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Old 05-15-2008, 07:15 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS
You have a very capable tow vehicle. The learning curve is different for

all of us.
It occured to me after re-reading this thread today that we are kinda

in the same situation here. We have never towed with the 06 Burb. New to

us this season. Look'n forward to it, but I'm sure we will have some issues to

work out. So it looks like a short Shakedown cruise too Old Fort Niagara is

in order before Months end. Photos to follow.

Please, let us know when you Graduate
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:31 AM   #30
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being an East Coaster, and due to the fact that we own some land in West By God, I have to tell you that you need to over come this before you go to the Real West. The highest mountain in West Virginia is less than 4000 feet. Yes, some of the roads are steep, yes there are tight curves on some of the roads, but compared to what you will encounter out in the western states, well them's just hills. I think by now enough people have told you that you have the right mechanical equipment, it is a matter of putting together the mental equipment. I am never fearful towing, but put me on a ladder taller than the first story and my legs begin to feel like jelly. We all have personal fears to over come. The rewards of overcoming yours will be tremendous.
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:51 AM   #31
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Unhappy The real fears when towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by craftsman
I confess to one fear.... dents.
There is a long list of four letter words that you really need to worry about:
"hail"
"rock"
"snow"
"curb" (as in the sharp edged tire eating variety)
and the worst:
"cell" (as in the total moron who is jabbering away on their cell phone instead
of watching where they are going and plow into you.)
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:08 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sander17
There is a long list of four letter words that you really need to worry about:
"hail"
"rock"
"snow"
"curb" (as in the sharp edged tire eating variety)
and the worst:
"cell" (as in the total moron who is jabbering away on their cell phone instead
of watching where they are going and plow into you.)
Based on other threads on this forum you should add these words to your list:
"tree"
"roof"
"deer"
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:10 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadsub
We have a 25' SE Safari and tow it with a Ford 250 Super Duty Crew Cab. We have an Equalizer hitch. We towed it through West Virginia to the east coast last year. Going down the big hills, the truck downshifted several times and that noise and the fear of 7000+ pounds following us scared me to death. . .especially with my two kids in the back seat!

I know the truck is more than enough to tow this trailer and I absolutely love, love, love our Airstream but I am so stressed out about the thought of towing it again that it's taking the fun out of planning our vacations.

Is the truck supposed to downshift like that going down hills??? Has anyone else experienced the (irrational) fear of towing? Any thoughts on how to alleviate this fear?
Your truck makes several scary noises and they are all good!

That downshifting and noise means your truck is keeping you safe by regulating your downhill speed. When you hear it you can relax and go whew.

That loud sudden noise from the engine going up the hill means the fan is on and your engine is staying cool and working properly. That one scared the cr*p outta of the wife and I the first couple of times until we figured it out.

That patwang and thunk from you hitch means the load leveling and anti sway hitch is doing it's job.

These suden noises will jolt you until you realize that they mean the system that keeps you safe is working. When all those noises stop... PANIC!
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:43 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sander17
There is a long list of four letter words that you really need to worry about:
"hail"
"rock"
"snow"
"curb" (as in the sharp edged tire eating variety)
and the worst:
"cell" (as in the total moron who is jabbering away on their cell phone instead
of watching where they are going and plow into you.)
Some (not me ) would add "wife" to the list. The other gender would maybe add "dude".
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:40 PM   #35
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Sure I'm a little afraid to tow sometimes, but not as afraid as my hubby is when I'm towing that look of panic while clutching the door handle and specially as he's telling me how to drive really inspires me to get out the pirate grin, rev the accelerator, turn up the music, and say "Lets see what this baby can do" I find that a great way to overcome fear of towing...

Seriously though, it is a little daunting but caution is a good thing!! Happy towing!!
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:07 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
The highest mountain in West Virginia is less than 4000 feet.
At 4863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:24 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBolton
At 4863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
West Virginia is a state I avoided when I drove flatbed (underpowered tractor) and I'd say it's a good place to start. So's Monteagle.

One of the most notoriously hazardous stretches of Interstate highway in the United States is approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Chattanooga on I-24 in Monteagle, where the highway goes over the Cumberland Plateau. Compared to grades elsewhere, Monteagle's 4 to 6% grade does not come close to the steepest highway roads (the Siskiyou Pass of Interstate 5 in Oregon has some the steepest grades in the nation),[4] but the slope is protracted over a distance of several miles.

Monteagle Mountain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:34 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBolton
At 4863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
Oh please. Missoula is at 3200 ft and 4800 ft is a low pass out west.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:54 PM   #39
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The only way to get over your fear is to get right back on the horse that threw you off. Don't wait for vacation with the two kids in the back, go towing locally now. Find a hill. Then go hitch up and go up and down it. Get used to the feel of it and the sounds of your truck. Lightly apply your manual trailer brakes until you feel the trailer slow you and see how that works and feels. Learn what your truck is doing. Take someone with you, perhaps an Airstreaming buddy who knows truck engines and towing to reassure you and educate you putting your qualms to rest.

