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Old 06-29-2022, 08:28 PM   #1
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“I didn’t even know it was back there…”

I hear this cliché thrown about casually and frequently when people try to describe an easy towing experience. Those of you who know me also know that I avoid clichés like the plague…

I’ve towed my Airstream a fair amount over the last few years, and I have yet to experience this phenomenon. The closest that I’ve been to this experience was towing on a freshly resurfaced road, with virtually no wind, and a 50 mph speed limit. I could feel the trailer, but not much.

The thought of not feeling the trailer to the point that you forget about it is terrifying to me. It would be similar to driving a car on the race track without feeling anything. How do you know when you’re losing grip? Can you feel understeer or oversteer? Can you feel the track surface, irregularities, slick spots, etc?

I realize that this is a fairly pointless post, but I had to say it. When I see people post that they can’t feel the trailer behind them, I thank God that I’m not driving close to them. If they had a sway incident, they wouldn’t know it until it was too late.

Feeling the road and the motion of the trailer isn’t a bad thing…
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:34 PM   #2
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Good post. That cliché makes me cringe too.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:59 PM   #3
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Right on target Dennis.

I put “I didn’t even know it was back there…” in the same pile as "piece of cake" when referring to driving a gnarly mountain road. Both sentiments are steeped in machismo.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:50 PM   #4
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“I didn’t even know it was back there…”

Personally, I’d be real worried if I couldn’t sense the trailer behind me.

A Porpoising sensation on the flight deck, however, can be adjusted out with the WD system on our Propride. SWMBO is very sensitive to that motion, and more WD tension or a speed change quickly stops it.

The saying in aviation is, “there are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are NO old, bold pilots. “. I’ll err on the side of caution…thank you very much. I’ve achieved ‘old’ already, and plan to continue safely.
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Old 06-30-2022, 12:27 AM   #5
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I interpret it to mean “towing feels easy”, which I’m definitely familiar with. We have a dedicated TV, so you can’t really forget what you’re doing. But with a 2500 and a ProPride, the number of times I’ve “felt” the trailer over 15K miles of towing is very low.

For us, this is important because we do extremely long tows. Doing CA to the east coast (again) in 3 days shortly. 800+ miles per day.
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Old 06-30-2022, 12:48 AM   #6
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I have a 25 ft trailer and tow with an F250 with a 6.7 and a ProPride hitch. It is an amazing combo and I feel very confident in all circumstances we have encountered to this point. But, I know the trailer is there, and I’m happy to. Tight turns, bad roads, low clearances…I understand I’m not alone. And my 0-60 times are much longer, and I also need to stop for fuel more often than when I’m solo.

I get the “don’t know it’s there” as a way of explaining things are smooth and you have a solid combo, but when I’m towing I would never truly want to “forget” that I am.
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Old 06-30-2022, 06:34 AM   #7
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This phrase also makes me cringe. If it is ever true, it is only once they are up to speed going straight ahead on level ground on a perfect road under perfect conditions.

I tow Airstream’s smallest trailer with a 500hp tow vehicle that is longer than the trailer and weighs twice as much. I know it’s there.
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Old 06-30-2022, 07:49 AM   #8
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Towing a 30 Classic with a Dodge 2500 5.7 Hemi. Have towed with and without the Propride. I much prefer the propride.

While cringeworthy as a phrase, it’s not used in a literal sense. What is meant by it is that the Trailer is not trying to drive the TV. I’ve never had a white knuckle experience while towing with a propride - even when a semi tried to run me off the road in a fit of road rage. The same cannot be said when towing with the original equalizer hitch.

Propride is not without its issues (such as using the engine as a brake while towing down hill - it’s still under control but you get a disturbing bump every time you change steering directions) but overall, it is much less work, both mentally and physically, to tow with a 3P hitch.

It is also not true that the 3P hides a bad setup. While it won’t let the trailer sway, you still feel a lateral push when it wants too. There is just no steering correction required.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:24 AM   #9
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Forgetting your trailer is back there, is not uncommon at all, right? It's not that your "not aware" you have an AS back there? I mean you hooked it up (hopefully?) and were cautious when starting out, but after awhile on the highway, you have no sensation of towing because your TV is very comfy, capable, and no noticeable indication you are towing. I have that sensation. The dash camera and the TPMS however, keep me focused...even after 6 hours towing, which is about my max now.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
Forgetting your trailer is back there, is not uncommon at all, right? It's not that your "not aware" you have an AS back there? I mean you hooked it up (hopefully?) and were cautious when starting out, but after awhile on the highway, you have no sensation of towing because your TV is very comfy, capable, and no noticeable indication you are towing. I have that sensation. The dash camera and the TPMS however, keep me focused...even after 6 hours towing, which is about my max now.
^ This.

I (most times) "do not know it is back there" in the way that was stated earlier - not literally. My setup is comfortable, powerful and dialed in (EQ WD/sway, Gen-Y Boss Torsion and Ram 2500 3/4T diesel). The rear camera and TPMS are a must IMO to make sure you have an eye on everything and you "do not forget" something is "back there" behind you.

