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Old 02-28-2016, 04:49 PM   #43
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Boxing yourself in while towing?

We tow a 30' Classic. Gas stations can occasionally present problems, when the islands are perpendicular to the building, the aisle between the islands and building is narrow and filled with cars of people getting cigs, sodas, lottery, etc. The turn to get out can be tricky. Usually, I can find a truck stop with RV lanes or just roomier tarmacs. Parking for stores, Starbucks, etc., is usually easier. Beware of the southern and southwestern states, as parking lots in shopping centers often have landscaped islands, and narrow aisle entrances. No snow, no snow plows, so the landscaping and curbs show up to challenge you. I park as far away as I can, across the lined spaces, and pull into the last space before curbs ever so slightly, to block some yahoo from blocking me. You will find you will exaggerate the tow vehicle turns to avoid curbs. Such as very hard left to swing out, almost into the parked cars across from you, hard right, and hope your trailer wheels clear the curb. You want to hang to the left of your lane for a right turn, go straight into the intersection, then hard right to have the trailer miss the curb, traffic signal pole, and hopefully, the ped with the earbuds and smartphone not watching where he is walking. Opposite actions for left turns, because many of these have curbs on the left side, sign posts, etc., that can catch your tires, or scrape your trailer sides. Take it easy, use your mirrors, and watch how the trailer behaves. Let the impatient honk, as you can always slow more, or stop. If needed, you can stop, set the brake, and go back to the honker and tell them, the sooner they quit honking, the sooner you'll move.


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Old 02-28-2016, 04:52 PM   #44
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I will say we do scout out areas with the google maps and satellite photos, to get an idea of what we are getting into.


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Old 02-28-2016, 05:13 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by rsjmcg View Post
If you think you'll be roughing it with your camper (we do), having the following will make it drop-dead easy to get in and get out of what you can't just drive out of. I never leave home without this "free it up & get on with it" gear:
Snow chains for all 4 tires on my 4x4 Yukon XL 2500 (used these more in mud than snow but plenty of both).
Front-mounted receiver and ball (makes impossible manuevering possible, IMO every TV needs a front hitch as standard equipment)
Farm jack, trolley jack, bottle jacks, wood blocking, & skid-pipe
Receiver-mountable power winch (have used innumerable times w/ several "swivelings" in place of my TT & many retrievals of my TV, my TT, & others who got stuck) & of course a come-along and chains
Chain saw, bow saw, shovels, cheater/skid pipe

Hey, for those who find themselves truly boxed-in in an urban/suburban setting like a drive-thru, a parking lot, or dead-end street, the front hitch is a God-send. eTrailer sells them (mine was ~$110) and anyone who can turn a wrench can have it installed in under 30 minutes.
Very, very true and very handy......but this link below is the cats meow, and will save your bacon, allowing you to reposition your trailer safely with little hassle. The only suggestion I would make would be a remote switch to activate the trailer brakes just in case the ground isn't level; but the winch should pull a 30' up a fairly good incline.

If your good and stuck, nothing beats taking the tow vehicle out of the equation as it gives you a lot more room to manuver.

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Old 03-01-2016, 08:36 AM   #46
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You will encounter many interesting stories from GPS users. I have one and use it, Garmin Nuvi they are great for getting thru crowded cities traffic, locating gas, campgrounds, grocery stores, venues and many other interesting places. Google maps come in handy too.

HOWEVER, the best is to have a back up state maps from the visitor centers are most detailed, better than the atlases from walmart, rand mcnally, good sam etc. I most prized maps are the DeLorme Gazzatter maps for each individual state I frequent most. Gets me on the undisturbed peaceful country roads with little traffic.

If you want to travel only on interstate highways Atlas maps will work. I am not a fan of billboards and Nascar wannabe drivers.
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:43 PM   #47
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For exploring down unknown roads and mountain passes, the Mountain Directory is a Godsend. Designed for truckers, RV & motorhome drivers, describe grades, conditions, tight curves, etc. They have an East & West versions & worth the $.
mountain directory.com
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:44 PM   #48
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Great advice has already been given, so I'll add this.

