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Old 11-30-2014, 09:39 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Sbb View Post
I like that, might have to retire cooler. Gotta watch those picnic tables on blind side. Protag are you going to tow a toad after retiring? Oh tbe places you will go....
I already tow one, a 2013 Honda Fit hatchback. But as with most flat-towed toads, I can't back it up due to the toad's steering tripping itself to one side.
Originally Posted by Stream'n View Post
Where did you get your collapsable lighted cones?
Amazon. : 28 Inch Lighted, Collapsible Traffic Safety Cone : Sports Cones : Sports & Outdoors They also make 17" cones but I prefer the tall ones.

The cones have already come in handy when I had to change a flat tire alongside the Interstate. Drivers are naturally conditioned to steer away from cones, not so with those reflective triangles.

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Old 11-30-2014, 09:50 AM   #30
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Thanks Protagonist.

I've been looking for something like this. Many States require a road side safety kit when towing, including flares. I've been reluctant to include flares. These lighted/flashing cones should be an acceptable replacement.


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Old 11-30-2014, 10:36 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Ronman View Post
All quality info and experiences. My wife and I do an independent walk-around prior to leaving any and all sites along with light checks. We have also found walkie talkies to be a great communication technique for backing up, etc.
We have also found Costco and Sam's Club as excellent places to gas up. Easy in and out and usually the best prices! Their apps show availability of fuel and they are usually relatively close to the interstates / highways.

Thanks again, Everyone!
Walkie talkie's are just that.

Which way is "no that way" or "the other way" ??

But when your hand extends to the left or right, there is "no question".

Then when one hand says stop and the other hand says backup but slowly, there is "no" question, that it means "slowly back up".

Then when both hands face the driver and are pushed forward, it means "stop".

When the driver can always see the guide, who is only using hand signals, backing up becomes a piece of cake.

Then, when the driver cannot see the guide, it means STOP, NOW.

Notice how aircraft are guided when on the ground at an airport.

Hand signals only, always.

Wonder why?????

Because it's much safer, ALWAYS.

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Old 11-30-2014, 11:44 AM   #32
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Peoria , Arizona
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Suggestion for person helping driver

One of my pet peeves when someone is helping me with backing is when they keep waving you to back up without indicating the distance.

So if you are helping someone back up use your arms to indicate distance

6' hold your arms out wide as teh gap narrows hold your hands up and keep narrowing the gap between your hands to indicate to the driver how far to back up.

Particularly when hitching if the driver only needs to back up 3 inches, then hold up your hands 3" apart, its so much easier than having someone keep waving at you.

Len I laughed so hard at your post, txs for the laugh.
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Old 11-30-2014, 01:17 PM   #33
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Install a backup camera on the TV, then add "extension cords" to a matching camera on the back of the trailer. Wow is that great! Just got back from the tightest campsite ever (I'm talking about you, Chokoloskee Island Park, FL!) I had to back down the boat ramp at night to pull in. My camera and mondo backup lights saved me! Wife wasn't interested in going for a swim to spot me!

Another tip: backup spotter uses their cell phone to call the driver. Never say left or right, say curbside and streetside. Always pay attention to someone screaming when backing up!
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Old 11-30-2014, 01:32 PM   #34
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Heh, screaming is a good indication you need to hit brakes, then investigate.... ☺️

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Old 11-30-2014, 02:03 PM   #35
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Thank you for this thread!

I returned last night from a 7000 mile maiden voyage (Oregon, Florida, Oregon). Solo. I have motorhome experience however this is my first trailer. All went well but backing up is still a challenge. I'm so glad to read that I'm not the only one, I was feeling pretty stupid.

I'll say this....backing up alone (at least so far) is easier and less confusing without my husband's guidance.

