Author Topic: Advice for driving a BIG car  (Read 2595 times)

Offline David in MN

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Advice for driving a BIG car
« on: March 11, 2018, 02:15:25 PM »
I've posted elsewhere but I've transitioned from the VW Rabbit to a Ford Explorer. And what a radical change it is. I used to drive a speedy little car and now I drive a living room.

I'm curious if there is any prep I should make specific to driving a larger vehicle. I can tell right away I need to store more gasoline. I usually keep 10-15 gallons and rotate it every spring for the tractor and weed whacker. That's going to go to 25 minimally in my mind. But that's the extent of my thoughts.

I've enver been a big car guy. My dream cars are the Porsche 911 G3 or the Honda S2000. I want to use an Ariel Atom as a daily driver but I have a kid now. And oh God do I want a Willey. Now I have a towing hitch with no need for it. So maybe I'm missing something. I've got the usual emergency stuff in there but maybe there's a slick way to kit out a bigger vehicle and make it something extra? I don't know what I don't know so I thought the hive might have an idea.

Offline Carl

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 04:42:12 PM »
A larger,secondary fuel tank is a good option as is a second battery under the hood and power winch.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 04:58:33 PM »
A larger,secondary fuel tank is a good option as is a second battery under the hood and power winch.

A winch is a great idea. Not sure where I'd put a second fuel tank but I'm looking. I'm going to pop the hood and look for a spare battery location.

Great ideas. I knew I'd hear something that would spark.

Offline Carl

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 05:27:57 PM »
A winch is a great idea. Not sure where I'd put a second fuel tank but I'm looking. I'm going to pop the hood and look for a spare battery location.

Great ideas. I knew I'd hear something that would spark.

Google your truck model and year plus auxiliary fuel tank

Offline Cedar

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 05:50:28 PM »
I have only used my hitch on my truck 2x in 18 years. But it was there when I needed it. Just because it is on your new rig, it is not a requirement that you MUST use it.  ;)

Cedar

PS get a Chiltons for it. Explorers tend to break a fair bit.

Offline Redman

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2018, 05:54:19 PM »
Google your truck model and year plus auxiliary fuel tank

That's a plan. My '95 F-150 has dual tanks, 36 gals. total. I can go 7 or 8 hundred miles without filling up. Actually a little more because I don't run a tank past 1/4 full. Not a V-8 either, straight 6. I've never towed anything with my truck but hauled a lot of dirt and other stuff.

Offline Carl

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2018, 05:58:14 PM »
I have only used my hitch on my truck 2x in 18 years. But it was there when I needed it. Just because it is on your new rig, it is not a requirement that you MUST use it.  ;)

Cedar

PS get a Chiltons for it. Explorers tend to break a fair bit.

But the hitch will make a great tow point for himself or others even if he chooses a manual winch like a power-pull and chain..We hams often use a receiver hitch as an antenna mount with a slide in stub.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2018, 07:54:09 PM »
We hams often use a receiver hitch as an antenna mount with a slide in stub.

Forgot about that. When I hung with the guys, we are setting up large ones between the trees.

(Almost ready to order mine.)

Cedar

Offline David in MN

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2018, 08:31:51 PM »
You guys (and girls) are awesome. I'm getting all kinds of ideas of what I can now do. I really like the ideas and I'm already exploring the options.

Offline T Kehl

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 05:58:11 AM »
Best advice, get a hydraulic bottle jack and a couple wooden blocks in the Ex.  Especially if it is lifted or has bigger tires.

The Explorers are right at that point where you can still get away with the factory jack usually, but a bottle jack is cheap, fairly small, and much safer especially in less than ideal conditions. 

Trailers are awesome.  Cheaper than having a truck.  I have to laugh at how many people I see get a nice truck.  Then get a trailer either because they don't want to get the truck dirty or have a bed cover and stuff doesn't fit.   ;D  The other is when they get a truck so they can haul a dirtbike instead of just putting a hitch on the car they have.     ::)

I also have an F350 & Suburban, but I've still spent more time towing between a Kia Rio & a minivan than I have with the bigger vehicles mainly because its a lot less gas.  The bigger vehicles are for moving cattle, hay, and equipment...

