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Old 07-07-2016, 11:57 PM   #1
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Towing on the freeway!! Tips.

We have had our airstream for about a year now, we've done a lot of towing in rural Texas, but now we have the itch for a big road trip. I like the idea of sticking to smaller roads, highways and outskirts of bigger city's, but I know we will hit some freeway action. I know slow and steady will when the race at the end of the day!, but I'm looking for some friendly advice and tips from some more experienced airstreamer's.
Thanks!

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Old 07-08-2016, 12:18 AM   #2
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First, I am sure you have sway control? Right, I knew you would.

I am super freakish about staying in the far right lane while traveling. Of course I use the next over (never the far left which is usually illigal to tow in) when needing to pass, but then get right back over, and I do it before anyone has a chance to think about passing me on the right.

I am of the very vocal opinion that our freeways are less safe because we have archaic speed limits and do not enforce "no passing on the right." My friends and family are sick of me talking about it, so thanks for opening a thread where I can share my opinion with a new group.

How often do you see someone make an unsafe pass on the freeway? How often are these unsafe passes because someone else is riding in the passing lane "aka Fastlane"?

Did you catch that news clip today of the accident on a Texas freeway? The car was passing on the right. It is hard to see a car that is overtaking you on the right where there are more blind spots, especially when towing.

Ride in the right and let the cars go by, but not the world

A different note, watch yourself when at Rest stops along I5 in the west. There is too much bad stuff that happens.

Man, I am with you on the preference to sticking to the back roads. I clearly have nothing good to say about freeways. Nevertheless, I hope your travels are great even when the freeway is involved.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:40 AM   #3
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We do have the sway control for sure!!! Thanks for sharing @thiss
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:04 AM   #4
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We prefer back roads as well but for some reason we find ourselves spending and inordinate amount of time on interstates. I have many miles logged in all types of vehicles from motorcycles to riding in big rigs with one of my drivers (former drivers, thankfully retired) and I have no issues with interstates.

Simply we try to travel with the flow, staying at or below 65mph. If that requires the right hand lane as the speed limit in some areas we travel is 80mph so be it.

I would suggest one check the mirrors as often as one looks ahead as on interstates that is often where problems begin with someone coming up behind or beside you.

Enjoy

Bud
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:41 AM   #5
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I stay in the right lane and I drive 55 MPH, sometimes creeping up to 60. I keep my focus well ahead and check my left mirror often. Because I have a ProPride hitch, passing trucks do not bother me although some seem to get awfully close to me. I prefer back roads with little traffic but freeway driving can be fairly restful without people pulling out from every side road. We stop at nearly every rest area but enjoy using our AS for the toilet and lunch facilities.

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Old 07-08-2016, 07:05 AM   #6
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I've never heard it is illegal to tow in ANY lane. New one on me, I'll need to look that one up.

I use freeways a lot. I still work. Usually my weekend trips start with clocking out at 5, then jumping on a freeway for a couple of hours in some direction.

I set the cruise at 62mph and just keep my eyes open and move over when cars are entering the road.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:13 AM   #7
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Staying in the right lane is good until you get into the heart of a large metropolitan area where the freeway is 3 lanes wide or more. Then move over to the second lane and avoid all of the local traffic hopping on and off the freeway exits. Most drivers never look until the last moment and expect you to yield for them.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:56 AM   #8
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I also like the right lane when towing. I have also found that if I tow at 62 MPH in that lane I am not slowing down traffic as cars and trucks have the left lane to pass. If I come upon a vehicle travelling to slow I will pass but first check my mirrors and if safe I will accelorate and move into the left to pass. After passing I again check my mirrors to ensure it is safe and then move back into the right lane.
The challenge is when it is a three or fourlane highway because some vehicles travel at a reduce speed in the middle lanes. If that is the case I will stay in my lane and pass on the right.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thiss View Post
How often do you see someone make an unsafe pass on the freeway? How often are these unsafe passes because someone else is riding in the passing lane "aka Fastlane"?
There is no such thing as a "fast lane." The speed limit is the same in every lane. The right lane is the "slow lane" as in the posted signs saying "slower traffic keep right," but that doesn't make any other lane the fast lane.

But there sure are a lot of people who think the left lane is the "name your own speed limit" lane!

If the highway widens out to three or more lanes (I-635 in Dallas, for instance), I'll move into the second lane because I've lost track of the number of times I slowed to let a merging vehicle get in front of me, only to have that merging vehicle slow down as well so that we still nearly hit each other!
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:28 PM   #10
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Great advice from all. Thanks!

