I am Askeered! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-02-2007, 09:58 PM   #1
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OK, tomorrow, if all goes well, I will be picking up the new Burro.

I have never towed anything this long before (And I am sure the big stickie folks will think a 17 is puney)

What are all your experiences/learning curves when moving up from a 13 to a 17 or bigger?

Anything that you know now please share, so that it won't suprise me later...
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:48 PM   #2
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Gina, I'm sure with all your towing experience, you'll have no problems getting used to that extra 1.1 metre, just remember it weighs a titch more so you'll notice that l'il extra bounce and the added length might catch up with you taking corners, highway towing should NOT be an issue... Good Luck with it !!
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:19 AM   #3
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You'll be fine Gina. I think you'll notice the difference in the width and what you can see behind you, rather than the length. Pulling into driveways, etc. you MAY have to take a wider turn however.

Let us know how it goes and still patiently waiting for pics.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:38 AM   #4
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Yeah, what Donna said. When my sister got her wide-body Burro, seeing down the side of it became limited. I just experienced the same thing moving from the Casita to the Bigfoot. Going down the road it's no big deal, but when backing up it is. I am planning to get some extended mirrors for my truck now. Congrats on your new purchase, sound great! Dave
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:47 AM   #5
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Well, the biggest thing I am afraid of is:

folks on my street are rude parkers. Last nite, for example, I had to squeak by two cars parked on opposite sides of the street with almost zero clearance.. in a Jeep Liberty! (They are realtively skinny)

I am not sure if there is that road block that I can back the thing out.

Next is that I have to parallel park in my driveway. It runs the width of my property, not lengthwise. I got good at whipping the 13 into it sideways, but that won't work for this one, it's too long and the tongue would be in the road.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:57 AM   #6
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Gina,
I notice you said you "got good" at parking the 13'. I am sure you will also get good at putting the 17' in the driveway...that's what its all about, experience! You have all the good skills. I wish I could give you some advice based on experience. But having no experience with a 17' I'll just wish you luck and give you encouragement!
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:18 AM   #7
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Take it slow !
Take it Easy!
If you can handle a short trailer then A longer one will be a snap. A short trailer with a shorter wheelbase turns quicker and so mistakes are bigger.
" Don't forget we're pullen for ya. We're all in this together"..... Red Green
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:34 AM   #8
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It might be a good idea to practice emergency manuvers with any new vehicle or trailer. Try a hard stop and lane change before you get into an emergency situation, it will give you confidence in your abilities and your rig capabilities. With more weight comes greater stopping distances. Have fun! Dave.
PS. Don't have to much caffeine the day you pick up the trailer!
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:38 AM   #9
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LOL!

It's today and I am already on my 3rd cup!
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
...you <strike>MAY</strike> WILL have to take a wider turn however.
It will be easier to back up [b]IF you have plenty of room, because the reaction will not be as quick. BUT if space is tight, it will feel like trying to parallel park the Queen Mary. This might be one instance where a short tow vehicle could be an asset.
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:53 PM   #11
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I have never towed a 13' egg, but have have towed a smaller tent trailer, and an even smaller utility trailer, as well as a bigger (than my B1700) stickie travel trailer and longer and wider flat-deck cargo and car-carrying trailers.

I find the transition generally troublefree, although like Donna I find the width more a concern than length. The longer trailers are more stable, which can make backing up less frustrating if you have room. I have only really parallel parked my Boler a couple of times, and suspect that if you don't get it on the first try, pulling right out and going around for another pass will probably be more successful than endless jockeying back and forth.

The corner cutting problem is a combination of trailer length (from coupler to axle) and trailer track width. That tent trailer which I rented had such narrow track it essentially followed the inside van wheel in typical intersection turns. Since both length and track are presumably significantly increased from 13' narrow-body Burro to 17' wide-body, this is certainly something to be aware of. I don't really think of this as swinging wider, but rather turning later, remembering that the trailer turns as soon as you do, but isn't as far down the road. I know that's not exactly how the geometry works, but thinking of it that way works for me.

For clearance between other vehicles, aim down the middle (without obsessing about watching each side) and you might be surprised how easy it is.

For backing, I think seeing where the far corner of the trailer might be is the biggest issue. If I had to regularly back into a really tight space, I'd look seriously at those back-up cameras, but for a driveway it might be good enough just to get it in place once, then note where the front of the trailer is versus some landmark, as a reference point for the next time.

It's worth noting that the bigger trailer is heavier so more allowance must be made for acceleration; however, perhaps the Liberty/17' combination will perform similarly to the Element/13' combination?
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:44 PM   #12
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For really precise placement of a trailer, esp snaking it around curves into tight spaces, a front-mounted receiver hitch will really do the job.

Also, one of those trailer dolly gizmos from Northern Tools with a ball on it to manually move the trailer on level ground might be handy.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:20 PM   #13
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Gina, I hope all went well for you. It did for me. I found pulling and backing the 17' Casita for the first time today, was no big deal. Now with that said, I spent the entire drive up there with a herd of elephants flapping their ears in my stomach. I was so scared. My co-pilot, Bob, was a familiar face from last year's rally and was great. His wife, Judy, was also at the rally. I got a great educations with all the "this thingy" does this, and showing me the ropes.

It is great to have FGRV family!
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:24 PM   #14
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The front-mounted receiver (e.g. the FMR's from Reese) idea makes sense to me. While I've never had a chance to use one, I can picture how it would work well for parallel parking. You would drive the ball to where it needs to go, and the tug just follows along... which is fine as long as the FMR helps you to do it one pass.

A couple problems might be that these are generally for body-on-frame vehicles (for ease of mounting), and that for some rigs the hitch load which is okay for the back might be too much for the front of the tug. While Reese does show FMRs for various Jeeps - even including some unibody models - it does not show one for the Liberty (it is a Liberty, right Gina?).

The installation instructions for the Cherokee version (Liberty predecessor) show that it attaches at the swaybar bracket mounting points plus a couple more holes drilled in the frame... and has only a 300 lb weight limit, which is just enough for my Boler, and not enough for some Casitas and most recent Bigfoot models. Perhaps those for larger SUVs and full-frame trucks have more capacity, but it's something to keep in mind. I assume that the mounting is the strength limitation, rather than the receiver frame.

I just bought one of those non-powered trailer dollies, because it was on sale and so it was a good time for something I'm likely to need someday. Mine came from Princess Auto, which I think is a lot like Northern Tool. I have not tried moving the Boler with it (haven't even assembled it), because I'm not really up for trying to clear the packed and crusted snow which is now about up to frame level (which starts a foot off the ground in a B1700).

Anyway, I think with a widebody Burro or 17' Boler that level ground will be important for hand manipulation to work for most of us, and this is one case where a person's size does matter. Now a powered dolly... that's another matter, and I agree that would be the ticket. That or a set of caravan movers from Europe, like Lex told us about a while ago.
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