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Old 03-13-2008, 09:54 AM   #29
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Ditto to what Paula says, and:

I had a stroke and then heart attack in January 2006. I have lost 75% use of my arms. I can drive for very short distances. If Donna had not done a bit of towing before hand, and then been willing to take over the full time chores, our lives would be very different.

She made the commitment that our world of camping friends would not be without us as long as she can drive. It's been a learning curve, and she doesn't drive like I did, and I've had to learn to let her do it her way, but thank God she was able and willing. We don't go as far yet as we used to but we still get out and the distances are increasing as her comfort level does. She comments often that had she not had some practice in the past she'd of really struggled to then be the primary TV driver.

I also have a friend whose parents were camping some ways away and he had a heart attack. Ambulance came and picked him up and rushed off with him but she had to hang back with the dog and trailer to get it all packed up. She'd never towed before. Fortunately from a hook up stand point fellow campers showed her how to do it, and then she had to tow to a CG nearer the town where the hospital was, get set up, find boarding for the dog, and get to the hospital. It wasn't pleasant and hugely stressful.

We can all find reasons for not doing it but when the primary driver craters be it at work, home or on the road, if the passenger is not familiar with how it happens and is unwilling to take on the chore while healing occurs you are going to have a sad Airstream-less lifestyle.

Just my thoughts,

Barry & Donna
Life is short - so is the door on a '51 Flying Cloud (ouch)
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:24 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again
Here's one for your wife.
If your husband gets out to inspect the tires and falls and breaks his collar bone, who is going to have to get him to the hospital? What if you have a breakdown, then have to go 800 miles in a day to get home in time for work, a family wedding or some other "cannot be late" event? Over 400 miles per day becomes incredibly dangerous without a second driver.
hmmmm, good point.....I'm thinkin' she'll call an ambulance for me, a tow truck for the rig, and a limo to the airport for her.

I'm gonna have to think this through a bit more.


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Old 03-13-2008, 11:52 AM   #31
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I got extremely ill about 25 years ago where I couldn't drive. We were down in Branson at the time and I drove as far as I could getting us to the Interstate in Springfield Mo. Patty drove from there home. At the time we were pulling a 21' HiLo with a van tow vehicle.....probably the best combo you can get. Although she was scared to death, she got us home and the neighbor backed the trailer back into the drive. Our son who was 14 or so was with us and he helped get us hitched up at the campground.

Fast forward to present times and Patty would be ill equipped to get us hitched up or attempt to navigate a 30' Classic. While I could teach her, I do realize that based on some health issues with her this is not a good alternative. I have however invested in a program from Good Sam called Emergency Assistance Plus. It costs about $100 a year and will cover airfare to get you to a facility that can deal with your medical problem. If necessary they will fly you home to get the proper treatment. In addition they will fly your spouse and will transport your tow vehicle and trailer back to your home, and get your pets back safely.

Personally I feel a lot more comfortable going out on the road knowing we can get the help we need even if it means a flight home, and know that everything left behind will get home without us.

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Old 03-13-2008, 12:32 PM   #32
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Relative to the question about swaying asked by the OP, Airstream is the finest-towing travel tailer on the planet. With a proper tow vehicle, just about any of the commonly available sway control units on the market should be adequate for an Airstream. Me, I've used the original idea of friction-operated sway control bars since I began towing an Airstream in 1986. I have never, ever been in a situaton where I could feel "sway" that gave me any feeling whatsoever of losing control or developing "white knuckles."
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:06 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Wayward
hmmmm, good point.....I'm thinkin' she'll call an ambulance for me, a tow truck for the rig, and a limo to the airport for her. I'm gonna have to think this through a bit more.
That's hillarious, Scott! And then flying to the Bahama's from there!
Bill & Kim
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The trouble with trouble is it always starts out as fun...
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:49 PM   #34
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I would not be afraid of towing any trailer as long as you follow the recommendations you read in the thread and others on this forum.

I'll summarize and add to what have I read in these posts:
1. have a proper tow vehicle for the size trailer being towed;
2. use a good weight distributing hitch if appropriate for the trailer tow vehicle combination;
3. use some type of sway control even if weight distribution isn't needed or if your tow vehicle manufacture recommends against (Honda Ridgeline I believe).

While some of the poster's here would say we violated number 1, we towed our first Airstream, a 2005 22ft CCD with a 1996 Jeep Cherokee with factory towing package (5000 lbs. capacity) and the Equal-i-zer hitch. It was a little white knuckle on the way home, less so on the first trip and very acceptable after that. The Airstream dealers hitch setup was the cause, too much rear end sag and not enough weight transferred to the front wheels of the Cherokee. What happened in between driving home and each succeeding trip is I read the hitch manufacturers setup recommendations and followed them to put more weight on the front wheels as recommended. Passing semis on the I-15 freeway gave us no grief even though they don't stay close to the 55 mph speed limit (trucks in CA).

The Cherokee did have a problem with power on steep grades requiring second gear and about 4000 RPM to maintain 55. A new Dodge Ram tow vehicle solved that problem and a 1960 18 ft Traveler is in reconstruction for those times when we want to get out in the desert on back roads with the Cherokee.

Another thing to remember is that the vintage trailers (about 25 years or older) weigh 1000 to almost 2000 lbs. less than their modern making it much easier to find a tow vehicle without going to a 3/4 ton truck of your choice. Then again the new Sport models have dropped some weight so they can be pulled by smaller vehicles also.

Don (KD6UVT) & Gail Williams

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