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Old 03-08-2019, 07:57 AM   #1
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Need advice on upcoming trip

Hello everyone!

We are hoping to get a little feedback on an upcoming trip we have planned. Myself, Wife and 2 kids (9 & 11) are going in June for a 2 week trip to Yellowstone leaving from Louisiana. We have a 377 RLBH thatís about a year old and to this point have only had a couple of minor issues that our dealer took care of right away.

We do use our trailer frequently as is serves as our camp on a permanent site about an hour from our house.

I did not purchase or order my trailer with the generator package so I am in the process of adding a rear storage rack that has a locking truck box mounted to it. It will house 2 paired Honda 2000 generators that will allow us to run off our 30 amp service. We have reservations at a camp site with 50 amp service every night we are out in Yellowstone but for the 3 day drive out there and back I will wing it. On the way out I will attempt to find a park each night and if I run out of luck and canít find one then we will boondock at a Crackerbarrel, Walmart, Flying J or rest area.

We did a trip last summer with the same trailer to the Smokey Mountains and then over to Nashville and didnít have any problems. We didnít boondock on that trip and didnít have a need for a generator. Any suggestions on differences in Smokeyís vs Yellowstone trip? Boondocking vs campsites at night?

Here is a list of items I plan on bringing or installing prior to trip as I prepare for the worse and hope for the best:

-TPMS
-2nd spare tire
-Trailer-aid tire changing ramp
-air compressor
-impact wrench
-spare schwintec slide motor
-spare front electric jack motor
-2) 5 gallon gas cans for generator (one will self feed to the paired generators at a time)
-add a/c soft start
-spare roll of eternabond tape
-regular tool kit I carry


Any suggestions or feedback on travels plans or anything else is welcome.

Thanks!!!
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:41 AM   #2
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Looks like you have most everything covered, a backup/rear view camera would be nice to have, if you don't have one.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:19 AM   #3
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If you're adding the screw on type TPMS sensors to the trailer tires you may want to consider switching the valve stems to metal. The screw on type TPMS sensors will add stress to the values stems that might weaken them to the point of developing a leak.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:49 AM   #4
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Don't know the route you're looking at, but I seriously doubt you'll have any trouble finding a place while traveling to and from, especially if you're planning to travel the Interstates.

I've never been to GSM but Yellowstone is absolutely wonderful. It may have been the best vacation of my life.

Don't forget about Grand Tetons NP. When we were there in 2015 our entry fee to Yellowstone covered Grand Teton too. The Tetons don't get the love that Yellowstone gets, but they are spectacular in their own right.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:37 PM   #5
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Yellowstone is a great park and has many environments. Everything from hot to chilly. Take hiking boots, backpacks, water bottles, power bars in car at all times. You may go further and stay longer than you planned. Photo opportunities abound so don't forget plenty of storage. Ranger led hikes are great. There is a river fed by hot springs that we swam in. Never know if that has changed, but keep suits in car too. Hats for everybody and lots of sunscreen.

Do you carry a first aid kit in the car? Load up on some games, my kids always loved the big domino sets when it rained, etc. Cell phone is spotty so a pair of walkie talkies is handy.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:52 PM   #6
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My 2 cents:
--Do not buy the Honda generators, which certainly would cost a pretty penny.
--Just dry camp when you cannot find a park with electricity. The kids might prefer the freedom that might come with dry camping in an off-the-beaten path area....
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:35 PM   #7
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The only thing I see on your list that I question is the Trailer-aid tire changing ramp. I had one and returned it because it didn't lift the wheel high enough to put the spare on. I travel with a 20 ton bottle jack that lifts the trailer easily. You'll love Yellowstone, it's breathtaking!
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the reply’s and advice. I have a few questions as a result:

Tire Ramp: I’ve read a few different opinions on using the rear electric jacks to lift the camper. What’s your opinion of this? If not then Is the bottle jack from the truck an option if I block it up some? I’ve used my bottle jack on a previous Jayco bumber pull trailer that we had and it worked fine. I actually changed a tire at one stop faster than my wife ordered McDonalds Lol.

