T@B Trips #4 & 5: Boondocks, Supermoon & Lessons Learned

Trip #4 / Night # 11: aka Our First Post-Winterization Boondock
  • Dates: Oct 21 & 22, 2017
  • Route: Front Range / Denver -> Pike N.F. in Park County, CO (near-ish Tarryall)
  • Highlights: Great dayhike on empty trail via Lizard Rock Trail - plus water for the dogs; clear starry skies. No hookups = no problem, even if winterized. We just carried water separately. FYI fridge turned to "0" and no television = negligible battery use, even with digital Alde panel on full time and use of LED lights intermittently.
  • Campsite: Pike National Forest (dispersed, boondock). Rating: Great. Dispersed camping is low use this time of year. Users are much more conscientious in cleaning up after themselves here than closer to Front Range (ie Jefferson Area). Much less trash, ammo casings / clay pigeons & human waste. Scout any Forest Road ahead of pulling in a T@B. Washouts, ruts, and rocks make many sites inaccessible. Hunters in the area. Blaze orange on the dogs and on ourselves full-time during hunting season. 
  • Lessons Learned: Alde freight train syndrome. It's a little high up for propane-fueled heat without the LP pressure modifier thingie. 
  • Pics: 

Camp, with Lost Creek Wilderness in the background. 


Pike's Peak, elevation 14,114', from camp


Happy hiker and happy camper. 

Trip #5 / Night # 12: aka Double-Check Your Tools, My Friends!
  • Dates: Dec 2 & 3, 2017
  • Route: Front Range / Denver -> Pawnee National Grassland
  • Highlights: Nearly-Supermoon (planned) and true Supermoon (not planned, see "lessons learned", below), great hikes in great weather, happy dogs, comfortable trailer that finally has her name on her.
  • Campsite: Pawnee National Grassland (dispersed, boondock). Rating: Good. Very few sites, so plan accordingly. The oil and wind energy industry has changed the landscape dramatically since we first began hiking here. 
  • Lessons Learned: Double check that your lug wrench fits the nuts on your trailer AND THE SPARE, and get a bottle jack. "Somehow" when "we" moved the spare to the tongue, "we" used a tool in the garage, not a tool in the T@B's toolkit. It was 90 minutes each way on gravel roads to the gas station that was closed, and then to the Walmart that was full of Christmas shoppers, to get the right tools. Plural. Because "we" didn't know what size would fit. And then a second transaction to go back and get the bottle jack as shown in this video, direct from Pleasant Valley, that I watched in the Walmart parking lot.  If you haven't ever thought about changing your tire, think about it right now and watch Pleasant Valley's video. Then, double check your tools against the hardware on your trailer. And if you have a portable / emergency tire inflator, ALWAYS BRING IT WITH YOU, for goodness sake :o
  • Pics: 

Our trailer Tuesd@y & TV on the horizon, top left!


Happy hikers in the native grassland in late afternoon. The bright orange grass is Little Bluestem, one of my faves.


Nearly-Supermoon and Buttes to the east (above), sunset on the west (below). 


Tuesd@y got her name on her! A custom purchase on Etsy, installed myself.
Also see newly-purchased Brahma lock, a Black Friday special with free shipping - thanks Louisa at Brahma! A HUGE relief to have this on Tuesd@y while we were gone, and for future trips. Based on experience now, ya never know where we'll have to temporarily abandon her... 


Day 2: Tuesd@y stayed at camp while we visited 3 corners of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, plus a very random hike nearby. 


So this happened.

We returned to camp around 1pm, ready to tow home, only to discover 7# of pressure in Tuesd@y's tire. A simple tire change turned into a 3-hour roundtrip drive to get the paraphernalia strewn about. See "Lessons Learned", above, in trip description. Once the right tools were on hand, watching my husband change the tire was really easy. ;) Raced sunset and made it out before dark, and before this week's cold front / snow.  The Supermoon rise and first hour was obscured by thick clouds, so we were happy to have seen it nearly-Super the night before.

Turns out the tire itself wasn't damaged, it was a slow leak in the valve. Husband's guess is the damage was from the high-pressure nozzle at a gas station... has anyone had this happen to them? 

Next Trip: Heading south/west in January to volunteer at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab Utah and adventure along the way. It's my birthday present! We hope for towing weather!!!

