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Old 11-04-2013, 06:04 PM   #41
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I have stock RAM 2500 tow mirrors....I had a pic, ill get another and post....they fold up verticle to become tow mirrors...others on this forum previously confirmed these would allow proper vision...if they did not, I would indeed opt for a permanent new set...

Regarding a spotter...we have to recognize here that not all drivers and not all spotters are created equal...

Some do not have a spotter, and they take precautions and do just fine....arguably some individuals are less likely to get into a problem compared to a couple folks....

But if we accept the premise of

1) the driver is capable

2) the spotter is paying good attention

and

3) the communication between the two is excellent

Then the driver alone would be at a disadvantage without the spotter.

But reality does not always show this does it....

I suspect that in most situations - experienced drivers solo, with patience and caution would do just as good as a couple folks working together...but I think if we assume my premissis - in hairier situations, the spotter/driver combo would be beneficial...

Either way you slice it you have to do a number of things and ensure a number of things to make success happen....relying on a spotter but having poor communication will spell disaster I presume...in that scenario perhaps solo is better....

Its an interesting thought...im not yet really sure how good my wife will be with backing....I think she will be pretty good...perhaps better than lucy in the movie, lol
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:06 PM   #42
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BAB, thanks...im pretty confident...not really worried...more than anything I am bored and looking for anything to help me, advice...etc...whatever...(the rope lights alone was worth this thread

I think you are correct that real experience will count....but you all manage often to delve out some useful thoughts and advice!

I am feeling great about everything...typing up my checklists as we speak - counting the days.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:36 PM   #43
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Re: Spotters / /going slower

I am almost always solo ... and that's when the "volunteer spotters" come out of the woodwork. They want to help. They need to help. They're all well intentioned, but their skill level varies. And if there's a big ding, it's not their trailer. So I ALWAYS get out and look. Several times when backing into tight spots. Even if there's traffic wanting me to get the heck out of the way so they can get on down the line. Even if there are two volunteers confidently waving me on in.

I think the biggest tip I can give anyone is just to slow down. In every way. On the road, it's a lot easier to have folks dealing with passing you than for you to worry about passing them and getting back into the right lane cleanly. It also saves fuel and brake lining material. Pulling into fuel stops, restaurants, etc. going very, very slowly gives you more time to eyeball the situation, and to abort if it looks bad. And backing into unknown parking spots (especially after dark), going slow and in increments lets you assess and reassess howgozit. You'll almost never come to grief by taking it slow and careful ... but trying to rush - you know how that come out!

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Old 11-04-2013, 06:56 PM   #44
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I've towed boats many years, both tandem and single axles. I was a bit concerned about towing our 28 International but it has been pretty easy, including backing up. Having the axles in the middle of the trailer seems to help. The biggest concern I have is afraid I will forget about something overhead and also the swing. So far, all has been good and the advice to just take it slowly is spot on.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #45
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volunteer spotters on the fly would make me nervous...I would rather take my time solo than trust a random person I think....would need to establish effective communication practices with an individual and build up that confidence...some random holding their beer in one hand and waving with the other is not confidence inspiring

HeadWest...I said that earlier...I imagine it could be easy to forget about height clearance issues both when driving or backing...
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:33 PM   #46
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My advice was partilly covered here....I travel with grand hildren age 5 & 7 a few times a year. The rule of sacty for them is they must remain in car in seat belt during hitch and unhitch. They are not allowed to touch any buttons in tne trailer( that nice red li one sill turn off all power) and they are not allowed to flush toilet. I do that to protect my system and any quick flush release bevore all matter runs south.

I come off sounding like mean grammie sue, but really those couple of things keep everyone safe and systems working. I have fun grandchildren who think polishing the trailer is the best thing in life. Nice to get the low areS done!
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:51 PM   #47
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Two-way radio is an EXCELLENT idea! Low-cost alternative to the cost of running into a gas station awning or worse.
A good rule to implement: transmission never goes in reverse without a spotter in full view or with a radio.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:57 PM   #48
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I always pre-plan my route whatever the destination. This includes fuel stops as well as rest areas. If traveling the interstates I use the Truck Master Fuel Finder website to locate anticipated fuel stops. By clicking on the truck stop name then scrolling down you can see a street view of the location. This can help choose the "friendlier" (access) truck stops. When not traveling interstates I use the street view in Google maps to locate fuel stops and preview how easily the stop can be accessed. Even when changing destitions in mid trip I take time to pre-plan my fuel stops for all changes in the route, especially in rural areas.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:30 PM   #49
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I'm in awe of the planning and preparation some of you do; it's clearly a labour of love for you.

We travel mainly on the Interstate/Freeway/Motorway/Autoroute (trying to be inclusive here!) and use the service areas where possible for gas. They're normally large enough and usually designed with RVs in mind so entry to and exit from the pumps is generally easy. We discovered that the service areas in New Hampshire have no gas, only booze, but the gas stations off the Interstates were fine for access.