Honda 2000 paired generators: reason I chose these are because they are quiet and very fuel efficient. I also like the idea if I’m not running the a/c then I can just fire up one to run the lights and fridge and recharge my house battery’s. Figured they are pretty light too since I am putting them on a rear rack. Any reason why they are a bad idea?

Couple of other concerns are the cross winds once we get onto 80 in Wyoming. I have heard that it can be brutal. I have a SRW truck and I know a dually would add more stability but it is not an option for us. I plan on taking our time but any suggestions besides a new truck? I would also prefer to change out my original factory brakes to disc brakes but I probably won’t get around to that either. I plan on using the exhaust brake on the truck while going down the grades. Any suggestions here as well?

Thanks for all the helpful replies.....
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Old 03-10-2019, 05:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclerico View Post
Thanks for all the replyís and advice. I have a few questions as a result:

Tire Ramp: Iíve read a few different opinions on using the rear electric jacks to lift the camper. Whatís your opinion of this? If not then Is the bottle jack from the truck an option if I block it up some? Iíve used my bottle jack on a previous Jayco bumber pull trailer that we had and it worked fine. I actually changed a tire at one stop faster than my wife ordered McDonalds Lol.

Honda 2000 paired generators: reason I chose these are because they are quiet and very fuel efficient. I also like the idea if Iím not running the a/c then I can just fire up one to run the lights and fridge and recharge my house batteryís. Figured they are pretty light too since I am putting them on a rear rack. Any reason why they are a bad idea?

Couple of other concerns are the cross winds once we get onto 80 in Wyoming. I have heard that it can be brutal. I have a SRW truck and I know a dually would add more stability but it is not an option for us. I plan on taking our time but any suggestions besides a new truck? I would also prefer to change out my original factory brakes to disc brakes but I probably wonít get around to that either. I plan on using the exhaust brake on the truck while going down the grades. Any suggestions here as well?

Thanks for all the helpful replies.....
1) when speaking of the rear electric jacks, my bets are these are only stabilizers, and should not be used to lift the trailer, they will likely fail

2) Honda generators, first check Costco, locally they have Yamaha inverter 2000 watt generators for $550 each, it includes the cable to pair them up. See photo attached (priced $499 last year)

3) I-80 can be windy, but for most days it is easily passable, there are times the winds can be dangerous, but keeping an eye on the weather reports will keep you safe. Worse case scenario you could stay on I-25 north to Casper, Wyoming, then Hwy 20 to Hwy 26 to Cody, Wyoming to enter Yellowstone from the east entrance.

4) my truck has the exhaust brake, standard trailer brakes, you should be fine, I have pulled my trailer from San Antonio to Cody and through Yellowstone and never had issues on the grades.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:45 AM   #10
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We made a trip from Erie PA to Yellowstone a few years ago. We determined how far we wanted to drive each day and look for campgrounds near each stopping point. We found sites with power at each stopping point. We also had power at our site in Yellowstone.

In Yellowstone, plan on getting on the road early each day and packing a lunch so you don't have to return to your camper for lunch as you will see more of the park and wildlife. Be sure to respect the wildlife and keep your distance. They are wild animals. Each year many visitors are injured by getting too close trying to get goo photographs with their phones or tablets. Yellowstone is one place a good telephoto lens will get a good work out.
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:52 AM   #11
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I think your over thinking this: Finished a 6000 mi trip to the west coast last fall, never had a problem finding a spot to camp with power and water. 1. agree that TPMS valve stem sensors should be installed on metal stems. 2. second spare - overkill 3. I change a tire using a pyramid of lego levelers 4&5. I carry a battery powered Viar portable compressor and cordless impact gun with sockets 6&7. spare slide motor and jack motor - overkill (fairly new RV). 8. sounds like you're already "sold" on the generators, but unless you dry camp, a lot, batteries will suffice for a night without shore power. 9. soft start on new RV, not necessary. 10. good call on the eternabond. Take the dough you save and buy the kids DVD players. There is very little that ca't be "fixed" while traveling, and, "Murphy's Law" will prevail, whatever you have for a spare, won't be anything that breaks - LOL
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