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Old 09-01-2015, 09:06 PM   #29
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
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If you can drive the 405, you can drive anywhere...... Use the anticipation and occasional apprehension to remain humble. Drive/tow during non rush hour. Choose routes that more closely match your skill and confidence level. With experience will come confidence. Your face will hurt from smiling....

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Old 09-02-2015, 01:22 AM   #30
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
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Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
Just read everything here for a month or two, and you'll be able to argue about hitches, 3 or 4 stage converters, Payload, solar, generators, and GCVWR with impunity.
Hey you left out tires and tire pressures.

The ability to follow instructions is highly underrated.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:50 AM   #31
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brandon , South Dakota
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Slow down!

Best advice I can give is to slow down and give yourself lots of room. I don't like to drive faster than I can think. Also, I believe the Goodyear tires are rated at 60 mph. You get better gas at that speed, and your going to be retired, no need to be in a hurry.

I would also suggest a weather alert radio. Something I would not have thought about 20 some years ago, but we were able to "Bug out" twice and avoid some really nasty weather.

Good luck, and enjoy.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:55 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by RangerJay View Post
Very basic tips for a comfortable and safe start to your towing life might be:
  • Recognize that hauling a trailer is a different experience than hauling a boat, pop-up or utility trailer.
  • A rule-of-thumb is to not exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle by more than 80%.
  • A good hitch (weight distribution and anti-sway), good brake controller and appropriate tires are all vital parts of your towing comfort and safety.
  • The more you push or ignore the 80% rule of thumb the more important the quality of the hitch, brake controller and tires become.
  • Don't compromise on mirrors - if you are thinking about the strap on extensions to your current mirrors then you are compromising.
  • Find or make your own towing check-list to keep you on track when getting ready and hooking up - after a while you won't need it but it will help you through your learning curve.
There are lots of other tips you are going to get - but I do believe that if you have the basics down for a comfortable and safe start the rest will sort themselves out as you go along - right down to the best coffee maker ...... and how to mix the perfect martini when on the road .....

Thanks for the photo, THAT made me laugh out loud, and here at work to boot!
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:10 AM   #33
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1958 22' Caravanner
not shared , Nebraska
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nearlyretire: Before you buy, (1) define your use. (2) Fitting your tow vehicle to rig is also paramount. (3) % travel days per year and to where. (4) Define your weather parameters. (5) If you want to negotiate Germany's backroads, learn when to go no farther forward if you have 2 wheel drive, be able to back up a mile or more with a 22 footer or know your limits going off road for a turnaround. (6) Evaluate if you want to stick only to interstates and only use campgrounds with pull thru spots or do you want to travel the unplowed logging roads in the UP of MI or back the trailer thru 4' high snow banks to camp in the year-round parks. (7) Know your tolerance for convenience: very convenient =$, complexity, workarounds during failure or a degraded systems. (8) If you want an occasional companion for long trips a vintage 26 footer might be a better choice. (9) If you don't want much grease under your fingernails, keep them short or buy an older Holiday Rambler e.g. 1982 Ramblette (10) If you get educated from books you might become smarter than you want or need to be. (11) Thinking of full time?
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:37 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by nearlyretire View Post
Looking at buying a Sport 22 FB in the next 3 years pending my retirement.
You might consider moving up slowly by getting a "starter" trailer. I see many ads with trailers for sale stating "only slept in for (enter your favorite number between 1 and 15) nights".

I had previous experience as a shade-tree mechanic but little experience with trailers; I had been to the dump with an old converted pickup truck bed with a hitch welded on - remember those? And I had back-packed and camped, and liked travelling to the Rockies and to various National Parks. But I had no experience with travel trailers.

It was a dealer, curiously, who suggested we buy used and find out if the Mrs. and I really enjoyed trailering. We subsequently bought a little 1,100-pound teardrop trailer that I could tow with my Passat. From there, we have progressed one year later to a 2,500 pound (dry weight) fiberglass 17-foot Casita. This step required purchasing a new tow vehicle.

All along the way, we have discovered that the things we had previously "known for sure" regarding our preferences and requirements were not always correct. As an example, we decided early on that we had absolutely no interest in a microwave. Then we realized how much it helped to keep coffee hot under "field conditions". So, now it's essential.

I am currently spending a great deal of time reading up on operating, maintaining and improving the various electrical, mechanical, gas and plumbing systems in this little trailer. If you are of a conscientious nature, I agree that a year will get you started.
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:52 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
Just read everything here for a month or two, and you'll be able to argue about hitches, 3 or 4 stage converters, Payload, solar, generators, and GCVWR with impunity.
Hey, wait just a minute!

I've been frequenting several forums and I have never seen any indication that you have to know anything before arguing with impunity!
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:18 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Anders79 View Post
Similar experience. We hope to retire within the next 12 months (hopefully earlier - but the stock market is killing me). In 2013 we decided we would do the trailer thing; and at the time bought a diesel truck that we knew would tow what ever type of trailer we decided upon. In 2014 started to hunt around for a used ~ 2010 25' AS. After nearly a year, finally found one a few thousand miles away that was in good shape and at the price we were willing to spend. Personally glad we went with the more expensive AS versus trying a cheaper trailer first. I actually think my wife would not be as pumped to travel if it weren't for the AS coolness!

Before we got our AS, I started an excel spreadsheet noting many items from this forum, which greatly helped me by the time i got the AS. I have a section that is my depart and setup checklist (taken from several other posts on the forum); a section on what to buy; a section on cleaning and repair; and a section on good places to go that others on the forum recommend. I just keep on updating this as i learn or see new info on the forum. Could be helpful to do something similar.

After working thru the issue of hitches, Both my wife and I found it much easier than expected to do the trailer thing. Things like backing up not nearly as bad as many say (i.e. still not divorced) - just do it slowly. If you have experience going tent camping, then this will be a piece of cake. Even if not, I expect you will be surprised. It is taking it on that first road-trip - and going for that 1st 15 minutes.

As a newbie I would love to get a copy of your excel sheet. Could you email it to me?
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:11 AM   #37
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Princeton , New Jersey
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I have not read al of the posts on this tread but the one thing I tell any FIRST TIME BUYER is Never Buy New.

I don't care how much work you put in before buying you will never get what you need on the first shot. That need may be something completely unique to you that no one else mentioned so save the money on that first purchase and get some time under your belt.

All too often buyers will go to a show and see a display that has flowers and wine glasses on the table but never realize there is no place to store their shoes.

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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