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Trailering across country
 MrTruck, txdad, windy Last Activity 2014-10-23 2:28 AM
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Copper1272

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Subject : Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 7:43 AM
Post #76596

Okay, this summer we are moving from South Florida to North Idaho. I will be hauling 3 horses and 3 children 2955 miles probably by myself  . My question here is does anyone have a checklist of the stuff to look at and do on a 2000 Dodge 2500 cummings and a 2007 Cherokee 3 horse tomohawk. Things like bearings, brakes, etc. I just want to make sure I have everything covered. I am going to make sure that I get the Us Rider renewed.

Also any suggestions on the what to take for the horses. I have a water tank on my hay rack, but not really sure if I should fill it to capacity or not. We are stopping at night at pre planned horse barns along the way.

Wow, I am crazy ?????


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gard

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 8:34 AM
Post #76602 - In reply to #76596

Your trip will be an major concern, and if you can alleviate most maintenance issues before you leave, you will have fewer worries while en route.

Your truck and trailer should be completely serviced before you leave. On your truck, this would include oil and all filters being changed, anti freeze and water checked/replaced and a can of diesel fuel conditioner in your fuel tank. All the fluid levels should be checked and serviced as necessary. The chassis should be greased if you have lube fittings. The condition of your tires should be addressed, with all pressures including the spare topped off. Make sure all your lights are functioning properly.

The trailer should have the wheel bearings repacked and the brakes inspected and repaired if necessary. The tires, including the spare, should be particularly inspected for condition, especially dry rot of the side walls and any belt issues. They should be aired to the max rating on the sidewalls. Make sure all the lights are working properly. Obtain some reflectors and or flares in case of a break down.

You should make sure you have the proper tools and jacks to effect a tire change on either vehicle. Don't push your truck on the hills if your itinerary includes them. Back off a bit and let your truck run cool.

Leave some air space in your water tank for expansion. Take a cell phone and car battery adapter, maps, GPS if you use one. Carry some cash, but bring credit cards for fuel and emergencies.

Break up your days with some stops. Don't drive tired. Keep yourself and the horses hydrated. Check the trailer for the temperature comfort of your horses while you're on the road, and adjust the vents and windows as necessary. Schedule the feeding to match your home times. There are many ideas about the best way to feed, how much while trailering etc. Do what has worked the best for you in the past.

Communicate often with the people of whom you will see, and those who are at home. Give them frequent progress reports so many people know where you are. Get up to date information on emergency numbers for the major cities you will be passing. (AAA booklets) Have all the current medical information and identification for each child, with the numbers of their doctors. Have a separate sheet of contact numbers for yourself and leave it in your wallet. Have a letter of medical authority for your children and include a phone number of the assigned person.

Depending on the age of your children, each one should know how to use, and make an emergency phone call on your cell phone. Many highway emergency numbers are posted beside the roadway. Make a game of writing down the most recent one you see and have them repeat it. Post it notes work well.

Be careful, take a portion of the trip at a time, and don't get worn down. You will have a great responsibility and you have to be on top of your game.

Best Of luck  gard

 



[Edited by gard on 2008-02-11 8:52 AM]

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Cloud9

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 9:00 AM
Post #76605 - In reply to #76596

I would rely on a competent mechanic. A trailer mechanic who can repack the wheels - you don't want a dry wheel bearing to ruin the trip. Have them check the trailer brakes, wiring, hitch, hitch on the truck and a general check up. a 2007 trailer should be in good shape for your trip. But, err on the side of caution.

Similarly have your truck checked over. Change oil, check the brakes and have a general safety check done. Our moderators; Mr. Truck and Mr. Trailer should have more thoughts.

I would get an exhaust brake put on your truck. They're expensive around $2,000. But absolutely a requirement for driving in the mountains. I learned the hard way by burning out my brakes in Wyoming. That easily could have been a fatal wreck.

I recommend the diesel truck forum at Carson City Dodge http://www.carsondodge.com/Forums
It is a great place to get info on mountain driving. There's a lot of 'gear head' stuff that can spin your head. But, a tremendous amount of good advice for us flatlanders about mountain driving and basic maintenance of Dodge Cummins Diesels.

