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Old 08-21-2009, 12:06 AM   #57
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Thanks Raya and Pat.
I have dogs and puppies to travel with. I have cell phone, I have AAA and good sam insurance also on the trailer. I am all set except for mace.
If the weather is nice I am going to go somewhere close by next week. The only way to get over the fear is to hit it head on. I have camped in my drive way, camped with family members that have tents, but I have never gone anywhere all by myself in the camper without meeting a friend at the campsite. I have even looked at mini motor homes as I could just pull in to a site, and no one would know I was all alone. (too expensive for me to buy a good one though). The idea of parking close to the host camper sounds like good advice (if the campground has a host camper). I know I have got to get brave, but then it is a scarry world out there with more and more weird-o's out there all the time.
Hubby won't go so I have got to do this. I want to winter in the south, so I need to get over this fear.
Thanks for the advice!
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:15 AM   #58
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Thanks Raya and Pat.
I have dogs and puppies to travel with. I have cell phone, I have AAA and good sam insurance also on the trailer. I am all set except for mace.
If the weather is nice I am going to go somewhere close by next week. The only way to get over the fear is to hit it head on. I have camped in my drive way, camped with family members that have tents, but I have never gone anywhere all by myself in the camper without meeting a friend at the campsite. I have even looked at mini motor homes as I could just pull in to a site, and no one would know I was all alone. (too expensive for me to buy a good one though). The idea of parking close to the host camper sounds like good advice (if the campground has a host camper). I know I have got to get brave, but then it is a scarry world out there with more and more weird-o's out there all the time.
Hubby won't go so I have got to do this. I want to winter in the south, so I need to get over this fear.
Thanks for the advice!
Hurrah! Hurrah! Karalyn's going camping. If no campground host, there's always sections of the campground with sites close together and children, etc. If you are worried about backing in, do what I did at first, drive in forward as far as you can (hopefully a site well off the road) and DON'T TOUCH THE STEERING WHEEL WHEN YOU STOP. That way, when you are ready to leave, let the tow vehicle back out exactly the way it drove in. I did this with the teardrop quite a lot after I screwed up trying to just back it out and struggling with it.

Not sure how it would work with bigger trailer - I began backing in the Compact II in the beginning. Took a while that first time(boy did it take a while; needed a shower and a nap when done) and sometimes since but mainly I learned to just keep my eyes focused on the outside rearview mirror and SLOWLY slowly make adjustments. My biggest problem was "slowly, slowly" :). I have stick shift and for a while was afraid I was going to burn out the clutch.

Having the dogs with you is going to keep you busy and entertained and acquainted with others since most people like a puppy. My dogs are one reason why I now park way away from others if I can - can let them off leash to swim or poke around for a while; can't do that next to host site or in the middle of crowds.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. This is wonderful. You won't be "alone"; you're with your dogs. Pat

p.s. not sure if the "mace" remark was a joke or fear showing?????
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:50 AM   #59
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Here's what I could never figure out is, "Why people don't seemed to question a man who travels solo"

We many be danty little ladies but we are just as capable as any man. In fact, we are the epitomy of multi taskers. Think about what most women do in the course of their lives. Certainly more than just going to work and back. There are children, the house, cooking, jobs etc. etc etc. We do these things inconjuncton with one and other on a daily basis.

There is nothing we can't learn to do.

So why aren't we capable of going campiing, full timing etc., solo!!!!
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:49 PM   #60
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:raises hand: I know, I know!

We ARE!!

(But I completely hear what you are saying; no one ever asks a man (or men) out on a fishing trip "Are you alone!?" with that incredulous, slightly frightened tone.)

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Old 08-21-2009, 10:07 PM   #61
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Going out on the road alone is scary. But as I sat here reading and thinking, I think of all the things I have done that were scary. Going on stage in a play is scary, going to a wildfire as a medic is scary, teaching adults a class is scary and just meeting the new neighbor can be scary. I guess what gets me through scarey things is the joy I know I will have retelling the stories and that I will have no regrets. I sure don't want to miss a chance of a life time. Just do it girl, the butterflies will fly away and the joy will come.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:09 AM   #62
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If you are worried about backing in, do what I did at first, drive in forward as far as you can (hopefully a site well off the road) and DON'T TOUCH THE STEERING WHEEL WHEN YOU STOP. That way, when you are ready to leave, let the tow vehicle back out exactly the way it drove in. I did this with the teardrop quite a lot after I screwed up trying to just back it out and struggling with it.

