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Old 12-01-2007, 08:47 PM   #1
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Excited but nervous

My husband and I just brought home our first tt 3 days ago. Actually, my brother towed it 45 miles since I don't have a hitch yet.

We always used a tent, but once 50 came along it got to be a bit of a hassle. A co-worker said her old pop-up was for sale so we went to look at it but decided it was "just another tent". My brother (the expert with the 37 ft-4 slide out- fifth wheel) talked us into looking at hard-side trailers. After looking at several that were too heavy to pull, not worth the asking price, etc., we found this 1997 T2363, really liked it and he said we were crazy if we didn't buy it.

I drive a 2003 Ford Explorer XLS and was told by Ford that I could pull the weight of this. Any comments? I've been looking at the forums and notice that most of you have big trucks. I do plan on purchasing weight stabilizer and sway bars with the hitch. Probably won't go more than 50 miles to camp.

We really like the roomy, home-like floor plan and quality built into this. Can't wait to use it!

Are there any schools were I can learn how to back up without hitting my brother's FIL's new $70,000 fifth wheel I'll be parking next to at the storage lot?
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:14 PM   #2
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Re: Excited but nervous

Quote:
Originally Posted by clueless campers
I drive a 2003 Ford Explorer XLS and was told by Ford that I could pull the weight of this. Any comments?
First of all, welcome to the forum and congrats on your new coach.

What engine do you have in your Explorer? I used to tow my 2363 with a '03 Mountaineer V8 all the time, and on one rare occasion I used my grandparents' '03 Mountaineer V6. The V8 was great, but the V6 did do the job, just took a little longer.

If you have the V8, I think you will feel the combo will suit you well and there will be no need to upgrade, unless you upgrade the TT. If you have the V6, you may choose to upgrade at some point. Even though you say you won't travel more than 50 miles, I definetly wouldn't recommend going out west with the 2363 and a V6.

Jon

P.S. I'd love to see some pics (and the VIN too) if it isn't too much trouble. The '97's are always special to me as it was my first.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:20 PM   #3
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chuck & lori
Congratulations on your new TT! And welcome to the Club. You should be able to find the answer to most of your questions here.
As for your question about towing with the Explorer, you may find info in the towing vehicle section of this forum or on the RV.net forum.
As for learning to back up, again there is a lot of info on the RV.net forum-I read and reread the info there when we bought our first TT in 2001.
The Good Sam club sometimes has driving instruction at their rallys. I believe it is geared towards motorhomes, though. You could find more info on their web site.
You might also want to look at the maintenance section of this forum to learn about winterizing you TT. It's that time of year!
Enjoy
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:56 PM   #4
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Welcome Clueless,
I love your handle. I have felt clueless most of my life. You have joined the ranks of very distinguished T-2363 owners, of which we happen to be one too. We also love the floorplan.
As far as backing up, my suggestion would be to take the coach to a Wally World or any store with a large, empty parking lot to practice in. (Good luck finding one during the holidays). Be sure to always have a spotter and be careful of the light poles. Two way radios could be helpfull. Basically if you put your left hand at the 12 oclock position on the steering wheel and turn your hand towards the mirror that contains the "most" trailer you "should" back up straight. Try backing up between the parking lines to simulate a camping spot. If your hitch rig has a friction bar, remove it before you ever back up. They have been known to bind and tear something up. Don't be nervous backing in next to 5'er, even though your brother will be watching you like a hawk.
Regards,
MM
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:07 PM   #5
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Mooney
A really good way to learn how to manuever around is to see if there are any tractor-trailer schools in your area, and if there are, see if any of them have a "cone course" set up in a public lot- just ask if you can use it during non-training hours (they often rent the space in the lots). You can use firewood or cones, etc. in the squares and learn all the basic manuevers, parralel parking both sides, 90 degree turns, straight backing, etc.

Look here, pages 25-36 (pdf format)

http://www.mass.gov/rmv/cdlmanual/CDL_Manual_Part_3.pdf

I drive the big rigs for a living, and the cone course will get you more experience fast-

just remember:

When in doubt, get OUT!

You can always pull forward and back up again

Greg
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:41 PM   #6
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Congratulations on your new purchase of a Sunline ! You will love it.

We found walkie-talkies are good for backing into campgrounds spaces and our driveway when we load up. Wal-Mart or Target sell a set for $29.50, make sure to get the ones with AA batteries.

Welcome to a great club.

Sarah and Jim
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:11 PM   #7
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Sorry I haven't thanked everyone for the welcomes sooner. Been pretty busy with Christmas on the way and all the mandatory overtime at work lately. I'd like to thank everyone who responded for all the tips and encouragement.
To Makers Mark: I thought about an empty parking lot--we have 2 nearly and 1 completely abandoned shopping malls in town. My brother says when this snow is gone but before the state park opens for camping season, he'll take me there and let me practice putting it on a lot from the left and right, driving to the turn around at the end of the road and doing it all over again. He is also going to switch storage spots with me when the temperature rises so he won't have such a hard time getting his tonneau cover off and on to hook up his fifth wheel. There is more room to manuveer and there are boats on each side of his trailer that are gone all summer.
To Sunline Fan: My Explorer has the 4.0 V6, 4x4, 3.73. I got a pretty good picture of the vin. When the weather gets better (they say we'll have blizzard conditions tommorrow ) I'll get some more of the inside and try to figure out how to post them.
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Old 12-24-2007, 02:14 PM   #8
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Hi all, I will introduce myself more later when I have time but for now I am Mooney's little brother (and now owner of his old 1981 trailer)

I installed a cheap wireless back up camera on the rear of the trailer and it works great.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:23 AM   #9
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Sunline Fan,

Finally figured out how to post photos. There is one of the VIN plate, some from the dealer's advertisement and a few from when we went to the BMV for the out-of-state inspection and title transfer/registration. That's my brother's blue Dodge.

We're going in about 1 1/2 hr. to get the weight distribution bars, sway bar and brake controller installed so I can tow. Then the fun starts (LOL) when I learn to back up. I hope my brother has a lot of patience
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