When having a brake controller installed, do NOT let the "tech" put a thermal circuit breaker in the engine compartment, in line with the controller's hot line to the trailer brakes. It will trip at the worst possible time, leaving you with NO BRAKES. I found this out on a hot day going downhill on a REALLY steep, curvy, dangerous road in Northern California.
And another one: Always put the tailgate up on the truck before you take off. Didn't lose anything, but seriously bent the tailgate as I was pulling into a parking lot... to stop and put the gate up.
Okay, here's what's going on. I have a Titan and can give you the straight advice.
First, the adapter you're talking about (flat, from truck; to round, on trailer) tells me that your truck needs to go to the shop and have the wiring setup changed to be correct for towing a travel trailer.
On the back wiring harness of the Titan under the bed is a plug, and you can get two pigtails for it: one adapts the harness to the flat plug. This is the one that you're using now, BUT it is the wrong thing to be using for towing a travel trailer. It was OK for U-haul trailers and such that had simple electrical connections and surge brakes, but now you have to have the proper setup for towing a trailer with electric brakes.
That flat-to-round adapter you're using to adapt to the trailer is throwing full power to the trailer's electric brakes every time the taillights come on. That's why the brakes are locking every time you hit the brakes.
You need to go to a trailering shop, (someplace like U-haul, for instance), and have the correct round plug installed in your truck's rear harness, plus the two towing relays added under the hood. These towing relays ensure that you have proper signal light response from the trailer, plus they isolate the truck's systems from the trailer.
You also need a brake controller, as stated above. On the Titan there is a connector pre-wired under the dash, ready to accept a plug which adapts the brake controller to the truck's wiring. The type of adapter is unique to the type of brake controller, which is why Nissan left a generic connection there.
Get thee to a shop, and all will be well. Hope that's helpful.
Thanks for all the replies. No-there isn't a water hose hooked up. Do I need to turn on the propane water heater? Or,will the water heater be OK with cold water in it?
27° will be cold enough to freeze the water in the water heater, even with heat on inside the trailer. It's insulated on the inside, where the coach heat could otherwise get to it, but not so well on the outside, where the burner (and all the cold air) is.
Turn it on. It'll run for a bit to heat the water then shut off. As long as you're not running water through it, it shouldn't come on for very long during the night.
Up where I live on the side of the mountain, my trailer is in my upper meadow and plugged in all the time. If I've de-winterized (water in the water heater) and it's going to be below 29°, I just go up and turn the water heater on for the night, then turn it off when the weather warms up in the morning. I've had a water heater busted once because I forgot. Expensive mistake!
One more item, I haven't seen it mentioned yet...
Shocks are a big part of controlling the movement. Get with your store and get some that have superior snubbing action. If you have a good parts store or distributor, it's just a matter of asking.
Some 'off-road' marketed shocks are great for smoothing out big transitions, but have far less snubbing action than others. And that makes them not near as good for towing duty.
For sure if you still have the stock shocks on the truck, it's really time to change...
Where I live, it's normal to get gusts as high as 80+. I have the trailer facing into the prevailing direction, but that's no guarantee it's facing the right way... But it's been fine.
We've been camping in high winds, and the advice to turn up the tension on the stab jacks is spot-on. Also close your front rock guard (if you have one) and vent hatches SNUG and crack a couple side windows for flow-through.
Reminds me of an experience: We've also been in an Apache tent-trailer in gale-force-plus winds (the night the Hood Canal Bridge sank!). Had no idea the weather was going to be that bad. Remember that "weather forecasting" in our area then was a black art. We seldom believed the "weather guessers", one local guy went by ... wait for it... "Black Art".
Started out at a favorite spot inland, but the campground was just nothing but rain and dark, so we drove the 50 miles or so over to the coast. And although we were at the coast, we had fortunately camped back in the trees, because it seemed like it was getting a little windy.
Wow, what a night - after about 2AM, everything was noise and the Apache was noisy from the canvas flapping and banging. Couldn't sleep at all, couldn't see to pack up the Apache, so we just got dressed, laid there, and waited for dawn; when I knew the wind would drop drastically if not quit altogether. So around 5:30 we hear the wind go way down, so we jumped out and wrestled everything into some kind of organization. Wind was still blowing, probably about 20 knots. Closed the clamshells on the Apache and hooked up to the pickup. Started the pickup so we could warm up a bit. Rolled to the restroom to brush teeth and such. When we walked out of the restroom, the wind had died altogether. We looked at each other and just laughed at ourselves for all the sweat we'd just put into getting the Apache closed up.
I have a hose from my old days of sailboats (100x money and time requirement than for an RV). Not cheap, but they will stand the water pressure.
They now look like this:
Here's a LINK.
Even if you don't use this particular one, look for the NSF mark on the package. That certifies that it's potable-water safe.
You are possibly exceeding your payload capacity since you do not tow an empty trailer but that is your call. I hope it works well for you. It's about more than engine power.
Yes, it is more than engine power. The 10000 lbs gross on the 25R is a maximum. The possibility of loading it to the limit would be highly improbably. With a 50 gal water tank (425 lbs or so) I'm not sure how I could stuff another 3000 lbs into this trailer. That's a lot of tools and living accessories. I do like the fact that the trailer is solidly built to handle a big load which should add to it's strength and longevity.
Looks to me like you're doing it right. I have a Titan, towing an Arctic Fox 26J which scales at 7000# fully loaded and ready to go. I ran the numbers using the figures from the scales, the MFR's CGVWRs, and the truck has 2000# of capacity left.
There's a lot to be said for the Fox. Mine is now 13 years old, and this truck has been in front of it for 8 of those 13 years. Both are holding up well, and being a former mechanic, I believe in keeping up on my maintenance.