Not sure how it would work with bigger trailer - I began backing in the Compact II in the beginning. Took a while that first time(boy did it take a while; needed a shower and a nap when done) and sometimes since but mainly I learned to just keep my eyes focused on the outside rearview mirror and SLOWLY slowly make adjustments. My biggest problem was "slowly, slowly" . I have stick shift and for a while was afraid I was going to burn out the clutch.

Having the dogs with you is going to keep you busy and entertained and acquainted with others since most people like a puppy. My dogs are one reason why I now park way away from others if I can - can let them off leash to swim or poke around for a while; can't do that next to host site or in the middle of crowds.
You hit it for me! I still haven't gone any farther than the mechanic's down the road and the planned trip from Indy to San Diego is looming in a month! I have been alone aLONGGG time, so no fear of being alone and I have two very capable bodyguards (see my profile picture). But backing and towing over hills/mountains makes me feel queasy! Also the horror stories of blown tires or broken axles or ruined transmissions and my basic belief since childhood that if I do something, the bad consequences that I am warned about are bound to happen to me! That is in spite of having moved across the country to unknown areas twice by myself, bought and renovated houses by myself, supported my son and I through college by myself etc. I am still terrified of towing a trailer for the first time! I had intended to take several small trips before the big one, but trying to tie up the loose ends at work before I quit and fixing the house problems before I get it on the market are eating all my time. No time to do trailer repairs either! I have several contingency plans, including selling the egg before I even take it out! My time constraint is getting to my son's wedding by the first week in October.

Thank's for the tip about pulling in as far as I can and not touching it! I never thought about that solution for parking in campgrounds. I think I will practice that one in the drive to give me more confidence. Why do I still need confidence boosters after so many successful years and projects on my own?
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:10 PM   #63
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You hit it for me! I still haven't gone any farther than the mechanic's down the road and the planned trip from Indy to San Diego is looming in a month! I have been alone aLONGGG time, so no fear of being alone and I have two very capable bodyguards (see my profile picture). But backing and towing over hills/mountains makes me feel queasy! Also the horror stories of blown tires or broken axles or ruined transmissions and my basic belief since childhood that if I do something, the bad consequences that I am warned about are bound to happen to me! That is in spite of having moved across the country to unknown areas twice by myself, bought and renovated houses by myself, supported my son and I through college by myself etc. I am still terrified of towing a trailer for the first time!
Okay, you've got a 13 foot trailer - so have I. To get the trailer, had to meet seller in tiny town up into panhandle of Texas driving from central Louisiana. Guess what? Trailer brake lights didn't work with set up even though seller promised he had alternates planned. SOOOOh, I drove only during daylight hours and hand signaled and was very careful. Parked in one of those great roadside areas where the big trucks park and spent the night for free - even had a view of a lake. Got back and went to the RV place where they pointed out a wire was trailing the ground underneath my car; fixed that and new connection. Brake lights!

Apparently the guy that installed the wiring when I got the teardrop trailer years ago did it very haphazardly but fixed now. That first trip was over 1000 miles - no I didn't do any backing up and the bad wiring didn't cause a fire.

Next trip was from central LA to Des Moines IA and no, I didnt' do any backing up to practice ahead of time but did read this blog. For great campsite in Arkansas, HAD TO BACK IN. Yes, I did it. Fortunately the giant Iowa State Fairgrounds campground (which is great and has shade trees, hot showers, and centrally located) had almost no tenants so could drive around and park. Seems like only place I can't back up is if trailer in the front yard. Even have managed to back little trailer into killer driveway at home.

As for the horror stories - sure, I'd heard them and read them but I bought the little trailer to use, not to park in driveway. Have had small a/c installed and bought a Coleman xtreme cooler, canopy, and tarp floor for canopy. The dogs and I are ready.

There is nothing like waking up in the morning, no walking to distant bathroom, making fresh coffee, and going outside to look at the lake or river or whatever - the great thing is being totally away and in a lovely place in my very own tiny house. Sure, it gets messy and not much room. If something terrible happens - never has - I'll call emergency road service. Only time needed mechanic, it was car not trailer.