Sarah & Chad: 2017 CS-S Max Silver / Red Trim  "Tuesd@y"

Follow me on Instagram: dogmom_sarah


«1

Comments

  • Smullis7Smullis7 Posts: 214Member

    Great write-up.  Thanks for the link to the tire changing video...gotta make sure 'we' bring the right tools and all.  :-)  I'm gonna have to try out these locations as I have a bad habit of heading up into Pike NF and never venture east.

    Sheila and the Mullis Pups (Winston, Morgan, Leroy & Dakota)
    M@bel M@y, my 2017 T@B Outback Max S (silver w/black trim), towed by Maude Myrtle, my 2016 Jeep Rubicon Hardrock.



  • ericnlizericnliz Posts: 3,900Member
    @COcamper, Looks like you folks got a quick tutorial on changin' the spare! :s Glad you got it figured out, as your adventure looked AWESOME (both times!). Just an FYI, the lug nuts that should have come with your spare carrier for the tongue are the same size as the lug nuts on your trailer...at least mine were. That was one of the first things I checked when I moved mine to the tongue. As far as the valve stem goes, you have to be REALLY careful when putting air in the tires. Not sure if yours has metal valve stems, or not, but any side force on those valves can cause a crack in the valve itself...hence, when I change my tires, I'll be installing metal valve stems to alleviate that from occurring. The other caution: Be REALLY careful to ensure no moisture sneaks in under the valve cap. It will freeze, and push in on the valve core causing a leak in cold weather. I know a lot of folks don't use valve caps, but they are there to act as a seal for the valve.
    Have fun out there & be safe! :)
    2016 T@B MAX S-aka: WolfT@B
    TV: 2006 Chevy Avalanche LT Z71 aka: WhiteWolf, or 1972 Chevy Custom10 P/U aka: SnarlingWolf
    Spokane, Wa.
    Eric aka: Lone Wolf  


  • FreshaireFreshaire Posts: 43Member
    @COcamper ;  WOW!  On several levels.  Your photos are beautiful and it makes me long for the midwest.  I am envious.  So sorry to hear about your tire/valve mishap.  Perhaps you will save someone else the experience of not being ready.  I did watch the video  (thanks for the link) and have a question.  The jack that was placed under the rear stabilizer was called a "bottle jack", I think.  Does that jack come with the T@b?  I don't think I have one.  See, you have already saved someone. . . .me!
    2015 T@b 320S Maxx Outback, aka "Alie Cat"
    TV:  2012 Honda Ridgeline

    Alice
    Crozet, VA
  • COcamperCOcamper Posts: 19Member
    Thank you @ericnliz
    Excellent info on the valve! I really appreciate those helpful hints! My husband checked the valve stems (rubber) and determined it's not cracked there and probably didn't leak from the side. He thinks it's the actual valve on the inside that went bad, maybe something happened with the high powered compressor?
    And technically the lug wrench fit the spare's nuts.... the bolts "we" used were too long, so the wrench didn't fit on... 

    Sarah & Chad: 2017 CS-S Max Silver / Red Trim  "Tuesd@y"

    Follow me on Instagram: dogmom_sarah


  • COcamperCOcamper Posts: 19Member
    edited December 2017
    Glad you enjoyed, @Freshaire.

    I read this forum for nearly 2 years before getting Tuesd@y and learned so many things from members.... I'm so thankful for the advice here! Always keep reading! Our T@B didn't come with a bottle jack. I didn't trust the stability of the scissor-jack in our TV after watching Pleasant Valley's video, which specifically called for a bottle jack. I figured the recommendation is coming straight from the manufacturer and I'd be a dummy with worlds of regret out in the middle of nowhere, if we didn't take their advice. My husband actually bought jack stands, not a bottle jack, but it worked. Look under your T@B at the frame behind the wheel. Ours has an arrow label showing where to place the jack. 

    Sarah & Chad: 2017 CS-S Max Silver / Red Trim  "Tuesd@y"

    Follow me on Instagram: dogmom_sarah


  • SAMSAM Posts: 1,649Member
    CoCamper - thanks for sharing.  Beautiful country.
    Eric - thank you, too.  I always learn something from our forum tire expert!
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • db_cooperdb_cooper Posts: 326Member
    edited December 2017
    I've used the method in the manual to raise the trailer without a jack, it works fine. Wouldn't have saved you the first trip to Walmart but it would've the second.  

