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Old 02-10-2015, 01:10 PM   #15
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I carry various Gazetteers with me for the states I camp/want to camp in. They're not only nice for planning, but give you the best idea as to what might be at the end of these dirt roads. They are fairly cheap and show me some additional detail I can't get from my GPS at times. Good luck. jon
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:25 PM   #16
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Don't worry, be happy!

Going to be here for a couple of weeks. Plenty of time to figure out how to get turned around.

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Old 02-10-2015, 01:33 PM   #17
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I put myself into one "keep paddling, I hear banjos" situation in Tennessee by taking a wrong turn. Higher and higher and narrower and narrower, and every possible "driveway" had a 30% up or down grade... and at the end of the road OMG there was a small small turnaround space. I made it out with 1.5 wheels hanging over the edge of the cliff. NEVER AGAIN. Map plus GPS - and if I get confused.... STOP, double check and ask directions.

What would have been a beautiful trek on a motorcycle was a nightmare in the trailer.

Unhitch and explore is much more sensible. A small dirt bike isn't a bad idea either.

Paula
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:36 PM   #18
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knowing when to unhook

Usually a paved road, or a gravel road with a street sign, will EVENTUALLY have a turn around or an outlet. But you don't know…unless you know.

To me…Exploring is for when you are unhooked. I know I would have missed a lot of great campsites if I was hooked up. And, I would have missed a lot of cool places where a trailer could not go. You could set up a base camp, and take a mini car camping trip.

I sure try to not make wrong turns while towing, and ended up driving miles looking for a place to turn around. Sometimes traffic makes it hard to turn around. Trailers like itineraries
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:37 PM   #19
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Pbearsailor you do seem to get yourself boondocked in some very picturesque spots.
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Old 02-10-2015, 02:59 PM   #20
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Wow, what a lot of great responses! Makes me glad I joined this group. I'm sure I'll have lots more questions as my "education" continues. I was interested in the response from someone who drove down a long road only to find the campground was closed. Would be nice in situations like that if campgrounds would provide a place to turn around in front of the locked gates, but evidently you can't depend on that. Pretty sure I wouldn't have thought of that one, but now it will be on my mind for the future.
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:12 PM   #21
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I'd worry about the road narrowing and scratching the heck out of the sides of my Airstream! But if I had your wife's tendencies, I'd at least make certain I put a front receiver on the front of my truck. If /when you get somewhere where you can't turn both around, you chock the trailer, unhitch the truck and turn it around, and use the front receiver to back out. They aren't made for long distance but in a pinch they will get you out of a tight spot! Way easier than backing up.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:53 PM   #22
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On a return home from camping we stopped at my brother in law's for a visit and all decided to head out for an ice cream. We had to leave from there so they went in their car, we went with the trailer - there is a big parking space across the street from the dairy farm so no prob. Except we missed the turn to the dairy. No biggie - just head up the road until we can find a place to turn around. DW calls her sister and makes some funny comment about how her silly husband just missed the turn and we'd be right there to meet them.

Hahahahhaha! This is so fun! A little unplanned adventure! Hahahahaha - we laugh as we travel up this beautiful country road together.


8 miles later and still no left or right turns off this country road. But no problem. One will show up.

Finally - there's a left we can take. Whew! The GPS is set so we can see about 800 feet in front of us. When we zoom out - we lose all the detail but for sure this left just HAS to lead to another road we can take to get back to the dairy.

Shortly after taking the left - maybe 50' in - I get the feeling in the pit of my stomach that we should just back up now in to the main road we just left and head back in the opposite direction. DW - bless her heart - feels it would be way too hard - and frankly wrong to back in to oncoming traffic. Of course, there's 3 other cars per hour on this rural road - but, ok - we press on.

A mile in to the ever thinning road and no place to turn. Oddly enough, the road is becoming more like a dirt path - getting narrower and narrower and each driveway opening (football fields apart) is only an opening because the New England stone wall fences break open to fit a horse/buggy or small car. I've now broken in to a profuse sweat. DW isn't talking anymore.

It's at this point I hear Satan belly laughing. No really. That happened.

Another half mile in to the weeds and the GPS indicates there is literally no more road 800' ahead of us.

Hahahahahahaha! Oh this is so much fun!!!! Said Satan.

I can't repeat the language I used - not because I'm embarrassed by it - but because I believe I blacked out when my blood pressure exceeded 300 over 275.

We found a driveway on my right that had no stone walls and took about 15 attempts to back in then pull forward to back in again - pulling out just far enough to make progress without hitting the trees or stone walls In front of me on the other side of the path/road - each time slowly shifting the direction of the entire combo to the point I could back in off the driveway at enough of an angle to return back down Satan's Alley and get back to civilization.

