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Old 01-30-2007, 09:52 AM   #21
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Ditto all the above advice. Especially getting out and looking -- a lot.

My mother travels alone. She's 80! While she's in a motorhome and not a trailer, so the problems are different, she has found other people very helpful -- especially older gentlemen who seem to want a few minutes to be bossy away from their wives.

She's not good at water hookups especially -- very small spaces and arthritic fingers. She always gets help.

Campers are friendly people. Ask for help.


Tom
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:03 AM   #22
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The only time I have had a problem backing up, is when I had someone to watch what I was doing. Thousands of miles towing solo, and not a problem. Remember GOAL: Get Out And Look.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:41 PM   #23
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I don't tow a trailer (well, unless you count the tow dolly with a car on it, but those can't be backed up anyway), but even backing my small motorhome into a spot, since I'm alone, I'm always popping out and looking around. The nice thing about the small motorhome is that it usually only takes one look.

However, leveling the blasted thing is another story. I don't have a leveling system; I have to raise and lower each tire with levelling blocs. So, I get it into the spot I want, check the level, move backward (or forward), place some blocks, get back in, pull on to the blocks, check level, discover I need more blocks because the first ones sank in a little bit, back up, ... well, you get the idea. I'm sure I look pretty silly getting in and out so many times. And of course I travel with my cat, so I'm careful to close the door each time in case he makes a break for it. But...my main point here is that if I can survive doing that, you shouldn't feel at all silly about getting out and looking around, multiple times if necessary. We'd rather see that than a damaged Airstream.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater
However, leveling the blasted thing is another story. I don't have a leveling system; I have to raise and lower each tire with levelling blocs. So, I get it into the spot I want, check the level, move backward (or forward), place some blocks, get back in, pull on to the blocks, check level, discover I need more blocks because the first ones sank in a little bit, back up, ... well, you get the idea. I'm sure I look pretty silly getting in and out so many times. And of course I travel with my cat, so I'm careful to close the door each time in case he makes a break for it. But...my main point here is that if I can survive doing that, you shouldn't feel at all silly about getting out and looking around, multiple times if necessary. We'd rather see that than a damaged Airstream.
Not sure if this will help you with leveling a MH and they only work on single axle trailers...but it sure helps me when I am travelling by myself.

BAL Leveler

As far as backing in...I try not to, but when I have to, same as everybody else. GET OUT & LOOK FOR YOURSELF. I don't care how big my audience gets or how many helpers step up to volunteer...I only trust my own eyes. I gently tell the helpers I have a routine and after I get settled, I'd love to hear about theirs. Up-down-all around...always, check one more time than you think is necessary. That and go slow. It does get easier each time, but the obstacles change with each campsite...

Another suggestion, go to an empty parking lot with some cones & practice, but if I can do it anybody can! Just go slow & don't care what people think ~

Shari
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:08 PM   #25
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I prefer to be left alone when parking my trailer - watchers make me nervous. Don't remember who said it but "He travels fastest travels alone. He who travels with another must wait." Darol
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:24 PM   #26
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I tow solo and have come up with a few 'tricks' to hitch up. Draw-Tite makes a $25 device that has a magnet on the bottom. They are bright yellow plastic poles. One goes on your ball and one on the tongue of the trailer. I certainly makes hitching up eaiser. Don't pull in to an RV park after dark without someone helping you to back in a space and most of all 'take your time'. Go slow, it's ok, everyone certainly understands a solo driver getting out every few feet to check his/her progress.

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Old 02-02-2007, 12:22 PM   #27
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Don't remember who said it but "He travels fastest travels alone." Darol
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:45 PM   #28
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My trick for backing into a spot is............

I lay out those orange leveling blocks around the spot I want the trailer to end up. It doesn't eliminate the blind side but it lets me know where I am.
Sincerely, MD
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:36 PM   #29
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I had almost 2 million miles pulling trailers over-the-road......

(in an earlier life ) and the one thing I learned, as has been said here, if there is any doubt, ANY doubt, get out and look! Look it over before you back in, then take your time, it really is not that hard. The longer the trailer, the slower everything happens.

It will become second nature.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:28 PM   #30
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I am new to towing and after only two months of ownership I towed solo. I did OK, almost. When hitching to head out I did as has been advised here. I made what seemed like small corrections, but finally got lined up and lowered the tongue down on the ball. I have an Equal-i-zer hitch and the easiest way to apply the spring bars is to lift the rear of the tow vehicle with the hitch jack (thank goodness for electric hitch jacks ) to remove all the tension from the bars, anyway, I raise the back of the truck and insert the left spring bar, but I couldn't get the right spring bar in its socket so I thought to my self, "Self, if I pull forward to the left that would line the socket up so I could insert the bar." So I get in and start to pull forward...only the rear wheels start spinning. I forgot to lower the tongue jack. I had just enough traction to bend the tongue jack post. It wouldn't go back up and lower the tongue. On my initial attempt to lower the tongue and truck rear-end I burned up the jack motor. The bright side of this story was that I was at Jackson Center and they came to my rescue. Well actually I had to go in and ask them to help me. The down side of this story is that a new jack post and electric jack motor cost a little over $400. Oh, they are not painted so I had to wait for them to paint one and then had to wait for the paint to dry. Instead of leaving by 10:00 like I planned, it was 2:00 before I actually pulled out of the factory parking lot.

Moral of the story...heed the advise of Smokin Camel. Develop a good check list for hitching and unhitching and use it!

Other than that towing solo is really quite relaxing. No kids fighting over DVDs, no wife irritable because said kids woke her from her nap, no dog whining because he has to go, no kid whining because he has to go, no kid whining because he has to go and didn't go at the last stop. Calgon, take me away! Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot where I was for a minute.

