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Old 04-11-2002, 11:43 AM   #1
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Can you do it if you have to?

Iím a co-pilot. I like to study the map and navigate; I like to watch the scenery; I really like to nap while my pilot gets us to our destination. Itís no problem because my pilot really likes to drive. This arrangement has worked fine for us for years. No problem.

Weíve owned two different AS TTís before purchasing this Argosy MH six weeks ago. We had a system when arriving and departing a camping site. He took care of the outside: stabilizer jacks, utility connections, awnings, etc. I took care of the inside: opening windows, setting up dog crates, unpacking the things that were stowed for travel, etc. We just reversed the process when departing. We were finished with the process in less than 10 minutes. What a team!

This was working fine. Then I got food poisoning at a rally. I couldnít move. He had to do all my preparations for travel. When we got to our destination and went into the TT we discovered that we had a problem. The medicine chest hadnít been latched. Our toiletries were EVERYWHERE! This got us to thinking. What if I had to do his tasks one day? I didnít know how to connect the utilities. I didnít know where he kept the umbilical cord that connects the trailer to the tow vehicle.

Worse yet, I hadnít towed the trailer in years. What if he got sick and I had to pack us up and drive? I knew I couldnít. Itís easy to fall into a good routine that works. But itís so important to know how to do your partnerís job, too. You might even keep a written list of what needs to be done if you have to take over for your partner.

Remember, if you are a co-pilot that moves into the pilotís seat for an emergency youíll already be rattled. Donít be learning to move your Airstream down the road for the first time while you are concerned for the well being of your partner. Get out on a quiet road and start learning to tow or drive. Start working together on set-up and teardown.

Most important of all, be patient with each other. Remember that neither of you were born knowing how to do this. Have fun and take LOTS of notes. Maybe even let us know how it goes.

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Old 04-11-2002, 08:15 PM   #2
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Thanks for putting this down in a place where people such as ourselves will actually read and think about what you have posted. My wife and I are young and new to the world of traveling with a trailer. Up to this point, we have been avid tent campers and have recently upgraded. Both of us have assumed the rolls that both of our parents have always done in the past without any thought. As I think about it, I know that neither of our Mothers would be able to take over in case of an emergency. As a result of your post, my wife and I will definately begin the process of learning all jobs so that if anything were to ever happen, we will be prepared.

Thank you again.

Michael and Holly
78 Argosy Minuet

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Old 04-12-2002, 07:39 AM   #3
Finally Retired
, Washington
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Taking Over

So true we were ath the ocean on the Washington coast a coupke of years ago and the couple next to us had rented a MH in Bellevue. Their first time out, he was hurt and had to go to emergency after the pain meds they gave him she had to drive home. We gave her the quick lesson and got her on the way but we worried the whole time if she had made it with out any problem. Good idea to have a clinic for these types of things.

Dave and Louise
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Old 04-12-2002, 10:56 AM   #4
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Great Advice!

We too have been tent campers for years and are new to trailering...

As we look forward to our first trailer outing later this month we will definately keep this sound advice in mind as we set our routines. It may take a bit longer to pack-up and be on our way, but it will be worth it. Better to build good habits from the beginning than have to re-learn things later.

We had a real scare last summer when my parents, who are in their mid-sixties (on the younger side of trailering) had an emergency "change of plans". My mother was unable to take over as "pilot" while my dad was having a near fatal heart attack in the Rocky Mountains near Estes Park, CO. Fortunately, all surrived but not without a lot of support from friends & family. A friend of their's ended up flying in from AZ to northern CO to drive their trailer home ~ not that my mother would have driven home by herself even if she could have, in that circumstance. But it made us all think about the what ifs. They since has become more "tuned-in" to the things each other does.

Hope nobody has to deal with these kind of emergencies, but it's always better to be safe than sorry!

Happy Trails!