I'll be watching for as many backing up tips that you can share.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:07 PM   #36
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Look for other threads on backup cameras. There are some good ideas there also

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'The Silver HamShack' (2007 International 22FB CCD 75th Aniversary model)
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:11 PM   #37
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In the two and a half years I have towed an Airstream there has been some close calls and challenges. As others have mentioned, make sure all the landing gear is up. So often I am distracted by someone asking something in the middle of my work and easily forget to complete a job. Thankfully nothing has happened but has ALMOST happened because of this. Double check before pulling out.

The three worst things that have happened were different. My crater dent I had on the corner was caused by backing into the storage garage in the late afternoon. The sun was in my eyes facing west and the garage lights were off. I was backing into a black hole focusing on the opening. What I did NOT know is that someone had been in the shared facility and put a piece of plywood on top of a shelving unit sticking out about three feet into the garage on narrow-to-opening side of the garage. As I pulled in I was slightly angled to the side but even before I pulled forward to straighten out, the damage had been done. I went back to check and sure enough, the plywood had caught the edge of the trailer and moved out to where the corner of the wood was sticking right into the side. The shelving unit's side held the board in place as it dug into the trailer. No hole but a nasty dent in the corner. I was sick. Six months later I was at a Jackson Center highly rated dealer for such repairs. Moral, have a spotter or check the backing area completely before venturing into the area.

Two other events have taken place. In March I was heading south on I-75 when a nut job in a car changing lanes came in front of me at close range and slammed on his brakes. There was nothing in front of him but apparently he wanted over in the far left lane and could not see with me behind him. I slammed on the brakes and the trailer just squealed and went toward and angle. I could have been in a mess while he would have just driven on changing lanes at whim. While it is nearly impossible, one has to try and predict other people's driving headings. They do NOT think about trailers and weight, etc. but only of themselves.

My third adventure was more recent. I stayed at a county park in Sarasota right on the beach. It is an alley. VERY narrow. Some trailer towers rated it as dangerous as they had to back all the way out. There was a vacant site across from me so I was able to pull and veer out when leaving; however, a few nights earlier there was a large Class C in that spot that would have prohibited my leaving. The issue is that they have left the trees and erected lights at the outside edges of the sites so the clearance in a turn is very limited and my 25' trailer did not allow for my truck to be parked at the site - too long. I had to park alongside my trailer with the truck partially in the bushes. Moral of story- double check BEFORE making reservations on parking and site width! Backing up is a challenge. I do much better looking over my right shoulder (boat backing days) but have trouble with line-up on backing. Me thinks it is the curved shape. Others have told me to use the lower half of the trailer as a guide. Still learning that one. I have a camera but that only makes sure I do not hit something or go too far. Crookedness is another issue.

Oh, and finally. This may not be a problem with Airstreams overall but the beginning of this year I had to replace my fridge. I had the 6 cu ft generic Dometic model from 2006 but ammonia leak got the best of it and I got a Dometic New Generations 7 cu ft model. have not seen one with the same front as mine in even new Airstreams but I know they are using a 7 cu ft- same sized model. The controls are different and something else- auto shutoff during power interruptions. Supposedly this is for safety. For example, you are traveling down the road with the fridge running on propane and you stop for gas in the tow vehicle. When you cut the power somehow it knows and shuts the gas off for 15 minutes. I kept finding this out by finding a warm fridge upon arrival down the road. I started checking the status at each stop and overriding it BECAUSE mine does not kick back on for some reason! Watch the fridge status during stops.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:21 PM   #38
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When backing up my moho folks would give lots of directions. Never listened, but had three cameras and two power mirrors. Now with 30 feet of trailer behind my 22 foot long Dodge TV, I use the truck mirrors, direct view if the side of the trailer I can see, and the trailer's camera which shows a very wide angle view from the center clearance light perspective. I will in unfamiliar situations such as a new campground with sometimes very strange angles of entry to the parking site, pull up in front of the entrance to my campsite and get out, walk around and determine what landmarks I will use, and plan out the pathway I am going to be backing. Then I begin, slowly, and if needed I will stop, get out and walk around to make certain I am not going to hit anything.

