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Old 11-12-2013, 01:13 PM   #81
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Swing wide, use a spotter, have agreed upon signals (you'd be surprised at how many oops you'll have unless you are in synch), possibly use a radio, go slow and think about entry & exit in advance.

BTW, if you use a radio then I would suggest a constant patter from your spotter so that if their voice stops you do also until resolved...again speaking from personal experience!
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:20 PM   #82
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Why don't y'all use your cell phones?

signals vary, have to hold it to your ear.... can use the radios for some other fun uses including on fishing trips with my buddies, and later playing with the kids...when hiking, etc...

I may actually try with the phone and compare and contrast for sharing here in this thread later...both I presume will work...perhaps the phone will have a slight delay?

Both will work I presume just fine. I paid only 25 bucks for the set, so no huge investment....reviews were pretty good for them, should prove to be good to have - definately want them for fishing trips and other camping uses just for fun.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:22 PM   #83
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i will need to teach the wife to back more and more over time...right now she will be much too skittish about it....she actually is a good driver, only 2 small fender benders in her life so far...nothing major really....we will need to practice backing with her driving and me directing...with proper signals and communication, I can tell her how to do it all and take it slow and get it done....

I doubt she will be interested for a bit at this point, but Ill grow her into it over time no prob.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:30 AM   #84
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Ok, so I have 1.5 weeks until pickup of my 30' AS.

I am in the process of creating a number of checklists (kinda like my ol' dad uses when flying) to keep me and the wife straight.

I am a cautious driver...in my 14 years of driving I have not had a single accident - avoided many - lived in philly, northern VA, southwestern VA, and Birmingham, AL.

My real "anxiety" (I put it in quotes as it is not that dramatic or pronounced, rather I suppose just some healthy anxiety on the subject) lies in manuevering the AS when needing to stop somewhere unknown...say gas stations, parking lots.

Of course pulling a 30 footer I will be in no way as thoughtless as that (I hope) - but my anxiety lies in this basic concept...getting a feel about where I should and should not pull into...thinking about things like inclines that I would bottom out...or looking at the place and knowin that getting in and out would be too questionable...


I think my purpose of this thread is a bit vague as I continue to ramble on....but largely I suppose it has to do with the fact that I am so new to towing such a larger object...

I have recieved tons of great advice on this site already on this subject and feel more confident and will be appropriately cautious...its not that I am the type once on the highway to have "white knuckles" .....that is not for some reason as much what I am worried about...its the thoughts of tighter spaces that worry me...

Any useful advice appreciated....

I am really excited about pickin up soon...my excitement and confidence greatly outweight my anxieties luckily but I figure asking for some more pointers on this front could prove helpful both substantively and reducing any bits of unhealthy anxiety.


You're looking for a framework of how to make comparisons, of how to judge the results, is how I read this. How to think about it.

It is stressful, granted. Alleviation of stress is by breaking out a day of travel into shorter segments of time & distance.

Trip Planning is not so much X-miles over Y-hours as it is a series of legs to be completed. One is piloting the combined vehicle -- not just "holding the steering wheel" (a deadly trucker insult) -- via locations already mapped.

Controlling the stops (knowing them all in advance) is the key to reduced stress travel. And the determinant of where to stop is the human body. Time, not miles, therefore. Make the executive decisions in advance of departure. The dummies in my business just get in the truck and start driving . . and are likelier to be less alert and prone to mishap as a result. Switching from monkey brain (body sense) back and forth to abstract brain (so to speak) is where problems arise). This is where the men-boy separation occurs.

Two-hours to each break, for bladder relief and to walk off inicipient stiffness. A fifteen minute stop. Might not be so important early on, but the latter part of the day, it is. At the four-hour mark one needs an hour out of the vehicle and this is the time to fill up on fuel and/or have a meal. For me this is fuel at a truck stop (I recommend Flying J and Petro brands as they are car-friendly [read, wife and kid friendly]) and followed by lunch at a rest area a short distance farther ahead. Kids and ladies will need another break about an hour after a meal.

300-miles or 3 o'clock: At an average travel speed of 45-mph (all time miles from one point to another) one can cover 300-miles in 5-hours of drive time. A 6.5' trip, approx.

Each leg has a known number of acceleration and deceleration events, for the most part. Each leg has a known number of backing/parking maneuvers (even if zero) and may require GOAL (get out and look) prior to and during backing. Each leg requires a walk-around of the rig prior to departure; with only the initial one requring tightening of lug nuts and tire pressure.

Use a framework like the above to chart experience. Once a leg is completed, successfully or needs some changes, it is off to the next. The actual mechanics of driving is fairly easy (with the possible exception of RH turns, at first, as one may need to be in the second lane from the curb, etc). Take time to learn to back (you already know), but take the pressure off yourself, first.