There's an awful lot of people who want to think I'm doing it all wrong; that I should have a Kenworth pulling that trailer; that I'm going to have an accident which will kill multiple thousands... All I'm saying (probably a little too sarcastically) :W is that it's good to see someone else who has taken the time to be informed, run the numbers, and is towing responsibly.
... install a resettable breaker, get rid of the FUSE in the brake system...
Do NOT EVER put a fuse or breaker between the controller and the brakes! If the fuse or the breaker opens under load, then YOU HAVE NO BRAKES! How do I know this and why am I shouting? It happened to me! The bonehead who wired my system up (a couple trucks ago) put in a thermal breaker between the controller and the brakes, and he put it under the hood. So it's a hot day, I'm in the mountains on a curvy road, and suddenly I have no trailer brakes...! Talk about having your hair stand on end! Once I finally got pulled over and my heart rate returned to normal, I found and fixed the problem.
The brake controller itself is fed from a fused line, and your controller is made to handle a dead short with no problem. Most of the really cool, modern ones (like yours) can indicate a fault. The thing is, most of these faults are intermittent, and your controller will continue to send regulated current down the line in spite of the fault.
But please, for your safety, don't put a fuse, fusible link, or breaker between the controller and the brakes.
If you buy a Weber you may want to consider the size of the propane cylinder it uses since some don't use the standard ones available most anywhere but use a smaller one generally only sold at hardware stores.
I've had a few different grills and years ago finally decided to put out the money for the Q. WHAT a difference. Mine is older like the one rbtglove is talking about above; it's had lots of use and still is as good as new.
About the cylinder.
I called Weber and asked, "What's the deal with having to use the smaller cylinders?" The gal I talked to said, "Since we made yours, we've found out that you can just remove that support ring and use the regular green camp gas cylinders just fine."
I did that, and it is.
I live on the side of a mountain in the Columbia Gorge so maybe I can help a little...
I drain the water heater, and open the low-point drains in the trailer, plus open all the faucets. A cup of pink stuff in the drains and the toilet is all that's needed beyond that.
My trailer is a '4-seasons' type of trailer (Arctic Fox) so it's pretty well insulated for a trailer. I do keep heat on all the time, but I use a portable heater. The trailer is in my upper meadow, and although I can't get water to it, I can get power up there.
A while ago I posted a way to use a portable heater and have it reliably hold a temperature in the trailer. CLICKY
I always open all the cabinet doors and doors, so the heat can get everywhere in the trailer, especially back to the plumbing - which always seems to be run right along the outside walls.
I've been winterizing this way for about 20 years (12 with this trailer) and have never had a problem.
Hope that helps.
We've owned only one Arctic Fox; the one we've had for the last almost 13 years. We ordered this one, got it the way we wanted. Only thing we would have changed even after all this time is to have a Fantastic Fan fitted to the bath vent, instead of the so-so "fans" they came with. We did get Fantastic Fans for both the galley and the bedroom vents. The thermostatically controlled ones you're talking about sound like a great idea.
You might want to check out the Northwood RV Owner's Forum. Lots of friendly folks there who can answer your questions...
I have a 2000 Arctic Fox 26J and it's been a great unit. Support over there is tremendous.
I don't live all that far away from you; most of the advice you have so far is pretty good.
Fill your internal water tank then disconnect and drain the fresh water hose. That'll keep it from freezing.
Keep your water heater on electric (assuming you have a gas/electric unit). That will keep it from freezing. I've used that trick when between trips and the weather gets to 29° or less.
Remove any hoses and gear from the outside shower. If possible, fill the space now created between the door and the shower faucet with (waterproof) insulating material.
The idea of skirting is an excellent one. Get some heat below the blackwater dump valve and the greywater dump valve. The light bulb idea is about the safest, as long as there's a proper shield around them to keep things from catching fire; not a good situation. You don't need much heat, as long as you keep the wind out.
Keep the dump valves closed until it's time to dump. Many "Porta-potti" drivers will come out and couple up to your tank for a very modest fee and 'unload' the tanks for you.
Keep the trailer nice and cozy inside at night; use whatever means you have do do so. If your trailer has heated tanks, running the furnace will keep them warm. Outfits like Suburban Propane and others will sell you a temporary big tank and hook it up so you can have plenty of gas to use.
Hope this helps.
I just finished re-doing my 12-year-old trailer and used Geocell. Ordered it online from Amazon so that I could be guaranteed that I have material that has not expired. Many sealants have an unused-expiration-date, make sure to check it.
Stuff like this is what you want
We've owned a Fox since 2000. The same one. Bulletproof, compared to our other trailers.
We've been camping where it's been 20° and camping when it's been 105° and no problems with it at all in this kind of weather.
You might wish to check out Northwood's dealer locator: CLICK ME
And here's the URL for Northwood's Owner's Forum... CLICK HERE
As the past owner of several older tow vehicles, I have a certain perspective... There's a lot of good advice here, but something we did is have a separate fund set up for repairs. We put $150 a month into it, not too much of a hardship, but the cash was there for when we had to fix "the latest problem". There was lots of stuff we just decided to live with (like no air conditioning) because we needed reliability more.
Be vigilant on your preventative maintenance (point already made), and take it easier on the vehicle by keeping your speed down. You own a common vehicle, so you should be able to get most things fixed most anywhere. Things will break, and you'll be surprised at how you can find repair services in out-of-the-way places.
Beyond that, prepare as well as you can and worry as little as possible - you're on holiday! By now you're familiar with the truck's quirks, just accept them and drive on!
And I've been waiting all this time to see if someone wouldn't say, "SEE!!???!! Disco ISN'T dead!!"