Safe travels to ya'
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:35 PM   #11
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In west Texas you should have no concerns until you get to Houston, Austin or Dallas. I usually look for a way around Houston, but take the Dallas area and Austin area head on, like others have pointed out in the larger cities move to the second lane from the right to avoid merging traffic. I 35 from San Antonio to DFW can be a nightmare - note we live in Temple, dead center of this area.
Towing east on I 10 from Marfa keep your speed down and be alert for strong crosswinds. I seldom tow faster than 60-61 mph or slower than 59 on the Interstate system.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:40 PM   #12
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Ditto what Mojo said. And for us, we keep it at 65, there is just no rush! Funny thing, since buying the AS several years back, we even drive slower when not towing....much more enjoyable.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarfaTX1965 View Post
We have had our airstream for about a year now, we've done a lot of towing in rural Texas, but now we have the itch for a big road trip. I like the idea of sticking to smaller roads, highways and outskirts of bigger city's, but I know we will hit some freeway action. I know slow and steady will when the race at the end of the day!, but I'm looking for some friendly advice and tips from some more experienced airstreamer's.
Thanks!

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I am with you on the more rural roads but be sure of your route if in mountainous country or urban areas. Secondary roads in Illinois and Texas for example seem to be well planned and maintained. On interstates I keep mostly in the right lane at a speed about 10 mph below the speed limit but never over 65. I almost never change lanes to let someone in from an on ramp. Changing lanes while towing can be dangerous in heavy traffic. The ramps are designed for incoming traffic to accelerate, match traffic speed and merge. I do give them a gap. There are sometimes idiots with a death wish who race down the ramp, then stop before merging and wind up pulling on to the interstate in front of traffic at below minimum speed. Other comments tell of using the center lane if there are 3 lanes or the second lane if 4 or more. That is good advice but again use special caution changing lanes. When using an on ramp, give a left turn signal to let other drivers know you plan to merge. Most are polite enough to give you a gap. Be prepared to use the shoulder if not.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:05 PM   #14
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I too prefer secondary roads, but on longer winter getaway trips, Interstates are pretty much mandatory to reach destination within a reasonable time.

I generally try to travel at the average speed of vehicles traveling with me - some pass me, I pass some!

Having 16" LT tires is a plus in this regard as they are not speed limited to 65mph and interstate average speeds often tend to be a bit higher. I know some RV'ers would consider such speeds unsafe no matter what tires you have but I feel ok at about 70. I use a Hensley hitch and I try to leave lots of braking space ahead of me -not easy of course as people keep filling it!

If there are three lanes in my direction, which often seems to be the case, I generally will pick the centre lane and stick with it as best I can.

The reason I avoid the right lane is because of traffic merging on.

I have no idea why it is, but so many people merging on seem to have no clue about the onus being on them - where possible - to use the ramp to adjust their speed to blend in to the flow easily.

If I do happen to be in the right lane - or in any lane - I usually do try to leave a good size gap in front of me, yet more often than not I will have a car entering on an on-ramp and rather than speed up to get in ahead of me or slow down let let me go, they ride right along next to me on the ramp seemingly intentionally setting up a dangerous situation.

Usually traffic is such that I cannot pull into the faster lane to give them space, so unless I force the person to stop, or he has the brains to speed up and pull in ahead of me, I have to brake to let them in - so frustrating to have that happen over and over! That's why I prefer the middle lane!

The only thing about favouring the centre lane is that of course you really need to be constantly checking both mirrors to be aware of vehicles on either side of you. It becomes automatic.

When in built up areas an a busy multilane interstate that I am not familiar with, I really keep a close eye on the GPS - and turn off the radio so I am not distracted! This really helps so that I can position myself in the correct lane well in advance of having to exit right or left.

Not all - but many fellow drivers are not very courteous in helping you do to that no matter how long you have your turn signals going, so it really helps to get set up well before you reach the exit! It seems often that cars coming up in the lane you need to move to actually speed up to stop you doing so! Maybe I am just paranoid!

I always try to make sure the fuel tank is full before approaching a large city so I am ok if I get stuck in a traffic jam! Not fun with a large trailer trying to fill up in a city - gas stations tend not to have as much space either. If you need diesel, that can be another complicating factor!

I usually try to use major truck stops such as Flying J or Pilot to fill up when we are perhaps 20 miles before hitting a large city.

Those are my few thoughts for what they might be worth!

It really isn't that bad, I think the biggest thing is to keep ones cool and don't be upset by the antics and bad manners of some few of your fellow road users!

Brian.
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