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Old 07-06-2021, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default Just Purchased, Things to Address Right Away?

Hey all!

I just purchased a 1985 Hilo Voyager 25B.

We will be storing it in our driveway, which has a slight decline to it. If I had to guess, I would say it is between 5 and 10 degrees. The hitch is toward the bottom.

Presently, I have a big rubber chock in front of each wheel (it is dual axle so there are 4 chocks in front of the 4 wheels) and I have a block of wood underneath the tongue jack, which is raised up quite a bit.

I am sort of paranoid about it moving. I did a TON of online research yesterday about what to do with sloped driveways but I'm still not feeling secure. I know the chocks are used for trucks and RVs way heavier and bigger than mine. I also ordered X chocks to use as well. Any ideas on things I can do to feel more secure? Is it crazy to think the tongue jack could collapse or slip or something?

I could likely park it on the level street and store it there, but I don't think that is a very classy thing to do (although many people in my neighborhood do that). It isn't illegal or against any rules as far as I can tell (researched this as well).

One thing that is unusual to me is that the trailer did not come with any stabilizer jacks and there do not appear to be any mounts on the corners of the trailer where a stabilizer jack could be mounted. Any advice on whether stabilizers are necessary or will help? My two worries are (1) the trailer rolling away, which I don't think a stabilizer jack will help with; and (2) the trailer moving around a lot when people are in it (we will be working on it, loading it up, etc. in our driveway), which is both uncomfortable when you are are in it and I'm also worried it is a safety risk.

My parents, who are longtime RV owners, think the chocks and tongue jack the way it is are super secure and tell me I have nothing to worry about.

Aside from just making sure it is stable and won't roll away, are there any other things I should be addressing immediately given the trailer's age? I do plan on resealing the windows and, if I can figure out how to do so, the door. I also plan on re-sealing the roof with something like Kool Seal.

Thank you!
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Old 07-06-2021, 05:28 PM   #2
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Hi and congrats on the trailer.

I think your big rubber chocks are more than enough to hold the trailer, especially since you have all 4 wheels chocked. However, the "X"-chocks that fit between the wheels of a tandem axle trailer are more convenient. The tongue jack should be fine too, but you should adjust it so the trailer is sitting level. They DO make a "tongue chock" - which is plastic and has a round depression in it that holds the jack securely. I have one and have bolted it to a leveling pad that has a bottom surface that holds it to other leveling pads. This way, I don't have to extend the jack too much to level the trailer.

You can buy stabilizing jacks that are pretty easy to attach to the frame. They are NOT used to "level" the trailer, or to keep it from rolling across the landscape. They are used only to eliminate the "ship at sea" feeling you will have it you move about in the trailer when it is parked. I'm pretty sure you can find these at etrailer.com, among other places and they are not too expensive. They are the "scissor type" and they can be bolted on to the frame.

Your other future plans for the trailer sound a good approach.

How old are the tires? Trailer tires should be changed after about five years. You DO NOT want a blowout! The sidewalls lose strength in use and they rarely have to be changed for treadwear. The bearings may need to be repacked too, get a wheel off the ground and rotate it by hand, listening for unpleasant noises.

How's the battery?

You've just taken on a new "hobby"! *grin*

- Jack
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Old 07-06-2021, 06:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
Hi and congrats on the trailer.

I think your big rubber chocks are more than enough to hold the trailer, especially since you have all 4 wheels chocked. However, the "X"-chocks that fit between the wheels of a tandem axle trailer are more convenient. The tongue jack should be fine too, but you should adjust it so the trailer is sitting level. They DO make a "tongue chock" - which is plastic and has a round depression in it that holds the jack securely. I have one and have bolted it to a leveling pad that has a bottom surface that holds it to other leveling pads. This way, I don't have to extend the jack too much to level the trailer.

You can buy stabilizing jacks that are pretty easy to attach to the frame. They are NOT used to "level" the trailer, or to keep it from rolling across the landscape. They are used only to eliminate the "ship at sea" feeling you will have it you move about in the trailer when it is parked. I'm pretty sure you can find these at etrailer.com, among other places and they are not too expensive. They are the "scissor type" and they can be bolted on to the frame.

Your other future plans for the trailer sound a good approach.

How old are the tires? Trailer tires should be changed after about five years. You DO NOT want a blowout! The sidewalls lose strength in use and they rarely have to be changed for treadwear. The bearings may need to be repacked too, get a wheel off the ground and rotate it by hand, listening for unpleasant noises.

How's the battery?

You've just taken on a new "hobby"! *grin*

- Jack
I will have to look into getting a tongue chock. That would definitely help me feel more secure. When you refer to leveling pads, are you talking about something like "Camco 44510 Heavy Duty Leveling Blocks"? They look like big flat hard plastic Legos? I think it might make a lot of sense given the slight decline to my driveway.