On long trips we always carry a couple of small 2-3 gal pails and one or two 5 gal plastic carry cans (you can get at Wal-Mart for about 7 bucks). We stop every couple of hours and offer the horses a drink. Usually, our horses don't always drink until we stop for the night. But, in hot weather, they will. Driving across North or South Dakota or Nebraska in the summer, you will likely get some temps in the high 90s and lo 100s. Keep all the horse windows open. So they'll have some air movement. If you can keep hay in front of them (we have mangers. That makes it easier.) that's good, even if they don't seem to eat it. We have one horse who readily eats all the hay he can reach while we're moving and one who only eats when we're stopped.

Make sure you take some electrolytes. They'll need it when it's hot.

With three kids, you'll be stopping every couple of hours anyway. So, you won't need special horse stops. We like to stop at Flying J Truck stops or Love's where we can fuel up get something to eat, fill propane tanks and usually will have potable water and a dump tank.

Once you're across the Missouri River in S Dakota, you'll need to get a brand inspection on your horses. Here's two links that tell about it. http://horseandmuletrails.com/brandinspection.htm

http://www.venturecomm.net/~ckshryock/news.htm#brand%20inspectors

We got ours in Rapid City, SD. The inspector met us at a Flying J. A permanent Brand Inspection cost $10 per horse and is good in any state that requires one for as long as you own that animal.

I usually plot out my long trips west using MapQuest Google Maps, Rand McNally and Yahoo Maps. I check with Google first and Rand McNally next. There's often a difference between them. Then I figure that we'll average 55-60 miles a day to estimate travel times for stops.

I'll be happy to answer any more questions you have. We make a trip from Missouri to the Rockies each year.

You are smart to make sure your USRider is up to date. That is an invaluable service. You don't want to be changing a tire on the side of the road in 90+ degree weather. I had to replace a blown tire in Spearfish SD one summer. The advice from the tire shop owner was to not exceed 65 mph to avoid tire troubles. The speed limits are 75 in that area.



[Edited by Cloud9 on 2008-02-11 9:09 AM]

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headhunter

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 10:13 AM
Post #76609 - In reply to #76596

Cloud9, I'm guessing you meant "Then I figure that we'll average 55-60 miles per hour to estimate travel times for stops." not  "Then I figure that we'll average 55-60 miles a day to estimate travel times for stops."

In addition to the brand inspection, I would guess many of the states you will be traveling through will require a Coggins Test.  You should check to see if any states have any other requirements. 

Have I.C.E numbers (In Case of Emergency) plugged into your phone for both you and your horses. 

 


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Copper1272

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 10:21 AM
Post #76611 - In reply to #76596

WOW!!!

Am I ever glad I posted this now!!! I didn't even think about brand inspection. You guys are wonderful.

I don't know about adding the brake, we are moving there because our jobs have gone copute. Is there anything else I could add that could make things a bit safer without the 2,000 dollar price tag? If our house sells before we go it would be doable, but I am counting on it not selling because the markets are so crappy here.

You guys are a wealth of info and I sure appreciate all of the suggestions, glad I have 4 mos to take care of this stuff.

I have mapquested 2 different routes. One that goes through Tennesee and those areas and one going through Dallas. I was thinking of staying in that area for 2 days to give me, Kids, Horses a breather. Does anyone know the least mountainous route? I am south of Tampa in Southwest Florida.

I am originally from North Idaho and have driven plenty in the mountains with horse trailer in tow, however not one completely loaded. I think with gear and horses and kids and hay we will be about 3000lbs under load rating but still am nervous about it.


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retento

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 10:22 AM
Post #76612 - In reply to #76596

 Along with the Coggins...An up to date "Health Certificate", (blood drawn within the past 30 days.) I usually have our done about a week before we leave, that gives us 3 weeks to make it back home!! This Health Certificate is something totally different from the Coggins test.

I wish you the best of luck with your trip!! I could imagine moving the three horses, but moving the three kids, man OH man......I would need a "BIG DRANK" when I got to Idaho!!


