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Old 11-20-2006, 02:55 PM   #1
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Stay hitched or unhitch?

We are going to stay in an RV park the night before we have an appointment in Jacksonville at the Mayo Clinic. The appointment will only take 30 minutes.
Then we are going to another RV park, further south, to spend that night.

Would most unhitch for the 30 mile trip into Jacksonville and pick the AS up on the way back?

My husband doesn't mind driving and towing and Mayo has easy parking for RVs.

This will be our first trip and I just wonder when most stay hitched or unhitch?

Sorry if my wording is not right, but we are newbies to this trailer thing. The PO hooked up the AS last week, we towed it home and it is still hitched up!! (Is that the right term?)

Terry, a forum member, has offered to demonstrate "how to". We have not contacted him yet, but may to try to set up a meeting after the holiday. That would help LOTS!

Thanks!

Pat
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:12 PM   #2
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Pat, I wouldn't recommend Jacksonville traffic on your first trip. I would unhitch and take the tow vehicle into town. I made my first Airstream towing trip on the quietest local roads I could find, before trying a couple of shakedown camping trips to a State Park ten miles away. It's good to take the stress out of your first trips. Besides, it's good to practice unhitching and hitching in your driveway, when there's no pressure.
Nick.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:15 PM   #3
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Pat, I wouldn't recommend Jacksonville traffic on your first trip. I would unhitch and take the tow vehicle into town. I made my first Airstream towing trip on the quietest local roads I could find, before trying a couple of shakedown camping trips to a State Park ten miles away. It's good to take the stress out of your first trips. Besides, it's good to practice unhitching and hitching in your driveway, when there's no pressure.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:16 PM   #4
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separation anxiety perhaps?

hi pat

so you've not unhooked at all yet?

3 things...
-traffic/route...
if the route to the mayo will handle trailers (lanes, lights, overpasses, circle drives, exits/entrance) why not? they do have rv parking right?
-towing experience...
is the driver comfortable towing in the conditions likely encountered? does he/she have experience in traffic and IF backing up is needed..if so,why not?
-unhitching...
if neither of you have experience hitching/unhitching, i wouldn't suggest starting just before an important doc appt...the mind will be on other things...
why not practice in the home driveway or an empty lot nearby? make a list of the 7-10 steps and just run through them a few times...

as a practical matter, even when not unhitching for the night, i always put the tongue jack down and relieve spring bar tension. also block the wheels and unplug the 7 pin and trailer brake safety...none of this is required but it's my routine...

deciding to leave the trailer in the rv park depends on things like..is the site paid for? how secure does the area seem? are you using the full hookups at the rv park? and so on...

hope the process goes well and the appt is uneventful..

2air'
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
as a practical matter, even when not unhitching for the night, i always put the tongue jack down and relieve spring bar tension. also block the wheels and unplug the 7 pin and trailer brake safety...none of this is required but it's my routine...
Nothing but good advice in all the replies. I figured on coming in from a different angle -- then 2air' mentioned unplugging the 7 pin umbilical. Always do this if you are using your Airstream overnight. It'd be a bad habit to get into. After a night of using your lights, etc. without a plugin, you could wake up with low battery on both the Airstream & Suburban. Some vehicles have isolators to prevent this but it's just a bad habit to avoid.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:40 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the great tips. I will make a list of steps.

My DH is very comfortable towing and has no problem backing. We just have never unhitched! Or hitched a trailer with all the accessories. We have towed simple boat trailers (24ft) and U-hauls.

Guess what we will be doing the day after Thanksgiving? Practicing?

Our trip to Jacksonville is in Dec. DH has an ICD and has to have the batteries check every so often, hence the trip to Mayo.

Thanks again!

Pat
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:45 PM   #7
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Have you read the "dumb***" stories yet?

Most of us have pulled out, or nearly pulled out without folding up the steps, or without taking down the antenna.... or even without retracting the jack post once! There's a picture here somewhere of a man with a motorhome who towed hit car with the brakes locked. The tires went, and the rims were worn down to the axle!

Fortunately someone usually starts screaming at you and saves you from doing serious damage to your unit.

There are several checkoff lists here on the forums that each of us can customize, and boy oh boy I still run through mine (laminated it and just move a paperclip down the side as each step is completed.)

Practice yes, double-check OH yes, stop 30 feet away, get out and recheck everything, oh yeah mama!

Paula Ford
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:29 PM   #8
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For running errands were you don't need the trailer and will likely encounter traffic and have to park in urban areas, unhitching is likely to make things easier.

Overnight or en-route stays normally don't require unhitching. Nothing does really, except for the convenience of being able to use the tow vehicle alone or the trailer in a small or irregular spot.

Do have checkoff lists for hitching, unhitching, and departure - use them, mark them, and revise them as needed for the way you do things. See Preparing for RV Travels - Checklists for some ideas and links.

As for the precautions of partial unhitching - you should have an isolator in your tow vehicle so you can't drain your ignition battery, your hitch spring bars should be OK in tension for overnight, chokking your rig is something even recommended for regular vehicle parking,

Joe has a good point about distractions. Take care and be careful.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:55 PM   #9
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Hi, Pat,

I used to work as a critical transport paramedic in south GA, and I didn't particularly like taking our ambulance onto the surface streets in the area you're talking about around St. Luke's. I would certainly unhitch and drive this one.

Lamar
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:27 PM   #10
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Old 11-22-2006, 07:40 AM   #11
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Hi, Safe Harbor,

I agree with not wanting to pull a 28' tt around St. Lukes, but we go to the Mayo Clinic on San Palbo and Butler. It has easier to travel streets and a parking lot for Rvs and tts.

They do not have overnite parking though, and there are no close rv parks that we can find. We stay 20 miles south on 95.

We will try the hitch unhitch process Friday and see how it goes.

What we won't do for our two Yorkies! But, they are worth it!

Pat
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:38 PM   #12
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The hitching and unhitching is behind us!

We had a great trip around FL going 900 miles. We did unhitch and hitch the second day to sightsee around Crystal River. The rest of the time, in JAX we towed directly to Mayo and then on to Outdoor Resorts in Melbourne, where we stayed hooked up.

Burt is doing the hitching and unhitching much easier and says it is easier with each time.

Thanks again! At least that part of being new is OVER!!!

Pat
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:07 PM   #13
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I have a rule....

If I get out of the cab for any reason, I walk around the rig before moving again. I like to think it helps avoid some of the oopsies.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyte1
We had a great trip around FL going 900 miles. We did unhitch and hitch the second day to sightsee around Crystal River. The rest of the time, in JAX we towed directly to Mayo and then on to Outdoor Resorts in Melbourne, where we stayed hooked up.

Burt is doing the hitching and unhitching much easier and says it is easier with each time.

Thanks again! At least that part of being new is OVER!!!

Pat
You will find that like everything else, practice makes perfect. But Never take anything for granted. We have our routine down pretty tight by now, but I promise you there will come a day when you forget something. So now we both double check everytime we hitch up. We have also made it a point to check the rig everytime we stop. Takes only a minute in the parkling lot well spent; better than hours on the side of a highway waiting for help.
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