he carries, you would need to plug a "Hockey Puck" looking adapter into your 30 amp adapter, then plug that into the 60-amp trailer cord. That would allow you to connect to a regular 110-volt outlet. Of course you are very limited as to what AC can be used at the same time, ie., Air conditioner, microwave, hair dryer, toaster, etc., just keep it to a bare minimum load. You didn't mention that you had one of these 'hockey puck' adapters and I would suggest you get one, especially if you may have to connect to a regular outlet if you are set up at a relatives house as an example.

I ran a separate 30 amp RV outlet in our RV garage that I use exclusively for RV usage. I might also suggest you get a 25' or 30' 30-amp extension cord. They come in handy on long runs.

I also carry a 12-guage regular household extension cord for use if I am parking at a relative or friend's house. The extra heavy wire gauge will ensure you can selectively run your air conditioner or hair dryer etc., but limits how many at the same time. Most household outlets are 15-amps.

Most RV parks do not 'loan' adapters. They prefer to sell one to you [at a greatly inflated price tag].

Hope this helps.

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