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Old 03-10-2005, 10:11 PM   #1
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My wife wants to drive our TT

This question has just come up at our house.

Because we live in Alaska (Fairbanks) and it will take a week just to get to the lower 48. We are looking at me using a lot of my vacation time every year just driving down and back, to get through Canada.

My wife wants to pull or 25’ Airstream to where we want to go and have me fly down and meet her. I am concerned that her driving down with our four year old, and if there are any problems. She is a great driver and has never been in an accident but I am still concerned. I wouldn’t be as concerned if she was just driving down but pulling a trailer would be a little different. I don't have a problem with her driving with me a long.

It would be nice to be able to spend more time with the family actually vacationing and not so much of my vacation time driving. We have talked about looking for someone that is also going down at the same time that she could tag a long with.

We wouldn’t be considering this until next year so she will have time to get some experince this year.
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:19 PM   #2
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When you guys travel do you trade off driving duties? We do, and so I am as comfortable towing the trailer as my husband is. As long as she's comfortable doing it, I've heard that many couples have found that to be a great solution - the wife takes the trailer to camp and gets it set up, and the husband joins her after work on Friday. Usually not so far away that he has to fly to join them, but hey, if she's wanting to do it.

I think finding a buddy to travel with is a great idea. I assume she's well out of cellphone range for much of the trip?
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:32 PM   #3
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My wife wants to drive our TT

Greetings Ron!

If you have the opportunity to spend some time with your local WBCCI acitivities, you will likely run across a few Free Wheelers. There are many single men and women who tow their Airstreams all over the North American continent. With a little extra preparation, and with a few additional accessories towing solo isn't a particular problem - - one of the main accessories that I never leave home without is my hitch up mirror - - it is a large, rectangular convex mirror mounted on a magnetic pole that allows me to see the trailer's coupler and the tow vehicles ball mount manking the hook-up process very easy. With the modern tow vehicles, electric hitch jacks, cellular telephones, and GPS navigation systems, the prospect of towing solo is not a daunting as it was as little as ten years ago. By adding a good motor club or insurance based emergency assistance program solo towing can be a stress-free experience (I rely on my motor club for changing flats on both trailer and tow vehicle as well as operational difficulties with tow vehicle).

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:56 PM   #4
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My wife wants to drive our TT

Umm.... you are aware that a travel trailer has no steering wheel, motor etc......

She'll be fine - get some insurance and a cell phone if you're worried and let her have at it. It's important for all of us to feel a little adventure and this qualifies. Beats the heck out of a mid-life crisis and the "I never really lived syndrome". Little kids can sweetly steal away your feeling of adult independance; this kind of trip is a perfect fix.

I drove cross country solo with a 3.5 year old - hard work, yes, but one totally cool trip - a great oppertunity to spend time with my kid. I wouldn't trade that trip for anything.

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Old 03-11-2005, 04:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
When you guys travel do you trade off driving duties? We do, and so I am as comfortable towing the trailer as my husband is. As long as she's comfortable doing it, I've heard that many couples have found that to be a great solution - the wife takes the trailer to camp and gets it set up, and the husband joins her after work on Friday. Usually not so far away that he has to fly to join them, but hey, if she's wanting to do it.

I think finding a buddy to travel with is a great idea. I assume she's well out of cellphone range for much of the trip?
Gee...so that is how it is supposed to work In our case I do the driving and DW does the flying...no suprise seeing how she is a flight attendant

BTW DW is perfectly capable of hooking up and towing anything we own...in full make up none the less, think Delta Burke without the ego

Aaron
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Old 03-11-2005, 05:47 AM   #6
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My biggest concern on a trip like that would be tires. Start out with a brand new set on everything, and have plenty of spares.
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Old 03-11-2005, 06:59 AM   #7
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I've towed an Airstream by myself for many years and actually never bothered to ask my husband if he thought it was a good idea. HUM? Always remember that as long as you know how to unhitch the trailer you can certainly leave it if it breaks down. Cars breakdown more often than these Airstreams and you have stated you wouldn't mind her driving the vehicle down. With my 24ft Argosy, I have to look back there to be sure I'm still towing something. It is a dream to pull. Get the sway bars, good hitch, and good tires all around (TTand TV). Get a good cell phone and roadside assistance program. Talk about what needs to be done if trouble happens (stay with the vehicle). I, of course, always carried a firearm that I was well trained to use; however, that may not be her choice. If you don't know how to use a firearm, don't have one. I don't know the laws in Canada, but I have a concealed weapons permit here. It sounds like a fun trip to me and something a woman would always remember and feel good about doing herself. Good luck with whatever you two choose.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:18 AM   #8
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Great points Janet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
My wife wants to drive our TT

Umm.... you are aware that a travel trailer has no steering wheel, motor etc......

