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Old 03-18-2017, 12:35 PM   #43
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Woodburn , Kentucky
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Originally Posted by luforia View Post
Hello, wonderful to meet you all here and reading all your helpful posts. Long time lurker, first time poster.

We are newbies and planning on bringing home a well cared for 2008 Safari 25' from OK to CA. Some questions I have for this trip home:

1. Route options: I-40 and I-10 appear to be similar in time per google, any recommendations on which one is friendlier for newbie towing? which one might be more scenic to enjoy on the way home?

2. RV parks: the trip home takes about 19hrs car time, I am guessing at least 24-27hrs trailer towing time. Any recommendations on which newbie friendly RV park to stay at on the way home to CA? How do you go about selecting which ones to stay at as you are searching for them?

3. Gear: what should I bring with me in my TV to tow AS home? Seller is providing the Reese hitch. I am towing with 1/2ton Sierra w/ max tow option.

4. Safety: am I too paranoid in imagining a car/AS-jacking scenario? Common sense might escape me with my eyes scanning all my mirrors and knuckles devoid of blood.

5. Towing: never towed anything before, don't think I will have a chance to take defensive/confidence driving course before I pick up the AS. Is this a bad idea to go there and hook it up to tow it home? What should I at least do before transfer $, take title, and hook this thing up?

6. Inspection: seller offering to let me stay in it for the night to test out all features. It looks well maintained. AirForums volunteer inspector would be extra reassuring but I haven't arranged for that yet. I plan on bringing the long purchase checklist and go right down the line. Tips for looking at typical problematic areas would be appreciated.

7. Financing: choices include HELOC or typical RV loan through my bank, any other options you would recommend to consider?

8. Woulda/Coulda/Shoulda's: for those with similar previous experience of being newbies towing home AS, what would you do differently?

Please feel free to add anything else I have left out...welcome to my obsessive compulsive mind. Thank you.

Luforia
Sorry I am responding a few after your post. All of the suggestions seem good to me. However, there is one I did not see.

After you are hooked up and have left the seller's location, proceed directly to a large (very large) parking lot with a lot of room at the area away from the retailer(s). Then spend at least an hour getting familiar with turning, backing up, starting, stopping. You will feel somewhat more comfortable on the road and you will be somewhat more safe if you have some idea how your TV and AS respond. Also, doing this in a parking lot will force you to learn these things moving slowly.

As for the routes I do not know anything worth giving you any time. I do know that if you are on an interstate highway and you stay in the right lane at about 55 - 60 mph, you will not need to apply your brakes very often. And, passengers or drivers of passing vehicles might salute you. Some, however, will only have one finger raised in your direction. Ignore them. That may be an indication of the IQ.

Lastly, when stopping for fuel, make sure you can pull forward to leave.

David Parker
1993 Excella 1000
1989 Dodge D-350
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:48 PM   #44
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Sorry I am responding a few after your post. All of the suggestions seem good to me. However, there is one I did not see.

After you are hooked up and have left the seller's location, proceed directly to a large (very large) parking lot with a lot of room at the area away from the retailer(s). Then spend at least an hour getting familiar with turning, backing up, starting, stopping. You will feel somewhat more comfortable on the road and you will be somewhat more safe if you have some idea how your TV and AS respond. Also, doing this in a parking lot will force you to learn these things moving slowly.

As for the routes I do not know anything worth giving you any time. I do know that if you are on an interstate highway and you stay in the right lane at about 55 - 60 mph, you will not need to apply your brakes very often. And, passengers or drivers of passing vehicles might salute you. Some, however, will only have one finger raised in your direction. Ignore them. That may be an indication of the IQ.

Lastly, when stopping for fuel, make sure you can pull forward to leave.

David Parker
1993 Excella 1000
1989 Dodge D-350
Thanks David, reassuring to hear the same advice from multiple sources. I was thinking the same thing about taking it to big parking lot to practice a few maneuvers before the long haul.

Driving 60mph might be a bigger challenge since I drive my TV like it's a sports car. Will be nice to slow down and keep things straight and simple.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:53 PM   #45
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I use my truck's side mirrors to judge where the wheels are on my 23ft as I'm turning. Once the middle of your trailer has passed any obstructions, you're clear.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:25 PM   #46
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If you have never towed before, rent a U Haul trailer, just to give you a feel for the turns, his the trailer will track inside the tow's track, the jerking you get from bumps, etc. The hitch head ball mount. If the seller is including it with the Reese, good, but it may need adjustments if his tow is higher or lower than yours. That may best be handled at an RV dealer, as they set up hitches and align them all the time. Find one nearby, and schedule a time for them to double check the set up, and give you the quick course. Shouldn't cost more than an hour of labor, and you will find it a cheap lesson.

