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Old 10-19-2013, 10:18 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 253
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Absolute newbie

While I've owned & driven a 40' boat on Lake Michigan...I'm scared stiff about our new purchases. Just bought a Brand new Tundra with tow package and just ordered a new 8329ss TT w the diamond package. Any advice about learning how to drive it and what to watch for would be appreciated. We live in the Chicago area and are thinking of driving it to Phoenix in early November.

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Old 10-19-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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I went from pulling a kayak trailer from a parking lot, down the walking path to the lake and back. After that, I had a pop-up camper for a year. THEN I BOUGHT A 42' FIFTH WHEEL!

The very best thing that my dealer did was take me for a test drive. I drove my truck with the camper and a tech rode shotgun and talked me through a 30-45 minute drive (even missed a turn because we were talking).

The best thing he told me- as you go to make a turn, stay straight until the inner trailer wheels pass whatever obstruction you need to pass. Once past it, you can cut the wheel as hard as you need and you won't hit whatever it is you're avoiding.

The only other thing I have a terrifying fear of is the tail swing. As you turn right, your trailer's butt swings left and vice versa. I've heard of people hitting stuff at gas stations, trees and even other vehicles as they maneuver around. I regularly send me wife out to check and then she'll get back in the truck after I make a turn.

2012 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | My family and I have fulltimed since June 2015
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:01 PM   #3
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I agree with you: better be safe than sorry. Taking a minute longer may save you a lot of dollars.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:11 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 765
Originally Posted by Maron View Post
Any advice about learning how to drive it and what to watch for would be appreciated.
I was just like you 5 yrs. ago. I was terrified of towing. I, too, had someone from the dealership ride home with me and park my 13' pop up, that's how concerned I was.
What Dad said about the inside wheels is spot on. Add to that what a retired trucker told me: "Go slow - turn small."
Do what is comfortable for you. Speed limit is 70? You're most comfortable doing 60 (like me)? Get in the right lane and do 60. If you feel you must allow someone to merge into your lane (you have the right of way, remember). slow down even more; don't move over and become trapped in the fast lane.
In a tight spot, as in the aforementioned gas station? DW gets out and acts as a spotter. We don't move until a plan is in place. People waiting for you to do something? Let 'em wait. They'll be waiting longer if you screw up.
Stay calm. Remember, thousands of other folks have been in your situation and learned how to tow successfully. You will, too.

Wright and Penny
(with Fitz and Lizzie, the camping kitties)
Richmond, Va.
2010 Tundra 4X4 5.7L V8
2014 Rockwood 2604WS
Life is a cruel teacher. She gives the test first; the lesson then follows.
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