Wear/tear xc trip. ~3,500 miles round-trip

Discussion in 'On The Road' started by jcrew6311, May 12, 2018.

  1. jcrew6311

    jcrew6311 Member

    Feb 24, 2015
    We have a 2007 f-150 4.6l v8 with 125k miles on it. Also have a 2008 Fleetwood Niagara. This probably won't happen, but just out of curiosity, how bad would the wear and tear be on our truck if we decided to do a trip about 1,700 miles out over the course of 3-4 days, stayed for about 2 weeks, then drove back 1,700 miles over 3-4 days. The longest we have ever traveled was 370 miles one way and 370 miles back a few days later.
  2. giadiep

    giadiep Active Member

    Sep 5, 2015
    Syracuse, NY
    If you trust your truck and it has been well maintained, I don’t see a problem. If you are concerned, do some fluid changes before you go: oil & filter change, coolant change, transmission/transfer case/differentials, and brake fluid. Top off power steering and windshield washer fluid. Check battery condition as well as brakes.
    PointyCamper likes this.
  3. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I think I would be concerned with the age of things like the radiator hoses, fan belts & tires. Like @giadiep said change the oil,air filter. When was your last Tune up?
  4. MrsSquid

    MrsSquid Active Member

    Aug 31, 2016
    You might have a little more maintenance.

    When we did our extended trip, we ended up having to do an oil change midway and one upon our return. The towing made the engine work harder.

    Watch your tire wear.
  5. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    I drive a 2004 Ford 150 with tow package, I just change oil etc. when the book calls for it. I am not afraid to use my truck because that is why I bought it. You should have no problem just have the oil and fluids changed, check tires for proper air pressure and dry rot and change them if needed, watch the gauges and enjoy the trip. Good Luck on the trip and Keep on Camping.
  6. davido

    davido Active Member

    Jul 17, 2014
    You can never plan on which thing might go wrong on such a trip, but possible common culprits you can check into beforehand:

    Radiator hoses Thermostat (though it's hard to test a thermostat), Belts, Oil change/filter, Brakes, Tires, Differentials, Battery, Shocks, Power Steering Pump, Water Pump, Air conditioning Compressor.

    The rest is anybody's guess -- Is this the year you would need a new transmission? Is this the year your rack and pinion will go? No way of knowing, really, aside from some visual inspections by a mechanic, but even so, the mechanic will be making educated guesses. You know your vehicle better than us -- is it well mantained? Does it stink like ATF fluid when you drive up a hill? Does its power steering pump groan when you turn on pavement? Does its rack and pinion clunk? Do its CV joints knock when you make turns? Does the transmission hesitate and then lurch? Does it sputter and continue running for a few seconds after you shut it off? Is it hard starting? Is it tempermental at altitude?

    If it's generally a purring kitten, then after checking those common sources of trouble at 125k miles, take your trip, and allow some time and bring an empty credit card for a possible repair.

    It is unlikely that you'll end up needing to rebuild your transmission or your engine. Those are sort of the worst-case things, but most vehicles don't get taken out of service due to a thrown piston or dead transmission, they nickle and dime their owners until the owner loses patience to continue dealing with it.

    A total of 3600 miles towing is not much harder on your vehicle than 5000 miles not towing. In fact, you're probably spending most of those miles on the highway, so they're not particularly difficult miles for your vehicle to deal with.

    We routinely tow 250-275 miles, which is nothing like the number of miles you are contemplating, but honestly, once you've driven 4-5 hours down the highway, you may as well keep on driving.

    What I would suggest, though, is to consider a sway control system, and possibly a weight distribution hitch, if your trailer and vehicle can accommodate it. This will place less strain on your rear axle, will give you a more level tow, better handling, better headlight aim, and improved sway prevention. Those are worthwhile goals for any towing, but particularly for long distance towing.

    And of course, make sure your trailer's brakes are in good shape, tires are good, hubs are greased, brake controller (proportional hopefully) and hitch wiring are in good working order.
  7. crackerJack

    crackerJack Active Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    We did a 5,000 mile round trip, a couple years ago. It was unforgettable. We prepared as much as we could, and just went for it.
  8. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Member

    May 23, 2018
    South Carolina
    We are towing with a 1997 F150 4.6L 2wd with 132,000 miles. Up until this year, nothing had been done to it except oil changes. Before we started extended camping, I took it to a trusted shop, told them what we were planning. They replaced plugs, plug wires, idle air controller (it was humming), EGR valve (it had the check engine light on), serpentine belt, and did a tune up. They said the hoses were still sound (he had a truck with 300,000+ miles with original hoses). We camped for a week pass through Florida, and when we got back, I took it to a transmission shop for a wellness check. He replaced the filter (said the old one was good), changed the fluid, and added a transmission cooler at my request. We are planning trips that will take us to Kentucky and Virginia. I hope to make it to Nova Scotia with it next year. We try to stay on back roads and, if we have to, run 60 to 65 mph on the interstate.
  9. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Active Member

    Jun 6, 2018
    My company truck is a 2011 F250 with the 6.2L gas engine.
    It has 164K on it right now, has towed heavy trailers all over the place, hauled lots of stuff and towed 20K lb air compressors around on site.

    I'd get in it right now and drive it to the west coast if I needed to.
    I keep it maintained, and over the last couple years it's needed several repairs, but vehicles last a lot longer than they used to.
    I should get a new truck this fall, and plan to buy this one from my employer for a beater truck at home.

    At 125K have your spark plugs been replaced? If not, they should be.
    Change the differential and transfer case fluid.

    Things break unexpectedly, it happens. But I wouldn't let the worry stop me from taking a trip.

    Check the wheel bearings on your trailer, and the tires. I see lots of trailers sitting along the road with the tire or wheel off of them because someone wanted to save a few bucks on tires or didn't want to take the time to repack the wheel bearings.
  10. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Active Member

    Apr 25, 2018
    Troup, Texas
    My 08 Duramax has 200k and I'm taking it on a 6000 mile trip next summer to Maine from Texas towing our PUP. We had our Honda CR-V out to the west coast last year without any issues and it had 125,000 miles. Today's vehicles can easily go several hundred thousand miles.

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