Swing wide on turns- crowd the lane line to the left for right turns, and drive straight into the intersection, then cut the wheel sharply. Try to watch the mirror as you corner, to see what your trailer is doing. Opposite on left turns, crowd to the right, to give room to the left, especially when there's curbed medians with poles, guardrails, signals, etc.

Try pull through sites at first, until you have time and space to practice backing.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:50 PM   #47
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If you have never towed before, rent a U Haul trailer, just to give you a feel for the turns, his the trailer will track inside the tow's track, the jerking you get from bumps, etc. The hitch head ball mount. If the seller is including it with the Reese, good, but it may need adjustments if his tow is higher or lower than yours. That may best be handled at an RV dealer, as they set up hitches and align them all the time. Find one nearby, and schedule a time for them to double check the set up, and give you the quick course. Shouldn't cost more than an hour of labor, and you will find it a cheap lesson.

Swing wide on turns- crowd the lane line to the left for right turns, and drive straight into the intersection, then cut the wheel sharply. Try to watch the mirror as you corner, to see what your trailer is doing. Opposite on left turns, crowd to the right, to give room to the left, especially when there's curbed medians with poles, guardrails, signals, etc.

Try pull through sites at first, until you have time and space to practice backing.
Thanks tvketchum!

I watched a crash course video on maneuvering a class A, obvs different from trailer, but was wondering if the tricks to make wide turns apply similarly. They used a method where they measure and mark a dot on the windshield to gauge adquate distance before making R/L turns. Do you mark the AS or TV to know when is enough or that eventually comes with familiarity of your TV and AS dimensions?

Great suggestion on checking with RV dealer for proper hitch set up...one more thing on to do list.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:49 PM   #48
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My understanding after watching Class A videos leads me to believe that the Class A Moho is more of a problem due to the long wheel base. Once heard that a fellow told the drivers license inspector who complained about him cutting corners explained that he was used to driving a semi and the bobtail with which he was taking the test did not go whosh whosh and bend in the middle. Not a direct comparison, but the bend in the middle part does help.

Watch the Long, Long Honeymoon videos. They say "don't feel guilty about making wide turns". Good advice. Our 23 tracks well. Your new to you 25 should not be too much worse. Just take it slow in areas where you drive close to curbs, like parking lots and narrow city streets.

Don't forget to be careful with vertical transitions like driveways, shoulder drop offs, chuck holes, and parking stops. Look up, look down, look forward and all around. Plan ahead. Good Luck. Travel safe. Pat
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:15 PM   #49
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Thank you all for your super helpful tips...makes me wonder how everyone is able to enjoy towing when there's so much to keep in mind.

Now I have even more questions related to the sale itself:

1. Bill of Sale: which state's bill of sale do I use, buyer's or seller's?

2. Title transfer: how does it work if I am financing the unit? I presume I still get title from Seller, and then bring it back to CA DMV to present for registration along with Bill of Sale?

3. License Plate: does Seller keep his OK license plate or it stays on unit?

4. Insurance: what happens if the appraised value of vehicle is higher/lower from purchase price?

5. Money transaction: Seller prefers cashier's check, the RV loan company will disperse a check with Seller's name but it's not exactly cashier's check. Do I have any other options to get him a cashier's check?


Not sure I can advise you on them all, but I'll look at a few of your purchase questions based on my recent out of state purchase--

1. Bill of sale may not matter on where it's from...HOWEVER... your state may have a form for title transfers. Texas does. Not sure how the financing comes into play since you won't actually own the title in this case.

2. The financier should be able to provide direction here, I'd also check with your DMV to see if they are recommending the same thing. Or something very close that can also be satisfied.

3. License plates vary by state, but plan on him keeping it. It's a small amount of CYA for the seller. You should be able to get temp tags from your DMV/tax office/whoever issues tags in CA. I paid $5 for mine in TX, I was able to add stops/route info and had 30 days to make the trip. You can probably get these temp tags in Oklahoma, but it was much easier for me to get them from my local tax office at home prior to my trip rather than find a place in Missouri to get temp tags.

4. There's a specific name here-- but it's generally called an agreed value/stated value policy. Start with your current company, but not all do this type of policy. Again, language is really important to ensure you're covered like you think you are.

5. Heard others talk about escrow services online, but I don't have direct info here. That may be an option. Or if the RV financier would cut the check to you, but there's clearly risk to them in that scenario, and they may not want to do that.

