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Old 09-14-2018, 10:50 AM   #1
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Advise re Solo Camping

I have a question for forum members who camp alone.

Next week I’m planning to go out alone for the first time. (I’m not ready to pack it in for the year but my wife is.). This will be my first time backing up without my trusted partner so I plan to go to a campground I know very well and stay in one place for a few days and do some hiking.

I plan to leave the tow and trailer hooked up the entire time. ? when hooked up, is there any benefit or concerns to using stabalizers or the Anderson Stabalizer? The CG sites are quite big and reasonably level.

Thanks for any advise, Larry
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:59 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by LarryandLiz View Post
I have a question for forum members who camp alone.

Next week Im planning to go out alone for the first time. (Im not ready to pack it in for the year but my wife is.). This will be my first time backing up without my trusted partner so I plan to go to a campground I know very well and stay in one place for a few days and do some hiking.

I plan to leave the tow and trailer hooked up the entire time. ? when hooked up, is there any benefit or concerns to using stabalizers or the Anderson Stabalizer? The CG sites are quite big and reasonably level.

Thanks for any advise, Larry
If you are walking around within your trailer or even roll over in your bed, the trailer will tend to move with you if the stabilizers are not down. If only making a quick stopover without unhitching the tow vehicle, I have sometimes left the stabilizers up. However, if staying over a couple of days, even if not unhitching, I will always put the stabilizers down.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:03 AM   #3
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If I am staying in one place for more than a couple of days, I put the stabilizer jacks down, even if I don't plan to unhook. For overnights, I rarely lower them if I stay hooked up. The trailer shakes a bit more, but since it is only me, it doesn't cause problems.

As to the Anderson leveler, I use it if necessary, even for small changes, hooked up or not. I also level front to back, using the jack to lift both the tongue & truck. Obviously, there are limits as to how high you can lift the tongue, and you can't lower it while attached to the tow vehicle.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:52 PM   #4
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Done a lot of Walmart overnight stops with my trailer, and never deployed the stabilizers or de-hitched. Even with a combined 360+ pounds in the rear queen size bed never got the shakes.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:03 PM   #5
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To me, the main reason to level would be the use of the refrigerator. If the trailer is level enough to keep the bubble between the level lines, then that should be fine. If I were going to be parked for several days, I would probably unhitch, but not move the vehicle unless necessary. That way if you decide that you have to move for some reason, you won't have to deal with unhitching. Even if you only have to move the vehicle forward several inches, rehitching shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:03 PM   #6
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Done a lot of Walmart overnight stops with my trailer, and never deployed the stabilizers or de-hitched. Even with a combined 360+ pounds in the rear queen size bed never got the shakes.
Same for us and we don't worry if the trailer is dead level. Maybe years of 24/7 boat use, where the boat never stops moving, makes us more tolerant of a little wiggle when someone moves around. Only thing that I do correct is if the trailer slopes in the direction of where our pillows are. Hate sleeping slightly head down.

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Old 09-14-2018, 02:28 PM   #7
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I travel alone and I never use the stabilizer jacks. You subconsciously compensate for your own movement in the trailer and don't even think about it rocking, or at least I don't.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:07 PM   #8
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Hi Larry, Lawrence here! It was great running into you two recently at Ruckle Park. Don't blame your wife for packing it in, what with all the rain and cool weather we've been having.

Remember I said I thought you had a quotable quote and that someday I might use it back on you? You said, "Sometimes you just have to suffer a bit." So there you have it: leave the stabilizers up and see if you "suffer a bit."

Bon chance on your next trip. Maybe run into you again someday, but don't think it will be this fall.

Lawrence
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:42 PM   #9
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It is important to get the weight off the tow vehicles springs and shocks. I would suggest at least putting down the jack to do that.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:05 PM   #10
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It is important to get the weight off the tow vehicles springs and shocks. I would suggest at least putting down the jack to do that.

The tongue weighs about 350-500 lbs. The vehicle weighs thousands of pounds. Why would it be important to unweight the tow vehicle?
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:17 PM   #11
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It is important to get the weight off the tow vehicles springs and shocks.
I, too, see no need to remove the load from the tow vehicle. Also, shock absorbers don't support any weight; they only resist motion, so while stationary (and not bouncing) they are not doing anything at all.