I am going to buy some stabilizer jacks, the scissor type you refer to, it just was odd to me that there were holes or anything for them. But perhaps there is some sort of mounting bracket I can purchase to go with them. I'd like to avoid having to learn how to weld if at all possible

I truly have no clue how old the tires were. I have to assume they were very old since one of them blew up on the way home. I'm taking it to Discount Tire later this week to get brand new tires because I dont' want that to happen again. While I knew it wasn't a big deal, it was a frustrating time sink and my wife and daughter were scared and my wife is now worried about our purchase. I've reassured her that these tires were probably very old to have one blow up the way it did (literally all of the tread came off of it). I may see if the tire place is willing to take a look at the bearings and/or the brakes.

The battery is probably a dud. It looks super old. We are planning on buying a new marine battery for it. That is on the list of things to buy!
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Old 07-06-2021, 08:43 PM   #4
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Default Jack gave you good advice.

You want to have the trailer nearly level if you have a propane refrigerator. This way you can light it up 24hrs. before departure. It takes overnight to get cold. It is recommended that you pull all your windows and realign with butyl tape and Lexel caulk on the outside. You tube has a tutorial on how to do this. We didn't know to do this and we had much wall damage to repair. The bonus is with the window out you can see your wall layers. It will give you a clue if you have delamination. Next on the list is greasing the guide rod. Very important to grease your cables each season. Ask us if you need specific instructions. All this seems over whelming. You will get caught up. Test out all your systems. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 07-06-2021, 08:54 PM   #5
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I have watched videos on greasing the guide rod and taking out the windows and resealing them. Definitely seems doable. I am now worried that I will find some water damaged that isn’t visible from the outside. But I have also watched some videos on how to repair water damage and feel pretty comfortable I can repair that too if needed. I will try to start doing these things this weekend. I know my wife is going to tear apart the inside this weekend. She wants to refinish all of the cabinetry and trim, put in new floors, and make new curtains and room divider fabric. So hopefully we will be seeing some big changes pretty soon. Really could go quickly just depends on whether there are any major issues that are unseen right now that cause us to take a pause!
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Old 07-06-2021, 11:02 PM   #6
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If you had a tire fail already, yes - change ALL the tires! When I get new ones for my trailer, I plan to get the new Goodyear Endurance trailer tires. These are speed rated to 87 mph and they are available in load range E. I HAVE been a big fan of the Maxxis M8008 trailer tires, in load range D, but like other trailer tires, they are speed rated to only 65 mph. It would be nice to be able to keep up with traffic on the interstates.

I suspect your bearings are fine. In a house trailer, they don't deteriorate like the ones on boat trailers (that are submerged in water frequently) do. I've never found any damage in my bearings during the 14 years I've had the trailer. Had to replace the brakes though, when the trailer was less than a year old, because the adjuster mechanisms fell apart on the OEM brakes. The replacements I put in have worked perfectly. Got them from etrailer.com.

Yes, the leveling blocks are sort of like Legos and I think they are a great investment. I have more of a problem securing my trailer with its single axle than you do with tandem axles, so I felt the tongue chock was necessary.

I'm pretty sure the stabilizer jacks can be bolted on. No need to learn welding right away.

One thing I highly recommend is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). This will give you real time information on the pressure and temperature of your trailer tires while towing. If you get one, get a good one: I recommend the products sold by Tire Minder - they have great customer service and the system works great too. There is another brand (TST) that costs about the same (or a bit more) that looks good too. Stay away from cheap ones.

- Jack
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Old 07-07-2021, 08:23 PM   #7
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Default Advice

Best if two people work on taking out the windows. Then coat the roof. Hold the DW off until you see if you need wall repairs. ON our 1996 we found the start of delamination on the exit window.Bought this trailer three yrs. ago. Make a list of what you need to do. Won't seem so over whelming. Last year DH spent four sessions checking all the caulking. Welcome to your expensive hobby.
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Old 07-07-2021, 08:44 PM   #8
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OK. I watched some videos on how to repair any issues with the roof but haven't seen any about walls. Hopefully I don't find anything too problematic but we will see. I can be handy if I need to be but I don't really want to rebuild an entire trailer if I have to!
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Old 07-16-2021, 01:12 AM   #9
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When you get to the point of taking the trailer out on trips, you might want to look into Anderson Levelers (https://andersenhitches.com/products/camper-leveler) for getting your trailer leveled at campsites - we've been using them for about 4 years and you couldn't pay me enough to go back to stacked blocks under the tires.
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Old 07-19-2021, 09:45 AM   #10
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When you get to the point of taking the trailer out on trips, you might want to look into Anderson Levelers (https://andersenhitches.com/products/camper-leveler) for getting your trailer leveled at campsites - we've been using them for about 4 years and you couldn't pay me enough to go back to stacked blocks under the tires.
May have to get some of those. They look easy. This is getting expensive really quick But wife and I still feeling like it will be very much worth it. So far have had to replace basically an entire window frame and in the process of sanding and repainting all the cabinets.
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Old 07-19-2021, 02:30 PM   #11
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I love those things - averages 3-5 min to get the trailer leveled side to side using the Andersons vs 10-20 min with stacked blocks or boards (with a LOT less frustration). As a side benefit, on a relatively flat pad both axles wind up with about the same amount of lift, equalizing the load on both.

We kept our old "lego-block" stackers to use under the stabilizing jacks - they work great when there's a low corner, or we're on a short pad with a significant drop off at the back.
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