She'll be fine - get some insurance and a cell phone if you're worried and let her have at it. It's important for all of us to feel a little adventure and this qualifies. Beats the heck out of a mid-life crisis and the "I never really lived syndrom". Little kids can sweetly steal away your feeling of adult independance; this kind of trip is a perfect fix.

I drove cross country solo with a 3.5 year old - hard work, yes, but one totally cool trip - a great oppertunity to spend time with my kid. I wouldn't trade that trip for anything.

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I think Janet hit it right on the head. The challenge, adventure and confidence it brings is priceless.

My first solo with the 25' Safari was last winter from Michigan to Florida where my husband flew down to visit with family. This year I just returned from an extended trip planned around the Sarasota Rally. Both trips lasted over a month. This trip totalled 4502 miles.

In preparation I practiced hooking up at home with hubby overseeing and walking me through various scenerios and procedures, including replacing fuses and adding oil, (yeah Stef--I have never even done that ) tire inflation, etc. This time I winterized on the way back. Now I know that when the pump draws three bottles of antifreeze and doesn't come out the faucets I haven't remembered to close the outside drains back up.

It may take me longer and once in awhile I encounter a "glitch" here or there (that's not necessarily gender specific, right? ) but it's all part of the learning experience. Don't think of it as one distant destination but rather a series of managable short trips. Motorclub, charge card and cellphone a must! Allow plenty of time and flexibility. She'll be fine.

One side note: Be mindful of your rear end clearance and the orientation of the pumps at the gas station, some can be a challenge pulling away especially if a car decides to stop between you and the store where you think your exit path might be.
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Old 03-11-2005, 07:24 AM   #9
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Let her go, and have a nice trip. At the end of the trip, you will always be comfortable with her ability to handle the rig.

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Old 03-11-2005, 08:21 AM   #10
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I'd get her in the driver's seat ASAP! If she's willing, go for it. Go on a handful of local trips and get her up to speed.

***However***

If your tow vehicle is up to it, then send her and you child on their way. If you have a marginal or questionble tow vehicle, then I would be concerned about sending them on their own. I see you have a Tundra and a vintage Ford. The coach you posted looks like a new 25' Safari (6300 to 7300lb GVWR). Looking at the Toyota site, if it's a V6 you have already exceeded your tow rating. If you have the V8 and you fill the Safari to 7000lbs of it's 7300lb GVWR, you will exceed the Tundra's tow capacity. If you have an older 2005 Safari that only has the 6300lb GVWR rating and you fill 'er up with stuff, you will be at 90% of the V8 Tundra's tow rating (neither of these take into account passengers in the truck, misc gear in the truck, full tank of fuel in the truck, etc). As for the vintage Ford, being a car nut, I know how well built older cars can be and all, but I wouldn't trust my wife and kid to tow across Canada with an over 30 year old truck with between 6300 and 7300lbs behind them. Keep in mind that I haven't even started to consider the mountains, in which case neither of your two vehicles would make me feel safe enough to let my own in the same situation.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:51 AM   #11
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Be thankfull, dude, that your wife is gung-ho about it. I can barely get my wife to accompany me on our typically short weekend trips...let alone drive the rig solo.

Some friends in the Wally club almost talked her into going on a 3-week caravan, though, without me. (work schedule problems, just like you). The main selling point is that when you're in a caravan, you're never "alone". Any trouble you could imagine, and you'll have lots of help in short-order, from very experienced folks. There's safety in numbers.
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:03 AM   #12
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First you let 'em vote, then ... Have you heard the one about the woman driver (oxymoron?)

There is an old lady driving on Interstate 22. A police car pulls her over and explains to the lady she is going 22 mph.

She said 'I know, isn't that the speed limit? The officer said, 'No, this is interstate 22'.

The police officer looks in the back seat and there are three children looking quite ill. He asks her if they need help and she explains,

'No, we just left interstate 119.'
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:20 AM   #13
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Miriam, are you going to let him get away with that?
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:21 AM   #14
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I would have to take into account that it is a VERY desolate stretch of highway from Alaska to the nearest civilization.
IMHO, I would not really want to tow that alone with me.
It would be next to impossible to get the motor club to come change a flat when you have no cell phone service and it could be hours before you see the next vehicle.
I am speaking as a father of two little girls and the husband of a stay-at-home mom. I know that my mechanical aptitude is greater than my wife's. I would be concerned about a break-down out in the widlerness. Miles from help. If there were the two of you, then it is no biggie. She would handle the kids and help you when you needed an extra hand.
If it were a cross-country trip that went through the lower 48 then I would say go for it. Let her run with it. I know how lonesome and long that trip through Canada is though.
I guess what I am asking would be; how mechanically inclined is your wife?
I hate to sound like the stereotypical male but I just have an overwhelming urge to protect my family from harm. I guess you can call it caveman syndrome.
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