Originally Posted by adwriter73
Good advice. I break out into a nervous sweat just driving in traffic with this thing. Don't need to be stuck hanging off a cliff. : )
This sounds like a great trip.
Fears about tail-swing seem real until one is comfortable placing the TV steering axle farther out toward the lanes edge on curves (sometimes both, alternately) than when solo. It's a valid concern.
Could have used an editor, but I've tried to impart some of what I've learned here in these:
If the TV rear axle is properly located, all else is easy:
A Long Trailer
Break the day into legs of known length/time; and give the day a "center point" of a particular attraction:
Divide the steering/shifting/braking workload:
Foot & Hand Control
Some time spent on hitch-rigging as you make your way across and out of Texas will help. Finger-tip response is everything (making those last small adjustments whether it's the WDH or tire pressure or mirrors or seat posture).
Same for brakes. Find some gravel roads and find out what the TT tire lock-up speed is at 15-20 mph. In the wet. Etc.
A driver can cut his stress levels by knowing the distance between points
on his itinerary. If you've a way of determining the mile markers or GPS coordinates of scenic two-laner "pull-outs" (that are of adequate dimension for your rig)
via notes kept at hand, this will be a relief: "just 3-miles ahead . . . . to get the other traffic around. I might also advise practicing this beforehand. It can take some counter-intuitive moves to have the trailer
either parallel or tail-inwards once stopped. And enough room to get back out (preferably with the rig in a straight-line or with but "one kink" to work out in getting back onto the road surface.
Don't forget that Google Maps Streetview
is your friend when it comes to determining both the above and fuel stops while trip-planning on the previous day[s]. In a gasser I like to choose retail locations that are on my side of the road, past
any intersection between it and the highway entrance; with preferably three entrances and exits. I also look for bar ditches and other abrupt grade changes; driveway width and off-street parking availability for inspections and repairs.
I record the addresses & telephone numbers of the retailer ahead of time in the event I need to call for outside service (tires, for example). A big c-store/fuel retailer is likely known to mobile repair personnel. (Thus the clerk is informed of who I am and whom I have called and why).
Frankly, I think truck stops trump the ordinary gas stations any day for all of the reasons above plus others. Use the AMBEST directory of same, then the giant chains, for preference.
I mention all this because California is not nearly so well "blessed" with fuel retailers as other places. Their roads aren't well-marked all too often, and repairs may lack. It's a good and bad thing.
That drive is one I've long wanted to make. Have been on parts of it, but never the whole run.