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Old 08-13-2013, 10:09 AM   #85
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Perry....my wife and I were just having that realization 2 nights ago...I was talking about my leave...and our plans etc...

My wife and I were discussing a fairly lengthy trip possibility to NJ to both go to the shore and see our family (my in-laws) up there - dual purpose trip - also could see my sister while I am in that region and meetup at a beach closer to her (she lives in Reston, VA).

I was kinda stating "well, lets wait till they are both a bit older and easier to travel with.

She then reminded me that once they are older and in school, we are bound by school schedules.

I had totally forgot about this aspect!! And no fall break...we already checked...that sucks...

I think we may be taking quite the long summer trips to maine, vernmont, NH, etc...or at least higher elevations....dang...what a bummer...

I think if we have to travel for spring breaks and such, then we will look to take back roads indeed.

Man, this realization rocked my world....argh...oh well, we will adapt...im not a fan of home school personally...

Also, my school district here in Hoover just nixed school bus service...my wife and I both work 40 hours per week...this is going to suck..sorry, different thread...never mind
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:16 AM   #86
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Back to the safe speed to travel - doesn't look like too many people were mindful of leaving a good distance between them and vehicle in front of them - probably were at least a few fools involved too. This airstream is a sad picture:

PHOTOS: 40-vehicle pileup on I-81 | Home - Local News
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:45 AM   #87
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Back to the safe speed to travel - doesn't look like too many people were mindful of leaving a good distance between them and vehicle in front of them - probably were at least a few fools involved too. This airstream is a sad picture:

PHOTOS: 40-vehicle pileup on I-81 | Home - Local News
Wow, I've seen wrecked Airstreams before but never one where the shell came completely off the frame.

Reading about that incident, it seems to have been a case of Murphy working overtime... 2-car collision that ended up with each of those cars blocking part of a different lane, then moments later the rain got heavy enough to reduce visibility to (reportedly) 20 feet. I don't think 55 mph would have avoided all the bad outcomes. It's amazing that no one was killed and only a few were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:09 PM   #88
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I did some Internet exploring since my previous post, and found some advice and basic physics that might influence people's driving speeds. The big safety issue, as we all know, isn't the humming-along cruising speed without a care in the world, but what happens if you suddenly have to slow down, stop, or take quick evasive action.

1. Wheel base (axel-to-axel length) on your tow vehicle makes a big difference in safe speeds. A SUV might be happily within its towing capacity. Except that the rig is a lot less stable than a long pick-up truck if you have to stop or slow suddenly.

2. Sudden turbulence and side-winds are a big cause of RV accidents. (Anyone here read Paula's thread?) These can be caused by a big passing semi, or just a blast of wind (= or > 30 mph) from your side. The impact of a sudden gust is a function of the length x width of the side of your trailer. An AS should be better off than a huge box-type RV, but the longer your trailer, the more impact wind gusts will have.

3. Trailer tires are rated for their maximum safe speeds. These might be below the speed limit. Apparently 65 mph is typical. Many trailer tires today are made in China. Think about it.

4. We all took driver's ed where, at some point, we learned about stopping distances at various speeds. The calculation involves your speed squared, which is why your stopping distance increases dramatically at higher speeds. See Vehicle Stopping Distance And Time This doesn't include towing a big trailer.

5. Drivers' reaction times are greater at high speeds.

I once had a winter driving accident with just my car, driving I-80. My thought just before I lost control and hit a barricade was, "OK, it's not good, but I can handle it."

Hey, people-- stay safe out there!
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:35 PM   #89
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whew, that wreck was BAD....that poor AS had seen better days!

My AS will have EB tires/wheels...so LT...but I will not exceed 65 personally. PP hitch to be installed when I pickup so that will at least minimize or (? eliminate) sway in my case...

I am a very cautious driver...obsessive about keeping my distance, Im constantly avoiding peoples' blind spots....etc...so far now with 14 years of driving I have not been in an accident..including driving around DC area, living in Philly for 6 years, and now Birmingham for 5 years...so far so good...have been lucky to have not been hit by someone else....

I will be very cautious driving the AS....will keep significant distance between me and the next guy....im very cautious about knowing who is up my butt in and keeping much more distance ahead of me for room to stop as discussed earlier in this thread....why on earth do people tailgate on the highway...even in the right lane...its called passing!! Also a pet peve of mine is people who drive on hwy and can see a mile ahead that a vehicle is going slower...instead of anticipating the need to pass and changing lanes AHEAD of time...its like they do not realize it until they are on that person's bumper...then are seemingly like "wtf"..brake....then change lanes and pass requiring re-acceleration...really?! My old bf from high school did this constantly...I was like "matt, you know you can just change lanes ahead of time and simply pass people that are going slower with much less difficulty??"

