View Poll Results: Ladies do you pull it?
Yes 42 75.00%
No 14 25.00%
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:38 AM   #71
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This is a great thread! We've had our AS since January. I hitch up, drive solo in town and highway, but not great at backing yet.
I love towing our 31'. I think driving is one of the things (towing or not) I do best. However, when I'm towing, bizarre things that are out of my control tend to happen.
One incident: On our first 'big' trip, one of the wheels popped off on the I-5. We were on a 1200 mile trip to Oregon. I drove about 50%. Mr. Mod was sleeping in the back seat when the wheel popped off.

His advice: Keep an EXTRA eye on the trailer. Being that I only have two eyes, which are generally on the road, checking mirrors, and scanning, I'm hoping he might get me an 'extra' eye for my birthday, just for the trailer.

Anyhow, my advice, take your time. You don't have to impress anyone...they're already impressed by your beautiful AS.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:46 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
In all the years watching people back trailers, I noticed one very common error. They forget to "loosen" the turn once the trailer gets moving in the right direction.

If we begin with TV and TT straight, you crank the wheel hard to begin your backing move. Looking in your side mirror, you confirm it is headed right. Now you must begin to unwind that steering wheel as you move back. Not unwind all the way, but unwind until the angle formed by TT and TV stops getting tighter. People often hold the wheel without unwinding, and before you know it, you are jack knifed and have to pull forward and start over.

Crank the wheel--- then as you back, unwind it to the neutral point where the angle between TT and TV is steady. Then it only takes minor movement of the wheel in either direction to make the TT go right where you please. Once lined up, you just begin to unwind the wheel all the way back to straight.
Well said. We were backing into a spot a couple weeks ago that I simply could not see (too dark, and it was raining). What my wife didn't realize was that every time we'd parked before this, I could see where I was going and do the unwinding myself; she was mainly watching for obstacles and where I should stop. In this situation I couldn't see so I was relying on her to tell me - which she wasn't doing, because she wasn't aware that I needed that info. All she saw was that I kept turning the trailer too tight.

It took us quite a while to get into the spot that night. We never did get it straight; it was close and we said, "Good enough!"
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #73
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Well said. We were backing into a spot a couple weeks ago that I simply could not see (too dark, and it was raining). What my wife didn't realize was that every time we'd parked before this, I could see where I was going and do the unwinding myself; she was mainly watching for obstacles and where I should stop. In this situation I couldn't see so I was relying on her to tell me - which she wasn't doing, because she wasn't aware that I needed that info. All she saw was that I kept turning the trailer too tight.

It took us quite a while to get into the spot that night. We never did get it straight; it was close and we said, "Good enough!"
My wife and I have a pretty well-honed routine. When backing into a spot, she stands inside the turn at the corner of the trailer. She uses ONLY hand sigs - never any talking. She uses the "turn more" until she knows the back end is headed in the right arc. Then she switches to the "straight back" to indicate it's time to unwind the turn and just hold the radius. Then finally "parallel straight back" to indicate no turn - just push back. If we don't get into any spot on first try, we consider it a bummer!

We have not done it in the dark. I am guessing she'd have to have some kind of lantern? I guess we have that to look forward to? HA HA
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:06 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater

Well said. We were backing into a spot a couple weeks ago that I simply could not see (too dark, and it was raining). What my wife didn't realize was that every time we'd parked before this, I could see where I was going and do the unwinding myself; she was mainly watching for obstacles and where I should stop. In this situation I couldn't see so I was relying on her to tell me - which she wasn't doing, because she wasn't aware that I needed that info. All she saw was that I kept turning the trailer too tight.

It took us quite a while to get into the spot that night. We never did get it straight; it was close and we said, "Good enough!"
I had to back my 34' into a spot on a curve in the dark in the rain and to the passenger side. Whew tricky! My AS is polished and it seems to "disappear" in the dark...especially in the passenger side mirror. Fun fun fun! We got it close enough as well
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:11 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
My wife and I have a pretty well-honed routine. When backing into a spot, she stands inside the turn at the corner of the trailer. She uses ONLY hand sigs - never any talking. She uses the "turn more" until she knows the back end is headed in the right arc. Then she switches to the "straight back" to indicate it's time to unwind the turn and just hold the radius. Then finally "parallel straight back" to indicate no turn - just push back. If we don't get into any spot on first try, we consider it a bummer!

We have not done it in the dark. I am guessing she'd have to have some kind of lantern? I guess we have that to look forward to? HA HA
Yeah, I wasn't getting the "straight back" feedback I needed. We don't use hand signals at all; we use radios. When we're parking at home, she has to stand in a spot where I can't see her so she can verify I'm not hitting anything, so the radios are a necessity. The first time or two without them did not go well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c_lewis77 View Post
I had to back my 34' into a spot on a curve in the dark in the rain and to the passenger side. Whew tricky! My AS is polished and it seems to "disappear" in the dark...especially in the passenger side mirror. Fun fun fun! We got it close enough as well
Yeah, it really is a lot more tricky than you'd think. Darkness, rain, lots of trees, and the tinted side windows on the cap of the truck pretty much meant I was blind. A backup camera probably would've helped us quite a bit that time.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:53 PM   #76
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Let my wife drive? You gotta be kidding! I can't imagine my wife driv...oops...she's looking over my shoulder!!

I would let my wife drive anytime she wants. I know that she is very capable.

Seriously, I want her to drive so if something happens to me we won't be stuck. Besides, we are using her truck to tow.