Up here in Ontario, specifically on the 401 between Windsor and Quebec Province, the service areas push RVs into the truck parking lots. This isn't an issue in terms of entry and exit but there's often no direct access to the gas pumps from the truck lot. I've found myself going the wrong way down an access road with the four-ways on, then doing a big 180 to get facing the right way to get to the gas. Someone in the planning department wasn't quite on the ball when they decided to route us RV's around the back with the truckers!
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:40 PM   #50
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If married to your "spotter", you will get lots of "help"! ;p

Seriously, just take your time. Like folks at a boat dock, only 3 launches per hour...but most important is yours. If you remember to put the plug in... Makes for great beer drinking while observing.

Really serious... Get a spotter, work out signals, do take your time, especially with your spotter!

I have cameras, but 30 feet away makes it hard to make out some things.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:42 PM   #51
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Oh... Go rent a big moving trailer and pull around,,, practice parking, etc... Oh, DO GET THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE!!!
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:51 PM   #52
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Always get the wife to be a spotter.
It finally hit me today- when you're at an angle where you can't see the trailer, the tree, your wife or whatever- and you can't hear your wife- use the cell phone to communicate-
I think I am a good spotter- I coached an 80 year old lady driving a Ford 350 dually towing a 36' fifth wheel into a camping spot the first try- stabilizers on the pad, slides going out without hitting a tree, water, sewer, and electric reasonably close and all- on the first try-
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:41 PM   #53
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PharmGeek, have no worries about your Ram mirrors. They are quite adequate for the task.

You scoffed at the 1/2 tank refill strategy, but think about it this way. Your Ram has a 34-35 gallon tank which, even at 12 mpg, means you will have driven about three and a half hours (over 200 miles) if you departed on full. That is time to stop for food, bio break, or a stretch, especially with a family in tow. It is a time saver if you can do all that and refuel simultaneously. It will also leave you a buffer for those times when you least expect an issue. Call it "fuel in the bank."

Issues come in all forms when trailering. I've encountered three interstate accidents which left us stranded for 90 minutes or more, parked in sight of an exit that was unobtainable, while the weather was 90° or more. My wife and dogs were very happy I could leave the engine running and have the AC working as we waited on movement again.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:04 AM   #54
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I refill when the light comes on- or 1/4 tank- whichever happens at the most convenient time. Sometimes I fill up wherever/whenever the gas is really cheap. Sometimes I fill up in my hometown because gas is usually less here than in surrounding towns. Gas is currently $2.95.9 here. I saw gas at $2.90.9 in Florence, MS yesterday.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:43 AM   #55
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Yeah - I kinda forget about kids and stopping
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:34 AM   #56
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I use a spotter to keep me from backing into a immovable object. I also get out and look. I have learned the hard way. Don't be lazy or think your such an excellent driver you don't need to check. I am no longer interested in impressing the trailer chicks. Also avoids feeling really dumb while the trailer chicks snicker.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:50 AM   #57
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spotter

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
I always seem to be the odd man out on this subject: "only back up using a spotter". Does everybody else out there travel with another person when they go camping ? I travel solo. When I am towing my equipment trailer, I am almost always solo. When I am pulling the horse trailer, probably half the time I am solo.

To my mind, with my style of travel anyway, a logical thing to say to someone learning this is, "learn how to back up your trailer by yourself. It will come in handy for you sooner than you think."

As to pulling into someplace where after you get in there, you realize there is no "out"....ah well...it happens to all of occasionally. Just a few weeks ago I pulled into an unfamiliar JD dealership with the 35' horse trailer on the back. Oooops....no out from that lot. Had to back out the way I came....two opposing 90 degree turns. Just remember, if you managed to come in forward, then it can go back out the same way it came in.
I thought I was the only one on here with that thought process. I NEVER use a spotter. I will get out of the truck and check if I am in a tight spot but that is always faster than somebody else trying to tell me where to go, plus the better half never gets mad that way. Just use common sense. If in doubt check it out IT IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:02 AM   #58
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What are "trailer chicks"?
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:06 AM   #59
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I fixed the range issue by switching out the stock Ram 34 gallon tank for a 56 gallon tank by Titan. Since this is not an auxiliary tank, the fuel does not go stale. The only issue is the reused factory gage is not aware of the change in gallons capacity. Thus I use one of the trip meters to track miles since last fill up. I use a very conservative number for mpg so have no surprises at fill up time. But filling may require three passes of the credit card with the current $100 per fill limit at the car islands.

I also avoid Loves's truck stops due to bio-diesel up to 15% at both car and truck pumps. My preference is currently either Chevron or Shell for diesel.

I parked the 25FB solo at the storage unit all the time. I hop out and verify progress and to make sure I do not back into the 45+ foot motor home behind me.

The new longer trailer will require a spotter the first time or so to learn the reference locations for the longer back end and the steel posts supporting the storage roof.

One could always go to a large parking lot and have a spotter drop white powder below the outside corner of the rear end of the trailer to get the difference in track between the end of the trailer and the wheels.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:57 AM   #60
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Quote:
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I thought I was the only one on here with that thought process. I NEVER use a spotter. I will get out of the truck and check if I am in a tight spot but that is always faster than somebody else trying to tell me where to go, plus the better half never gets mad that way. Just use common sense. If in doubt check it out IT IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.
And if a curious little kid wanders behind your trailer after you have checked it out . . . ?
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