Also, I got to see first hand the left hand slow poke mentality in a real life example...my good friend fishing buddy (he is nearly 70 years of age now) pulls the bass boat at 60-65mph on local interstates (70mph limit) and he religiously stays in left lane...he gets honked at by passers and tells them they are an asshole.

I told him "ya know buddy, you are in the left lane"...he said he ends up having to pass people anyway and this is easier...

ps - please avoid thread drift or hijacks about hitches or tires - just wanted to get in front of that possibility
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:42 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
Perry....my wife and I were just having that realization 2 nights ago...I was talking about my leave...and our plans etc...

My wife and I were discussing a fairly lengthy trip possibility to NJ to both go to the shore and see our family (my in-laws) up there - dual purpose trip - also could see my sister while I am in that region and meetup at a beach closer to her (she lives in Reston, VA).

I was kinda stating "well, lets wait till they are both a bit older and easier to travel with.

She then reminded me that once they are older and in school, we are bound by school schedules.

I had totally forgot about this aspect!! And no fall break...we already checked...that sucks...

I think we may be taking quite the long summer trips to maine, vernmont, NH, etc...or at least higher elevations....dang...what a bummer...

I think if we have to travel for spring breaks and such, then we will look to take back roads indeed.

Man, this realization rocked my world....argh...oh well, we will adapt...im not a fan of home school personally...

Also, my school district here in Hoover just nixed school bus service...my wife and I both work 40 hours per week...this is going to suck..sorry, different thread...never mind
We enjoyed 5-6 years of free-spirited travel.
After that, the parents started having health problems. We go a lot less now due to taking care of my wife's parents and my mother. Sometimes when we go we have to immediately come home to tend to a sick parent.
Then we had a boomerang kid. She was out of the house and married for a few years. Then came the divorce and her decision to go to nursing school- while living at our house. This actually causes us to camp more to get some privacy.
Then we had a granddaughter born with Spina Bifida and we spend many weekends going to see the baby. Some of our trips in the Airstream center around going to see the baby.
I guess what i am describing is life. While everyone doesn't have these same issues, (and they may) everybody has something that has to be tended to.
Life happens. We have responsibilities. We have priorities.
Life events sometimes stand in the way of having fun.
Enjoy it as often as you can and then leave the Heirstream to the kids..
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:03 PM   #91
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Im not worried believe me

I grew up not knowing what a vacation is....so even one a year or a couple local camping trips is amazing to me....

You are right....perspective!
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:44 AM   #92
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When I wa still able to ride a MC, over 400,000 miles on two wheels, we used to do what we called a cleansing ride. Cleared the mind and the senses and relaxed the body. This could be a short 3 hour ride or a month long trip. Camping in the AS or Avion in my case, can serve the same purpose. A weekend camp out or a month long trip. Cleansing the soul, clearing the mine and relaxing the body. Found this much easier at slower speeds than a bomber run like a bat out of hell. Enjoy, jim
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:24 AM   #93
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Im not worried believe me

I grew up not knowing what a vacation is....so even one a year or a couple local camping trips is amazing to me....

You are right....perspective!
// tangent on

Your kids are in for a treat then! When I was very young, my "Peter Pan" experiences (those that exemplifies youth and restores memories later in life) moments all center around family trips in the trailers. The fold-down upper bunk was for me and my sister to sleep, feet to head, each of us with our own little pop-out window we could open for early AM ventilation (I specifically remember the pleasure of oak-bark scent cold air rushing in my face at 4AM serving double beneficial purpose of causing my sister to shout annoyance at the cold on her toes). My earliest memories are of Banff on a family trailer trip, my memories of adventures on the outer banks, Maine, Florida, the Blue Ridge Parkway are all quintessential to the young adult and man I've since become.

Get ready for sand, dirt, mud tracked into the airstream; early morning announcements that the frog (you didn't know about) caught the day before isn't in the box next to the bunk any longer, lots of crayons and paper on very rainy days, streams and lakes to swim in, trails to follow, cows to pet and tearful eyes when you return home.

To bring this post into line with the thread, with relevance to my earlier reply, this is another reason to set 'avoid highways' on your GPS app, to open up the world of local town discoveries to stop and explore on your way to the intended destination. When you finally make a trip for which your intended destination is never achieved; but everything in between in discovered will you finally truly be a trailer traveler.

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Old 08-14-2013, 08:27 AM   #94
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We took ours camping when she was 8 months old. We did not camp again for a few years when she got over the terrible 2's which last well past 2 years.

