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Old 08-30-2015, 07:07 AM   #1
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Wanted driving instructor

I need your help in locating a patient, kind,not prone to swearing instructor on how to tow an airstream. I have spent months researching the right trailer and tow truck, however I can not drive them once they are hooked together. If you have adult children, you will recognize my pain when my sons laugh until they can't breathe. I am a widow who is determined to see the states on my own . I hope you know of the instructor I am in search of, preferably in Texas.
Thank you for your help and lack of laughter,
Dell
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:13 AM   #2
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. If you were closer I would help you, maybe find a retired truck driver to get you started......
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:26 AM   #3
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Check with a local commercial truck driving school. Some give RV and TT instruction.
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:03 AM   #4
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:13 AM   #5
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There are RV driving schools, including trailer towing schools. The instructors have (or at least should have) a commercial driver's license with an instructor permit. One that I'm aware of is "RV Basic Training." This particular course comes with the advantage that one of the instructors comes to you instead of you having to travel to the school. I haven't taken the courseó in my younger days I had a CDL and drove delivery trucks bigger than my Interstateó I just know about the school, so you shouldn't consider this post as a recommendation of that particular school. I merely mentioned it as an example of the kind of professional training you can get if you're willing to pay the tuition.

I suggest that before you start googling "RV trailer towing school" you check the online Yellow Pages for a school close to you, and then use Google to search if there's nothing close.
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:38 AM   #6
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Dell,
If I were in TX, I would be happy to help you. I feel bad that I cannot help you TODAY.
I am sure tho, given the suggestions from my fellow AS colleagues above, that you will get the help that you need. I would even add to call the local AS dealer, or one of the SOB dealers in your area to inquire about getting some help. Heck, you might find one of their mechanics that would assist you on a Sunday afternoon or something similar.
Good luck, and I will be thinking & praying that you get the assistance that you need!
I applaud you for your post. Not too many folks on here would admit that they need that kind of help. Help will find it's way to you soon.
Sea ya down the road
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:38 AM   #7
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I give towing lessons with every trailer our shop sells. If you were closer, I'm sure you could "rent me" for a morning.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:59 AM   #8
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I give you a lot of credit. Determination is half the battle & you certainly are determined. A few calls to local driving schools might put you in touch with some one who has towing experience & is willing to help. Also, the suggestion made earlier about calling truck driving schools is a good idea and finally contact the dealer that sold you the trailer & ask the service manager if one of Techs in the service department would be willing to hire out as an instructor. Good luck.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:29 AM   #9
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Beyond instruction, it takes much practice. There has been some good advice on finding an instructor, but I think a lot of skill can be had by going out to a large open lot with some road cones and practicing, and practicing, and practicing....it will come in time.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:41 AM   #10
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Locate and hire a professional RV driving instructor. As said above it takes many hours of practice but the instruction will show you what and how to practice. It is much easier to learn correct techniques then to have to unlearn unsafe and dangerous actions.
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:14 AM   #11
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Contact North Dallas RV or other large retail dealers. They have a vested interest in getting their first-time customers to be comfortable behind the wheel and should have some referrals or resources.
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:11 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I spoke to several RV instructors but they require I buy the rig first. I hate to buy a truck and airstream only to find I need a driver.
Dell
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:26 AM   #13
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Dell - I wonder if there is a local WBCCI unit near you who might be hosting a rally. If so you could contact them and see if anyone there might be willing to help?

I understand the requirement to have a rig for the instruction even though it creates a catch 22 for you.

Another option might be an RV rental (though I think most of those are motorhomes). Airstream 2 Go rents trailers but I don't know if they have locations near you.

Last - you may have family and friends who would be willing to teach you in their rigs.

Good luck!!
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:48 AM   #14
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A trailer is a trailer is a trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claysews View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions. I spoke to several RV instructors but they require I buy the rig first. I hate to buy a truck and airstream only to find I need a driver.
Dell
Let me suggest that you rent a big utility or moving trailer, with a truck to pull it if you don't have a tow vehicle that would work. Take the rented rig to the RV driving school and let them show you the basics. Towing skills are basically the same for any trailer, so you don't need an Airstream to start with.

Maybe you could set up the rental and arrange for the instructor to meet you at UHaul or wherever.

Also, please lose the "What if I can't" attitude. I'm a 73-year-old woman and I do all the towing in our family.

You can do this. Hang on to your dreams!

Oh, one more suggestion. Laugh with your kids. It ruins their fun and pretty soon you're the only one laughing.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:07 AM   #15
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Check with one of the wbcci units; i'm sure there is someone that could/would help you. Look under tahi (texas airstream harbor) or ntac (north texas airstream club)

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Old 08-31-2015, 07:44 AM   #16
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In light of the fact that you own neither a truck or Airstream, have you considered a class B motor home, the cost of an AS & tow vehicle & that of a class B would be close to equal.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:52 PM   #17
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I resemble your comments. At first, my AS would end up anywhere other than where I wanted it. Ask me about the time I ended up straddling a big rock between my TV and the AS in a campground near Lone Pine, CA. No matter what I did, the rock just moved further under the hitch. The campground host was a former long haul truck driver, and it took him and his wife more than a half hour of swearing and inching to get me free. I think their marriage would have been in jeopardy at some point, if I hadn't reminded them that it was me they should be mad at, not each other.

Then, almost suddenly, it was all over. Now I know what spaces I can fit in, and back into them the first time (well, if you don't count a few minor adjustments). The guy in charge of the campground tonight almost smirked when he assigned me the spot in front of his office that required a 45* maneuver between trees, rocks, and other RV's. I think he called all his friends over to watch. Zip! In I went the first try. Smirk right back at you, fellow!

I think you just have to jump in the deep end of the pool. It's worth it, and I guarantee you the light will finally go on.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claysews View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions. I spoke to several RV instructors but they require I buy the rig first. I hate to buy a truck and airstream only to find I need a driver.
Dell
Dell,
Have you considered an Interstate similar to what Protagonist drives? It may be easier to get driver training since you are not towing a a travel trailer?

Good Luck!
Jane
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:51 PM   #19
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Look into renting a pickup truck and a uhaul trailer for a few days to practice with. I know that some of the national chain rentals rent trucks in Texas, it's Texas for gods sake. A uhaul trailer will handle essentially the same as a travel trailer. Do it on a weekend in a empty high school stadium parking lot, it's Texas I know those must be huge too. Tow around the lot for a while. Pick up a few cheap orange cones in Walmart sports section for maneuvering practice and backing practice.
Just like anything else in life, it's got to be learned. My niece today, learning to ride her bike without training wheels "how am I going to ride on 2 wheels if I don't know how", me, "how about you saying that about reading 2 years ago, you read like a champ now, you didn't know how then."
We all have to learn, and with some effort and time you can as well.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:43 PM   #20
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Renting a uhaul trailer will be a great exercise. As far as tips to towing, my advice would to take wider turns since the trailer will cut the corners and jump the curb, use your side mirrors (make sure you can see the whole length of the trailer on both sides) to judge where you are and hence where you are going, and try to give as much room for air to pass between you and other vehicles and objects which usually means driving on the right side of the right lane.
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