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Old 03-17-2014, 11:17 PM   #1
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Aging RVers - Or "Help, I'm Down and I Can't Get Back Up"

Okay, let's just be upfront about this. We're not as young and nimble as we used to be. We love our TT, but the weight of the hitch stabilizer bars makes them difficult for me to lift and getting them seated and the chains attached to the hitch is beyond my capabilities. DH can do it, but it's not easy for him either. We also have problems when it comes to hooking up the sewer slinky. We get down on our knees just fine, but getting up again is a major undertaking due to arthritis in knees and lower back.
We don't want a different trailer. We're very happy with her; the problem is ours. Is there a different hitch we should consider? Are there permanent extensions that can be mounted to our dump outlets? It just seems to me that there must be adaptive devices or workarounds that other people with these challenges have developed. If there are not already products available I see a huge market in the years ahead because we're not the only ones this is happening to. Would love to hear your stories and suggestions, but don't need anyone telling us we just need to get in shape. (It's a lot more complicated than that.) Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:22 AM   #2
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For the weight distributing hitch, this unit from Andersen looks lightweight and easy to use. It's just chains, you hook onto the ball, use the jack to lift the back of the truck some, connect the chains and then let it down. I don't see where there's a lot of physical to it.

As for the sewer, not sure what to suggest there.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:38 AM   #3
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I have an Andersen hitch and can confirm that it is pretty easy to hook up. I have a bad back and an artificial knee and kneeling is pretty difficult for me. I use a foam pad and, if need be, I just sit on it. Getting back up is not elegant but sometimes a cane helps.

As for hooking up to the sewer, I suggest you ask the CG manager or host to help. I'm sure most would be glad to assist - especially if you offer them a beer or other refreshment for their assistance.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray and Steph View Post
Okay, let's just be upfront about this. We're not as young and nimble as we used to be.
<SNIP>
We also have problems when it comes to hooking up the sewer slinky. We get down on our knees just fine, but getting up again is a major undertaking due to arthritis in knees and lower back.
We don't want a different trailer. We're very happy with her; the problem is ours. <SNIP> Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas.
Hi Ray & Steph!
Anne & I hear you loud and clear! Dem bones are creaking a tad bit more these days

What Kind of Sewer system do you have at present? We have this one and it is pretty easy to hook up:

Amazon.com: Camco 39761 RhinoFLEX 15&#39; Sewer Hose Kit with Swivel Fitting: Automotive

We realize that you love your TT and may not want/can not trade in for something else, but your predicament is pretty much exactly why we moved from a TT to a 5er. The biggest reason was, as you said, the anti sway bars and the hitch. Unfortunately short of mechanical lifting devices there is nothing much you can do. The hitch is going to weigh a lot and will have to come off the truck, and those anti sway bars only work because they are a 3/4" square of solid steel that braces the trailer behind your TV.

When you move to a 5er (fifth wheel) the hitch changes dramatically from a TT (as does the weight distribution). Now, all you do to hook up is back up to the hitch and when it seats, close a latch and you are done. Raise the landing gear (push a switch), raise the rear stabilizers (push a switch), unplug and you are off!

The other thing we noticed when we moved to our 5er is that in the 7 years since purchasing our TT vast advances in user convenience had been made. Pretty much everything is now automatic (water heater, furnace, refer) and the sewer connections are much more ergonomic. They are @ 4" higher on the frame and much better located on our 5er than on the TT. To hook up I do not have to get on my knees anymore, just bend over. We have a 3 tube system (Gray/Black/Galley) and with the Camco Rhinoflex and aY adapter it all clicks together with bayonet mounts and the sewer is a done deal in under 5 min.

Just some thoughts for you to think about - sorry I really do not have any good solutions for the hitch (which I see as your #1 concern) and, frankly, simply because of the mechanics involved do not think there are any alternatives.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray and Steph View Post
Okay, let's just be upfront about this. We're not as young and nimble as we used to be. We love our TT, but the weight of the hitch stabilizer bars makes them difficult for me to lift and getting them seated and the chains attached to the hitch is beyond my capabilities. DH can do it, but it's not easy for him either. We also have problems when it comes to hooking up the sewer slinky. We get down on our knees just fine, but getting up again is a major undertaking due to arthritis in knees and lower back.
We don't want a different trailer. We're very happy with her; the problem is ours. Is there a different hitch we should consider? Are there permanent extensions that can be mounted to our dump outlets? It just seems to me that there must be adaptive devices or workarounds that other people with these challenges have developed. If there are not already products available I see a huge market in the years ahead because we're not the only ones this is happening to. Would love to hear your stories and suggestions, but don't need anyone telling us we just need to get in shape. (It's a lot more complicated than that.) Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas.
Thoughts that come to mind are;
Have you considered a larger truck, I have pulled heavily weighted equipment trailers without weight or sway bars as long as the trailer weight is high enough maybe a 2500 to 4500.
As far as the sewer you can get a grinder pump this will reduce the hose to a water hose. Plumbing store can order a toll to open the caps without bending over, they are designed to reach into underground access holes.

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Old 03-18-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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You can consider a ProPride 3P, once it it's set up there is not bars to lift or to remove. Have a look at their website and videos, might be a solution.

Trailer Sway Control Hitch Guaranteed to Eliminate Trailer Sway - ProPride 3P
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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I added an extension to my galley tank. Just has a bayonet connection to the original and a valve all in one "plug and play". Much easier access.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:57 PM   #8
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Aging RVers - Or "Help, I'm Down and I Can't Get Back Up"

You can get one of there (sewer hose wrench) to help twist the sewer hose on and off.


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It is pretty easy to modify the end of the sewer pipe to make it easy for you. Any repair shop or plumber can do it.

They also have electric valves that you just flip a switch to dump the tanks.

We're facing the same challenges you are and there are plenty of ways around it.

An Anderson hitch was recommended and you may want to check it out. Very light weight.

Happy Camping.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:06 PM   #9
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To ease the chore of hooking the chains, if you have a power tongue jack, hook up, latch the receiver and raise the tongue about 3" or 4", then hook the chains. Should be a lot easier. As for the sewer connections, I have no suggestions other than maybe try a strap device they have for opening glass jars which might work in this case. Worth a try at least.

Your complaints are exactly what mine were 2 yrs ago when we decided to trade trailers. I had decided no more tongue trailers and whatever TOWTA wanted in a 5er was fine as long as I could pull it with my 1/2T. No regrets whatsoever.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:42 PM   #10
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Ray and Steph,

Seein' as how my mind is going the way of my body, IIRC you have the same V-Lite we had?

We traded up to a 5er (after 8 mos.) for the same reasons you're describing here. DH and I have the same identical neck injury (C5/C6, C6/C7), and while that lends itself to a high level of empathy between us, it made the whole WDH hook-up a witch. DH is one of those who feels that conceding means the pain wins. I cringed every time I watched him muscle that hitch onto the receiver, knowing I couldn't lift that. So, I staged all the other components for him...the WD arms, the cheater bar, etc.

We also loved our TT, literally. However, now that we have the 5er, we don't dread the hitch-up and now look forward to each trip!

I can't offer any advice on how to make it easier for you with your TT, just wanted to let ya know, you're not alone!
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