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Old 08-21-2013, 08:27 AM   #11
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I just went through this less than a month ago with our trailer. Couple things I figured out quick.

#1/. Pay attention to the hookup and unhook demo (especially if you have WD or sway bars involved).

#2/. Know what your truck sounds and feels like before you hook up. I made note of how hot the temp needle and such runs when just driving normal.

#3/. Who ever is helping guide you as you back up ... instruct them to just use key words like STOP or GO and not use an entire sentence when helping. Nothing worse than stopping a bit too late because someone is saying something like "if you keep coming back in that direction you might hit this little tree that is back here". Didn't happen, but almost did. lol

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Old 08-21-2013, 08:37 AM   #12
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When driving down the road you should get to the point of always scanning your tow mirrors for what is behind you. By looking behind you in the mirrors you can see how your camper is tracking down the road and then you will know exactly the 'hood' points on you vehicle to keep the trailer in the middle of your lane.

You will slow up traffic....that is a fact of life so don't worry about it.... do not 'speed up'... do not 'change lanes to get out of the way'.... Nice and steady forward. know your blind spots and be very aware if 'someone' is in them. Plan your route that you will take. Driving 'down town' with a camper is not a good idea until you have many trips under your belt. The 'curbs' will eat your tires alive and will bounce your camper up in the air and a few 'bad' things could happen. When you need to 'change lanes', plan 3-4 times the length than you would in a 'car'. Say, on a 4 lane road in a town with stop lights with side roads, in a car you may need one 'light' to change a lane.... in a camper you may need 3 in order to 'get over'. People do not like to follow a vehicle that they can not see around. Let those around you know what you want to do.... signal, signal (check all of your lights before you leave, signal lights and brake lights... when they don't work, look at the connection, bulbs, fuses. I like to hook up my camper to the 'plug in' the day before a trip to make sure all of the lights work this will give you time to fix them if some don't. The last thing you want is to have the DW and kids sitting in the truck and you take an hour to get the running lights working) Take your time in changing from one straight lane to another. The back end of your trailer could 'clip' another vehicle if it swings to far to fast in a quick vehicle turn.

Be aware what is around you....... And Don't Hit it.... What you do 'hit' will not take kindly when you say, "I did not see you"
Just some thoughts.

Brother Les

2013 Forest River Salem Hemisphere SBT312QBUD

2001 CrewCab F-250 7.3 PowerStroke Diesel
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:56 AM   #13
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Find a good checklist. Modify it to your needs. Use it always!

Take it slow. If you have to hurry, have your co-pilot make a call that you'll be late. You will never see the guy who is trying to rush you again and they are prolly just jealous you are doing recreation.

Always drive first, then navigate, then worry about OS like cell phone, scanning your radio into a death metal/rap/country station, where you packed the snacks, etc.

Backing up is a lot easier if you have your signals worked out before hand with your spotter. Practice with a toy trailer and have your partner work with you.

Once a the CG you'll find there is always someone willing to help. Heck the managers can usually get a rig into a site that average campers think was impossible, without much effort.

Most importantly - have fun!
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #14
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1) Take your time
2) Have someone ride with you the first time and make sure they are a calm person
3) don't just know how to adjust the brake controller, practice it in the parking lot first

Finally, don't even mess with hand signals for backing up, especially if your spotter is your wife (or a woman period). Men and womens brains work different and men are visual and women are vocal. Use cell phones or some other verbal means of communication (other than yelling).
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Billchelle View Post
Picking up the new 30ft Greywolf on Friday. A bit nervous about towing any advice? Thanks!
With all this good advise, you outta be ready to go n get that bad boy toy! Picker up and bringer home! (all in one piece of course)

Congrats on the new toy
Next year is here - GO CUBS- 6 more WINS to go
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:54 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the info all! Got her home safe and sound!
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:08 AM   #17
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All the above plus before pulling into any parking lot. Have a plan how am I going to get out of the lot. Backing up in a parking lot is not fun.
Steve and Adele
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:54 AM   #18
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Few things now that you have her home....

Pick up a set of walkie talkies. Have your spotter speak to you on these when backing up. We use drivers side and passenger side to avoid confusion. As I back dh sill tell me things like tree 3 ft back drivers side. Realize the spotter doesn't know how long it takes to correct direction when backing so try to be a little ahead by using your side mirrors. You can practice backing just the TV using side mirrors only. Then take the whole rig to an empty parking lot (schools work well for this) and practice backing. Practice a straight line and backing into a spot. Get some cones and start with the spit being 5 or 6 spaces wide and then slowly narrow it down as you get the hang of it. The hand at 6:00 on the wheel always confused me so I just know that the trailergoes the opposite direction of the TV when backing. I always start slowly and back a few inches seeing which way things go.

As others have said drive slowly. Leave extra distance. Make sure your wdh is set up correctly. Don't over correct when driving. If you don't have tow mirrors get them. Have a good brake controller.... You want a proportional brake controller and not a time delay/based brake controller. Learn your blind spots. A good way to do this is in the empty parking lot have the dw maneuver the car around your rig. Watch to see when it disappears and reappears.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Billchelle View Post
Thanks for all the info all! Got her home safe and sound!
LQQKS good hooked up with that chevy
I would recommend changing out the stock mirrors for the the gm slide out mirrors. Have them on my truck , nothing better

Happy campin and good luck with the new wolf
Next year is here - GO CUBS- 6 more WINS to go
2014 LaCrosse 323RST-TE-C
2009 CHEVY 2500HD Silverado Z71
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:37 PM   #20
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first towing trip

I also made my first trip towing a Flagstaff 831FKBSS (~6800#) with an equalizer sway bar and an F-150 Ecoboost. not a good experience.
I wasn't prepared for the lurching, constant bumps and the sway at 50 mph was unexpected. on a flat road I got up to 60 but I wasn't that comfortable, like on the edge of my seat constantly ready to react.
So is this normal?
some of us are new and this experience is helpful.

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