Perry
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:29 AM   #95
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Ian... Well done!
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:04 AM   #96
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So I drove my new truck an hour up interstate 59 north with the fam to a drive in movie theatre last night - great fun although kids are still a tad you for a movie starting at 8am outdoors

Anyway - I drove at 62-65mph on the 70mph highway - that wasn't bad really - people were passing of course

But at 55 it would be a bit crazy people passing at 75-85 mph often?

Clearly there are control and other safety and fuel efficiency benefits of this speed - but on such highways can it be actually unsafe?

What speed do you tow in such highways and perhaps share point of view and experience - thanks

A point often overlooked is also equipment-related: rearview mirrors.

When one is traveling at 58-62 mph (a good target "zone" to avoid being perfectionistic) one needs to be able to see the overtaking vehicles. What is behind one is the future. And one needs to be able to "manage" that same traffic as it passes (overtaking and passing are questions of distances between vehicles).

What is the point of convergence of the mirrors behind the TT? A larger mirror head spaced farther from the TV body allows "access" to a larger picture. At speed, the larger mirror is much superior. No shakes or vibrations.

To that same end, convex mirrors. They must be large enough -- as with the flat glass mirrors -- to allow a great deal of information at a glance, No need to refocus, or "study" the mirror. Cameras are no substitute.

18-wheeler mirror sets usually meet these requirements. One is in a vehicle strictily limited in handling dynamics. Same is true for the RV'er and his combined rig.

What mirrors meet this? Probably none. The ones I see on cube vans (truck cab with box on back a la U-Haul) come closest.

MCKESH mirrors with a 5" convex spot are likely the best one can do, even over truck "towing mirrors".

So, a set travel speed (with an allowable range) to maintain a long following distance from the next vehicle ahead is basic to traveling below the limit. One does move to the left lane at/before the four second distance is met in order to pass. Those behind one in the left lane have no right-of-way due to their speed, so suffer them until one is safely beyond the vehicle being passed. And leave a helluva lot of room for moving back in front of an 18-wheeler, especially in hilly terrain.

Travelling at any speed the best envelope for "how to" is a travel plan in which stops for rest/fuel/food are laid out in advance. Ones day is comprised of trip-legs to accomplish, not total distance. Keeping the driver rested and alert underpins all else. Mark the rest areas and other places in advance. I keep these on a piece of note paper short of a more formal plan. Alternate routing, alternate times, etc, all play a part in determing best travel times (not the same as travel speed).

Fuel economy or tire life or reduced vehicle wear-and-tear is indicated for a 60-mph travel speed, it is also the more important non-blindered vision (peripheral vision) that makes for best reaction times (as noted above).

One ought to test ones full stopping distance from 58-mph. And again from 66-mph. Caution borne from experience takes too long. A combined vehicle hitch settings verified in weight scale tests plus idealized tire pressures on the TV is the first step. The mechanical baseline. One needs to know how the combined rig feels and reacts under normal conditions. These things are all inter-related and the best advice is to understand why that is so.

Work the numbers. Static and dynamic. Then learn to predict what traffic will do. The cretins are the majority nowadays out on the road. Disposable persons . . we long ago as a society gave up in advancing road safety. It is not ever a skill question in this and related topics, but one of minimizing risk.

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Old 08-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #97
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Ian - inspiring words

Perry - ugh...dont say that...but we shall see...but my kids on the whole are pretty easy going...go to sleep at 8....sleep all night...leaving the wife and me to sit and enjoy some quiet time

slowmover - excellent summary of suggestions!
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:54 PM   #98
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// tangent on

Get ready for sand, dirt, mud tracked into the airstream; early morning announcements that the frog (you didn't know about) caught the day before isn't in the box next to the bunk any longer, lots of crayons and paper on very rainy days, streams and lakes to swim in, trails to follow, cows to pet and tearful eyes when you return home.

Ian
Temporary thread hi-jack to go along with the above thought.

We have a 4 year old and have taken here camping since 6 months of age. She is about easy going as they come and yes things get dirty and cluttered. You will want to own a carpet cleaner. We have a Hoover brand which does a pretty decent job of keeping things looking nice. I end up hitting the carpets once in mid-summer and again at the end of the camping season. We also throw some towels on the dinette cushions to keep the stains down - they will happen. Hopefully your cushions will be covered in leather, vinyl or what ever they offer for quick and easy cleanup of accidents. We also keep a lightweight upright vacuum on board. After about 2 days there is usually enough dirt tracked in that things need to be cleaned up.

Now back to the "I can't drive 55" thread.

BTW - I drive with the flow of traffic, sometimes slower depending on the road/weather/traffic conditions. Having too many cars/trucks pass gets me worked up/stressed. You will have a tough time keeping the speed down with your diesel pickup - it will pull like a mule. Once you get some miles under your belt you will find the comfort zone of you and your equipment.
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