Do you un-hitch on an overnite?

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careybeth

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Feb 22, 2013
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OK - this is truly a newbie question I know...  We will be heading out for a long (5-6 weeks) trip this summer in our 29ft Coachman TT.  On our first 4-5 days well just be doing overnite stays till we get out west.  My question:  If you are just stopping for the night, do you unhitch or for convienance just leave it hitched to the truck for quicker exit in the morning.  If you don't unhitch, do you still use the sabalizers? (told you it was a newbie question)... anything I should be warned about or watch out for?

Thanks in advance. 
 

Howard Kelly

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Apr 22, 2010
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I do not unhitch unless the truck is needed for running about. I do put the the front legs down to take some weight off the truck supension, and the back legs for stability. I also put the wheel chocks on the rv tires.
Before I hit the road (for safety) ..I always check the RV lights,  and make sure the hitch has not been tampered with.
happy travels
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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We drive a motorhome and tow a car. Whether or not we unhitch depends strictly on the site we are in (we don't always get pull-throughs) and our personal wants and needs. If we want to go out for dinner or pick up some groceries, we unhitch the car and go. It's not a big deal either way, so no major decision to make. When we towed a 5W, I think our priorities were about the same.

As for stabilizers/jacks, we nearly always put them down. Exception may be a Walmart overnight, but even then it depends on how level the parking area is is. Again, it's not a momentous decision with a motorhome. Maybe a little more so with a trailer, but not much unless you need some leveling blocks. But even then, if the rig is enough off-level to require boards under the wheels, I would probably either move to some better place or put them out. Just because its an overnight, I see no reason to be uncomfortable.
 

COMer

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We do not unhitch for the night unless we need to go somewhere and we never do.  We don't put down stabilizers or do anything we have to undo in the morning except the TV antenna if needed and a slide for more space.  Start the truck and pull out. 
 

Lou Schneider

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With a trailer, I'd run the tongue jack down enough to take some of the weight off of the hitch and unplug the electrical cord from thetow vehicle.  Otherwise you could wind up draining the starting battery along with the trailer batteries.

I wouldn't put down the stabilizers unless you unhitch.
 

ruthandken CDN

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Aug 7, 2007
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Ontario, Canada
If the site is level, we don't unhitch, if it's just overnight.  We do put down the front jacks to remove some of the weight from the truck.  We do chock our tires and put down the back stabilizers.  And like others we always check out rear lights before leaving and always check the hitch just incase someone had some 'bright' ideas during the night.
 

Mopar1973Man

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Jul 4, 2011
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New Meadows, Idaho
I've gotten lucky a few times and pull into camp sites for a overnight stay and left to right was prefect and just put a few block under the hitch and level front to rear for a 1-2 inch lift.  I would typically unhitch and do it right but this was just dinner and sleep stay. Making leaving in the morning quick and painless. Once again I'm not saying this is right or wrong...  ::)
 

Bobtop46

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Bronson FL
If you are paying for a site for one night.  Unhook, take the truck or tow and do whatever you please.  If you are boon docking at a Walmart or rest stop then NO.  No unhooking, slides etc.  You should be able to start the engine and drive away at a moments notice.  That means no slides out, lawn chairs out, stabilizers down etc. 

My two cents worth.
 

judway

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Mar 9, 2005
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West Melbourne, FL
When I had the 5th wheeler I had a 26gal truck tank and a 40gal in-bed tank. At 7mpg I could not get more than 280 miles out of the 40 gal tank. I used the truck tank as a backup to get about 300 miles or so. My DW didn?t like to cook while traveling, so we unhooked the truck, went out and ate and then filled it up on the way back to the CG. I re-hooked up to be ready for leaving in the morning.  We did this most every place we stopped. I don?t ever remember getting gas at a station while towing the 5th wheeler.

With the motorhome we usually fill up at truck stops and she cooks in more now.
 

Joezeppy

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Mar 16, 2009
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Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
I stay hitched up but use the tongue jack to level things and take some weight off the truck. I do put the jacks down since (1) it's recommended by my manufacturer before putting out the slide and (2) it's just more stable when moving around.


Olys45 said:
Just make sure you leave a note or some sort of reminder/checklist so you don't forget to unhook something.
I'll 2nd this...I once drove 3+ hours after a quick overnight before I realized that I did not plug the TT back into the truck - no lights and no brakes. Oops!
 

Lou Schneider

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My Arctic Fox trailer has a side clearance light that shows up perfectly in the left rear view mirror, even in daylight I could tell if the bulb was on or off.

I got into the habit of turning on the parking lights after I started the engine while watching in the mirror for the clearance light to illuminate.  If it did, I knew I was good to go.
 

Wigpro

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Montana in Summer - S CA this winter
I am sitting here typing this all hitched up with my small 5th wheel, and I am staying two nights....snowy and windy today so extended for another day.

I don't put any jacks down and do a real careful walk around before driving off! I am lucky my rig sits pretty level front to back and the site I am in is level enough side to side.

I dry camp a bunch and rarely unhook unless I want to run the generator which is in the bed of the truck and could kill me with exhaust fumes when sleeping, I do run the generator when hitched sometimes to cook but not when sleeping, since the bed on the 5er is right above the gen set.

I can drop the rig in about 15 minutes alone and hitch up in the same, so if I really need to go someplace or re-supply then I do, but most times if planning an early departure I hitch up when I return for the night, just easier for me.

Whatever rocks your boat....

Have fun on your trip!

Jim
 

Jammer

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Dec 20, 2009
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careybeth said:
OK - this is truly a newbie question I know...  We will be heading out for a long (5-6 weeks) trip this summer in our 29ft Coachman TT.  On our first 4-5 days well just be doing overnite stays till we get out west.  My question:  If you are just stopping for the night, do you unhitch or for convienance just leave it hitched to the truck for quicker exit in the morning. 

We typically do not unhitch if we are planning to stay overnight only, unless the combination is too long for the parking space while hitched, or we need the tow vehicle to run errands, or we can't level the trailer with the truck hooked up.

If you don't unhitch, do you still use the sabalizers? (told you it was a newbie question)...

If all we are doing is sleeping and it's just me or just the two of us we will typically not deploy stabilizers unless it is an unusually windy night.  With kids or guests the movement of the trailer as people get up and walk tends to be more disturbing so we would then deploy the stabilizers.

anything I should be warned about or watch out for?

1.  On some trucks you can drain the battery if you leave the trailer connector plugged into the truck and run the furnace or something overnight, leaving you with a truck that won't start.  Know your setup and if that's a possibility then unplug the connector

2.  Safety chains will tend to jingle as the combination moves especially on windy nites.  Can keep you awake, either disconnect them or use a towel or bungee to quiet them down

3.  Be careful when departing to check everything as it is possible to miss critical items if you aren't going through your re-hitching checklist.
 
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