New RVer in Texas

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spidey69

New member
Joined
May 2, 2006
Posts
2
Just bought a used RV setup and will be trolling the boards more in the coming weeks.  I am planning a small weekend trial run to a 'local' lake followed by a 3.5 week 3000+mile vacation.

I need to tackle my dinghy towing situation quickly.  :D
 

rhmahoney

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Posts
1,405
Check the tires carefully. Over 5 yr old are suspect. Over 7 yr old are downright dangerous.
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
Welcome to the RV Forum.  Lots of good information available here similar to what Russ has provided.  Please ask any question you have.  Glad you found us.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,606
Check our library for dinghy towing and related subjects. Click the Library button above and select Towing and towables.
 

Mike in Texas

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2006
Posts
56
Location
New Braunfels, TX
spidey - where in Texas are you? We live just outside New Braunfels. Of course that could be 500 miles from were you are, but it's nice to know where fellow Texans live.
 

Mike in Texas

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Joined
May 15, 2006
Posts
56
Location
New Braunfels, TX
We have a 2003 Chevy Tracker with automatic and 4WD that I towed for the first time last week. We have a pretty big RV and without the TV "mirror" I would not have known it was back there. The 4WD Tracker can be towed, but the manual suggests stopping every 200 miles and running the engine. I don't recall if it said to unhitch and drive it around however and it's too late to go to the garage and look for the manual.
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
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Titusville, FL
mjgkramer said:
We have a 2003 Chevy Tracker with automatic and 4WD that I towed for the first time last week. We have a pretty big RV and without the TV "mirror" I would not have known it was back there. The 4WD Tracker can be towed, but the manual suggests stopping every 200 miles and running the engine. I don't recall if it said to unhitch and drive it around however and it's too late to go to the garage and look for the manual.

You do not have to unhitch and drive it. Just put it in drive and run for a couple of minutes. I have had a couple of Geo Trackers and two Suzuki Grand Vitaras (same car). I have never observed the 55mph limit with no disasterous results. I do stop around 200 miles to run the engine. One member here never stopped for the 200 mile exercise and never had a problem.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,422
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
We currently tow a 2003 Tracker ZR2 and had a 2000 Tracker before that. Probably towed them 50,000 miles so far. Great toads. No need to unhitch or even take the transfer case out of neutral. Just start the engine and put tranmisssion in Drive and run for a couple minutes. The wife usually does it when we stop for a rest break or fuel - we rarely make a stop just to exercise the car.

Like Jim, we don't worryabout the 55 mph restriction.
 

Jeff

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Apr 8, 2005
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Location
SD/AZ
We tow a Honda CRV which is also light and easy to prepare for towing by running the engine for a few minutes every eight hours.
 

Mike in Texas

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Joined
May 15, 2006
Posts
56
Location
New Braunfels, TX
Gary - Our 2003 Tracker is also a ZR2 with V6 engine. A nice little car with all the bells and whistles of a "real" car. I only wish it got better mileage. I religiously check it for every tank and it is always 20 to 22 mpg, the same as our much larger 1999 Toyota Sienna XLE minivan with V6 engine.

A question for you. The Tracker has always had a low "thump, thump" noise when moving at very low speed but no noise or vibration when driving at moderate to high speeds. Have you heard the same thing on yours? I have not checked for a bump on the tires but feel that if there were one it would cause vibration at higher speeds. The  3 year bumper to bumper warranty expires in July, so I took it in to my dealer yesterday to have them check it out as well as to take advantage of their mailed out $9.95 oil/filter change coupon.
 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
mjgkramer,

Does the thumping seem to correspond to tire rotation speed? If you've ever had to make an emergency stop and locked up the wheels, you may have a flat spot on one or more tires. This will cause a thumping sound; no noticeable vibration. Simply slide your hand around the circumfrence of the tread, and you can feel it quite easily.
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
You can almost bet the Karl is right on the Thump Thump.  I had that problem with one of our Lincolns and after finding the flat spot, thought long and hard and finally remembered coming down hard on the brakes one time.  After about 3000 miles it finally evened out. No more thump.  Either that are you might take the vehicle to a tire dealer that has a truing machine.  We did that many years ago and had tires trued on a 75 Lincoln.  The tire then lasted use for 4 yrs and nearly 180,000 miles.  So it was definitely worth it.  Good luck hope you find the problem.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,422
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The Tracker has always had a low "thump, thump" noise when moving at very low speed but no noise or vibration when driving at moderate to high speeds. Have you heard the same thing on yours?

Sounds like a flat spot on a tire. There will be little or no vibration if its on a back wheel and possibly very little if on the front. I flat spotted both front tires in a panic stop while towing - had the toad brake set a bit too sensitive for an all-out stop.  I moved those tires to the rear (they only had 10,000 miles on them) and still get a noise from them, 14,000 miles later.

Try putting the spare on in each tire position and see if the problem goes away or the sound seems to change location. Or have a good tire shop check for flat spots - an expereinced hand can detect them by simply sliding the hand around the tire tread surface.
 

Jim Dick

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Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
mgjkramer,

I recently had a thumping on my GV and had the dealership look at it during my 30K check. They found one front tire had a lot of wear on the inside edge. I hadn't spotted it but should have. Once the tires were replaced, they were due, the noise went away. The frequency increased with speed.
 
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