Use a sat-view of each planned stop (need not, say, an Interstate rest area), to look at the layout of the to place to be stopped. I'd prefer fuel stops to be on the same side of the road and past any intersection for easiest re-entrance to t a highway (reduction of turns, stops, and starts). I want to know the "truck entrance" to a fuel stop, and where the exit is located as well. Finer detail is how chewed up is the road surface by stopping/starting/turning big trucks; where the newer truck stop nearby might be preferred over a favorite brand, etc.

Sounds tedious, but isn't. I can plan out a trip pretty fast (for work) based on these parameters as the truckers road atlas and some fuel retailer locations guides make it fast work (based on avg. fuel consumption, average travel speed and the need to stop at the end of every second hour). Internet access makes detail easier to accummulate. A multi-day plan may take me several hours, but that is because I also like to do this sort of planning and take pleasure in exploring alternatives in roads, stops, etc.

A framework, from which to delve into detail. Check off each leg, and don't let stress buld over a whole day . . each leg completed, start to stop, is the measure.

Plan all driving for daytime hours, and, if a longer day is needed add one leg as four hundred miles is plenty with family (or otherwise). One might start at civil twilight prior to dawn, but never drive into the dark. Make rules that work. Keep notes from observations and family feedback.

Keep the details separated from the bigger picture by breaking it out into legs travelled (as details of stopping/starting, etc, are part of that leg only).

The details of driving are separate (such as, being slowed to 55-mph before entering the Interstate exit, which means signalling about a half-mile back [concurrent with exit sign placement]), and most of them are easy when one learns to establish new habits. Braking is what matters. If I have to slam on the brakes a few times per year due to traffic, I'm not doing badly (as one measure; I covered a little over 80k the past year). Nailing the brakes several times the course of a trip is flat bad driving . . one must be willing to change. And the change is in confronting emotions in re driving practice. Be ready to confront your teenage self, in this.

So, one learns caution, and the test of caution is in followng distances. Etc. (Search posts by Protagonist on this subject and other traffic safety training as what he has posted in re this is quite good; contractor job requirement for him). FWIW I don't drive any differently solo than when towing. Or running a loaded 18-wheeler, town or country. Once one pays attention to behaviors (markers), one can more readily judge experience AND new situations.

There are markers for all of it -- to contextualize unsettling vagueness -- and your experience can be analyzed and improved to the point where ease enters in (not false confidence). We're scared of the big stuff and this leaks down into small things where it is a hindrance. That will pass, if one decides to be a tool-using mammal.

.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:20 AM   #85
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Excellent points !!!
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:29 PM   #86
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Wow. Thank you for the exceptional post Slowmover. Good luck tomorrow Pharm. Jim
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:37 PM   #87
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Pedal to the metal tomorrow Pharm!

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Old 11-14-2013, 05:44 PM   #88
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:37 PM   #89
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PharmG,
Don't disappear once you pickup tomorrow so post pictures. Can't wait to see that chuckles on you & your wife's faces tomorrow. Safe travels and may the forces be ahead of you, with you and behind you. By the way, are you camping overnight at the dealership ? Good idea if feasible.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:20 PM   #90
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Camping overnight at dealer indeed - really really excited!

Will be without kids for this - but family trip planned for thanksgiving 4-day weekend
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:28 PM   #91
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Your going to be excited with your new toy , they make a great trailer and all models are nice
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:50 PM   #92
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I travel 98% of time solo, about 20k a season, it took me forever to wrap my head around backing up, one day it just clicked. I travel for business using the AS for sleeping, it is like Groundhog Day, I wake up in same place everyday, but have to open the door sometimes to remember where the heck I am. When my husband gets to come, he will drive 2k miles, everyrhing n the trip...except last 50', he cant back up. he trys but gets frustrated.

I travel thru major city traffic and live on rhe East Coast...95 and the GWB in NY are a quick lesson in driving, we should all get stars for those roads, nothing like city driving.

I will say to Geek, congrats, we r all excited for you, your posts have be thoughtful and exact, I am very excited foryou and cant wait to see photos hear the stories. You have a ton of support here.. I see you have at least one child...when I travel with grandchildren, and I just did last weekend, there r just a few rules...
- they must be in car seats during backup, unhitch and hitchup, this us so I know where they are!

- not allowed to flush toilet, avoids clogged paper in the clapper part.

- not allowed to touch any buttons inside, especially the pretty red one by the door.
They do a very nice job with the polish! , and Patrick figured out his little rubber darts stick to the walls inside.

I take them 4 times a year and they r now 5 and 7 and know Grammie Sue is just keeping it all safe.

When we went last week, I handed car keys to daughter, she is 36, drove brand new( less than 2000 mile suburban) and Airstream to campground, got gas and lunch stop and backed into campground space with zero experience. I was so proud of her, she rather loved the whole experience and it was good for her! I was perfect.y fine sitting on the other side. She was a natural.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:08 PM   #93
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Got home with no dents dings etc!!