For me, you know you have a great setup when you DON'T have the trailer back there, are on the road and forgot you have nothing there but thought the trailer was there (especially when the TPMS keeps reading normal for several miles!). That's a weird but a good feeling and makes you even more comfortable when set up properly.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:46 AM   #11
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The day I picked my Airstream up from the dealer, I had a three hour drive home with a poorly adjusted hitch. I'm not ashamed to say I was nervous.
After pulling onto I-75 I settled into a comfortable routine. Another 5 minutes and I tried cruise control.
So put me in the category of "I hardly knew it was back there".
Where reality kicks in is entering and exiting gas stations, or making sharp turns. Also having the GPS take me through downtowns with several lanes. I have plenty of experience towing and the Airstream is on the 'easy' side of the scale.
Long mountain descents have my full attention.
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:34 AM   #12
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High performance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis C View Post
I hear this cliché thrown about casually and frequently when people try to describe an easy towing experience. Those of you who know me also know that I avoid clichés like the plague…

I’ve towed my Airstream a fair amount over the last few years, and I have yet to experience this phenomenon. The closest that I’ve been to this experience was towing on a freshly resurfaced road, with virtually no wind, and a 50 mph speed limit. I could feel the trailer, but not much.

The thought of not feeling the trailer to the point that you forget about it is terrifying to me. It would be similar to driving a car on the race track without feeling anything. How do you know when you’re losing grip? Can you feel understeer or oversteer? Can you feel the track surface, irregularities, slick spots, etc?

I realize that this is a fairly pointless post, but I had to say it. When I see people post that they can’t feel the trailer behind them, I thank God that I’m not driving close to them. If they had a sway incident, they wouldn’t know it until it was too late.

Feeling the road and the motion of the trailer isn’t a bad thing…
IMHO
I will say this for those people as a question, “I didn’t feel the trailer behind me because I have a 1000 hp diesel with 2000 torques?”

My truck (TV) is a 2005 5.9 24v DRW 6 cylinder Cummins. It’s only 400hp 700 torq.

Yes, I feel my trailer, only because I’m looking for it!
The first thing you NEED to do is get comfortable with your TV!

Then, go camping/towing and get used to that!
You will find that little things are felt like road texture, gravel on the road, and how the trailer feels and rides. Once you get used to it then you may be able to say I don’t feel it. BUT when you do, something is wrong! This is the way I am. I towed arrow boards and splicing trailers for work, and have found I can keep my trailer in better shape because of the towing experience I have had for work.

Moral of the story?
Know your vehicles, to the point of everything is good or uh oh, what is that noise. You will have a much better trip knowing everything is working well.
Rick.
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Old 06-30-2022, 12:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WellSaid11 View Post
^ This.

I (most times) "do not know it is back there" in the way that was stated earlier - not literally. My setup is comfortable, powerful and dialed in (EQ WD/sway, Gen-Y Boss Torsion and Ram 2500 3/4T diesel). The rear camera and TPMS are a must IMO to make sure you have an eye on everything and you "do not forget" something is "back there" behind you.

For me, you know you have a great setup when you DON'T have the trailer back there, are on the road and forgot you have nothing there but thought the trailer was there (especially when the TPMS keeps reading normal for several miles!). That's a weird but a good feeling and makes you even more comfortable when set up properly.


I’m in this boat with GypsyDad and WellSaid. The cliché isn’t to be taken literally. I tow a 30’ AS with a 2021 F350 Dually and a 3P. So, once I’m dialed in and been on the road for a few hours there are times when it’s easy to forget the trailer is back there because it pulls so effortlessly. This is when there is no bumping from the trailer, smooth roads, no sharp turns etc…

Of course my OCD kicks in and I can see the trailer is attached as I’m constantly looking in the rear view camera and mirrors before changing lanes and as I’m checking tire pressure while in tow.

I think a better way of explaining the experience is that it feels as the truck and trailer are one unit and flows as such.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:56 PM   #14
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I tow a 66 Tradewind with new axles and disc brakes. My tv is a Tundra. This combo tows well and I tow gently at 55-60 mph. I do find myself looking in the mirror occasionally to make sure my Airstream is back there because I really don’t feel it when I am gently driving along in a steady state situation.

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Old 06-30-2022, 10:00 PM   #15
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I know it’s not a statement to be taken literally. I guess it just bugs me because it’s often thrown about as a way of trying to brag about the prowess of a tow vehicle, and we all know how controversial tow vehicle threads can get. I’m very comfortable with my tow vehicle and the capabilities that it provides, but I wouldn’t brag about it by saying I can’t feel the trailer or that I forget that it’s back there. Again, my initial post was fairly useless, but that statement just irks me.
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Old 07-01-2022, 05:41 AM   #16
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Well said Dennis C. I could not agree more. I am glad you expressed your annoyance in this thread as I am sure a lot of people on this forum feel exactly the same way!
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Old 07-01-2022, 06:20 AM   #17
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Well said Dennis C. I could not agree more. I am glad you expressed your annoyance in this thread as I am sure a lot of people on this forum feel exactly the same way!
I completely agree with both of you. The odd thing about this phrase is that as often as it is used to boast about a big tow vehicle, it is used as “proof” that a smaller tow vehicle is all you ever need!
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Old 07-01-2022, 06:23 AM   #18
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You’re right. It’s kind of funny to think about it that way…
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Old 07-01-2022, 06:51 AM   #19
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If you were pulling a 16’ Caravel with a Kenworth W900 or a Peterbilt 379, you likely “would not know it is back there” from almost all perspectives.

Just sayin’….
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Old 07-01-2022, 06:58 AM   #20
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I completely agree with both of you. The odd thing about this phrase is that as often as it is used to boast about a big tow vehicle, it is used as “proof” that a smaller tow vehicle is all you ever need!
Interesting. (And a good point) TV threads are always entertaining. That statement always makes me smile.
We all just want to get to a perfect campsite, with our almost perfect trailers as safely as we can.
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