    1. With all 4 stabilizers in the up position, lower tongue jack all the way.
    2. Deploy rear 2 stabilizers fully, you want them straight as can be.
    3. Now raise tongue jack until tires are of the ground.
    4. If you forgot to loosen wheel nuts, start over. ;)
    2015 Max S Outback | 2010 Xterra



  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 371Member
    3........2..........1........

  • COcamperCOcamper Posts: 19Member
    @pthomas745 do I have to, or will you?

    Sarah & Chad: 2017 CS-S Max Silver / Red Trim  "Tuesd@y"

    Follow me on Instagram: dogmom_sarah


  • FreshaireFreshaire Posts: 43Member
    @db_cooper ;  Brilliant!  Thanks for the alternate way to change a tire.
    2015 T@b 320S Maxx Outback, aka "Alie Cat"
    TV:  2012 Honda Ridgeline

    Alice
    Crozet, VA
  • GailandJohnGailandJohn Posts: 126Member
    Beautiful photos and helpful info. Thanks for sharing!

    Gail & John 


  • TammaraTammara Posts: 32Member
    @COcamper ; Thanks for the info. I put a bottle jack, a portable air compressor, and lug wrench (size???) on my list of tools to get before my next outing.  Oh, and some emergency roadside flashers.
    2017 T@B 320 S     Jeep Cherokee 3.2L V6
    States Visited Map


  • CuffsCuffs Posts: 12Member
    Since I haven't taken delivery of our new trailer yet...  Is there a place on near the axle/wheel hub that would work for use with a Hi Lift Jack?  I already carry one for my truck... Not sure theres a strong enough placement point on a trailer though...
  • SAMSAM Posts: 1,649Member
    It is recommended to place the jack either in front of or behind the wheel on the frame - not on the axle as it is hollow and can be damaged.
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • CuffsCuffs Posts: 12Member
    Yes, I know it does not go directly on the axle (thats why I said 'near'.  But is there a place that is strong enough near there that would support a Hi Lift Jack?
  • COcamperCOcamper Posts: 19Member
    To each their own, but I trust a real jack stand to bear the my trailer's weight over the landing gear levelers suggested by @db_cooper that aren't intended to really bear much load. It is worth the $20 to have the trailer not fall on me and / or not break what's not already broken, and get out safely. 

    Sarah & Chad: 2017 CS-S Max Silver / Red Trim  "Tuesd@y"

    Follow me on Instagram: dogmom_sarah


  • tabiphiletabiphile Posts: 19Member
    while you are at wallyworld picking up tools, for under $5.00 buy a valve stem tool. typically they come with a valve stem wrench and a couple spare valves. most slow tire leaks are due to a poorly seated stem valve...and the fix is to tighten it. as a rule, before you put air in your tires, check the stem valves to make sure that they are tight. actual stem damage/leaks are pretty rare ...the odds of a rock reaching out to grab a stem that is protected by the rim are pretty low. most valve stem damage is done by careless mechanics when they mount or dismount tires. wrt to jacks, always use jack stands, blocks of wood, the spare wheel, a very large dog, something that will keep the vehicle from dropping when (not if) the jack (scissor or bottle) fails, slips etc.....

  • ScottGScottG Posts: 1,777Moderator
    For simplicity and stability, using the tongue jack and rear stabilizers to raise the trailer is hard to beat. It also doesn't require carrying any additional bulky equipment.

    I'll admit I am a little skeptical of the mounting points for the rear stabilizers, as they are bolted to small extensions rather than to the main body of the trailer frame. If I was going to be crawling around under the trailer (or bouncing around inside it) I would probably bring out the jack stands for insurance. However, for changing a tire on the side of the road, I'd have no qualms using the stabilizers as described by db_cooper and the T@B owners manual.
    2015 T@B S
  • mandtmandt Posts: 69Member
    Can't you just lower the stabilizer on the side that has the flat? That leaves 1 tire on the ground to help support the weight.
    Mickey & Terri
    2016 Max S
    Kalamazoo Michigan
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 371Member
    The Bal stabilizers on Amazon are listed as having 700 pound lifting capacity and 1000 pound load capacity. 




