So nervous first trip and camper moves a lot is this normal

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Filip K, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Filip K

    Filip K New Member

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    So just got back from our 5 day trip! WOW was it a BLAST!!!!!!!! But man i have questions which i will be posting. Towing with my 2014 sienna wasn't bad however we went down a 12% grade hill and i had to downshift big time. other than that i think the height of the camper was perfect we did however sit a little low in the back but we were backed very heavy as this was our first trip. We had AC. heat, water , electricity it was AWESOME. The kids were unplugged from electronics for the week and did i mention it was awesome? lol thank you to everyone in here helping me out.

    If i could ask one more thing is there a way to help the camper with braking? Currently it does not have electronic brakes on it i feel like that would have helped the big hills we have here in the poconos PA. I am not sure if its worth adding e brakes to trailer of just get a trans cooler and just downshift for the hills as needed. We only really went down about 3 hills that i could have used some trailer brake help. But nothing the van didn't handle safely otherwise.
     
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Didn't that pup come with brakes? Looking at the weight listed on the specs (on colemanpopupparts) it looks like that is almost 2000# unloaded, if I read it correctly. What is the weight limit for no brakes for the TV? Our first pup was under 800#, didn't have brakes, and we did OK. After towing our second pup, at around 2500# with brakes, I would not tow again without. It's not just down hills to worry about, but those unexpected road hazards.
    Even with brakes on the camper, we downshift on most descents - save brakes all around. (Our current truck has a tow setting and it will down shift when it's on.)
     
  3. Filip K

    Filip K New Member

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    yeah its a 1998 Coleman mesa PUP is 2262 lbs per the website, however i did read in my paper work it was 1980 lbs. Its big and i was surprised it didn't have them either. I also found that driving the van in not the "D" drive mode and setting it to 4th gear and playing around down from there when needed it was better, i mean the van did fine but e brakes would have maybe eased my mine. As far as weight and e brakes i dont know what is the rule
     
  4. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    According to the Sienna manual, trailer brakes are required if the trailer is more than 1,000 lbs. My pup is only about 1,200 lbs dry, 2,000 gross. I added brakes to it and am very glad I did. With mine, I find it best to keep the controller set really low, so it only kicks in on medium and heavy braking, but it really helps in those situations.

    Like kitphantom said, it’s actually best to downshift going down hills to save the brakes. They can overheat if they’re ridden too long. It won’t hurt the TV as long as you aren’t redlining it. I’ll also use engine braking when rolling up to a redlight. May as well save the brakes for when they’re really needed.

    Both Lynx and Camco make chocks that lock in to the legos. I have the Lynx set and really like them. I feel really secure knowing that it’s all locked together with the weight of the tire holding it down. I just make sure the blocks are extended enough to fit a basic plastic chock on top of them too in front of the tire.

    https://www.amazon.com/Tri-Lynx-000...TF8&qid=1535421216&sr=8-1&keywords=Lynx+chock

    https://www.amazon.com/Camco-44401-...F8&qid=1535421265&sr=1-3&keywords=Camco+chock
     
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  5. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I treat my Sunbrella with 303 waterprooofing every year. If you don't treat it, it will leak.
     
  6. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    I would look under and check that there aren't any brakes. My 2000 Coleman Mesa has brakes! Hopefully they there and all you need to do is wire them in.
     
  7. Filip K

    Filip K New Member

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    Yeah so mine has new hubs no e brakes also there is a random blue wire that is tied up around wheels and by the tounge. It sure where that went too, but yeah no e brakes
     
  8. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    The blue wire is typically for brakes, so it sounds like a previous owner probably removed the brakes and installed regular idler hubs instead.
     
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  9. Filip K

    Filip K New Member

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    yeah i have a feeling this is what happened, i know there is no e brakes as i changed all the bearing before we left it was just hubs, this kinda stinks! I tried looking online to see if the 1998 mesa came with e brakes as a standard to confirm this hunch but i dont see anything online about it
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Here is how the Lynx chocks work. We drive onto the blocks, and just snug up to the chock, the add the one at the back.
    The site at North Fork CG in the Flat Tops (CO) was the one that convinced us to buy more Lynx blocks. (That was the Popup Portal Rally 2012.) We had one stabilizer that was not on blocks since we ran out, and it had to be readjusted because it sank into the soft ground.
    We use a stack of Lynx at times under the stabs, so they don't extend way out - they are more stable that way. We also use a stack under the tongue jack - again more stable if it's not extended way out, also less cranking, we've never had an electric jack.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
    Filip K likes this.
  11. Filip K

    Filip K New Member

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    BTW how do you like your chevy? its on my radar
     
  12. Filip K

    Filip K New Member

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    yeah i treated mine as well
     
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We really like the Silverado, which is my daily driver. Except for the ground squirrel chewing the wiring for one ignition coil (could have been worse - and at least it was at home and not in the middle of nowhere) a couple of weeks ago, we haven't had any issues in 11 months and 14000 miles. That's a bit lower mileage than we'd usually have in that amount of time, since I got sick in May and canceled 4 camping trips. Pulls the Retro very nicely, even under windy conditions and uphill/downhill.
    Previous TV was a '15 Colorado, which was nice, but a lot noisier in the cab (had a lot of real problems). The dealer could not repair its issues permanently, so they were very fair to us and got us into the Silverado, since there were no long bed Colorados in stock. We're very happy we up-sized to the Silverado.
     
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  14. sawdusty

    sawdusty San Antonio

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    You are only going to use the leveling blocks under the low side tire. Chock the opposite tire first then you can chock the wheel on the leveling blocks. Now, level front to back using the trailer jack.
     
  15. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    I tow a heavier camper than you and I pretty much exclusively use down shifting going down hills. I find it works great. I do have a tranny cooler and it is important that you "get ahead of the curve" and down shift before speed gets up too high so that rpms are manageable. My last two trips have been out West and there are times that I am down in first gear going down some hills (Lassen for example). I barely ever use my actual tow vehicle brakes going down hills. I find downshifting very effective and it gives me much better control, but again, you have to anticipate the situation and be proactive with it.
     
  16. coleman97

    coleman97 Member

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    We had torrential downpours, no wind, for hours over night! I had put some cheap plastic tarps from harbor freight, to hang over the bunk ends, with clips to clip it to the canvas seams. Even though I didnt tuck them under the roof, we didn't have a single leak. Some water got under the tarps, since if it ran off the roof it could run under the tarp, but made me feel better and was much easier to clean all the crap from the trees that fell off.
     
  17. coleman97

    coleman97 Member

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    Agree on the tires, I think it is like $150 or so to get new ones installed, do the spare too ;)
     

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