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Old 05-17-2010, 08:16 AM   #57
Full Timers/Diesel power.
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Cactus Hug , Arizona
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Originally Posted by Matt Kline View Post
I don't like helpers waving and making me nervous and have taught my wife that.
Sage advise; "helpers" = dents. I know from personal experience.

"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:24 AM   #58
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Sorry to hear about the damage to your rig, but at least it was repairable. Like others here have said, get out and practice in a parking lot with cones until you get the hang of it. When I was stationed in West Berlin back in '79, I had to learn to drive a 53 passenger bus through Checkpoint Charlie (at the time, the only passage for Allied vehicles from West to East Berlin). The checkpoint consisited of very tall concrete barriers that were arranged in such a manner that you had to make real tight turns. There was only a couple of inches to spare for much to the transit. We practiced that maneuver MANY times with cones in a parking lot before they let us take a bus through the barriers. If I hadn't gone through that training, I'd have wrecked one for sure...

Bob Fowler

Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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Old 05-17-2010, 08:28 AM   #59
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One other thing... We've found that using a pair of small 2-way radios makes communication with your ground guide MUCH easier when backing up. You can get a pair of "blister pack" FRS/GMRS capable radios for about $50.
Bob Fowler

Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

TAC - NJ-007

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Old 05-18-2010, 03:51 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by bobfowler View Post
One other thing... We've found that using a pair of small 2-way radios makes communication with your ground guide MUCH easier when backing up. You can get a pair of "blister pack" FRS/GMRS capable radios for about $50.
We have a set of those and found that it was difficult to understand the "guide" because of interference from other FRS users in the area. I also had difficulty using them because it took one hand away from turning the steering wheel in the tow vehicle. We started using our cell phones (won't work in some low population density areas, though) with me using my Blue-tooth hands free unit so I can use both hands on the steering wheel while backing. When the battery was dead on the Blue-tooth once, I used the speaker phone on the cell with success. Since my wife and I both have the same cell phone service provider, our talking to one another is free minutes under our plan.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:58 PM   #61
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HOWDY from TEXAS!!! Just get an old beat up horse trailer with a steady, old steed inside and take off........We call it "COWGIRL UP!!!!" Pretty soon, you will be towing like a pro! (Yep, that steed is STILL ALIVE!) I've been pulling all kinds of trailers all my life......WOMEN RULE!!!! If you set your mind, you can accomplish ANYTHING!!! Praying doesn't hurt either!

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Old 05-19-2010, 05:57 PM   #62
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hey kids...

cats has MOVED ON and is toe'n agin...


all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:32 AM   #63
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As they say on learning to ride a bicycle, when you fall down you have to get back up and get back on it.
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:31 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Roamin' Cat View Post
Couldn't find the "we can tow it" place to post this, sorry.

Fear. That is what I feel now when I think about towing the AS. Only used it twice last year.

We bought it on impulse, bought a great truck to tow it with, I joined the NEU, and I was off and running! Got lots of "wow, you drove it here by yourself?!" comments that first summer. I often responded with something along the lines of "I am too new at this to know what to fear!"

Well, last trip of first season, my trucker map mysteriously missing from truck, entered destination on RI seashore into "trusty" GPS. I told DH I took a different route the last couple of times I went there, but we decided to trust the gadget. First mistake. Took me on a nice wandering narrow road through the back of beyond from CT to RI. Somewhere near the border, not sure on what side, we were presented with a sudden 90 degree turn, a semi in the other lane making the same turn coming at us, speed limit 30 mph and driving as posted, no warning of sudden turn ahead. Traffic on my tail. Took the turn, scraped the side of my baby and ripped the bottom panel off the AS passenger side, right down to the tire well. Walked back and looked at the rock post that marked that corner, LOTS of evidence that I was not the first one to have such a close encounter with it

Also had a lot more breakables inside than we realized! Found that out when we went inside to try to recover before proceeding. Corelle DOES break, lots of it, everywhere.

Continued to the site, freaked out at the damage, afraid to use water or especially propane (tear in line? blow us up?!). Cleaned up the damage, took advantage of the sewage dump site, and headed home (using a MAP this time from the ranger!).

Sat all winter, glaring at me, damaged side facing house. $10k of repairs, apparently I also managed to ding the semi and dented in the rear corner panel on the driver's side very nicely as well. Thanks to Colonial, looks almost as good as new (slight difference on repaired side compared to "original" side near the tire well. Wish I noticed this before arriving home!).

After practically living in it the first summer (while trying to avoid freaking out over DS's upcoming brain surgery, which was very successful, praise God!), we only used it twice last summer (second season) after the repair work. Second trip out, I bravely decide to drive, managed to scrape along the side of a fence after dumping. This time damage only to the adhesive bumper like strip down the side.