Shari & Rob
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Old 06-11-2002, 02:10 PM   #5
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With all of the new members joing the forum I thought I would ask for some additional thoughts on this matter. I know that I was suprized when I first had to do it, that I was not as prepared as I thought. Are you?
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 06-11-2002, 05:45 PM   #6
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Brett and Edie,
One of our coworkers retired 4 years ago. We both worked the firing range at our Academy. He was in the habit ot towing a 5th wheel to Jackson Hole, Wyoming each year with his wife who was a Probation Officer. Three years ago he got out there and started have stomach and intestinal pain. He was bleeding internally and was taken to the local hospital. After the bleeding was stopped and he was stabilized, he stayed a few days in the hospital before being flown back to TN. In the meantime, his son flew in from TN. and drove the Dodge truck and trailer back home. I never thought to ask him if she was involved enough in the mechanics to hook up and drive the rig home. She is pretty sharp and I want to say that she could but I don't know if he ever discussed this with her. Craig

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Old 08-23-2003, 08:59 PM   #7
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Well, it's been over a year since this was an active thread. We just bought another MH about 8 weeks ago. The message is still the same. I need to learn what he does and he needs to learn what I do.

Since many people have joined the forum in the last year and may not have seen the original post, I thought it is time to get it active again.

Happy and safe travels
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Old 08-24-2003, 02:08 PM   #8
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Can you do it if you have to?

This is a topic of a presentation that is often available at the WBCCI International Rally as well as some of the larger Regional Rallys. The Seminar is callled "Hitch-Up" and is conducted by the Free Wheelers (an Intra-Club of the WBCCI composed of members who RV alone). This seminar addresses many of the concerns about solo operation of both trailers and motorhomes. Since the Free Wheelers have both men and women as members, it is possible to get the perspectives from both during the seminar. Friends who have attended the seminar have found it to be quite hepful in getting the discussion started about the sharing of roles in the RVing experience.

Kevin (long-time Free Wheeler)
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 08-24-2003, 03:47 PM   #9
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My husband and I share all the duties, though for some reason we have found he is better at inching the van back into hookup position, while I am better at directing him and getting the ball actually hooked up. Occasionally it gives us trouble and we switch. Either way, we both know how to do everything, and we have checklists so if only one of us was there he/she wouldn't forget anything the other one usually does. Plus before we leave we double check everything. I was just thinking it would be fun for me and my dog to take the trailer for a weekend for a 'girls night out', except for the hooking it back up alone part.

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Old 08-24-2003, 04:02 PM   #10
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Lightbulb For you solo travelers!

Since I travel alone, I enlisted a buddy of mine to be my emergency backup. We completely went through:breaking down, setting up and hooking up. He's hooked up, towed, knows the brakes & controller and he's willing to help.

So if anything ever happens, I have a bud that will travel anywhere to bring back my rig. Knowing this bring peace!

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Old 08-24-2003, 04:46 PM   #11
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This is a great post.

I intend to make sure my wife has some seat time (even as bad of a passanger as I am). I had not thought about the possiblility of her needing to hitch up the trailer alone.

Cross training is now on the list.

1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
Atlanta, GA
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Old 08-24-2003, 05:54 PM   #12
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What a great thread ...

I often travel solo and like the idea a great deal of having a friend aware of the various functions and procedures if my Aistream.

I have to get this idea into action.
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:53 PM   #13
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Of all the things on my check sheet it would be no help for my better half should we have an emergency on the road while towing. She could pull at a reduced speed, might have problems at a fuel stop but if she had to start from scratch.. no way..
She may be smart enough but having never done it !!!!!! She wouldn't know where all the stuff is much less on how it goes together.
The very next time we hook up will be lesson #1.
One more example on why I enjoy this forum

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Old 08-25-2003, 10:35 AM   #14
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Most important of all, be patient with each other. Remember that neither of you were born knowing how to do this.
I may not need to restate this, but it is good to remember. Airstreaming is about having fun.

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