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Copper1272

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 10:24 AM
Post #76613 - In reply to #76609

Originally written by headhunter on 2008-02-11 10:13 AM

Cloud9, I'm guessing you meant "Then I figure that we'll average 55-60 miles per hour to estimate travel times for stops." not  "Then I figure that we'll average 55-60 miles a day to estimate travel times for stops."

In addition to the brand inspection, I would guess many of the states you will be traveling through will require a Coggins Test.  You should check to see if any states have any other requirements. 

Have I.C.E numbers (In Case of Emergency) plugged into your phone for both you and your horses. 

 

 

I do have coggins already on everyone, we can't travel here at all without one. I wonder if there are brand inspectors here? Can I take care of that here or does it have to be out west? I also will have health inspection papers done the week before we leave as they are only usually good for 30 days.

Does anyone know what shots are recommended for that area?


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Copper1272

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 10:26 AM
Post #76615 - In reply to #76612

Originally written by retento on 2008-02-11 10:22 AM

 Along with the Coggins...An up to date "Health Certificate", (blood drawn within the past 30 days.) I usually have our done about a week before we leave, that gives us 3 weeks to make it back home!! This Health Certificate is something totally different from the Coggins test.

I wish you the best of luck with your trip!! I could imagine moving the three horses, but moving the three kids, man OH man......I would need a "BIG DRANK" when I got to Idaho!!

Me thinks a whole bottle will be called for


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Snickers

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 10:38 AM
Post #76618 - In reply to #76596

Mentioned in another post about Health papers and the Coggins papers being up todate. I would suggest that you pay close attention to how well your vet fills out the identifacation section on the Coggins papers. Make sure they are very close to that horse as far as identifying marks/scars etc. Have checked in horses at several High School Nat. Finals Rodeos and there are MANY Coggins papers that it appears that the vet didn't even look at the horse when filling out the papers. Might even consider taking a picture of each horse writing the name of each on the pic. and have the vet sign the picture.
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hav2ride

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 11:37 AM
Post #76624 - In reply to #76596

Talk with your vet about emergency medications, like banamine.
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Copper1272

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 12:09 PM
Post #76630 - In reply to #76618

Originally written by Snickers on 2008-02-11 10:38 AM

Mentioned in another post about Health papers and the Coggins papers being up todate. I would suggest that you pay close attention to how well your vet fills out the identifacation section on the Coggins papers. Make sure they are very close to that horse as far as identifying marks/scars etc. Have checked in horses at several High School Nat. Finals Rodeos and there are MANY Coggins papers that it appears that the vet didn't even look at the horse when filling out the papers. Might even consider taking a picture of each horse writing the name of each on the pic. and have the vet sign the picture.

 

Thankfully all of our coggins here have digital photos on them of three views of the horse.

I really need to find out about the brand inspection though.


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Towfoo

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 12:10 PM
Post #76631 - In reply to #76596

Don't forget a fresh fire extinguisher. Personally, my list would start with a "self-defense tool" of choice.
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Painted Horse

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 2:35 PM
Post #76641 - In reply to #76596

The Brand Inspections from what I've read on here are not a big of a deal in the South east as they are out here in the west.  If you can get one in Florida, great, if not, choose your route carefully and you can probably get by with your registration & health papers. I read about South Dakota being a  stickler for Brand Inspection. But my experience with Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho has been that if I have registration papers, (especially the newer ones with pictures) that they have not bothered me. They are mainly just wanting to prove ownership of the horses.

Coggins are good for either 6 months or 1 years in most western states. So if you get your coggins done 3-4 weeks prior to the trips you should be fine.

Health Certificates are only good for 30 days. So make sure you're within that window for your trip. I've never had to draw blood for a health certificate. Usually the vet just looks at the horse to see if his noise is dripping, if he is coughing,  running a fever. If the horse if bright eyed and bushy tail, the certificate is issued without a second thought.

Engine Brakes are nice, but you will survive one trip with out one. A lot of folks never install one and drive up and down these mountains daily. If you grew up in Idaho, you know what a mountain is and I assume you know enough to keep you load under control. People from the flat lands don't understand 6, 7, 8% grades that go for 20 miles in length.