If the tongue jack is used to take the bounce out of the connection to the tow vehicle (for comfort), my comment would then be this: don't try to level the trailer (in case of an uneven campsite) while still connected by jacking up the tongue so the hitch of the tug is any higher than it would be without the trailer, because neither the tongue jack nor the coupler is designed to support any of the weight of the tow vehicle.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:20 PM   #12
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I plan to leave the tow and trailer hooked up the entire time. ? when hooked up, is there any benefit or concerns to using stabalizers or the Anderson Stabalizer?
I see no reason not to drive the low side up on a ramp, such as the Andersen levellers... as long as that doesn't raise the trailer so much that front-to-back level is an issue.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:06 PM   #13
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if I'm reasonably level i don't worry about unhitching and i rarely put the stabilizers down. i do unplug. i had an issue with my batteries once different rig (highlander/Escape 17) they were depleted (old going bad) and drained the battery of my car. i was told this would not happen because the wiring will not allow it. But i have two friends who also had this happen. So its easier just to unplug.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryandLiz View Post
I have a question for forum members who camp alone.

Next week Im planning to go out alone for the first time. (Im not ready to pack it in for the year but my wife is.). This will be my first time backing up without my trusted partner so I plan to go to a campground I know very well and stay in one place for a few days and do some hiking.

I plan to leave the tow and trailer hooked up the entire time. ? when hooked up, is there any benefit or concerns to using stabalizers or the Anderson Stabalizer? The CG sites are quite big and reasonably level.

Thanks for any advise, Larry
When reversing into a camping spot, place a marker right beside where you want the tires to end up, easiest on the driver side but doable on the passenger side too. A colourful Lynx block works good. I usually do this even when the wife is around as it is easier than trying to understand her.

I do not understand not disconnecting from the tow vehicle. It only takes a few minutes to reconnect when leaving, and it allows you to level up nice plus leaves the tow vehicle free for use. I do stayed connected for overnights at places like Walmart, but if at a campground always disconnect.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:09 PM   #15
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I do not understand not disconnecting from the tow vehicle.

You're still young.

If I'm overnighting, I do nothing other than disconnect the 7-pin. I left it connected for several days once, at a campground 45 minutes up a forest service road. I had wiring issues with the trailer at the time and couldn't start the tow. Luckily, I had brought the generator with me and was able to start the tow after charging the tow battery for about 20 minutes.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:10 PM   #16
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If two people (A and B) are in the trailer and A moves around, B will feel the trailer wiggle but A won't notice much wiggling because he's moving right along with the trailer. When camping alone (which is all I do nowadays) I am not bothered by trailer motion (in fact I am hardly aware of it), because I'm in motion with it.
I put down the front jack if necessary to level the trailer, otherwise I don't bother.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:34 PM   #17
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You're still young.
Gosh, thanks!

My 60 year old body does not feel it right now though, after doing a lot of hard manual labour this last week.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:40 PM   #18
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I have to rest after looking at the trailer.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:35 PM   #19
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Springs on cars are not meant to be loaded for long periods of time. That is not counting the weight of the vehicle itself.

Very basically what keeps your tow vehicle off the ground is springs (or metal that has been bent by the weight loaded onto it and is trying to get back to its origional unstressed position) so it goes without saying that it is not good to keep bending the metal (in this case your springs) if you left your trailer hitched indefinately your springs would be under constant pressure and eventually sag. (abeit it would take some time) You can see evidence of this in that most older trucks that have done a lot of towing in their lives seem to be down at the back even when not loaded.

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Old 09-14-2018, 10:17 PM   #20
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I've been using the trailer by myself for most of the time it's been out. I hardly ever put down the stabilizers. I have several times when the wind was really blowing and the trailer was starting to bounce around. Put those babies down and it felt lots better. Otherwise, nope, they stay in place. I never notice the movement of the trailer when I'm in there by myself.


Depending on how level the site is, I don't unhitch if I'm not going to be driving any where. I do unplug the power cord to the truck though. A few times I've had to unhitch to move the jack up or down to get it level.


Since you're doing it alone, I'd suggest a printed check list, if you don't have one already. I have one for when I'm leaving and one for arriving. Most of the time I remember everything since I've been doing it long enough, but I do look it over before I leave, just in case I forgot something. I usually forget to either close the cover over the removable power cord or close the stove hood flap. And walk around the trailer several times. We won't mention the rear window I left open once.


Enjoy!
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