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Old 11-04-2013, 02:05 PM   #29
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this was the video I recall....besides the concept mentioned "pivot point" for turns TOWARD an obstacle...they offered no hard/fast rule about turning AWAY from the obstacle...Guess what I may do is while at target with a cone, I may figure an outside turn pivot point and use that (of course would need to assume a given distance from the obstacle, but you get my drift)...once cleared that marker then I would have little risk of swing dat big ol' but out and into that obstacle...

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Old 11-04-2013, 02:12 PM   #30
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"

Refilling at half of a tank...man that seems excessive...BUT....it does make since if you consider that you may end up having to pass a couple places improper for pulling into...
It probably is excessive, but we do not trust the fuel gauge on our vehicle, plus we time it for pit stops and to walk the dog. On familiar routes we do not always refuel so soon.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:14 PM   #31
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My official airstream "mentor" has put out "landing lights" for me. As I'm not lucky enough to be retired, I tend to get to our camp spots after dark.

Larry uncoils a set of rope lights and lines them up where the drivers side of the trailer should be.

Makes it very nice when backing after a long tow, plus he gets to go to bed instead of holding a flashlight!
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:39 PM   #32
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I always seem to be the odd man out on this subject: "only back up using a spotter". Does everybody else out there travel with another person when they go camping ? I travel solo. When I am towing my equipment trailer, I am almost always solo. When I am pulling the horse trailer, probably half the time I am solo.

To my mind, with my style of travel anyway, a logical thing to say to someone learning this is, "learn how to back up your trailer by yourself. It will come in handy for you sooner than you think."

As to pulling into someplace where after you get in there, you realize there is no "out"....ah well...it happens to all of occasionally. Just a few weeks ago I pulled into an unfamiliar JD dealership with the 35' horse trailer on the back. Oooops....no out from that lot. Had to back out the way I came....two opposing 90 degree turns. Just remember, if you managed to come in forward, then it can go back out the same way it came in.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:48 PM   #33
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My official airstream "mentor" has put out "landing lights" for me. As I'm not lucky enough to be retired, I tend to get to our camp spots after dark.

Larry uncoils a set of rope lights and lines them up where the drivers side of the trailer should be.

Makes it very nice when backing after a long tow, plus he gets to go to bed instead of holding a flashlight!
I recently hit upon the rope light trick. I arrived late (and solo) at a dark, shady state park campground that had various things to run over/bump into near the edges of the sites. I plugged the rope light into the power pedestal and stretched it along the border of the campsite and it made my parking much easier.

I repeated the trick the next night when a new-to-RVing family that had just joined our unit arrived after dark.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:56 PM   #34
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excellent idea!! And I actually have a rope light - woohoo . And I can use them for some external lighting perahps around awning at night if I am so inclined...I deploy one of those pop up tent thingies people use when tailgating on my back patio when family visit..it is white - I put up the rope light inside the celiing of that and instant party soft lighting...

GMW - I will be in most every case traveling with the wife and kids...but perhaps not in every case...my wife works every other weekend, so in fact, once I get the skills, I may need to learn to back solo....if and when I do, you can bet I will be extremely careful and take my time....

I think one thing I will have to keep in mind is verticle clearance...the ol' bass boat pulling this was a non issue...

Thanks for advice so far folks! Feeling much less anxious.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:38 PM   #35
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Some of this advice SLAYS me. "Never backup without a spotter." I am a solo 'Streamer, and granted, I've only had my trailer for 2 years, but I've put about 20,000 miles on it. I have NEVER had a spotter and I've backed it into every kind of space imaginable. I take my time, check out the terrain and above all, recheck my progress. The only way you will get comfortable with your new 30' is to just DO IT. From all your posts I can't imagine anyone who ought to be better prepared by doing the "pre work" than you. While I have learned an awful lot on the Forums, I have learned a lot more out there on the road. You've got the right rig, you bought a PP (GREATEST hitch in the world), and you're going to find pulling your trailer and traveling with your family a world of fun. Use your God given common sense and JUST DO IT!
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:44 PM   #36
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I'll stick by the "only back up using a spotter" idea. I also use several trailers as well as the Airstream, and most solo, but unlike the Airstream they have good to fair visibility.

Following this forum will regularly see "oops" backing up and dented panels. Who knows when the neighbor's curious little kid wanders back there, or your own. You don't have to travel with a spotter to round one up.