There are plenty of folks that tow single and it will become easier every time you do it. Most camp grounds will send someone out to help guide you into your site if you need help. Just ask at check in.

Good luck and happy trails.




P.S. Sorry, my mouse got stuck over the smilies and got click happy!
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:35 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave
I lay out those orange leveling blocks around the spot I want the trailer to end up. It doesn't eliminate the blind side but it lets me know where I am.
Sincerely, MD
That's a great idea. I may have to try that so my wife will know where I want the trailer to end up!
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:15 PM   #32
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That's a great idea. I may have to try that so my wife will know where I want the trailer to end up!
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:00 PM   #33
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I must have some weird idea about what's "fun" - but I get a kick out of the challenge of backing into a tight spot - and many of the best spots will require backing in. River and lakefront sites are a prime example. Just like with boats, once you've spent time after time backing into a tight boat slip, with a single screw boat, in a crosswind, while an audience of drunks or professional skippers are watching, you get pretty thick-skinned and determine to learn how to do it right! For me, the crew-cab dually, with the long bed, can, on occasion, create an impossible condition; however, once you get familiar with a rig, you can usually spot impossible conditions ahead of time and look for another site. Get out and look everything over carefully before you even think about backing in - and pick out points in the process where you plan to get out and look again! Like others have said, practice until you're confident and, just maybe, you too will begin to look at backing in as "fun!" For the record, I only use a spotter to shout "STOP!"
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:48 PM   #34
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I must have some weird idea about what's "fun" - but I get a kick out of the challenge of backing into a tight spot - and many of the best spots will require backing in. River and lakefront sites are a prime example. Just like with boats, once you've spent time after time backing into a tight boat slip, with a single screw boat, in a crosswind, while an audience of drunks or professional skippers are watching, you get pretty thick-skinned and determine to learn how to do it right!
Hi Cracker,

I'm just as weird, learning how to back a 40' sailboat with a folding prop into a slip,will teach you patience and humility.

Be it a boat or a trailer, I love to send the audience back to their small lives with no stories to tell.
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:33 PM   #35
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Hi Cracker,

I'm just as weird, learning how to back a 40' sailboat with a folding prop into a slip,will teach you patience and humility.

Be it a boat or a trailer, I love to send the audience back to their small lives with no stories to tell.
One thing I neglected to say is - "Don't try to salvage a bad approach to a slip or site - pull out and try again - even if it means going back out into the harbor or, with our Airstreams, taking a drive around the campground!" Nuff said???
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:48 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S C Streamer
Hi Cracker,

I'm just as weird, learning how to back a 40' sailboat with a folding prop into a slip,will teach you patience and humility.

Be it a boat or a trailer, I love to send the audience back to their small lives with no stories to tell.
I have 18 HP and 6 tons of boat. My first instructions to anyone new on my boat are to let me do it and do not try to push off the boat or get your body parts between the boat and dock. I can repaint the boat. I normally make everone who is not a real sailor sit in the cockpit when backing in or docking.



I do the same for the trailer.


Jim

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Old 02-03-2007, 06:12 PM   #37
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[quote=Pahaska]I tow solo even when my wife is in the right hand seat. As they say here in Texas, "Bless her heart, but she just don't understand maps or trailers."

I do use a GPS to aid in navigating. I would actually rather back in a space by myself as try to interpret her signals.


John
How right you are, 'Bless Their Hearts',

I always know when I have to stop and look at the map when the little woman turns the map upside down and points left or right..

As for backing into a trailer space, her pointing and jabbing index finger into the sky and doing a little hop or two usually means stop...

LOL,,,, Bless em.

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Old 02-03-2007, 08:47 PM   #38
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My wife will say left and I will throw the rear of the trailer to the left and she will say, "no, left". Then she will say right and I will throw the rear of the trailer left and she will say, "no, right". Who can keep up?

Don't even start me on backing up to ht hitch! "Left, left, left, too far! Now go right, no left, straight back now cut it right. Pull up and go to the left." ?????
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:26 PM   #39
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I get confused with directions from different people who approach the situation differently. My preference for guidance is do not tell me right or left or when or which way to turn the wheel. Many times I have already turned the wheels that direction but have not moved enough when I am told to go the other way and then of course that is not the correct way! ARGH!! I ask helpers to merely point in the direction the back of the trailer needs to go, how much more clearance (like how big was that fish?) back, forward, or stop (like a traffic cop,) and that's it.

Alone hitching up, I line up something in the rear of the center of the truck to the center of the Airstream like the gas bottle cover. I get out and see how much further I need to go. If it is 10 inches, then I leave my door open and pick out something along the ground 10 inches from my door corner and back until the edge of the door is even with that object or spot 10 inches back. That usually does it.

Backing the trailer, I do much the same with lining up something in view parallel to my path and keeping on it as the edge of the pad or a line. Pivot points are the hardest. The less experienced and less lucky you are the more likely you will be either adjusting for the misalignment or pulling forward to do it over more times than not. Sometimes I am lucky, sometimes I am waaay off, but always adding to my experience and only suffering embarrassment at worst. And you just know it is such a delightful occupation for spectators!
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:26 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel interested
Alone hitching up, I line up something in the rear of the center of the truck to the center of the Airstream like the gas bottle cover. I get out and see how much further I need to go. If it is 10 inches, then I leave my door open and pick out something along the ground 10 inches from my door corner and back until the edge of the door is even with that object or spot 10 inches back. That usually does it.
Ah-hah! The old "edge of the door trick!" I've been using pebbles and leaves and an open door for the longest time without ever telling anyone what I was doing! I guess the secret is out now. I wonder how many others use this same little procedure????
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