I like to get my horses used to eating soaked beet pulp before any trip..  I can soak it up good, add a a few carrots or apples and feed it while we drive.  Give it to the horses AFTER they drink. Then it adds that much more water to their system.  If it's hot when you move, I often will get the horses out and hose them down with water to help cool them off. They don't have any A/C in the trailer. A wet coat of hair, keeps them cool for an hour.

I stop in county fair grounds when I travel.  You can turn the horses out in their arena.  The horses seem to race around, stretch out the kinks from being a trailer all day and roll. And most fairgrounds have wash racks.

 


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Copper1272

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 3:58 PM
Post #76643 - In reply to #76596

Painted Horses, how do you get in touch with fairgrounds in different areas will they be in the phonebook? Do they generally have room to stay in your living quarter? Thanks again guys for the ideas,,,keep em coming.
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Terri

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 6:34 PM
Post #76656 - In reply to #76643

Some fair grounds are listed and you can call the extension office,visitors bureau or the court house and they will usually have the contact info.  When we moved (only 800 miles) I hung buckets with water in them infront of each horse.  That way they could drink or splash as they chose.  I refilled/topped them off at each stop.  We stayed the night at the fair grounds in Fort Stockton, Tx and it was free unless I wanted electrical hook ups.  All I had to do was clean the stalls in the morning.

 

Now for the kids.   What ever you take, take one for each.  It will help stop fights.

    I found that the portable DVD player, with a screen and headphones/volume control for each was invaluable.  They each had a mp3 player, books and toys and we had no fighting.  If you are traveling with girls a portapotty in the dressing room (if you don't have a LQ) will be your best friend.  It never failed that we were 40miles out and one of the kids just HAD to go.  Even if we had just stopped.  I also bought one of the 3way coolers  (elect,12v,propane) and carried drinks and stuff for a sandwich. 



[Edited by Terri on 2008-02-11 6:40 PM]

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randemtam

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 7:31 PM
Post #76662 - In reply to #76596

You may already know this, but you will need to stop at the Ag station on the way out of Fl and will need a health certificate dated within 30 days of stopping. They will hunt you down if you pass it!
Have a safe trip!
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Painted Horse

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 8:10 PM
Post #76666 - In reply to #76643

Fair ground rules will vary by county. Each has their own rules.

Some will allow you to stay in your trailer, others won't, Some charge for the stall ( usually around $10.00 a night)

Fairgrounds usually are listed in the phone book, But it will depend on who actually opperates the fairground.  City, County, State or private

I've used or seen others use fair  grounds in Cortez CO, Moab UT, Spanish Fork UT, Laramie WY, Triple "C" Arena-Panguitch UT, Black Hawk -Salina UT, Legacy Center -Farmington UT, Golden Spike Center - Ogden UT, Purgatory - Hurricane UT

I know during July when I stop over at the Legacy Center in Farmington UT, there are always A LOT of rigs parked with cowboys making the rodeo circuit around the west. They will go to Boise, come back to Farmington, Run up to Cheyenne, come back to Farmington, Salt Lake and Ogden Days of 47 rodeos, Over to Reno. The cowboys use the fairground as a central parking place while the runs to all the rodeos in the west.

I did a quick google of Fairgrounds in Utah and came up with a bunch. You could probably do the same for any state.

The one down side to a fairground.  is you don't know who used the stall before you. Be prepared to clean up before putting your horse in.

 


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flyinghfarm

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-11 11:12 PM
Post #76676 - In reply to #76596

here ya go

 

www.countyfairgrounds.net

 

this can get you alot of info

www.overnightstabling.com

and

www.usstablingguide.com

lots of good info on this already

I got an engine brake from

www.scorpiondiesel.com

about $400 and less than an hour to install no welding drilling etc


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Copper1272

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Subject : RE: Trailering across country
Posted : 2008-02-12 5:34 AM
Post #76679 - In reply to #76676

Originally written by flyinghfarm on 2008-02-11 11:12 PM

here ya go

 

http://www.countyfairgrounds.net/

 

this can get you alot of info

http://www.overnightstabling.com/

and

http://www.usstablingguide.com/

lots of good info on this already

I got an engine brake from

http://www.scorpiondiesel.com/

about $400 and less than an hour to install no welding drilling etc

Thank you!!


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