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Old 06-20-2017, 02:14 PM   #1
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Backing UP... is your Tow Vehicle's... fault

It was much easier to back up our 23 foot Safari with the 2006 Tundra 4x4. The more difficult the twists and turns... they, truck and trailer, cooperated. The impossible... was possible. Had I the video of some of these, poor situations we found ourselves while learning... the shorter the tow vehicle... the happier the driver.

There obviously is a 'sweet spot' in trailer and tow vehicle maneuvering length combinations.

As you increase the size of your Airstream AND Tow Vehicle... you not only have a more difficult time going forward... but backwards is not much easier. The trailer does not track the same width of road as your tow vehicle. Sometimes it is more obvious than other times.

Towing the 23 foot Safari with a 2014 Tundra forward... was easy. Point and go. Backing up took better eyesight and more attention to details. Such as low hanging tree branches, boulders set for decor to border a campsite and a better judge of getting X feet of truck and trailer into X feet of poor length judgment.

With, what seems to be a larger truck/trailer combination, a F350 Ford 4x4... and attach a 25 foot Airstream, somewhere there is a beginning and an end to this combination. Mirrors are only good for... what you do not want to see at these times.

When the trailer exceeds the length of the tow vehicle, it becomes more an issue. Or is it when the tow vehicle exceeds the length of the trailer.. does it become an issue.

Whatever... It obviously is not the driver at fault. The driver is the same. The trailer is the same. It was so simple to figure out that feedback is still needed... do 16" wheels and tires make backing up easier?

If you are having backing up difficulties... lets talk tires, instead. It cannot be the driver.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:21 PM   #2
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I have been thinking about TV maneuverability recently, as I wonder whether to go with the Yukon or Yukon XL. And, as this Yukon will be towing a 33' trailer next summer..... Gas stations could get un-fun.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:27 PM   #3
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Long wheelbase TV back easier, long trailers back easier, or at least jackknife slower.
My worst nightmare was a RV with a long overhang to the hitch and a short trailer. It jackknifed just thinking of putting it into reverse. Plus, you couldn't see it in the side mirrors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
Gas stations could get un-fun.
Yes, indeed. I found I liked gas stations with the pumps parallel to the store a lot better than the pumps perpendicular to the store.
Don't be afraid to park a bit away and walk the pumps to see which one you need, especially auto diesel.
I liked Flying J's since I counted on them to have an RV island.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:43 PM   #4
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My advice to Post #2, ericpeltier... gas stations?

Truck Stops...!!!! You are among the Big Boys now. What I find interesting is that the convenience of refueling is compensated by the cost of the fuel.

Translation: Many of these Truck Stops charge MORE than fuel in town. The restrooms are public pig sties, shortages of toilet paper (unless your bring your own), but the pumps do usually print the receipt.

I do like the $1 refills for anything up to 44 ounces! Over 44 ounces in NYC is a criminal case and do not get caught with the 88 ounce keg, refill.

Cash or Credit? Sometimes you use Credit and the pump charges you the Cash rate. That would get you to Back Up, wouldn't it? Again... it is you Tow Vehicle's fault, not yours.

I have one big gripe to bring up, other than the Airstream quality control, backing up with a faulty tow vehicle, tire and wheel upgrades... so this should be easy.

Why is it that California drivers, maybe others, but so far California drivers... park in front of a pump, go into the 'service station', eat dinner, wash up and then come out to pump gas? This is along I-40 through Arizona and the closer to the Golden State... the more it occurs. There are two stations just East of Kingman, AZ and even the clerks agree... there is something 'cool' about parking next to a gasoline pump...

Not that I have not noticed, but they are not towing anything but themselves. Now... just saying. I would have said Colorado or Nevada plated vehicles... but this is so weird, this should be in the Tire Section of the Forum.

So if you have resisted this Thread up to this point and find... this issue gnawing at your Michelins or your Marathon tires that some say are ready to explode just sitting behind this vehicle... parked at the pump and not pulling out into the empty parking lot... is it the VEHICLE that is to blame? Or do they think they are pulling a trailer and looking for it inside the hot dog vending machine or soda fountain?
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:01 PM   #5
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For me it is being able to see the trailer and to see if it is in line or turning. Long trailer, short TV would seem to be the best. I used to tow a boat with a volkswagon bug and it sure backed easier than my 25 Airstream beind a SWB Dodge 2500. On flat ground I would rather back my 32' than my 25'. Hate to admit it, but I do not do well going backwards even without the trailer. Not good with the mirrors and too stiff to turn around to look.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:06 PM   #6
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I've found that I like towing with pickups more than SUVs.
We have both a 2012 Tahoe LS and a 2005 F250 Crew Cab short bed.

