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Coming in late June my brother and I will be driving from my home in Kuna ID to Lincoln Nebraska to get my mothers things to her.  I will be using the Ram and pulling a 25' coleman camper.  I will be followed by her 1994 GMC K1500 pulling a pickup bed trailer.  I will be meeting my sister and her husband in there truck where they will take the camper and GMC to Watertown NY where my mother lives.  The GMC is just about done, been prepping it so my mother shouldn't have to do anything but change the oil as long as she owns it.  I've changed every fluid, filter, fixed all the leaks, replaced the cooling system, shocks, fuel pump and converted all the lights to LED.   My truck is almost done, most of the fluids are fairly new in the last year.  I will be getting the brakes flushed, upgrade trailer brake controller, new belt/tensioner and an oil change.  Bringing extra tools, fluids, belts and fuel for the GMC, lol.  What do you guys usually do to prepare for a big road trip?  

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Spare fuel filters (a bad tank of fuel can really ruin a trip!), spare drive belt, fluids to top off as you go and tools to change the filters on the road if needed.  Make sure the trailers have spare tires as well as the trucks.  Drive safely and have an enjoyable trip.

 

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There's only so much you can be ready for, I usually do pretrip inspection as good as I can and have basic tools to do basic repairs. A spear serpentine belt without ac in case it locks up, fuel filters, I have on board air and tire plugs. But really if something bigger happened that you can't really plan for you're screwed ether way, cash and guns would be a good thing to have. :spend::gun:

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I do the same pre trip prep; check this and that, pack a few spare gizmos (like a TPS) ; none of them have helped.  One trip the VP44 went out in Riggins ID, then there was the crank speed sensor that went bad in Moab, UT, another time the lock up clutch in the torque convertor went out in Beaver Creek, OR, last was the right front wheel hub at   @Mopar1973Man house.  

My wife insists on bringing her own mechanic with her but she wants him to work for free.  1791893191_animated-smileys-love-erotic-3011.gif.e7eaeb218ca3749268ce210baff191ed.gif

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I agree that you cannot prepare for everything, but one extra step I take is to remove the serpentine belt and spin all of the accessory pulleys.  Check for excessive shaft movement or rough bearings.  I even modified the top of the fan shroud to make the belt removal and inspection easy.  My brother-in-law's 2003 truck was slated for a long trip, so I showed him what to be looking for.  It turned out that the fan hub bearing was very rough when rotated by hand.  Couldn't feel it or hear with the truck running.  That could have been an expensive catastrophic failure.

 

- John

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Posted (edited)

Like all my failures there was nothing you can do.

  • First transmission failure I broke the main shaft in a NV4500. Towed Home.
  • AirDog 150 finally wore out at 300k miles. Towed home.
  • 5th gear disappeared. 350k miles and drove home in 4th gear.
  • Alternator shorted out PCM. Towed home. 

There is no amount of tools or parts you could haul with you. Like most of you worry about the belt. In 431k miles of ownership on the 2002 Dodge I've never broke a belt. I've never had a blow out. All mine required just being towed home and sending parts out ot be repaired. Again if you doing your inspection you can see the failure coming. Glitter in the oil, loose part, shifting weird, charging issues? All my failures there was nothing I could repair on the highway.

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After driving coast to coast a few times for work. the most I can say is basic hand tools, spare fluids, some fuses, and a belt. Beyond that you’ll need hard parts, I travel with pandora or Spotify playing so I know when I actually have service. 

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After driving over 430k miles... You understand that majority of what you guys are packing is unneeded. If you done your maintenance like change the belt before you leave there is no need for a old belt under the back seat. 

 

Coast to Coast is roughly 2,500 to 3,500 miles. Around the globe is somewhere at 24,901 miles. Then to the moon 238,900 miles roughly, then round trip 477,800 miles. I'm almost home. I don't pack a ton of tools and parts. I pack a bug out bag so I can abandon the vehicle and walk to safety or help. All the tools and parts are just space and weight you gotta haul. Even when I went to Arizona I did a mod down there to help trans temps in 120+ temps. 

 

In all the miles I've traveled... Majority of the failures I couldn't repair in the field.

  • NEVER had a explosive tire failure. Yes I've had flats from nails and other small debris. 
  • NEVER had a fan belt break.
  • NEVER had an overheat condition. 
  • 1 Lift pump failure. 250k miles on the AirDog. 
  • Broke the main shaft of the transmission no road side repair could be done.
  • Broke the smaller 5th gear and ate both gears. No road side repair possible. Still drove it home.
  • Alternator shorted out and wiped out the PCM. No roadside repair possible. 
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I had a front blowout in a Ford 15-passenger van. At night, in the cold rain, on Interstate 70, with a bunch of paying passengers in the van. That sucked. I made about $7.50 per hour and got no tips that day because another driver came to pick them up.

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3 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

Then to the moon 238,900 miles roughly, then round trip 477,800 miles. I'm almost home.

 

But, if you would have broken a belt halfway back from the moon, you really would have been glad you had the old one under the back seat..., just sayin'

 

- John

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I'm trying to prep her truck so she wont have to get anything done while she has it.  She'll be living alone in the woods and my brother in law can sometimes be slow to get to fixing things.  The GMC has 152k miles on it and I replaced the original water pump and hoses.  I actually replaced the water pump twice, the first one only survived going around the block a couple times before the bearing let go, wobbled around and tossed the belt.  I did a warranty return and upgraded to the HD version of the pump just in case.  I had to do a warranty exchange on the radiator cap two times as they both leaked from the vent shaft.  I went with a standard cap the third time.  I put a battery tender under the hood with a plug in the lower air dam.  She only drives 2-3 times a month and the car she is borrowing keeps having the battery go dead from the cold and lack of use.  I got some newer used tire for it as brand new tires would rot before she ever used them up.  I still need to get a new spare for it though, current one has cracks in the sidewall.  I also need to check the age of the little trailer tires and it's spare as well.  