My problem with folks giving directions is they are not generally thinking about all the variables in backing a travel trailer into a spot. Also, if they give directions and I hit something they did not see as a risk..... Just who has the responsibility?

The only way to learn this is to practice. Big parking lot, back up all around the lot experiencing both your victories and defeats. But, always do this slowly.... Very very slowly
Happy trails and Good Luck
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:43 PM   #39
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We have 3 cameras on the AS... one on each side rock deflector and one above the License Plate mount.

I am able to 'see' a lot of the 'backup' picture in the wired display when I need to "back up" alone... something I found can be a very relaxing exercise... Placing 'markers' is also handy... but, basically, I try to 'land' where the utilities can hook up with the shortest reach..and the sites tend to work out ok..

My wife used to use the Cell phone.. but, there were some issues with delays...and in remote areas, no cell signal. So, we use the "walkie-talkies", hand signals, etc. when she is 'on the ground' giving directions. Her voice is very calming to me.. thankfully.

Whoever 'drives' the TV.. when I am 'on the ground', I tell them "turn left" , "Straighten wheels", "back slowly". It is like "remote control".... and it works just fine....once you know how your trailer reacts...
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:05 PM   #40
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Lucky you, cwf-- our marriage has been strained by the opposite effect. But having a bunch of onlookers in neighbouring campsites does tend to dampen the more extreme dramatic potentials of couples working out their "issues" during a tricky back-in episode.

One of the most challenging sites was at the Lionshead CG at Priest Lake SP in northern Idaho. This is/was the tent CG, as opposed to the larger one further south designed for RVs. The on-line reservation system showed a nice site with its own beach area; with the maximum length given as 18'. Since we had a 16' Bambi, we thought this looked super.

What we didn't realize was that 18' was the entire length of the site-- not the maximum recommended trailer length. It was also a sharp right turn off a narrow one-lane road rimmed by rocky woods to back into it. Little by little, we got the trailer backed in, including with the help of several guys who sauntered over to offer advice.

Of course, once Bambi was backed in properly, the truck had to be unhitched and moved promptly, as about 5 other vehicles were by then lined up waiting to get to their campsites. Fortunately they were all nice about it.

Thankfully, having our own beach area to ourselves was worth it.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:49 AM   #41
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This talk of alligators (tire treads) in the road and following distances leads to this comment. We are just back from a quick trailerless 2000 mile turnaround which was aided by use of the WAZE app on the iPhone. This is kind of crowd sourced driving advice provided by other users of the amp.. during the Thanksgiving holiday rush there were plenty of users adrift on the interstate system. Reports of objects in the road, cars parked on the shoulder, police in view,accidents , traffic slowdowns were timely and accurate.

The app ran on the iPhone along with my trusty Google maps . My phone is in a holder above the instrument panel giving a sort of heads up display. WAZE calls out cautions about .3 mile ahead, highlighting the symbol on the display and visually counts down the distance. If you are so inclined, you can touch one of two buttons to confirm it or report that it isn't there anymore.

DW is usually on her iPad and handles "copilot duties".

With the sea of traffic out there this Thanksgiving weekend, you could read the blinking brake lights ahead as vehicles came up on the various obstacles. Having a long view of the road hazards (on the display) and short term heads up on the speaker gave extra time to adjust.

With distracted driving up at the top of the list of things that can kill you on the highway, each driver needs to make their own decision about how much information is too much. Clearly running an iPhone and an iPad with two apps on each can lead to four voices telling you what to do when a turn is indicated. creative use of the audio settings is required. For me though, having four voices telling me what to do on a Thanksgiving trip brings back a lot of happy memories…

Be safe out there...

We now return you to our discussion of backing up a trailer… There is no app for that

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Old 12-01-2014, 09:13 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by twobikes View Post
We now return you to our discussion of backing up a trailer… There is no app for that
Sure there is!

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