The reason isn't that I like the truck more, its that the distance between the axle and the hitch determine how far the hitch moves in relation to the vehicle.

With more distance (the truck) it takes less movement at the wheel.
There have been times with the Tahoe that it feels like you are going to jack knife when backing, for the most part it is just an uneasy feeling about the back window of the Tahoe being so close to the front window of the AS.

Another thing about the truck vs SUV is that with the truck the mirrors stick out farther and have more distance between them and the AS so you get a better view/angle when looking out of them.

In general the larger the diameter of the tire, the easier it rolls. This usually isn't a problem going forward since most of us try and go straight as much as possible. However when backing up most of us are trying to maneuver the trailer into a position and sometimes that requires steep angles. Narrow/short tires will 'bite' the ground surface more than a taller/wider tire.
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Old 06-20-2017, 04:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
My advice to Post #2, ericpeltier... gas stations?

Truck Stops...!!!!
Yeahbut....I find that the pumps set up for LONG vehicles only have diesel. I'd buy a diesel SUV if someone made one that was not German. (I like German cars, I just can't afford them)

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Old 06-20-2017, 06:18 PM   #8
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Yep - the shorter the wheelbase of the TV the more maneuverable it is. The longer the trailer is compared to the TV the better the TV will be able to maneuver it.

Long TV and short trailer = trailer will jackknife faster than the TV can correct so you must stay ahead of it the whole time. Long trailer and short TV = much more room for error
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:38 PM   #9
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I think whatever a person gets comfortable with is what they says is the best.

Personally, I'm in the longer the wheel base the better camp on the tow vehicle. I'm willing to give up turning radius for smoother more comfortable ride.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:09 PM   #10
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I've been wondering about that as my TV will be a F-350 crew cab long bed...23 feet long! Looking to buy a 23 foot Flying Cloud. My truck is no fun to back up with no trailer at all! If I have plenty of room though it's not too bad, I can back a small boat trailer down a very narrow 1 lane ramp when I cannot even see the boat (camper shell) except for when it starts to go off course. I also have a front hitch to jocky a trailer around but haven't tried it yet, anyone try that? How about a camera, I'll probably go with at least one.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I think whatever a person gets comfortable with is what they says is the best.

Personally, I'm in the longer the wheel base the better camp on the tow vehicle. I'm willing to give up turning radius for smoother more comfortable ride.

X2 here... I really like my 1995 F250 PowerStroke and 34' Avion combination. The longer trailer and TV doesn't jackknife so easily.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
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-- snip -- F-350 crew cab long bed...23 feet long! Looking to buy a 23 foot Flying Cloud. -- snip -- How about a camera, I'll probably go with at least one.
If it's a SRW you will be able to see the coach. If it is DRW, I don't know, but a couple of lights/tennis balls on rods that extend out from the rear bumper should help. A spotter and good mirrors should be the ticket and there should be no need to drop and hitch on the front every time you backup. Looks like truck is 8'-0" wide, same as coach.

The camera does help. It might be worth the expense to install the camera system that has one on the back and one on each side of the coach. Would give you a wide angle of view.

But if you do not have a spotter, use the GOAL method - get out band look.

Hope to see the rig down the road some day. Pat
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:57 PM   #13
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My advice to Post #2, ericpeltier... gas stations?

Truck Stops...!!!! You are among the Big Boys now. What I find interesting is that the convenience of refueling is compensated by the cost of the fuel.

Translation: Many of these Truck Stops charge MORE than fuel in town. The restrooms are public pig sties, shortages of toilet paper (unless your bring your own), but the pumps do usually print the receipt.

I do like the $1 refills for anything up to 44 ounces! Over 44 ounces in NYC is a criminal case and do not get caught with the 88 ounce keg, refill.

Cash or Credit? Sometimes you use Credit and the pump charges you the Cash rate. That would get you to Back Up, wouldn't it? Again... it is you Tow Vehicle's fault, not yours.

