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Have I made a big mistake? Supposedly, everything works. The first thing I have to do is get it to my house.Will I be able to hook and unhook it for traveling. Can a woman manage this alone?
You have plenty of company in the world of Airstream ownership, and there are a number of single owners both male and female. There really isn't anything about the towing or hitching process that automatically rules out any (properly licensed) driver from towing an RV. There are probably three areas of concern for the beginning solo-trailerist including hitching the trailer, backing the trailer, and the process of towing down the road.
Probably one of the three most daunting prospects for the beginning solo-trailerist is the hitching process. There are several aids that significantly simplify this process - - my favorite is the One Shot Hitch Spotting Mirror
. The less expensive version that I have used for more than two decades is the Hitch Spotter hitch spotting mirror
. Either one of these devices allow you to see the ball mount and coupler and align them using the rear view mirror in your tow vehicle or sighting out your tow vehicle's rear window.
Backing is something that typically causes concern for all novice trailerists. Practicing backing under a variety of conditions using the parking lot technique of setting up a course of "highway cones" and plastic refuse containers to back around. This concentrated practice helps tremendously - - just be sure to obtain the permission of the owner of the lot - - some owners will ask that you not practice on blacktopped lots during the heat of the summer as the sliding of tires on a tandem axle coach can damage soft asphalt. Even with practice, I still consider back-in sites as a last resort when in-transit to my destination as it can be a workout (in-and-out of tow vehicle multiple times) to get the trailer properly spotted in a tight spot, but it usually isn't terribly difficult to find pull-through sites by using a good guidebook to reserve your site for the evening early in the afternoon.
Again, towing isn't a great deal more difficult for the solo-trailerist other than the fact you often do not have an extra set of eyes to check traffic to the right. I have found that a premium set of mirrors help a great deal with this concern. After trying several of the less-expensive slide-on/clamp-on extension mirrors, I finally adopted the McKesh Mirrors
for trailer towing. I have the optional convex spot mirrors on both the left and right side and find that they are absolutely wonderful for the Free Wheeler (solo-trailerist in WBCCI).
Don't let the fact that you will be traveling "solo" keep you from enjoying your Airstream. There are enough solo-trailerists that we even have an Intra-Club in the Wally Byam Caravan Club International - - our organization is known as the Free Wheelers. We have at least one or two caravans and Rallys/Pre-Rallys each year. Typically, there is a Pre-Rally that is during the week or ten days preceeding the annual International Rally - - there have also been a number of pre- and post- International Rally caravans for members. I don't know this for a fact, but have the impression that there are a few more women in the Free Wheelers than men.
Again welcome to the World of Airstreaming!