 

I did install a new Tekonsha P3 brake controller in my truck.  The one that was in there came with the truck and could only be used on the lowest power setting.  If you turned the power up one notch it would lock the trailer tires up when you the touched the brakes.  I was gonna get the P2 but I installed a P3 in my father in laws work truck and really liked it.  He was having the same problem with his old controller but I noticed it had been mounted upside down so the pendulum was probably sitting in the position to make it think it had to brake hard.  

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12 hours ago, Tractorman said:

 

But, if you would have broken a belt halfway back from the moon, you really would have been glad you had the old one under the back seat..., just sayin'

 

- John

 

I'm not that foolish to leave a belt in service that long. Typically they get changed out about 50k miles. Again in all the vehicles I've owned I've never broke a belt. Like your suggesting I've carried a belt for awhile in under the back seat just in case. Finally getting tired of moving it out of my way all the time. Even in the shop I've got 2 old belts on the shelf and never used any old belt because a belt broke. Now like a lots of vehicles I've worked on typically the belt breaks because there is another issue. Pulley bearing, accessory pulley bearing failed, etc. During my inspections I'll pull the belt and check all bearings in all pulleys. 

 

Like the last job I went on was a 1996 Ford F-250 7.3L diesel the vacuum pump bearing gave up and cause the belt to be shredded from misalignment of that failed bearing. Again this is not a belt failure but a bearing failure which is more common than just out of the blue belt breaking. with these truck and the spring loaded tensioner its not like the past where belts broke from over tightening or overly loose (burn the belt).

 

There is just somethings you can never plan on. Like @JAG1 travelling with @IBMobile and travelling a long grade without a exhaust brake and get the brakes hot and then end up later cooking the grease out of the front unit bearings. This is not a bearing failure but look at the cause. Lots of weight on the truck, no exhaust brake, and auto transmission. In this case the long downhill without a exhaust brake was the recipe for heating the brakes up and cooking the bearing grease out. 

 

Just like @IBMobile came out here and spent a week at my place. Left my place headed north and made it on the other side of Riggins, ID and the VP44 died. IBMobile already had a belt driven lift pump. Does that mean we all gotta carry a VP44 in the back seat?  No. Again it just one of things you can exactly plan for or test to see the condition of the pump. If you got error codes or performance issue I would suggest planning a trip till all codes and performance issues are resolved.  Kind of like the 2006 here. I didn't want it driven with injectors that are filling the crankcase with fuel. Then a long list of error codes. Now the only code is a crank sensor code. Yup got the sensor in the front seat. 

 

Another one is I typically use a degreaser and power wash the engine and transmission down so you can see if there is any fluids leaking from anywhere. Again another example is my 2002 Dodge with the head gasket. I cleaned it up and took out for a run and verified the oil was for sure coming from the front drivers side corner. 

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I drove long distances going camping/ traveling Knowing I had the 0216 error code. Heavy doses of 2 cycle. Carried the rebuilt VP44 from Vulcan in the RV and all the tools the whole time. One trip on the way home, finally started getting hard starts. Not bad but enough to notice longer starts.

 

Next morning I made it home, and later drove it from western Oregon to 'Mopies Auto shop', (what I call it from the early days) and Moparman did a great job changing it out. His mom was the center of entertainment in those days around there, she was the coolest of all moms I ever met.

 

Problem now though, everytime I go there to visit, they hog tie me up in the woodshed till they are done working on a truck. :lmao:

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Me...., everything I can think of goes, was In Cumbria with the 5th wheel last August (Cumbria is North West England right on the Scots border)  5th was parked on the site for 2 weeks, we went to Hadrians wall which was built by the Romans to keep the Scots out and came back to the truck to find diesel on the ground... Luckily it was the return line back to tank underneath the driver, there is a clamp there that holds diesel lines this had rubbed through/fractured the steel factory return line, I did have to get rubber fuel line and jubilee clips from a store in Carlisle BUT I did have a battery grinder to cut the line with.

If it hadn't have been the return I would have been done for as where we were was at least 20 miles from anywhere

I do have a spare pcm under the seat, just need a ecm and a vp

or better still sell the thing and get something more reliable and BTW my truck has never let me down but it will

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 With all that ancient history around, you better get a metal detector :punish:. What if you loose and important nut , screw or bolt . You'd be up a creek without a way to find it :whistle:

 

BTW, nothing more reliable than a 2nd gen Cummins.

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9 hours ago, JAG1 said:

 With all that ancient history around, you better get a metal detector :punish:. What if you loose and important nut , screw or bolt . You'd be up a creek without a way to find it :whistle:

 

BTW, nothing more reliable than a 2nd gen Cummins.

Better still when all this Covid stuff is done jump on a plane and bring yours, but you'd have to be pretty sneaky to use one on Hadrians Wall, Winter time would do it when no one about.

The wall is fasinating, built by Romans to keep Scots out but then after hundreds of years actually used as a border control for trade

 

I have been looking at one of these https://apsv.co.uk/product/daf-45-150-4x4-ex-mod-trucks/  but I think the back flatbed is too high for my 5th, Cummins 5.9 TD pre 24v, 5 speed manual full time 4x4, weighs 6000kg and can carry 5000kg. 1/2 the price of what I could get for my Ram, If I didn't have a 5th and a mobile workshop for work I would sell my truck as here a breakdown would stop me working for maybe weeks .... say vp or ecm or worse a trans 

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Just now, Royal Squire said:

Steering is on the wrong side!😂

Not here :)   left and right hand drive is available though, wish there was one local to test the bed height

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