Go slow downhill and there really isn't too much trouble you can get into. Going faster than you are comfortable with, being passed by trucks and going downhill around curves all at the same time will only make you nervous. Follow Terry's advice about not letting the speed creep up on you and braking at intervals and not riding the brakes. If the grade is very steep such as to have run away truck lanes you can put the truck in low gear and the engine will stop you from speeding down the mountains. Find a nice slow truck and follow him down and let the others speed by. There is no reason to feel you have to run at other people's pace.

Years ago when we moved from an 8' pop-up to 13' pop-up we set out without sway control. It was a windy rainy day (aren't they always) and I was driving downhill on a series of curves in the Smokies and had just passed an overturned 18 wheeler when I had my first and only bout with uncontrollable sway. Only having pulled the 8' popup which was like not towing at all except for length, I did not know how to react and I over corrected several times. Luckily traffic held back and I was swearing and asking DH what do I DO? back and forth across three lanes and trying to decellerate at the same time. ENTER FEAR OF TOWING I thought I would never tow again. I did not want to. We immediately went to get sway control and I learned not to over correct with the steering wheel, but I had to make myself tow again and had flashbacks every time I felt a tug with a passing truck. The only way for me to get over that was to tow again and learn and gain experience. This will not happen to you because you know better and you have sway control.

Practice, take her out for some behind the wheel towing time and then be confident as you happily plan your next vacation. You will be fine!
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:01 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBolton
At 4863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is West Virginia's highest peak.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
I stand corrected.... my point is that them is hills compared to out west.
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:44 AM   #41
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I too was let's say excited to tow and still am. I had never towed anything and went to Mo. to pick up my A/S with what I call and under powered truck 1/2 ton Chevy with 4.9L anyway I made it home just did not go over 60 mph I have a solution for the hill stuff come to Florida no hills just bikini's ....SAM
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:38 PM   #42
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Having spent many hours towing through the "hills" of WV, I can attest to your concerns. Much good advice has already been stated and I agree with pevious posts. Take care of your equipment, keep speeds reasonable, look ahead (read those signs about grade and plan your braking / slowing strategy before you start down the "hill"), enjoy the thrill of the scenery while you are slowly descending the "hill" smelling the brakes of the less cautious drivers ahead of you.

I'm an SOB towing a 29' SOB (7500#) (till my Spartan Mansion is on the road) with a '99 Superduty Powerstroke 3/4 Ton Crew Cab Automatic. You have a great towster to use in them thar hills so don't be concerned.

My "hill" driving strategy is this. Ascending short less steep grades; leave the Overdrive engaged. If on a long / steep grade and your trans is shifting down/up repeatedly then take it out of Overdrive enable and just pull in a lower gear till you top out the grade. When descending shallow grades I usually reengage the O.D. and keep my speed down with shot but strong brake applications. Steeper grades I leave it in "3"/, "D"/, 3rd/ no OD and let the engine help out. Really steep grades I slow way down @ top of "hill" and down shift to "2"/ 2nd gear and let the engine hold me back. As I pick up speed I give short pulses of brakes again. Using your brakes with a little "authority" for a short time then staying off of them allows them more needed cooling time and the low gearing also allows the same. Riding the brake even lightly is constantly putting heat into them but never allowing any to come out and is harder on them. As you descend the grade you can always allow more speed to pick up if the "Pucker Principle" isn't too bad in the seat of your pants. I usually find this strategy to work well for myself and my wife who will tow ( in forward gears) any where I will. (Man, I love that)

That said, I look at (trailer) brakes as a cheap item and set my controller to bind 'em up hard on the hills. I can replace my trailers brakes probably 2-3 times for the same $$$$ as what the trucks' cost and IMHO letting the "cart" hold the "horse" back is the safest strategy any way.

You should be "concerned" in the "hills" but not scared. WV in my opinion is an under apprectiated place and I've never met any one unfriendly there. (I just was up on Spruce Knob for the first time about a week ago wth the wife and F.I.L. and the drive is worth it!) It's a good place to practice your driving skills too as the "little hills" aren't too long. Keep your speed down and enjoy the scenery. If you get comfy there you'll be well "steeped" for most anywhere else you tow.

As an aside I'd like to say how much I enjoy the AIR forums even tho I'm not a 'streamer. I've found a plethora of info here that carries over to my Spartan and enjoy the wide variety of topics posted here. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be an SOB towing a Silver Twinkie!!

Have a good weekend......, Brad
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