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Old 08-13-2021, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Parking the trailer - Newbie

I have just returned from a week long trip. Backed in to the driveway with the usual amount of discord (the other left...STOP!!).
Unhitched the trailer, after pulling one side up on leveling blocks, and putting down the hitch jack to level front to back.
Then the coach moved about 6 inches, off the blocks.
What am i doing wrong?
I thought disconnecting the 7 pin connector locked the brakes. Don't know where to search for this bit of common knowledge.
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Old 08-13-2021, 10:28 PM   #2
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No, disconnecting the 7 pin connector does not engage the electric brakes. Only way to engage the brakes is to pull the breakaway switch pin. But you don't want to do that for a prolonged period of time because it will run down your battery quickly and possibly burn out the brake magnets in the process. You should just block the wheels to prevent the trailer from moving.
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Old 08-14-2021, 06:10 AM   #3
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Chocking the wheels to keep the camper from moving is a good thing. Unless you like chasing the camper thru the neighbors yard.... How did you disconnect at the campsite?
Might consider searching how trailer brakes work and a few trailer towing basics on line for a little self help. For example: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTq...96TUZ1gX3frQtg
Forums are great for some things but there are specific articles available that will help keep you from causing damage or injury.
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Old 08-14-2021, 03:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Chocking the wheels to keep the camper from moving is a good thing. Unless you like chasing the camper thru the neighbors yard.... How did you disconnect at the campsite?
Might consider searching how trailer brakes work and a few trailer towing basics on line for a little self help. For example: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTq...96TUZ1gX3frQtg
Forums are great for some things but there are specific articles available that will help keep you from causing damage or injury.
Oh and you'll have more fun too.
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Old 08-16-2021, 09:22 AM   #5
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I have never used the TT’s electric brakes as a method to prevent “roll” when disconnected from the truck. TBCH, never even thought of it! Whenever the TT is not hitched to the truck, I use the standard wheel chocks that wedge between the wheel and ground. I have four of them and place them behind the front wheel and in front of the rear wheel. I’ve been considering the kind that fits between the tandem wheels and uses a screw mechanism to “wedge” the wheels and prevent them from moving but the standard ones are working fine, so for now, I’ll continue to use them. The only time that chocks aren’t used is when the TT is in the storage barn. The storage guy likes to be able to move the trailers around when packing them in sardine-style and doesn’t want to have to chock and unchock every time he moves one. The barn floor is dead flat so there’s no gravity driven tendency for the trailers to move on their own.
The standard wheel chocks are relatively inexpensive but if one wished to save a few pennies, four 8” pieces of 4x4 would work just fine. Hmm, with the current prices of lumber, the commercial standard wheel chocks might even be cheaper .
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Old 08-16-2021, 10:59 AM   #6
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The very FIRST thing to do when unhitching a camper or any trailer from the tow vehicle is to chock the wheels on both sides to prevent it from moving.

As well, the last thing to do after hitching up a camper/trailer to the tow vehicle is remove the wheel chocks.
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Old 08-16-2021, 06:13 PM   #7
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Thank you all.
Also thanks for resisting the impulse to comment.
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Old 08-17-2021, 03:35 AM   #8
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Once, a long time ago, we forgot the chocks when unhitching, and the trailer rolled down the driveway and into the street! No one was hurt and no damage to the trailer, but lesson learned.

Now, we have a well established ritual. The very first step in unhitching is this: we look at each other and say, "Chocks chocks chocks." It still makes us smile, after all these years.
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Old 08-17-2021, 08:10 AM   #9
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A friend of mine lost a wheel on a new camper he had bought. He had never checked the lug nuts. Now whenever he or I prepare for a trip we take and text a picture to the other proving we checked the lugs.

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Old 08-17-2021, 12:19 PM   #10
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I use a torque wrench to re-torque the lug nuts on each wheel about every 600 miles of travel just as a matter of "general maintenance" and carry a torque wrench in the camper along with my supply of 'emergency tools.'
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Old 08-17-2021, 05:39 PM   #11
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Eagle -- does that mean your lug nuts are coming loose? Because if they are staying put, you would not need to re-torque them, right?

Checking every 600 miles means once every couple of days -- we often travel three or four hundred miles a day. (Almost never more than that, though.)

If it is true that the lug nuts get loose over time, that is very important information, so thanks in advance for your answer.
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Old 08-17-2021, 05:44 PM   #12
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Gary, you said "thanks for resisting the impulse to comment." If you mean "thanks for not laughing at a newbie mistake," you have come to the right forum!

For whatever reason, this particular forum encourages candid questions by newbies, and it is considered impolite to laugh at other folks' mistakes. (Our own mistakes, however, are fair game.)