As a last resort
, call the local police. They will help you out of a bad situation, direct traffic, block roads etc. GOAL ( get out and look ) especially overhead.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:04 PM   #49
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boxed in

One more thought. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Arriving after dark makes backing into a narrow campsite much more difficult. When backing into a site the innitial set-up manuvre prior to backing is key to a smooth park. Think about where the trailer wheels are before backing. Turn to the left before backing to the right. this gets the trailer started at an angle. Practice, practice, practice, there is no substitute for experience.
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:17 AM   #50
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I would not want to venture off the interstate if towing with a front wheel drive vehicle and would hate to have to back uphill or even onto leveling blocks with such a light duty transmission. I don't mean to be a buzzkill but I'd think about the reality of traction and gear ratios before buying a TV. Just be aware of how much weight and where it is contacting the pavement or lack of such when driving. A Caravan or Town & Country would have limitations.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:16 AM   #51
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I would not want to venture off the interstate if towing with a front wheel drive vehicle and would hate to have to back uphill or even onto leveling blocks with such a light duty transmission. I don't mean to be a buzzkill but I'd think about the reality of traction and gear ratios before buying a TV. Just be aware of how much weight and where it is contacting the pavement or lack of such when driving. A Caravan or Town & Country would have limitations.
This hasn't been my experience with my front wheel drive (Toyota in this case) minivan and my 7000 pound Airstream. Traction has never been an issue, even on loose gravel or wet grass when other, heavier vehicles have had difficulties. My "boxed in" problems (staying on thread) have been all about size and movement (like everyone else), and never traction.

How can this be? It points, I think, to a well modified hitch receiver and a properly dialled in weight distribution system that puts a good proportion of the towing weight onto the drive wheels.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:26 AM   #52
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This hasn't been my experience with my front wheel drive (Toyota in this case) minivan and my 7000 pound Airstream.
You're one of those heathens that doesn't use a 3/4 ton to tow his Airstream? Don't you realize that you're putting everyone else in great peril with your insanity.

Next time we're in Chatham I'll have to look you up.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:31 AM   #53
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Drive it in, and back it out..
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:46 AM   #54
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I think we all worry a lot about this when starting to tow a longer trailer. Soon, you will worry less!

I find the GPS very handy for showing me connecting side streets where I can easily go around the block and reverse direction on the main road when needed.

As for gas stations, I always try to find ones where the pumps are parallel to the building - a whole lot easier than the arrangement that have your tow vehicle pointing right at the building!

If I have to use the latter type, I approach the island at a very wide angle - sometimes the fuel hose will hardly reach! - to make my exit turn easier.

Of course it often happens once you start fueling that 4 wheelers will come and park in front of you to go into the building! Usually with the wide angle at which I have parked I am still ok to exit - but worst case situation, I will just back away from the island.

Whenever possible I like to fill up at Flying J truckstops with the separate RV fuel islands that always have diesel. Makes things a piece of cake!

Brian
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:01 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
You're one of those heathens that doesn't use a 3/4 ton to tow his Airstream? Don't you realize that you're putting everyone else in great peril with your insanity.

Next time we're in Chatham I'll have to look you up.

Cheers
Tony
Ha ha, that's me.

You're welcome any time, of course. Come in the camping season and you can see the travesty of a tow vehicle, hitched up and perilous, for yourself
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:48 PM   #56
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Add a pair of "Family Band" radios (walkie-talkies) to help the wife/husband/copilot direct the long long back-up. They typicaly sell for about $29/up and are a BARGAIN. (Also useful for keeping track of kids, and campground communications, trips to the store, etc etc. with at least a 2 mile range, some more expensive versions even farther. They also offer a degree of privacy over C.B. type radios since they have more channels and sub-channels and a few even offer "scrambled" voice-messaging. We use them also when caravanning with friends and don't wish to listen to C.B. chatter and crude language.)
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