I have one big gripe to bring up, other than the Airstream quality control, backing up with a faulty tow vehicle, tire and wheel upgrades... so this should be easy.

Why is it that California drivers, maybe others, but so far California drivers... park in front of a pump, go into the 'service station', eat dinner, wash up and then come out to pump gas? This is along I-40 through Arizona and the closer to the Golden State... the more it occurs. There are two stations just East of Kingman, AZ and even the clerks agree... there is something 'cool' about parking next to a gasoline pump...

Not that I have not noticed, but they are not towing anything but themselves. Now... just saying. I would have said Colorado or Nevada plated vehicles... but this is so weird, this should be in the Tire Section of the Forum.

So if you have resisted this Thread up to this point and find... this issue gnawing at your Michelins or your Marathon tires that some say are ready to explode just sitting behind this vehicle... parked at the pump and not pulling out into the empty parking lot... is it the VEHICLE that is to blame? Or do they think they are pulling a trailer and looking for it inside the hot dog vending machine or soda fountain?
Yup, Flying J and Pilot have punishing diesel prices for the retail customer up front. I been filling up at Shell most times 20% savings.
You touched on my pet peeve for sure. Inconsiderate rubes leaving their cars parked at the pumps while attending a wedding inside.
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:14 PM   #14
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It is the driver that must adjust to a new rig.

Trucks and trailers do not act, they acted upon.

Expecting a four door truck with an 8' bed towing a 34' trailer to drive the same as a mini van towing a 16' Sport doesn't make much sense to me.


Practice and experience are required. Those who have many miles under their belt and have worked themselves in and out of tight spots are comfortable with any rig after a few miles.

Those without experience need practice to be comfortable. One cannot replace this real world training with new tires, hitches, vehicles or backup cameras.


My opinion only.




Regards,


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Old 06-21-2017, 07:23 PM   #15
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Go watch this YouTube Really good.

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Old 06-21-2017, 07:52 PM   #16
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It's not necessarily the length of the tow vehicle that changes the turning habits, its more the turning radius. Tighter turning will make the trailer react quicker. My Freightliner M2 will run circles around my F350 flatbed. The Freightliner is longer and had a longer wheelbase, but will run circles around the Ford through tight maneuvers. I'm having to do 3 point turns in the Ford during route work, but I can zip around a lot easier in the larger truck, because it turns sharper
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:43 PM   #17
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long trailer short TV = recipe for disaster. Sway!!!!
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
My advice to Post #2, ericpeltier... gas stations?

Why is it that California drivers, maybe others, but so far California drivers... park in front of a pump, go into the 'service station', eat dinner, wash up and then come out to pump gas? This is along I-40 through Arizona and the closer to the Golden State... the more it occurs. There are two stations just East of Kingman, AZ and even the clerks agree... there is something 'cool' about parking next to a gasoline pump...vending machine or soda fountain?
Sounds like a SO-CAL issue. Never see it in NORCAL!
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:52 AM   #19
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It's not necessarily the length of the tow vehicle that changes the turning habits, its more the turning radius. Tighter turning will make the trailer react quicker. My Freightliner M2 will run circles around my F350 flatbed. The Freightliner is longer and had a longer wheelbase, but will run circles around the Ford through tight maneuvers. I'm having to do 3 point turns in the Ford during route work, but I can zip around a lot easier in the larger truck, because it turns sharper
You are comparing a purpose built 5th wheel hauling vehicle to a generic all purpose vehicle. And you didn't compare receiver hitch towing or backing up experience.

You stated that you were driving a ford, and the size, and that it was a flatbed, but you neglected the year. In 2005 Ford started using the Super Dana 60 up front with tighter turning compared to the 2004 and older.

I have both a 2005 and 1975 F250 crew cabs/short bed trucks and there is a world of difference between parking lot maneuvering.
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long trailer short TV = recipe for disaster. Sway!!!!
Is there a magic ratio that this becomes true?

My 2005 F250 crew cab short bed is 20ft long.
My 1971 Airstream Sovereign is 31ft long.

As far as I'm concerned it tows perfectly.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:03 PM   #20
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Go watch this YouTube Really good.
Thanks for sharing, very useful. Especially the 1ft swing-out for every 3ft of overhang.
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