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Old 10-07-2020, 11:42 AM   #1
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2018 27' Globetrotter
Burlington , Vermont
Join Date: May 2020
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Towing help for rookie

Hello. My wife and I recently bought a 2018 GT 27FB. We have zero towing / hitch experience and would feel much more comfortable if we could meet with someone with experience towing an AS to show us the ropes (and possibly hire them to drive it to the AS dealer in Burlington, VT).

Does this sound like you?

Alternatively, do you know of any really good online pages or videos for tips and tricks?

A couple more details:
- We live about an hour south of Burlington, VT
- Our tow vehicle is a Jeep Gladiator with the max tow package (7650 lb max tow)
- We have the Blue Ox Sway Pro d-hitch: https://www.blueox.com/trailer-towing/swaypro/

Thanks!

Kevin
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:10 PM   #2
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Kevin, While you are waiting for a mentor, I suggest you put together your own hitch-up checklist. There’s a lot of information on this forum, and it sounds like you have learned to ferret it out. When you get it written down in one place, you’ll be much more confident. There are so many details that go “over your head” when you are just watching.
I’m trying to read between the lines here: you mentioned chilling in place, and I see you are outfitting the trailer for extended stays (composting toilet). Your tow vehicle is close to being overmatched. (Yeah, have at me, you “to-the-limit people.) At low speeds and staying local, especially with that capable hitch, you mainly need to watch the tracking and backing. Out on the interstate, you will need to develop an instinct for erratic drivers and sway. You are just postponing the inevitable learning curve if you rely on someone else to do the driving.
I personally would not drive someone else’s rig, especially for hire. For that, you are better off with a transport company.
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:48 PM   #3
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Evergreen , Colorado
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Congrats on your new Globetrotter Kevin! I'm sure you'll love it.

I think the best way to get experience and feel comfortable towing is to start towing. Is it possible for the seller to provide you with some basics on hitching/unhitching, driving, etc.? With some basic information, you may be able to take your new Airstream to a large parking lot or other open area and practice driving, turning, backing, etc. Once you get comfortable with the feel of the trailer, you can start expanding your boundaries and drive in different road conditions. Supporting what Don says above, most potential "white knuckle" experiences happen at highway speed, on the interstate, or in the mountains on roads with a speed limit over 55 mph. Perhaps you can work your way up to that. Once you get a little time behind the wheel, you'll find that it's not as scary as it seems.

I won't make any comments about your specific tow vehicle, but you should definitely make sure that you've got the right equipment on your vehicle to tow your Airstream safely. The WDH is part of this, along with a trailer brake controller, towing mirrors, tow mode on your vehicle, suspension and cooling systems that are able to handle your trailer, etc.

Good luck and have fun with your new Airstream!
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Old 10-08-2020, 04:32 PM   #4
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Congratulations, Kevin! We also have a 2018 GT 27FB, and it is also our first trailer, so I know how daunting this can be. With that said, the only way to learn how to tow one of these is to tow one of these.

The videos on YouTube will be very helpful in that they can alert you to things to watch out for as well as demonstrate techniques, but as others have said, your best short-term approach is to have your dealer show you how to hook up and maybe even do a short ride-along before turning you loose.

Then, block out some time and drive to the nearest large parking lot that has a relatively empty area in it (an abandoned mall or factory would be ideal), and practice for a couple of hours. Lay out a course with cones or sidewalk chalk, and work on left and right turns, stopping, and backing up. This will give you a pretty good feel for what you are trying to do and you will at least know how wide you have to go to make an incident-free turn.

Another possibility would be contacting any truck/CDL driving schools around you and see if you can arrange for lessons with them. I would think getting professional training in your own rig would be extremely valuable.

Good luck and happy trails!
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Old 10-10-2020, 08:01 AM   #5
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2018 27' Globetrotter
Burlington , Vermont
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Thank you

Thanks for the great feedback! It's really helpful.

We hooked her up, got the d-hitch installed and have done some back-up practicing. Today we'll take her out for real!
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Old 10-10-2020, 08:35 AM   #6
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Cumming , Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb75 View Post
Congratulations, Kevin! We also have a 2018 GT 27FB, and it is also our first trailer, so I know how daunting this can be. With that said, the only way to learn how to tow one of these is to tow one of these.



The videos on YouTube will be very helpful in that they can alert you to things to watch out for as well as demonstrate techniques, but as others have said, your best short-term approach is to have your dealer show you how to hook up and maybe even do a short ride-along before turning you loose.



Then, block out some time and drive to the nearest large parking lot that has a relatively empty area in it (an abandoned mall or factory would be ideal), and practice for a couple of hours. Lay out a course with cones or sidewalk chalk, and work on left and right turns, stopping, and backing up. This will give you a pretty good feel for what you are trying to do and you will at least know how wide you have to go to make an incident-free turn.



Another possibility would be contacting any truck/CDL driving schools around you and see if you can arrange for lessons with them. I would think getting professional training in your own rig would be extremely valuable.



Good luck and happy trails!


Congrats on the purchase. There is great advice in these posts. When we bought our first camper, I videoed the dealer hitching up and hitching off so I had that reference. My camper, my hitch & my truck. Then I had that to go back to and watched the first couple of times when we camped. I agree with practice! Do short runs in your town where you are familiar with traffic & turns - then hit a large parking lot and practice backing into different spots with different angles. I bought some collapsible cones for my wife to practice with and they work great. Good luck & most importantly- HAVE FUN!! To me, there is no better lifestyle!!!
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Old 10-10-2020, 08:50 AM   #7
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Congrats on your 2018 27' GT. We really enjoy ours and am sure you will enjoy yours as well.

I've watched most of the videos posted by Luv Subbin, https://www.youtube.com/c/LuvSubbin/videos. I've found them to be helpful and you may as well. I think they are located in VT as well although I don't know where exactly.

Best regards!
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Old 10-10-2020, 11:05 AM   #8
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Congratulations! You did it! Enjoy your time in the beautiful NE outdoors. Things will seem easier from here on out, except when you encounter those RV challenges, which you now have the confidence to meet head-on.
Welcome to the world of Airstream camping.
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Old 10-10-2020, 11:53 AM   #9
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One thing we found helpful when our dealer trained us about this was that unlike anything else you as a couple may or may not be used to, that SAFETY, DOUBLE CHECKS, AND PROCEDURES need to be a part of your best practices, and that it is not a "you're not doing it right" personal statement to check over the other person's work. It is a safety double check that you each should do. Every time.

You each need to know what the process is, even if you always delegate between the 2 of you different tasks. Each person double checks the other person's work.

If you are alone setting up, then you add a double check to your own work.

There is always time to double check, and it is part of the responsibility of towing.


True --Things we have avoided because of the double check:

not having the pin in the hitch even though we were hitched up and ready to roll
lights not working
step not up
storage tube door open
dump cover open
stabilizers not up
wheels not chocked when unhitching
door open
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Old 10-10-2020, 02:02 PM   #10
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Piggy Bank,
Add to your list:
Umbilical cord dragging on ground
Antenna up
Stuff on bumper or A frame
Hitch latch up
Windows open
Storage compartment unlocked or ajar
Dump hose storage cover not tight
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