Best %#%{* ice cream I ever had that day.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
On a return home from camping we stopped at my brother in law's for a visit and all decided to head out for an ice cream. We had to leave from there so they went in their car, we went with the trailer - there is a big parking space across the street from the dairy farm so no prob. Except we missed the turn to the dairy. No biggie - just head up the road until we can find a place to turn around. DW calls her sister and makes some funny comment about how her silly husband just missed the turn and we'd be right there to meet them.

Hahahahhaha! This is so fun! A little unplanned adventure! Hahahahaha - we laugh as we travel up this beautiful country road together.


8 miles later and still no left or right turns off this country road. But no problem. One will show up.

Finally - there's a left we can take. Whew! The GPS is set so we can see about 800 feet in front of us. When we zoom out - we lose all the detail but for sure this left just HAS to lead to another road we can take to get back to the dairy.

Shortly after taking the left - maybe 50' in - I get the feeling in the pit of my stomach that we should just back up now in to the main road we just left and head back in the opposite direction. DW - bless her heart - feels it would be way too hard - and frankly wrong to back in to oncoming traffic. Of course, there's 3 other cars per hour on this rural road - but, ok - we press on.

A mile in to the ever thinning road and no place to turn. Oddly enough, the road is becoming more like a dirt path - getting narrower and narrower and each driveway opening (football fields apart) is only an opening because the New England stone wall fences break open to fit a horse/buggy or small car. I've now broken in to a profuse sweat. DW isn't talking anymore.

It's at this point I hear Satan belly laughing. No really. That happened.

Another half mile in to the weeds and the GPS indicates there is literally no more road 800' ahead of us.

Hahahahahahaha! Oh this is so much fun!!!! Said Satan.

I can't repeat the language I used - not because I'm embarrassed by it - but because I believe I blacked out when my blood pressure exceeded 300 over 275.

We found a driveway on my right that had no stone walls and took about 15 attempts to back in then pull forward to back in again - pulling out just far enough to make progress without hitting the trees or stone walls In front of me on the other side of the path/road - each time slowly shifting the direction of the entire combo to the point I could back in off the driveway at enough of an angle to return back down Satan's Alley and get back to civilization.

Best %#%{* ice cream I ever had that day.
What a hilarious telling of your story! Too funny...though I realize it certainly wasn't funny in the moment. Thanks for sharing!

Chris
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:05 PM   #24
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Its one way to get good at backing up a A$..,. Being a farmer with semi truck,, I know ahead of time what the road is before I turn.. Its hard on everything from the transmission/clutch/brakes,, and nerves.. I do have my wife educated to know how to spot and help just in case..

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Old 02-10-2015, 08:27 PM   #25
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SteveSueMac, I don't have much experience yet hauling a trailer, but I already know the kind of thing you're talking about is possible. We were visiting friends outside of Spokane, WA, and my wife had gone ahead to spend time with her mother in Spokane. I hitched up the trailer and was going to meet her. The country road our friends live on leads past a freeway on-ramp, which I was supposed to take, but daydreamed on by. I mean, the road is paved with a center stripe and everything; it can't just end, right? Don't these things eventually connect with other roads, which eventually wind around and get you back where you started? Not this one; it just ended about 5 miles past the freeway on-ramp. Fortunately, I could see the end of the road as I was passing a farmer's driveway, where I was able to perform some maneuvers very much like you described, and eventually head back in the right direction. Which is one of the reasons why I worry about just heading up some dirt road into the mountains.


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Old 02-10-2015, 10:21 PM   #26
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I refuse to live my life on a freeway. And I have never had to back up more than 3 1/2 miles. Backing is not the end of the world. I just lean back, put it in low range 4 wheel drive, adjust the mirrors, let out the clutch, and follow the trailer back the way I came. I still go up THAT road every chance I get.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:25 PM   #27
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We feel like we paid too much for an AS to risk dinging it up on bad roads-- and we do go off on them-- unhitched. If you really ran into trouble on a remote rough road, it's a long way to the nearest mobile mechanic. Never mind what your insurance adjustor might think about any damages incurred.

We like to travel with an up-to-date state highway atlas for areas where we are liable to go off the pavement. They should show the generic condition of the roads at a decent scale. Then it's always smart to ask someone local, including the USFS or BLM for public lands.

A bicycle or a dirt bike for advance reconnaissance seems like a good idea, as well.

We have often found that a dirt road can be fine for a while-- till we hit the rocky spots, deep ruts, or wash-outs. Getting over them with the truck is no problem-- but towing an Airstream???
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:47 PM   #28
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We unhitch down low and either explore in the truck or roll out the Honda 90's. We are avid bird hunters, so even walking (following the dogs) is also a mainstay.
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