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Old 05-29-2016, 08:03 PM   #71
Full Time Adventurer
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Problems I don't have. \_(ツ)_/

Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:06 AM   #72
Rivet Master
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2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Choose the tool for the mission. That includes the choice of both tow vehicle and trailer.

WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:41 AM   #73
Rich and Kat
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2017 30' Classic
Virginia near , Washington, D.C.
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 273
I just wanted to get back to everyone to say thank you for taking time to respond and to also provide closure. While there were many differing opinions, I trust you were all correct in your suggestions based on your years of towing experience. We've taken the first step along the journey, and just yesterday, purchased the new tow vehicle. It started a few weeks ago when we went back to the AS dealer to see if we could be happy with a lighter 25' so I could keep my 1500 as a daily driver and an interim tow vehicle. We both agreed that the 23's and 25's were beautiful and would certainly serve our purposes, but we also thought that we would, one day, like the 28 the space/configuration of the 28. We knew we would feel like we settled if we didn't get a 28. Then, in a shining moment of stupidity, (the same as when I said, "Hey hun, look at this Airstream website with me.") I said, "Hey hun, there's a Classic 30 here ... let's just look!" Dohhhhhht!

So, the tow vehicle is more than I needed but we will not be limited by payload or trailer weight for the foreseeable future of the TV's lifetime. I initially started looking to upgrade my 1500 to a 2500 without airbags ... then got to thinking about descending passes in the Appalachians and wanting an exhaust brake for safety (I'm not an experienced tower). I spoke with Patrick at Colonial and he agreed that the 2500 w/diesel was a great choice for a 28 or 30, but if we wanted to add a motorcycle or anything really heavy, that the 3500 would be a better choice yet. So in the end, we purchased a RAM 3500 SRW Cummins Crew Cab. It was only $1200 more than the 2500 for the upgraded suspension. I haven't seen the door sticker payload on the vehicle yet (it's coming from another dealer) but the same 2500 version had a 2,000 lb payload. I'm expecting the 3500 to have 2,750 lbs of payload capacity.

So today, I'll be looking for a small daily driver because the 3500 won't fit in my parking garage in Wash, DC. Thanks again for all of your time and feedback. Sincerely, Rich
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:14 PM   #74
Rivet Slave
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2014 27' FB International
Green Cove Springs , Florida
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Here's something else to consider, especially for those new to towing: An RV driving / parking / safety class from a CDL (Commercial Driving License) training center.

We just finished the first half of an 8-hour course (4 hours per day). Even though we've been towing for two years, in the first four hours we learned a ton of great stuff that has immediately and significantly improved our ability to back / park / tow Rocinante. We so wish we had taken this class two years ago when we bought our RV. We towed Rocinante down there and learned with our own rig, so the class was directly relevant to our needs.

Looking forward to part two of the class in a couple of days!

Not all CDL schools offer RV training classes, but we found one in our area that does. Here's who we used (no, we're not affiliated with them, etc.):

If you're in WA, you can find approved CDL training schools here:

If you're elsewhere, perhaps your state has a similar referral page.
Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 06-23-2016, 05:41 PM   #75
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2006 25' Safari
St. Augustine , Florida
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Share some of your learnin!
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2017 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast Gen 2 3.55 Platinum
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Old 06-23-2016, 05:59 PM   #76
Rivet Slave
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2014 27' FB International
Green Cove Springs , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,051
Blog Entries: 49
Best learning we have to offer is that so far the course, while not cheap, is well worth the money. Matching the cost of the class against the cost of our rig (and our improved personal safety) was pretty easy math to do, especially after we'd spent a couple of hours with our trainer and began seeing immediate results. I should also say that we took this course as a couple. If you travel as a couple, take the course as a couple, even if one of you "doesn't drive" the trailer. If you travel single, this course should still be valuable.

We spent our time today with an hour in the classroom and the rest out on the lot backing Rocinante into a 10-ft wide spot (just lined by cones so no worries if we missed) with various entry scenarios - backing straight in, from 90 degrees, and also from the "blind" side. Some of the things he taught us are counter-intuitive though highly effective - we never would have thought of them on our own. Also, gotta say that he hit a number of scenarios we probably wouldn't have decided to practice, without formal training, on our own in some big empty parking lot somewhere. Having that attentive expert standing right there, challenging us with scenarios and giving us input as needed is just huge.

One simple example, if you're backing in, but your trailer is "tight on the right" you can pull forward to the right and then turn back to the left so you can once again see down the left side of the trailer. Then you start backing in again. This process moves the trailer to the left. Our initial reaction? "You've got to be kidding." However, under the right circumstances, this technique works beautifully.

Next session we'll do some road driving - negotiating various types of turns, traffic circles (roundabouts), and then some more backing up / parking.

Then, to finish our trainer will accompany us to our covered storage location to give us on-site training / tips for easier parking there. Those spots are really tight, and ours requires a blind side turn. It also has a post on the curbside (blind side) that would love to rip our awning hardware off the trailer if we messed up. This "graduation ceremony" is something we negotiated in addition to the basic class.

Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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