Anybody who can move cross country alone can tow a small trailer. Just go do it. You'll find you get the hang of it almost immediately unless you are the worst driver in the world; you don't sound like that. Let me know how it works out. Happy Trails, Pat
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:22 PM   #64
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You hit it for me! I still haven't gone any farther than the mechanic's down the road and the planned trip from Indy to San Diego is looming in a month! I have been alone aLONGGG time, so no fear of being alone and I have two very capable bodyguards (see my profile picture). But backing and towing over hills/mountains makes me feel queasy! Also the horror stories of blown tires or broken axles or ruined transmissions and my basic belief since childhood that if I do something, the bad consequences that I am warned about are bound to happen to me! That is in spite of having moved across the country to unknown areas twice by myself, bought and renovated houses by myself, supported my son and I through college by myself etc. I am still terrified of towing a trailer for the first time! I had intended to take several small trips before the big one, but trying to tie up the loose ends at work before I quit and fixing the house problems before I get it on the market are eating all my time. No time to do trailer repairs either! I have several contingency plans, including selling the egg before I even take it out! My time constraint is getting to my son's wedding by the first week in October.

Thank's for the tip about pulling in as far as I can and not touching it! I never thought about that solution for parking in campgrounds. I think I will practice that one in the drive to give me more confidence. Why do I still need confidence boosters after so many successful years and projects on my own?
Forgot about what you said about mountains and hills. Yes, it can be harder than just driving the car. I have a 4-cylinder car with stick shift which is why I bought such a little trailer. Sometimes sort of making a running start at a strongly uphill grade. Yes, going uphill is the hard one - don't let the cars behind you get to you - you're going as fast as you can. I don't pull over for cars to pass on two-lane roads until hit flat area with room to pull off road. I really like two-lane back roads rather than interstates or freeways. The worst experiences are the big cities so I carefully study the maps ahead of time to get around them. It isn't that easy to suddenly change lanes at massive interchange with multiple lanes when you're towing a trailer.

Unless you have giant tow vehicle with enormous power, it will be different going uphill towing a trailer. I've managed to avoid ALL backing on hills and mountains; that can be avoided. Since you're driving a long distance, be sure to have your car and, if there, trailer brakes checked. Have all tires checked. Make sure your fan motor working in car engine and all fluids at proper levels. You'll do fine. Let's face it, if it becomes more than you can or want to handle when you get to the mountains, park the trailer at an RV place and fly on to son's wedding then reverse it when you go home. Pat
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:12 PM   #65
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Name: Karalyn
Trailer: Eggless for now but looking. currently own Amerilite 21 ft
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Ok, I am back from my first ever woman alone campout. I left the house with about 4 places in mind to camp, and started out, thinking I will check out the place about 45 minutes away on my way to a state park about 2 1/2 hours away from home. I liked the first place, so stayed there. It was right on the shore of the Mississippi river. I met the nicest couple next to me. He is 88 and she in her 80's. They camp there all summer and head to Fla in the winter. They have two campers and travel in a class B motor home from place to place. They are having fun in their retirement yrs. Also I met another full timer couple.
I will be going back there as it was very peaceful, relaxing and yes, I did enjoy being alone. However a neighbor drove up and stayed one whole day, so I did not have as much time to myself as I thought I would.
The puppies did draw the kids from the campground.
It was a fun experiance. Now I just have to travel further the next time. After all if I intend to do a few months south in the winter time I need to get a little braver.
You full timers are lucky to be able to travel as you please.
I did find I had way to much stuff in my camper. I had to move it from bed to bed as I cooked, slept etc. I am thinking I might need a bigger camper for full timing it. Bigfoots look more roomy (dreaming here)
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:30 PM   #66
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Karalyn!

So great to hear your trip report. You sound happy Sounds like you had a good plan, with a few different options. Having a friend/neighbor come up was a great idea. Better to be craving a little more alone time than to have too much, especially on your first trip. Step by step

Re: Stuff. I remember when I went backpacking in Europe, years ago. I thought I had packed only the bare minimum, but after hauling that pack around for a day I took all my guide books out and tore out everything I wouldn't need and threw it away (somehow tearing up a book was shocking, but... that weight had to go!). I also boxed up about half my clothes and sent them home.