Well, the tow home went smooth...I went 55-60mph the whole way...kept my distance, had no issues....

I gassed up before hitching up....we left around 1pm - we had a late breakfast, so we stopped an hour up the road...

I carefully pulled off an exit and surveyed ahead of me the mcdonalds parking lot...bingo...an empty bank parking lot next door with clear entrance and exit...perfect...

I was telling my wife that we would only pull in if we could clearly see entrance and exit...say a nearby parking lot...

When we pulled into the bank parking lot, there is a road around the back...the kind you loop around to get to the tellers...wife was like "just loop around there"....oh no, we did not do that ...when she saw the other side, she laughed at the previous suggestion

Next stop a couple of hours later was for a bathroom break...I chose a pilot travel center with truckers accessing....this turned out to be trickier than I anticipated - busier than I expected....I saw a spot in passing buy...but as I pull in behind a trucker, he/she pulls into that spot and this left me to go around as if I was following all the truckers to fill up....(quick side bar question, can I fill up at those same pumps as all those truckers? If so I will likely do just that as It is no brainer access and exit)....just past the pumps is an exit lane...but there was a bunch of trucker parking with easy access....I chose a spot to pull into (not back) as there was a ton of room to maneuver when I needed to back out...went and took care of biz....then wife watched me back out of spot with walkie talkie just in case, then she hopped in and we were off...was a tad more stressful, but just made sure to carefully examine my exit strategy before committing.....otherwise I would have just taken the exit lane and found another spot.

No further stops made till home - total trip was about 5.5 hours.

my electronics on my 2010 ram 2500 diesel read avg mpg for the trip 14.1 mpg...very flat terrain, some rolling hills...rig pulled wonderfully as far as I can tell....more on that later in another post...but I felt very comfortable in tow....

Then we got home...the dreaded "back in"....backing into my spot proved quite tricky...but that was not a big deal...you had to first loop around in the culdesac and this seemed like a tight turn and was worried about exceeding the proper angle for the PP hitch..no problems there...I got out half way and looked at the hitch and make sure I was not going to far....then I set up for backing and got started successfully with my wife directing me....what was ANNOYING was that "help" rolled in as we were over half way to success just the wife and I taking our time, using a system we discussed, practice a bit, and such...(she guided me to hitching (no camera, mirrors, or hitch rods) in about 2 minutes no problems)...in comes yelling and signals "turn wheel clockwise"....my dad rolls in as well to inform me "do you just want to wait till morning to do this Ellery?! seems crazy to do it now!"

We were ready for this, we knew we would take our time and take it one little bit at a time and keep in constant communication...it is not rocket science...and we were sailing through it...then comes the "help"....well, I just took a deep breath and kept in contact with priscilla....my brother did help in the end with a final tweak...he is actually quite good with backing, he has to use a big trailer with his work at times so he is perfectly skilled...he reminded me that when having to pull forward to correct, that cutting the wheels hard initially can swing the TV rear end, and move the AS....this little maneuver proved really helpful in the last little tweak we made to get the AS closer to the wall on the street side of the pad (in order to have adequate space to open the AS door as there is a retaining wall there)...

Overall, pulling the AS was very little stress for me...there was initial moments of anxiety about the width of the AS - but soon realized that staying center and I would be just fine...not bad at all...then I just settled in...the backing went fine too...just would rather have done it with the wife and me really....less stress and confusion about signals...but he did teach me a couple things - just I found it rather annoying to just barrel in there to control the situation...

Oh and wide turns....that is all for now
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:12 PM   #94
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also, stock mirrors for the 2010 ram 2500 diesel were adequate...I can see down past the sides...easier though to see down the drivers side, the passenger side was a bit tighter, but still fine...wish both were a bit wider however...but totally doable..could see everyone coming, approaching, and with the lower parts of the mirror could see folks in the TV blind spot as well...
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:15 PM   #95
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Home Sweet Home

I think I got the photo this time...
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:17 PM   #96
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Congratulations--your are a "Streamer".
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:22 PM   #97
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Just wanted to thank everyone for their tips, perspectives, advice....it really helped...truly...my preparation made the whole ordeal much less nerve shattering or overwhelming...instead we enjoyed the cruise home and executed with relative confidence...

yeah, we are indeed "streamers"
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:20 PM   #98
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I think I got the photo this time...

Stunning rig , nothing like a new AS , I like your parking spot
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:51 AM   #99
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard...

Let the FUN begin!!!

Leave the behind.

Sweet Streams....

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Old 11-18-2013, 04:51 AM   #100
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Beautiful! Congratulations. Looking forward to many more wonderful posts from you about your trips. Let the adventures begin!
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