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Old 08-10-2017, 09:17 AM   #1
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Towing solo

Hi All - I'm curious what people's opinions are about towing solo. I know there are plenty of backup cameras and other tools that make it possible, and I've also heard and seen first hand that people in campgrounds are willing to help if you ask, but I'd love to hear if you think it's a terrible idea, and if so, why. If you don't think it's a terrible idea, and have any tips on gear or techniques, or if you have recommendations on size trailer you would think is a better choice for towing alone, that would be great too.

Katy
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:31 AM   #2
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I tow a 27' Overlander. I find it's easier to maneuver without "help" from random people. Regardless of what rig you have, you'll get used to maneuvering it.

I have no backup camera. When backing into a site, I get out and look as many times as necessary. Backup cameras are great, but they don't see everything, so you still need to get out and look.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:01 AM   #3
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Hi

If you have never towed "something this big" before, solo is not a good idea. Same thing if you have never backed it before.

As long as you are willing to slow down and you have a reasonable idea of the route, solo is not that crazy. The enemy is distraction as much as anything else. Fatigue can be significant if you are going very far. 40 miles of 6" clearance construction solo ... not for me.

Backing into a wide open site is simple with or without help. Getting past 15 tight points to fit into someplace you probably should not be ... much less simple, with or without help. Hitching up with a backup camera is amazing. Doing it solo without one takes patience and some tricks (like a flag).

So the bottom line - it depends on what you are doing. Plan ahead / review your route (you should do that even if not solo). In some cases having two "helpers" is great either when driving or when getting into the site.

Bob
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:52 AM   #4
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Good advice on this thread. My wife is often present but usually stays in the truck trying to finish her work so she can relax over the weekend so it's effectively solo.

If you can put some cones out it a big parking lot and "play around" you can develop a really good feel for your rig. Just like an experienced mechanic can tell a bolt size at a glance; you'll learn what will fit where - and how to get it in there.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:56 PM   #5
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Go for it. Don't be afraid of having a bigger trailer... just plan for it and TAKE LESSONS. Many trick driving schools offer RV courses too. Once upon a time you didn't know how to drive: learning how to do it wasn't magic, it was studying and practicing. Same process, different skill!

Paula
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:58 PM   #6
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:54 PM   #7
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Just got back from over a month long trip to Oregon..had a great time..will probably spend all next summer there. Im solo and have always towed solo. Had a dog but she was no help at all!
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:59 PM   #8
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:33 PM   #9
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I tell people NOT to help me back up. Making steering wheel gestures at me in the mirror or two people trying to help, doesn't help. Spot the site before you try, use your mirrors.

Get out and check every few feet. People will wait while you back up. You'll be fine solo.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:36 PM   #10
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Many trick driving schools offer RV courses too.
My wife says if I attend a trick driving school, I'll be travelling alone, too.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:44 PM   #11
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If you've never towed before, go out and buy a well used utility trailer the size of the trailer you want to buy and practice. If you hit something, no worries (stay from cars) and it will at least not intimidate you too much manuvering, as you can see all the corners. Once confident with the utility trailer, graduate to the Airstream.

As far as backing up solo, it will take a lot of practice and devices like cones and flags to help you.

Remember to look up; always look up before you look around.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:54 AM   #12
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Thanks!

Thanks all - I appreciate the wise counsel and the encouragement. I like the idea of practicing with a utility trailer. I've towed before, but always with help to get hitched up, and usually I hand it off to someone else for tight maneuvering.

K
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:34 AM   #13
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I towed utility trailer maybe three times in my live. Last year I picked up my SOB 33 ft trailer from Indiana and towed it to California. Solo...

The only stressful situations were when I needed to get some diesel. However, I was prepared and researched the gas stations on the way and chose those with a good layout.

No white knuckles, no stress at all. I drove the 2,200 miles in 2,5 days. Easy.

Sometimes I am camping only with my three years old, so basically without a spotter. Also, no problem. I just need to get out a couple of times to make sure nothing is on the way.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:30 PM   #14
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Wanted to edit some typos, but there is no such feature...?
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:10 AM   #15
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Wanted to edit some typos, but there is no such feature...?
Hi

The edit feature is set up so it's available for about 10 minutes after you post a message. Simple answer is to re-read quickly. You don't have to check very many of my posts to note that I don't always get that done ....

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Old 08-12-2017, 09:26 AM   #16
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Wanted to edit some typos, but there is no such feature...?
You can edit posts for a short time. 30 minutes?
I usually have to back over my posts to correct my fat finger typing and autocorrect "help".

As far as solo RV'ing, I don't know any other kind. But my experience is all good. The most difficult part is not backing into campsites, but rather gas stations. It's too easy to get blocked in by some guy who parks in front of you forcing you to back up with no spotter.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:19 AM   #17
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You can edit posts for a short time. 30 minutes?
I usually have to back over my posts to correct my fat finger typing and autocorrect "help".

As far as solo RV'ing, I don't know any other kind. But my experience is all good. The most difficult part is not backing into campsites, but rather gas stations. It's too easy to get blocked in by some guy who parks in front of you forcing you to back up with no spotter.
I've been known to throw out an orange traffic cone to facilitate egress. Two would be better.

To the OP: Backing is where most problems occur. Get out and look is the advice. No matter how many times. And start over if need be.

In itself, it's not hard. Just experience. More, the better. And never forget to check for overhead obstructions.

The rest of solo is with ordinary caution. Back off. We can ride a roller coaster and not quite notice. Driving, shopping, trying to repair. Etc.

Forum allows 30'.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:39 PM   #18
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Wanted to edit some typos, but there is no such feature...?
You have about 15 minutes, I think, then the "edit" button disappears.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by violetsblue View Post
Thanks all - I appreciate the wise counsel and the encouragement. I like the idea of practicing with a utility trailer. I've towed before, but always with help to get hitched up, and usually I hand it off to someone else for tight maneuvering.

K
You can always reserve a "drive through" site if one is available, won't have to back up.

I get out of the truck and go check the spot I'm backing into. The wife helps if we are traveling but I go alone to put it back into storage.

I got a set of the extendable yellow balls on a magnet at Harbor Freight (also at Wal-Mart), I attach one to my hitch and another to the AS connector. It's not perfect but it helps me to know how close I'm getting and if I'm lined up. Keeps me from putting the tongue into the bumper.

If I'm backing into a strange place, after checking out the area I'm going into, I estimate how far I want to backup, without turning the steering wheel, and put a marker of some sort down. Then I slowly backup to the marker, stop, adjust the steering wheel, do it again. Home Depot and Lowe's have the small orange cones. Small but visible, not expensive, easy to keep in the truck.

After you've done this several times you "get the feel" of how to do it. Just go slow, get out and do frequent checks.

Don't forget to check the overhead for low hanging tree limbs or other objects. "Check your clearance, Clarence"
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:45 PM   #20
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I'm solo about 25% of the time and it's often easier than when there's two of us. There's no one to argue with during the backing process.

Frankly, I prefer jumping out every few feet. Once I get the visual in my head, the whole process is a lot easier.

Also - I set out some orange cones to mark the route/edges/danger zones.
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