That's it. I have shut down in fear. I have no idea how to tow the AS, how to take corners, what space I need, I knew, that first summer, that I didn't know enough to know what I didn't know. By the end of the season, I was paralyzed!

DH works long hours. We need me to be able to drive to location and set up, so he can just commute to work. I also need to break down and get it home, and he backs it up the driveway when he gets home. Worked out great the first year.

Now, trying to work up courage to try again before deciding to sell (at a loss, probably, just past two years of ownership of new unit), and we open it up and find the leak (another post). Though if we sell, we would also sell my beloved TV, and we could break even.

Just feel so defeated and in over my head. How do I get the courage to try again?! I have to navigate several sharp turns on narrow, windy country roads to get to the nearest highway.

How do I do it? Anyone?

I want to full-time!!!!!!! I have longed to roam around this country as long as I could remember, in an Airstream! I had plans to get a longer AS, custom fit it out, and go for it. SOOOOO many times I wish I had just bought the 27ft FB (easier access to both sides of bed, two more feet of closet and pantry space, perfect!). Nearly traded this in for a new bunk bed unit I found, could have FT with homeschooled kid in that.

Sorry for the long ramble. Just not sure how to recover from this one.

Have my eye on a Garmin 465T but don't want to spend the money if I cannot tow this thing.
I wondered what had happened to you, and why I didn't see you after first meeting you!! I didn't read all the posts here, so I don't know what has happened, but I sure hope that you are back on the road. You were such a wonderful addition to our group.

The advice that I have seen here, is the best.....just like riding a horse, get back on there, and DO IT!!!!

This does make me feel that beginner lessons would be a wonderful idea. At the two Trailer Jams in Saratoga, New York, many women approached me and asked for lessons, and I thought that it would be a great thing to offer in one of our upcoming Trailer Jams or Rallies. Confidence is only built from doing it, and I was lucky enough to grow up in a family who had a small boat, which I learned to back up at age 16. I then owned a business, in which I had to back up, and pull trailers all the time. It really does take years to become one who can respond well to situations with a trailer on, and this particular situation sounds like one that anyone would have had a hard time surviving with their trailer intact!!

I just hope to see you down the road. WE MISS YOU!!!
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:49 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by fastrob View Post
Sounds very traumatic, I hope you recover completely.
I might be tempted to do a little schooling with an expert.
Have you ever considered a tractor trailer driving school?
No kidding, some of those truckers are very, very good drivers and there is a lot of skill involved.
Best wishes,
As a gradjerate of "steering wheel holder school" (as truckers derisively term such; the lack of experience being the problem of "getting behind the truck" (as pilots term same: things happen fast so one needs to mentally stay "ahead" of what is happening) I can make another recommendation:

Much of our early skill building was in backing. All afternoon. Instructors set up orange traffic cones going back well over 100 yards, and we practiced in first wide, and then narrow, "lanes" backing those rigs non-stop. Then, turns were introduced. Etc.

This is good use of mirrors, and to "feel" (psychically) where the back of the rig is.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:22 AM   #66
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I have never had a fear of pulling a trailer....and yet I take heart form everything that has been offered on this post. You learn as you go.

My first accident when I destroyed my car was completely my fault....and my boss's advice....you have to get back in the saddle when you've been thrown from a horse!!!! Just what has already been said.

My first trip out with a borrowed airstream I got stuck in a space in which I could not turn around to get out behind a coffee shop. With some careful backing and pushing the limits I finally made it. (or I planned to un hook and reconnect in a better angle on the TV) Lesson learned...park in the plaza across the road and walk to the coffee shop, or don't stop at premises that are not RV friendly That was just the first of many AS life lessons....it makes you better...every time.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:12 AM   #67
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We had two bus size RV's in the past. Took a while but worked for me was asking (in my mind) "where are the rear wheels?" If you think in terms of that for the trailer when turning it makes a world of difference. We are all used to driving cars where you didn't have to think about where the wheels were. Got to break that habit when RVing.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:24 AM   #68
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I can't add much to what has been said but will try . You are willing to try that means you can do it. If you could find some one that has a car trailer or flatbed something that you can see the whole trailer when you are making a turn that will help you know where you need to be with TV. Maybe rent car hauler from uhaul . As for as backing that is practice and when you hit on it you will think why was that so hard again with a trailer you can see all around then when you back the as the side you can see think if I keep a a wheel with in a foot or three what ever the case of the edge of the concrete pad on this side I will clear the blind side . Hope this helps. Don t give up.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:56 AM   #69
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A little fear when towing a trailer is a good thing. It keeps you alert.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:23 PM   #70
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This thread is 5 years old and just came back to life. I wonder whatever happened to the OP? Looks like her last post was in 2010? 😞

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