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Old 03-27-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
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Default Must Haves for maiden voyage home?


My husband and I will be traveling four hours south this Saturday to pick up our new to us 2004 2619. We've been tent campers for many years, so we're learning about towing and campers as we go.

Besides very obvious things we'll need in place, such as correct hitch, wiring, and brake controller (Prodigy, hope to have that installed tomorrow!) - what other items do you all recommend we bring with us?

List so far:

Bottle jack (plus floor jack?)
jack stands - overkill?
High psi tire gauge
Portable compressor
Infrared temperature gun for checking bearings
Basic tool kit - any ones specific to TMs we should have?
Road hazard kit with reflective triangle
Wheel chucks
Locking hitch pin - any other things we need locks for?

I have downloaded Mike & Kelly's manual- thanks!

Roll of paper towels / grease gun, two tubes of NLGI-2
(can you tell I'm paranoid? haha)

There is a Harbor Freight in our area, which I noticed everyone recommends.

We'll be running on flatlands with '07 Jeep Commander TV, so we're not concerned about cooling/tranny issues at this time.

The PO tells us the tires are 'like new', but we plan to replace at home and have bearings repacked, brakes checked etc.

We're very excited about graduating to a TM after reading so many good comments and reviews of their campers! It will be a relief to pull it safely into our driveway, though, with us being such newbies. The forum is soooo helpful.

Jim & Sheri
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:44 AM   #2
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I highly recommend you have an auxiliary transmission cooler installed at the same time as the hitch and brake controller. My original TV was a 2003 Jeep Liberty. One of the first things I had installed was an auxiliary transmission cooler (at the same time the shop installed the hitch and brake controller). Towing short distances over level terrain can place a strain on the transmission and cause it to fail prematurely.

Dick & Jeri in Western MA
2003 2720 SL
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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Congrats!! You won't regret it! I have felt your excitement! Can't wait to get on the road with my own TM!!
Please pay the $12 to join this forum! Worth 100 times the amount. There is a wealth of information here going back many many years. And everyone is willing to help.
And start reading! And use the search engine. The questions you have, others have already asked and most likely you will find the answer already posted here somewhere.
If you don't, then just ask and if it has been answer, they will give you the correct posting. If it hasn't been asked, you will get many answers from the veterans here.
Welcome welcome!!

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Old 03-27-2012, 12:45 PM   #4
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Heh, my maiden voyage out I forgot wheel chocks. Was not easy to find on a Sunday in rural Wisconsin...

Congrats, and welcome to the Family!
2009.5 2720SL
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:12 PM   #5
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If you have Mike and Kelley's manual, you've just about got it all.

2020 2720QS (aka 2720SL)
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:51 PM   #6
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Make sure the TM battery is fully charged prior to your arrival. It will power the brakes in the event the TM separates from your vehicle.

The tires on most folks' TM's are "like new", even the ones that blow out -- that's because trailer tires typically get very little wear. But it's the age that counts. If it were me, and the tires were more than ~3-4 years old (via the date code on the tire), my first stop would be to a tire dealer near the seller to get them replaced. I would not wait till I got home -- since you're going to do it anyway, why not have the benefit of brand new tires on your first trip instead of risking a damaging blowout before you even get home? You could even call the tire shop between now and then to pre-order the tires to make sure they were there upon your arrival, and set an appt for Saturday. It could also be the time to upgrade to 15" wheels if it doesn't have them already. Three new wheels & tires are ~$500.

If the hubs were anything but slightly warm by the time I got to the tire shop, I would also have them repack (or even replace) the bearings and adjust the brakes at the same time -- it would probably cost about $100. Again, since you're going to do it anyway.....

Especially since you're new to towing, you really really want to avoid a blowout.

I think the jack stands are overkill.

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:55 PM   #7
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Get a T handle lug wrench from an auto store with the standard assortment of lug sizes. TM doe not use the same lug size as most vehicles. The other accessories you have ready will be of little use if you can not get the lugs off.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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You will also need a driver bit for Robertson screws. Scroll down on this link page:

A multi-bit screwdriver will usually include these bits. The Robertson/Scrulox screws are used all over the TrailManor. Most importantly, you will need the square bit to remove the fender skirts for tire/brake/wheel service.
Mike Laupp

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Old 03-27-2012, 03:56 PM   #9
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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I recommend using a checklist when setting up and up-setting! There are many good ones on this forum. There are so many little things to remember that if not done can mess up the TrailManor. We purchased our first TM July 2010 and due to hail damage traded up to a new one in July 2011. We have set up probably 25 times and still we forget to do something if we don't adhere to our checklist. For instance, one time we forgot to put the roof vents down, another time we forgot to move the microwave cabinet. Another time we forgot to pull the T-handle to empty the black water and had to open it up again so we could empty.

I agree that the best $12 you can spend is to join this forum. We read it nearly every day at first and still log in a couple of times a week to see what is happening. There are so many avid TMers and they have so much knowledge to offer that I can't imagine owning a TM without being on this forum!

Check the date on your tires. We did not know to do this and on our first camping trip in August 2010, we had our first blow out on the side of busy I-40 between Knoxville and Nashville. We spent 2-3 hours waiting on someone to come and change our tire. That could probably have been avoided if we had checked. You can find more information on that by trying the search option.

Good luck and best wishes for many years of happy camping!
Jere & Paula
Knoxville, TN
2012 TM3023
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee I6/w/tow package
Prodigy 2 brake controller
Eaz-Lift 1000 lb WDH
After market heavy duty cooling fan
After Market heavy duty transmission cooler
McKesh Mirrors
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by knoxjere View Post

We spent 2-3 hours waiting on someone to come and change our tire.
My brother-in-law was surprised to see me swap the spare for the blow out in less than 30 minutes. I could have gone even faster if it were not for my one bad knee.

Whoever, if I was on a busy road and it was the street size and I was unable or unwilling to tow it with the flat a short distance to a safe area then I would wait until help arrived.

I like the folding star/spinner lug wrench. It folds up so it is a bit smaller for storage.

I have a head lamp and flashlights easily accessible in case I get a flat after dark.
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