Lastly I want to say that when we towed the trailer home she didn't want to be in the truck with me. She followed behind in my car. Something about being able to stop to pick up anything that fell off! We have a lot of repairs so it will be a while until either one of us drives.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:47 PM   #77
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Pulling is no problem. Do your checklist, and make sure brakes are set to engage properly. Drive comfortable speed, and remember to look ahead for potential hazards as it takes greater distance to stop when pulling trailer. Get two-way radios for backing, and practice in a vacant lot so you and the guide understand the directions. After long day on road, be patient with each other and speak in cheerful tones when backing into the camp spot. Lots of needless arguments occur after long day, especially with an audience of nearby campers. You can do it!
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:04 AM   #78
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My wife has threatened on many occasions to put the duct tape to work. I may not be behind the wheel but it seems I'm still driving from the passenger seat . It akes me a while to get used to not being the one behind the wheel. She does a great job, she just doesn't drive the way I do - probably a good thing but I struggle with it. It is that guy thing - we are so used to being in control. She does a great job, I'm proud of her for taking over when I'm unable to do driving duty.

Our friend passed away 18 months ago. Sadly, the year before, I had told his wife that she needed to know how to hook up and tow just in case they were out somewhere and something happened. Well, he passed quite suddenly and she was sitting with a truck, a few trailers that all needed work, so we and our neighbors helped her sell the trailers and found her another that needed just a wee bit of work to get it ready for her to use. She learned very quickly how to hook up, tow, and back up. She does a great job. She is determined to not let the loss of her husband stop her from doing the things they enjoyed so much together, with their friends and family. She reminds me often of my suggestion and how she wishes she had taken the time then to learn from her husband.

I encourage every couple to make sure that they both have some experience at doing hook up, towing, backing and set up and tear down. It is not that hard, just follow your own checklist you make that is relevant to you. I just can't imagine being camped somewhere, a medical situation arises, and the other person is unable to take control and handle the situation, including getting the camper home or where ever.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:26 AM   #79
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today it's 72.55% DO tow the trailer. Thanks everyone for great words of advice, the fun stories and humorous posts. And of course anyone can vote on behalf of your partner if they don't post on the forums ... Wendy
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:26 PM   #80
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And of course anyone can vote on behalf of your partner if they don't post on the forums ... Wendy
Thanks for clarifying it. I'll get the percentage up now on behalf of Barb.

I am surprised how how many women tow because I never notice that many driving. Maybe I am getting blind. I also rarely see women doing the hookups, especially the sewer, but Barb does it all (except the sewer) and even takes the garbage out.

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Old 07-11-2012, 01:33 PM   #81
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barbara4rb has the right idea. Go to that large empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice. It won't take long to feel comfortable backing the AS or any other trailer.
Some basics:
1. Use your mirrors! You can see more. Don't try to twist around and see where you are going. It will confuse you if you try to do both mirrors and direct sight. (when you get really good and comfortable using the mirrors, you can do both.)
2. Take it slow!
3. Get a good starting position when backing. If you are going to turn the back of your trailer to the left to back in, start as far to the right of the road you are on as possible. This will allow you to make a larger arch in your turn and you will not have to cut the trailer as sharp to back it in. The same applies if you need to back your trailer to the right. One way to help line your trailer up for the backing manuver is to sweep the front of your tow vehicle into the parking spot as you pass it and then pull out and acrosss the main road. This will put the back end of your trailer in the spot you need to back into at a good angle for you to start the backing manuver.
4. Place your left hand at the six o'clock position on the steering wheel and move your hand in the direction you need the rear of the trailer to go. (When you get really good, the direction to turn the wheel while looking in the mirror will come naturally and the placement of your hand on the steering wheel won't matter as much!)
5. Use a spotter when possible! Be sure they know the same hand signals as you and that they know where to stand so they can be seen in your mirrors.
6. Proceed slowly! Have fun practicing!
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:02 PM   #82
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Thanks for clarifying it. I'll get the percentage up now on behalf of Barb.

I am surprised how how many women tow because I never notice that many driving. Maybe I am getting blind. I also rarely see women doing the hookups, especially the sewer, but Barb does it all (except the sewer) and even takes the garbage out.

Gene

I know what you mean ... I now find myself deliberately peering into passing RV's to see who's at the wheel (mostly other brands) so I quick wave and smile if I get caught like I thought I knew them or I think their rig is really cool - and I'd say 1 out of 15 is maybe a lady driver.

We do get stuck in the boy/girl chores rut though whilst setting up and tearing down camp ... Jim's outside, I'm inside. I think from his standpoint though it's more chivalry; don't you worry about that dirty job; oh put that down it's heavy; or here I come to save the day! ... Wendy
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:59 PM   #83
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Hi, no offense to anyone posting/stating about where to practice, but where I live there is no such place. "Find an open field" "Practice in a church parking lot" "Use a market or Wal-Mart parking lot" Well, we just can't do that around here; The parking lots are either too small or too full at all times. We would almost have to leave the state to find an area such as these. And half of the forum members, men or women, wouldn't be able to get their trailer in or out of my driveway.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:31 PM   #84
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As info, I just voted "yes" (I hadn't voted yet prior to that). I discussed this with my DH a couple of days ago and stated that I intend to start sharing the driving responsibilities. I've pulled forward before when the circumstances called for it like at the service station to get out of the way for others and at the dump station for the same reason, etc., but I haven't driven down the road. Next time out, I'll be behind the wheel too!

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