Posted 2020-09-15 2:48 PM (#173245) Subject: First Time LQ / Aluminum Owner - Questions
Hi. I have recently purchased my first all aluminum / LQ trailer, and even after going through 50 pages of the forum topics, I still have questions!
My "new" rig is a 2002 Kiefer Built Genesis S-440 w 8' SW. The trailer is virtually mint - somebody has taken VERY good care of it, and I'd like to keep it that way. So, here's my "starter questions"...
- What are the care and maintenance requirements of the aluminum floor? Do I need to pull mats and hose it out every time it's used? Once a year? Is there a recommended coating I should apply to help protect it?
- Does plugging in to shore power charge the LQ battery? (Note: all electrical works when trailer is fully disconnected, so I'm assuming that's a good sign. Will be upgrading to LED.)
- Did not receive keys with it... are LQ locks "universal" like the old RV CH751, or do I need to engage a locksmith?
- This trailer has no grey water tank. Suggestions for handling?
- Cowboy shower... I don't foresee using this much, but I imagine it will come in handy now and then. How do you all handle the cowboy shower?
- Anyone with the "same" unit that might have an owner's manual I can get a copy of? (Yes, I tried calling Kiefer).
This trailer is an upgrade from my old steel stock and a truck camper. Its primary purpose is back-country camping, usually 5 to 7 day stints. We're heading towards Canadian winter soon, so I'll probably spend the next 8 months looking at my new trailer wistfully, but I want to be ready, come spring, to hook up and head to the bush with my faithful horse and dog. Any tips, tricks or hints regarding the trailer, the LQ, or solo trips would be appreciated.
Posted 2020-09-17 6:46 AM (#173252 - in reply to #173245) Subject: RE: First Time LQ / Aluminum Owner - Questions
I probably can't address all your questions. But a few thoughts- A) Aluminum floor- couple of times a year pull the mats & wash thoroughly. If you see white corrosion, an aluminum wash can help. Regardless of what you may read, I personally would strongly advise not to try and install any type of covering. B) Owner's Manual- won't be one. The one when new covered only the horse trailer part and was not very helpful. I imagine you already know how to hook it up. :) C)Keys- Not universal. Occasionally there will be a key code stamped on the actual cylinder. If not a locksmith or new lock assembly. D) Yes- if the batter disconnect switch is "on" and your converter is working, the battery will charge. E) Just FYI- Like many, Kiefer did not do the LQ. They were always done by a third party, and sometimes even the dealer took the trailer to the Co to have it done as they wanted. So frankly, you just want to famiarize yourself with yours as there may not be but just a few others like it anywhere in the world. But generally, it will be standard RV style build so there are lots of YouTube videos on it. F) Gray Tank- yup. Economy model, there wasn't one. Can be added I suppose. Probably wouldn't worry about it. Most wrangler campgrounds are pretty OK as long as you hose the sink water out to the woods.Show grounds, may be different if they don't have a sewer connection to dump into. Cowboy shower- have seen all manner of curtains, shower pans sitting on the floor and draining through a hole cut in the floor, to nothing more than just raise the trailer nose and let 'er rip out the back.
Posted 2020-09-17 10:59 AM (#173253 - in reply to #173245) Subject: RE: First Time LQ / Aluminum Owner - Questions
I second what RTSmith says. The only thing maybe I would deviate from is the aluminum floor. I would not do a "home owner" covering like Herculiner because if you don't get good adhesion and urine gets trapped underneath the coating it will accelerate the problem and you won't see it until it is to late. (Common Sundowner Valulite problem)
If you plan on keeping the trailer and depending on cost, a WERM floor install might be an option to think about. Hauling out mats are a pain. Whoever does the WERM floor would have to do the propper prep which I assume would entail more work than a brand new trailer for proper adhesion. You would need to weigh the cost/benefit to see if it make sense for you.
If you can find the key code, you can google the code. I found keys for my Cimmaron trailer that way.
Posted 2020-09-18 9:19 PM (#173255 - in reply to #173245) Subject: RE: First Time LQ / Aluminum Owner - Questions
Thank-you both for your replies.
Two more questions....
I used to use a bottle jack for my old steel stock, but understand that's not recommended on the aluminum, so have ordered a "Trailer Aid Plus". It says it's good for 15000 lbs and my trailer GVWR is under 11000 lbs, but... really? Do these things actually work? (Would sure be nifty if it does - even us old-school old-broads like to learn new tricks that make life easier!)
I finally got to investigating the black water set up and I'm not sure I like what I see! There's no "standard RV style knife valve", but it looks like some sort of rubberized fitting coming right out the bottom of the tank, through the trailer floor. The tank itself is fully walled in, so I can't see much. Now, I'll have this ripped out and replaced with proper if I need to, but.... what's the scoop on the poop hole? Anyone know?
Caveat: I was ill when this trailer hit the market 12 hours away from me, so I had it "inspected" by an acquaintance. Mayhap a few things weren't picked up, but I'm still thrilled with the unit over-all, so I'll sort it out.
Posted 2020-09-21 4:58 AM (#173261 - in reply to #173245) Subject: RE: First Time LQ / Aluminum Owner - Questions
Having a trailer aid is the best thing since sliced bread. The only thing to know is to break loose the lug nuts before you put it up on the trailer aid. If the flat is on the front axle you back up on the aid and if it is on the back axle you pull up on it.
Not sure I can answer the poop hole question as I don't clearly understand what is going on. There is a "knife" style damper at the toilet and and one on the drain/clean out. It sounds like someone might have hit the tank and punctured a hole or ripped the tank off?? If that is the case, it maybe tough to get an exact replacement tank so they may have to re-route the clean out piping.
Posted 2020-09-25 7:25 AM (#173269 - in reply to #173245) Subject: RE: First Time LQ / Aluminum Owner - Questions
Ha! I figured out the plumbing! And there IS a grey water tank. The knife valves are inside the trailer, in a little cubby by the toilet. Pull the valves and it drains through that hole in the floor. The whole set-up actually looks like it will be easier and cleaner to drain than my old camper was (well, as long as I never have to use an actual RV dump station, which I've never done in my life, so I don't see it happening soon).
Another question. I always tied direct to my old steel trailer, inside and out, but I see most folks with aluminum using baling twine loops. Is that a preference thing in case the horses pull, or do those tie loops have a tendency to rip out?
I'm heading out today on the maiden voyage. Just going for the weekend, and not going to bother with the water just to winterize again in three days, but it should give me a chance to get to know the trailer so I can spend the winter dreaming up modifications to make it perfect.
Thanks for the help! I'm sure I'll be back next week with more questions.
Posted 2020-09-25 7:59 AM (#173271 - in reply to #173245) Subject: RE: First Time LQ / Aluminum Owner - Questions
In regards to tying to an aluminum trailer, in my opinion it makes no difference to tie a horse to a steel trailer or an aluminum trailer. If one pulls back enough with either trailer, there is a possibility of a wreck with potiential injury to a person standing by, horse or damage to the trailer. Something is going to give: halter, leadrope snap, or ring on trailer. If this is a possibility one should not tie to the trailer or they should further train the horse.
20 years ago when my daughter was in Pony Club and it was their rule to use bale twine to tie to the trailer. To me it is a crutch for a problem horse. jmho
Good luck on the first outing with the new trailer.