I'm sure after a few more trips you'll get a good idea of what you need/want and what you can leave behind. Just think of us poor folks in 13-footers

Again, congrats!

Raya
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:55 AM   #67
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Karalyn, I too take toooooooo much stuff and am learning that I really don't need it all. Believe me when I say the bigger the rig the more junk you can pack in, having had a 35 ft class A. I carried to much junk in there to! Junk that I truly didn't need. But just in case, I took it along. I think Raya is right, eventually you will find what you need and what you can live without. Glad to hear your trip was a successsssssssssssssssss!
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:15 AM   #68
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Ok, I am back from my first ever woman alone campout. I left the house with about 4 places in mind to camp, and started out, thinking I will check out the place about 45 minutes away on my way to a state park about 2 1/2 hours away from home. I liked the first place, so stayed there. It was right on the shore of the Mississippi river. I met the nicest couple next to me. He is 88 and she in her 80's. They camp there all summer and head to Fla in the winter. They have two campers and travel in a class B motor home from place to place. They are having fun in their retirement yrs. Also I met another full timer couple.
I will be going back there as it was very peaceful, relaxing and yes, I did enjoy being alone. However a neighbor drove up and stayed one whole day, so I did not have as much time to myself as I thought I would.
The puppies did draw the kids from the campground.
It was a fun experiance. Now I just have to travel further the next time. After all if I intend to do a few months south in the winter time I need to get a little braver.
You full timers are lucky to be able to travel as you please.
I did find I had way to much stuff in my camper. I had to move it from bed to bed as I cooked, slept etc. I am thinking I might need a bigger camper for full timing it. Bigfoots look more roomy (dreaming here)

This is a fine deal! I'm so glad you went ahead and did it. Re "stuff" - one always seems to think that one "might" need that piece of stuff and so brings it along. Right now on living room floor is new lighter weight EZ Up canopy in box - thinking of returning it no matter how much I need a screen room for dogs; it is HEAVY and bulky - where is it going to go while traveling? Bed in Compact II is huge so its end becomes my clothes closet with books, tape player, etc. next to clothes. Yes, I keep moving things around too. Have to stick with tiny trailer due to size of tow vehicle and lack of big money for bigger combination so need to get organized.

When and where next trip?

Pat
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:21 PM   #69
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Karalyn,

Happy to hear you braved it finally.

Don't feel bad about having too much stuff. Last year on my 3 month plus trip I had clothes I wasn't using so I boxed them up and sent them home. Actually I sent 2 boxes of stuff home that I could live without and through the remainder of the trip I didn't miss any of it.


Pat, rather than a heavy Ez-up why not a collapsible fence or two. That's what I carry for Lily.l They fit fine just behind the passanger seat in the Jeep. Lily's are 2ft x 2ft but you can get then taller, 2ft x 4ft etc. Lily just loves her personal yard when we are out and about.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:00 PM   #70
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:raises hand: I know, I know!

We ARE!!

(But I completely hear what you are saying; no one ever asks a man (or men) out on a fishing trip "Are you alone!?" with that incredulous, slightly frightened tone.)
Because we're creeped out enough seeing a solo man camping next to us...

OK there are some good tips here and even as a guy I can learn from you lie-deeez (thanks for that Raya! ). You girls are smart...especially for not counting on a man to protect you - I mean seriously what would an average guy do against 5 armed men high on drugs? Sure I could dance myself silly and hope they shoot eachother from the hysteria but I doubt that'll work. I suppose if it's some weirdo thinking of taking advantage of the situation he might think twice about it but dang I don't think he has a chance anyway; we've got Rotweillers here, Mace, 38 specials, Jujitsu and a few angry ladies.

On a more serious note I've been wanting to buy a weapon for home defense - the wife's quite against it and living in CA it's not the easiest thing to do. In my research people say that if you're not willing to kill someone don't bother owning a gun or you'll likely get yourself killed. I guess what they're trying to say is that a lot of people own a gun in the hopes that just by showing it they could defuse an altercation but that only works if the other person's unarmed. If he owns a gun too then chances are he'll actually use one on you. So never display a weapon unless you intend to use it. Personally I'm not sure I want to go that route. So for now I sleep with the truck key next to me and my finger on the panic button. I may purchase a bear spray for the 4 legged creeps - should work on the 2 legged ones too.
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