  • ScottGScottG Posts: 1,777Moderator
    mandt said:
    Can't you just lower the stabilizer on the side that has the flat? That leaves 1 tire on the ground to help support the weight.
    The one stabilizer would still be supporting half the weight of the trailer, so there's no real advantage to doing this.

    In addition, lifting one side of the trailer but not the other will put additional sideways force on the stabilizer in a manner that it is not necessarily designed to handle. 
    2015 T@B S
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 1,777Moderator
    The Bal stabilizers on Amazon are listed as having 700 pound lifting capacity and 1000 pound load capacity. 

    Good point. The stabilizers themselves are more than adequate to support (and even probably lift) 1/4 of a T@B.

    My only reservation with using the stabilizers to their full capacity is that (as noted in my previous post) they are not mounted to the T@B in strict accordance with the installation instructions. Any structural element is only as good as its attachment point. 

    That said, my semi-educated guess is that the load capacity of the frame extensions utilized on the T@B still exceeds that of stabilizers, making them perfectly fine for minor level adjustments and changing tires.
    2015 T@B S
  • nolagringanolagringa Posts: 24Member
    Adding bottle jack to my shopping list.  And figuring out all the locking lugnuts to make sure I can get them off BEFORE I have to.

    Is there a real benefit to having locking lugnuts?  Or was my T@b seller more on the paranoid side? 
    Marie in New Orleans, just got a 2014 T@b-S, will tow with a 2002 Toyota Tundra.
  • SAMSAM Posts: 1,649Member
    TaBs and other trailers get stolen from storage facilities and owner property - and maybe even from campgrounds/boondocking sites.  Locking lug nuts, wheel locks, tongue locks, alarms, GPS units, and chaining down to a laid in concrete bolt have all been used by TaB owners as theft deterrents.  Most owners use 1 or several devices to sleep better at night.
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • To CoCamper:
    What size Brahma lock is that--did you get size 1 (15, 16, 17" wheels) or size 2 (12, 13, 14" wheels)?  

    We have a 320 CS-S with 14" wheels and logically bought the size 2 Brahma.  During installation, because we couldn't get it situated just right we couldn't get it to lock. We have very little clearance in the wheel well to get it up and over the tire, the axel seemed in the way of the locking arm, and the shallow plate is pretty loosely positioned.

    Did we get the wrong size lock? Or are we approaching it all wrong from the wrong angle? Any tips you have on installation are appreciated. 

    Thanks!
  • Jellybones11Jellybones11 Posts: 27Member
    Just wondering if the video linked is good for the Outback since the suspension is much higher than that of the standard units. Also outside of using a bottle jack, another option would be using an exhaust jack type inflation device such as Mean Mother Exhaust Jack. It would seem to distribute weight better and can be used for your vehicle also. the video shows the standard model and if the Outback were lowered and raised, it would seem it's not high enough. Would anyone know about this?
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 371Member
    I've raised my Outback with the stabilizers a couple of times. Just to get a tire cleared, it was no issue.

  • dragonsdoflydragonsdofly Posts: 500Member
    @newcluelessRVowners, we had the lack of clearance problem too, or so we thought. We park, chock the tires, put the tongue down, extend the rear stabilizers as much as you can, then, bring up the tongue. Watch as the trailer lifts off of the suspension a bit, but keep the tire on the ground. This gives you the clearance to install the brahma lock. If the tire clears the ground, just lower the tongue slightly so that the tire doesn't spin. Install the lock. Drop the tongue, raise the rear stabilizers, then raise the tongue. Proceed with leveling front to rear and all is good. To remove the lock, reverse the process. If changing a tire, this process is the recommended way to raise the trailer off of the ground. 
    2017 t@b sofitel(Dr@gonsFly)TV 2005 gmc envoy xl. Wyandotte, Michigan.
    Draco dormiens numquam titilandus.
  • GailandJohnGailandJohn Posts: 126Member
    Thanks for sharing, gorgeous photos!

    Gail & John 


  • SAMSAM Posts: 1,649Member
    @newcluelessRVowners- we found out the hard way that you must place the Brahma lock on the passenger side.  It takes practice and our plate that covers the lug nuts is pretty loose as well.
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.