It's not a matter of skill, it's a matter of safety.

The cameras on the back of the Airstream are interesting, something to look into if you must back alone.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:49 PM   #37
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No need for a spotter If you take your time and use common sense.You are actually better off without one in most cases ....LOL
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:54 PM   #38
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No need for a spotter If you take your time and use common sense.You are actually better off without one in most cases ....LOL
x2! I got a dent in my bumper when I had THREE spotters 'helping' me back in. I never use them any more (or at least look at them). I always get out of the vehicle and eyeball the spot first, then back in.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:11 PM   #39
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My recommendation is to watch the following: The Long, Long Trailer (1953) - YouTube
Better yet- purchase The Long, Long trailer from Amazon and watch it in the trailer.
That trailer is a 1953 new moon. I wish the doorbell on my Classic sounded like that.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #40
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Lots of good advice here...

In a post some time ago somebody mention the GOAL principal for backing up. Get Out and Look. I like to remind myself of this every time I need to back up.

I'm sure you've mentioned what you have for back-up mirrors? Key in my mind is a split mirror with ample sections of wide angle and normal angle on both sides of the tow vehicle. It's key to be able to see where your wheels are while maneuvering in tight spaces. I also like tow mirrors that are permanently affixed rather than ones that you strap on only when you tow. When things are happening quickly it's important that you know exactly where to look to get information from the mirrors. Past experience demonstrated that strap on mirrors take just a fraction of a second longer to focus on the right spot and then interpret the information. With stock mirrors that just slide in and out, comprehension time is faster.

Thousands of miles of towing with virtually the same trailer as yours demonstrated to me that you can vastly over think getting into and out of gas stations. There are a few that might cause problems - but in general they have ample room to get in and out. Much more effort required to scope fast food restaurants. (We like McDonalds for breakfast when were on a long haul day). If it's early in the morning then there are usually plenty of surrounding businesses that have not opened for the day and can serve as temporary parking.

Remember to swing to the outside of every turn. When I was just getting used to towing I would practice this even when not towing. By making it habit you are less likely to 'forget' some day while actually towing, turn too sharply and then hit something with the large object behind. It has become so ingrained that now when I head down the highway on the bends I favour the outside of every turn so the trailer finds the middle of the lane. (It's amazing how much other drivers wander in their lanes...). Keep both hands on the wheel, and look well down the lane...

Do a complete walk around before heading off - looking up and down. I also like to remember the number of items to check when inspecting the hitch. i.e. I know there are 7 items - left WD jack, right WD jack, tongue jack, left chain, right chain, electrical cable, break-away cable. Count as you check and check in the same order. Minimizes the chance of missing something.

And mostly...have fun! This is all about reducing stress - not creating more.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:04 PM   #41
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I have stock RAM 2500 tow mirrors....I had a pic, ill get another and post....they fold up verticle to become tow mirrors...others on this forum previously confirmed these would allow proper vision...if they did not, I would indeed opt for a permanent new set...

Regarding a spotter...we have to recognize here that not all drivers and not all spotters are created equal...

Some do not have a spotter, and they take precautions and do just fine....arguably some individuals are less likely to get into a problem compared to a couple folks....

But if we accept the premise of

1) the driver is capable

2) the spotter is paying good attention

and

3) the communication between the two is excellent

Then the driver alone would be at a disadvantage without the spotter.

But reality does not always show this does it....

I suspect that in most situations - experienced drivers solo, with patience and caution would do just as good as a couple folks working together...but I think if we assume my premissis - in hairier situations, the spotter/driver combo would be beneficial...

Either way you slice it you have to do a number of things and ensure a number of things to make success happen....relying on a spotter but having poor communication will spell disaster I presume...in that scenario perhaps solo is better....

Its an interesting thought...im not yet really sure how good my wife will be with backing....I think she will be pretty good...perhaps better than lucy in the movie, lol
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:06 PM   #42
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BAB, thanks...im pretty confident...not really worried...more than anything I am bored and looking for anything to help me, advice...etc...whatever...(the rope lights alone was worth this thread

I think you are correct that real experience will count....but you all manage often to delve out some useful thoughts and advice!

I am feeling great about everything...typing up my checklists as we speak - counting the days.
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