So don't self-censor -- ask away! Us old timers love to answer questions and help the newbies avoid our old mistakes. We were all newbies, once upon a time.
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Old 08-18-2021, 06:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profdant139 View Post
Once, a long time ago, we forgot the chocks when unhitching, and the trailer rolled down the driveway and into the street! No one was hurt and no damage to the trailer, but lesson learned.

Now, we have a well established ritual. The very first step in unhitching is this: we look at each other and say, "Chocks chocks chocks." It still makes us smile, after all these years.
Perfect example of the old saying “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement”
I used to park my FF on our sloped driveway and early on in camper ownership, “almost” had a similar incident. Fortunately, I had only moved the truck enough to clear the hitch and saw right away that there was some forward creep. I don’t think that it would have made it into the street but it definitely would have been an embarrassing situation. We now have a gravel parking pad on level ground and while there’s no tendency to roll on its own, I always chock the wheels!
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profdant139 View Post
Eagle -- does that mean your lug nuts are coming loose? Because if they are staying put, you would not need to re-torque them, right?

Checking every 600 miles means once every couple of days -- we often travel three or four hundred miles a day. (Almost never more than that, though.)

If it is true that the lug nuts get loose over time, that is very important information, so thanks in advance for your answer.
Obviously - you travel more than I but perhaps I should have said before and after an outing. And no, the lug nuts are not coming loose even with some tight turning often involved.

To each their own, however, IMO - checking the lug nuts is like checking the engine oil/trans fluid/brake fluid, coolant level, washer fluid, etc. in the tow vehicle, the air pressure in tires, the propane in the tanks, the level in the fresh, black and grey water tanks, etc. and falls into the "7 P program" - Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Pizz Poor Performance which I have found very beneficial. That could be why my "travel tool & emergency kit' is seldom even needed. In fact, in the past decade and more, I've only used it one time for an elected 'non-emergency' repair.
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Old 08-18-2021, 03:57 PM   #15
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Trailer and axle manufacturers recommend checking the lugs before each trip and after any know stress "event" such as hard or prolonged braking, striking a curb, hard pothole etc.
It's cheap insurance. I always check mine at 105 Ft/lb. They don't have to be that precise. If you don't want to purchase a torque wrench a regular tire iron will do. Just be sure they feel tight enough to not come loose and that they all feel the same.

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Old 08-18-2021, 05:25 PM   #16
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Well, I am continuing to learn new stuff! I had thought that a well-tightened lug nut (properly torqued) did not need to be checked very often.

I will now add a new item onto my pre-trip checklist!
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Old 08-19-2021, 12:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APD View Post
Trailer and axle manufacturers recommend checking the lugs before each trip and after any know stress "event" such as hard or prolonged braking, striking a curb, hard pothole etc.
It's cheap insurance. I always check mine at 105 Ft/lb. They don't have to be that precise. If you don't want to purchase a torque wrench a regular tire iron will do. Just be sure they feel tight enough to not come loose and that they all feel the same.

My2%
Thanks --- I knew I read that someplace before so started the practice myself.

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Old 08-22-2021, 06:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
I use a torque wrench to re-torque the lug nuts on each wheel about every 600 miles of travel just as a matter of "general maintenance" and carry a torque wrench in the camper along with my supply of 'emergency tools.'
And how often do you re-torque the lugs on your tow vehicle? …towing or not?
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Old 08-23-2021, 06:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
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And how often do you re-torque the lugs on your tow vehicle? …towing or not?
Perhaps you need to ask the trailer and axel mgrs why they make the recommendation?

Originally Posted by APD View Post
Trailer and axle manufacturers recommend checking the lugs before each trip and after any know stress "event" such as hard or prolonged braking, striking a curb, hard pothole etc.
It's cheap insurance. I always check mine at 105 Ft/lb. They don't have to be that precise. If you don't want to purchase a torque wrench a regular tire iron will do. Just be sure they feel tight enough to not come loose and that they all feel the same.

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Old 08-23-2021, 08:14 AM   #20
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What's it hurt to check? It could maybe save a lot.
Maybe the manufacturers recommendation is a bit of CYA on their part. But I can say that actually checking the lugs IS definitively CYA on my part.
Warning: Pre-retirement story.....Our service vans haul ladders on the roof. The ladder racks are the "lock down" type that secure the ladders as best as can be expected. I would always have the guys add an extra straps and restraints to further the safety. When bad things happen you have to not only explain your actions to yourself, you may have to explain to others what you did to protect their loved ones. If I have to one day be in that situation I want to always be able to say I did my best.
There are many things that I do in the name of safety and CYA. After something goes wrong is the worst time to make a wish....

BTW: on my vehicles I check the lugs at least every oil change and a few days after every tire rotation.

Happy towing.
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