A little 4x8 tilt bed trailer with removable sides is very versatile.  Hauled leaves, firewood, lumber, mulch, sawdust, CNC router, shop tools, lots of auction goodies, trash, goats, pigs, sheep, and appliances with mine.  Plus used it to move myself and others.   ;)

Offline Carl

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 06:11:11 AM »
  While hydraulic jacks are good,nothing beats the dependability and versatility of a good old HI-LIFT or tractor jack .

https://www.amazon.com/Farm-Tractor-Truck-Bumper-Jack/dp/B002R2GX1E

Offline David in MN

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2018, 07:57:16 AM »
I've always kept a bottle jack in any car because of the convenience. I tend to hate the jacks included in cars. Don't know about fitting a farm jack in a car. We use one of those to install and remove the boat lift. Seems a little beefy. Maybe I need to look again. They are dead simple.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2018, 08:33:32 AM »
A Ford Explorer is hardly a BIG car. 

Newer Explorers are great.  My father in law has a 2016. If we had to give up our MDX, a new Explorer is a second choice.
I can easily parallel park our MDX on a downtown street.  It's when you get into full size trucks like an F-150 where parking structures and other tight spaces become a problem.

I've gone on some longer road trips (thousands of miles across 7 western states), camping, driving kids to school, etc. I think the modern mid-size SUV is pretty close to the do-everything family vehicle.

In the next few years keep up on your battery.  Bigger engines are a bit harder to crank and there's less tolerance for a flaky battery with all the modern electronics.
I bought a decent floor jack at costco.  It's the "racing" style.  Was about $100, and makes getting the bigger car high enough to easily remove wheels.  You'll kill yourself using a bottle or scissor jack if it's not an emergency roadside repair.

Offline archer

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2018, 10:20:37 AM »
a machine gun mount on the roof... ;)

Offline Cedar

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2018, 11:00:16 AM »
Best advice, get a hydraulic bottle jack and a couple wooden blocks

I so agree. I have used mine many a time. Way too many nails where I used to work, and averaged a flat a week for awhile. Floor jacks if they will fit are even better.

Cedar


Offline Carl

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2018, 03:36:02 PM »
  With most of today's tires being TUBELESS, A amall compressor of good air pump and a tire plug kit will often save you a cold night in the woods.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2018, 04:39:11 PM »
  With most of today's tires being TUBELESS, A amall compressor of good air pump and a tire plug kit will often save you a cold night in the woods.

A tire plug can be more difficult than you might think.  I had a slow leak with a large screw last year.  I took the opportunity to test out my plug before I brought it to the shop, but with the tread and radial belt, it took a LOT of work on that rasp.


Offline Carl

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2018, 05:16:18 PM »
A tire plug can be more difficult than you might think.  I had a slow leak with a large screw last year.  I took the opportunity to test out my plug before I brought it to the shop, but with the tread and radial belt, it took a LOT of work on that rasp.

YES,the steel belts must be well dressed and when I did commercial over the road tire repair,we used a rotary rasp on a battery drill...though a hand rasp will do in a pinch(remember to take the weight off the tire so it is easier to re-inflate.) Our PLUGS looked more like a mushroom and would mostly seal on the inside of the tire.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2018, 10:10:36 PM »
A tire plug can be more difficult than you might think.  I had a slow leak with a large screw last year.  I took the opportunity to test out my plug before I brought it to the shop, but with the tread and radial belt, it took a LOT of work on that rasp.

Weird. Last time I plugged a tire, I had hit some lumber with nails. Aggressive all terrains on my Jeep. I made one pass(in/out) with the rasp, put some extra glue on the plug, and had no problem at all getting it in place. Tire still had 15-20lbs of pressure by the time I was done. Plug is still holding now, that was about a year ago I guess.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2018, 12:05:48 AM »
Weird. Last time I plugged a tire, I had hit some lumber with nails. Aggressive all terrains on my Jeep. I made one pass(in/out) with the rasp, put some extra glue on the plug, and had no problem at all getting it in place. Tire still had 15-20lbs of pressure by the time I was done. Plug is still holding now, that was about a year ago I guess.

Was a low profile performance tire on a sedan.  I did it once on a truck tire without too much hassle.

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2018, 08:52:08 AM »
To get over your small car blues, just drive it like a fiat.
Darting in and out of traffic is now much safer for you.  ;)

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2018, 07:42:30 PM »
+1, LvWood. LOL.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Advice for driving a BIG car
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2018, 08:16:37 PM »
To get over your small car blues, just drive it like a fiat.
Darting in and out of traffic is now much safer for you.  ;)

Closer to reality than you know. The other day I pulled up next to a very slow driver at a light to take advantage of a small passing lane and instinctively reached down to engage "sport mode".  :facepalm: I do miss that ability.

It has been a learning curve but most of my driving is pretty lazy in the outer burbs. And the 2 year old tells us repeatedly she likes daddy's car best which we suspect is because she can see more. But when it comes to making the baby happy I don't look a gift horse in the mouth!