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Old 09-10-2013, 12:53 AM   #11
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I have pulled a lot of different trailers from highway tractor trailers to 12' atv trailers over the years so when we got our 39' FW I wasn't too nervous about getting around with it. What I wasn't prepared for was getting comfortable with the back end swing that this trailer has. While the wheelbase is relatively short making it quite maneuverable there is a lot of trailer past the rear wheels and getting comfortable where that back end is going to swing out to has been a challenge. My previous experience with trailers this length has had the wheels almost at the back of the unit.

As ependy said, if you want camp in the middle of the bush, then the 35'+ units probably aren't for you. Having said that, we camped 38 nights this summer at 14 different sites across the Prairies and we managed to fit into every one of them, some required more marriage counselling than others. At some CG the road getting to the site is more of a challenge than actually backing into the site.

My advice is to always take your time, park the truck and take a walk into your site so you can visualize what you need to do. As for getting down the road with any trailer of any size, look far ahead, signal early, and realize that you have less braking power than everyone else around you so give yourself lots of space.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:05 AM   #12
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These were all excellent recommendation and different schools of thought.

Mine is simple and to the point.

Drive it like you stole it!

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Old 09-10-2013, 06:24 AM   #13
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Those who say a longer trailer is easier than a short one are lying.

sorry ependy .... i have to call bs on that. true they are both difficult in their own ways, but i prefer backing a long trailer over a short one. much easier to maneuver.

X2 I have owned trailers of some sort for over 30 years

Shorter trailers are harder to back to a point (Depends on the trailer & the TV)

I have a 5 x 8 Fruehauf Box trailer that is a bear to back up if you are not familiar with it.... My 22 ft box trailer is much easier to back up but my flat car trailer is a pain.... since I upgraded to a duelly (actually I hate to pull the car hauler empty as I can't see it & don't feel it behind me ) Backing it turns alot before you can see it.

Now my 5th wheel is another story...... just personally it is harder to back the 36 ft than it was the 26 ft but most of that is my personal learning curve.....

Having said all that just takes practice, patience, & don't get in a rush...... & the biggest thing I can pass along is it takes longer to stop..... don't get in a position where you don't have enough room.

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Old 09-10-2013, 07:49 AM   #14
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All good advice. The only thing I would add is perhaps taking the truck and trailer to large parking lot, set out traffic cones and practice backing up.

Time and practice will overcome any uneasiness.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:27 AM   #15
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Yes. All good advice for sure. I think to some degree we have all been there. From my experience I can say that you will get used to it and the camper will get 'smaller' with every trip so to speak. Next thing you'll be looking to upgrade to bigger once that happens! I tow a 42' 5er. This came after 3 yrs with a popup and 3 yrs with a 25' TT. It is a little daunting at first, yes, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised and also with how much better your new tow vehicle with handle it.
Selecting campgrounds and campsites blindly with a bigger unit can be hit and miss. We've all looked at the campground map online and the place looks huge and spacious only to find a different story when you get there. Seems that when you fill in the info for some campground bookings and specify your length and slides sometimes it gets overlooked. If CG staff had ever parked one of these they may think a little better about where to put you. I'm not one to shy away from back in sites and so far have not had a problem even with the big 5th wheel. If you are unsure or not 100% confident with your abilities just yet I'd suggest a pull thru site on CG's you have not been to before at least until you can get a look around and make note of some suitable sites.
I'm sure you will get used to it in good time like us all. As already said, just take your time, think ahead and enjoy!
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:38 AM   #16
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Those who say a longer trailer is easier than a short one are lying.

sorry ependy .... i have to call bs on that. true they are both difficult in their own ways, but i prefer backing a long trailer over a short one. much easier to maneuver.
I can mostly agree with that- but the challenge with a long trailer (35'+) is the amount of room in front of the site that you need to make it into the site. A smaller trailer wins every time which was the point that I was trying to make. You're trading one problem for a different one. That's all.

On edit- this is especially true for newbies (like me). Those of you with 20 years of experience have a whole different outlook than those of us with 3 years of experience. I still stand by my original statement that each is a challenge - for me I guess I can add.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:44 AM   #17
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My advice is to always take your time, park the truck and take a walk into your site so you can visualize what you need to do.
With camping at Thousand Trails parks- they are almost all first come first served. Which means, you get to drive around and around the campground until you find a site the suits your fancy. On a couple of occasions now, we've dropped the camper in a parking lot and went and drove in just the truck to find our site. It's an extra hitching and unhitching, but isn't too bad.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #18
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Yeah, I was scared for the first 5-6 hundred miles. Then I relaxed, and my white knuckles turned normal. Biggest problem I had was getting use to the semis when they would pass me. We are never in a hurry when towing our rig, which also helps. That, and we usually don't travel more than 3-5 hours a day. We get off the road early, and get back on the road early to avoid a lot of city traffic. This scenario also means we get plenty of R&R between our daily runs. If we know we are going to travel through a big city, we adjust our travel schedule to miss the traffic. One time we traveled through twin cities area at 2 am. So much easier traveling on empty freeways..
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #19
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I was petrified first time towing a TT. Picked it up on my way out camping. It was only about an hour of back roads driving but a front moving in provided us with 30 MPH winds and gusts up to 40. The wind was also at a 90 degree angle to us most of the way. I was not sure about my TT/TV combination at the time (some people on here would say I was headed for certain death and insurance problems) and I did not pay close enough attention to how the brake adjustment worked and drove most of the way with no TT brakes. I made it fine and I think the rough conditions the first time out conditioned me quicker to relax and enjoy myself. (Which I do by the way. I enjoy towing now and really look forward to it.)
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:54 PM   #20
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For me, just learning something new is when I am safest. I recall learning to ski, and being fine until I got cocky, then looking like a pin wheel shedding skis, poles, hat, gloves, and dignity. A flight safety class I took said that 300 hour and 800 hour pilots are more prone to mistakes than students; not a lack of experience, but complacency can be the big risk.

Also, remember checklists - the less you have to think remember, the less you have to worry about on the road. I recall stopping to make double sure I inserted the ball safety pin just because I had winged it and didn't double check before departing.

Finally,
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