Good luck! You're doing good homework here to be well prepared. Make sure to line out that inspector, pay them whatever it takes if they're a good distance from your trailer.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:24 PM   #50
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So I don't have a co-pilot available to go with me to pick up AS from Seller. If I just take it slow, stay at KOAs with roomy pull thru sites, is it doable to tow AS by myself? Renting U-haul this weekend to practice and getting used to having trailer behind me.

Would love to install camera on back of AS to help. Too many conflicting post on what's a reliable one...hate to drill holes into AS and then having to change to different model later.
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:00 PM   #51
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Camera - Camping World - Voyager 5 inch model - it is about $500 - it is wireless - should be able to mount in rear window on suction cup mount or duct tape - should be able to power with 12 volt jump charge battery, so no wiring required and they usually have a cigarette lighter plug socket (may need to splice a plug on the camera power connections). The screen in the RV can power on truck lighter socket. You can permanently mount later.

The camera is only one data input. Do not fully trust the image. Verify clearance by getting out. Double check everything you do.

If you go alone, do not back up. If you do back up, get out and check up, down, all around ..... then backup 2-4 feet and get out to check your progress, before you repeat until you have the coach in place.

Hope whatever you do, it works out well. Travel safe. Pat
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:08 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by luforia View Post
We are newbies and planning on bringing home a well cared for 2008 Safari 25'
4. Safety: am I too paranoid in imagining a car/AS-jacking scenario? Common sense might escape me with my eyes scanning all my mirrors and knuckles devoid of blood.
Yes. Unless you're parking in Compton. J/K.
However just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you. (In 25 years, I've never had a problem. Common sense is best. If it looks squirrely, move on.)

Quote:
5. Towing: never towed anything before, don't think I will have a chance to take defensive/confidence driving course before I pick up the AS. Is this a bad idea to go there and hook it up to tow it home? What should I at least do before transfer $, take title, and hook this thing up?
It will be an adventure. My first trip driving a motorhome was 2000 miles. Avoid U-turns, dead end streets, and gas stations where you might get trapped and need to back out. Look for pumps that are parallel to the store, not perpendicular. Don't forget to swing wide. If you need, stop, get out, and look at the station before you commit to drive in. (I once drove 20 miles out of my way because I overshot my destination and couldn't turn around.)
I'd look for campgrounds where there are pull throughs and not a lot of trees.
It's easier than you think.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:15 PM   #53
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Just ordered Voyager WVOS541 on Amazon, $466.
Hopefully not too hard to splice lighter plug onto camera's tail. Feel free to give tips.

If you go alone, do not back up. If you do back up, get out and check up, down, all around ..... then backup 2-4 feet and get out to check your progress, before you repeat until you have the coach in place.

I really hope I don't get myself into such a situation. I am thinking keeping the trip simple...drive, get gas, and park at KOA, rinse & repeat until I make it home.Just ordered

Thanks Pat!

Lu
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:25 PM   #54
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Thanks Mollysdad.

Super helpful tip about pumps being parallel to store instead of perpendicular, I'll never look at gas stations the same way again.

I am imagining I get off the highway, and either turn R/L at the exit to go into gas stations on L or R of the street. I would imagine stations on my R side would be easier. Am I right? Is there more to selecting the gas station in addition to pumps being parallel vs. perpendicular?
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:02 AM   #55
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Thanks Mollysdad.
Is there more to selecting the gas station in addition to pumps being parallel vs. perpendicular?
I once pulled into a gas station that was on a hill. Going into the station was no problem. But when it came time to pull back out onto the street, the exit driveway was at a very extreme vertical angle compared to the street. In other words, the driveway was a steep downhill grade and intersected the street which was level. A low sitting sports car probably would have scraped the front bumper on the street using this exit, and you could see plenty of grooves/scrapes in the asphalt where people had done just that.

The black/gray tank plumbing at the rear of the trailer sits pretty low, and I'm pretty sure would have also scraped the pavement as I exited the gas station. I ended up having to back up the wrong direction and exit through the entrance driveway.

Before I pulled into the gas station I did my usual 'look all around for how I'm going to get into and out of this gas station'. However, I wasn't paying attention to the steepness of the exit driveway. Just one more thing to consider.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:47 AM   #56
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Great advice in this thread, proof we learn best from mistakes - prferably those of others. I may have missed this tidbit, but it is definitely implied in the responses:

For personal safety and optimal ability to be very selective about refueling opportunities, start looking for fuel (It's another painful learning story but "fuel" does not always = "gas" if your tow vehicle is diesel powered) when your tank is half empty. This is one situation where it may be better to see the container half empty rather than half full.

You'll find these Forums to be very informative and encouraging!
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