? For Solo Women Towing Wizards - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-19-2019, 04:45 AM   #1
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Name: Cheryl
Trailer: Looking While I Continue to Work
North Carolina
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? For Solo Women Towing Wizards

Not to omit you Gents,

Curious about the ease of "hooking up" 21' FG TT for gently aging women?
I'm new to the RV lifestyle and have never towed a TT. I know there are classes I can attend to help me learn but wanted to get some feedback from other women about how difficult it is to "hook up" as a woman gently aging in her 60's.
I consider myself fit and I absolutely have the desire to learn. Well meaning girlfriends warn me that this will be difficult and hard on my body. They point me away from TV/TT to Motorhomes.
My current plan is to workamp and only travel about 4-6 times a year.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:24 AM   #2
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Name: Ashley
Trailer: Boler
Ontario
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Hi Cheryl,

I just wanted to put your mind at ease. I would suggest that you do take either a lesson or learn from someone that knows what they are talking about. (No half cuts)



Reversing on to the hitch can take time, even longer if someone is watching LOL. But with time you get more confident. I personal would have a safety check list in your cab, for either hitching up or arriving at your new camp.

Like you you I'm a small female in her early 60's with the past 10 years experience running a farm. Attaching equipment should not be exerting on your body. Perhaps your girl friends have never experienced it them self's, or they have seen there male partners doing it badly with poor maintenance.



All the best, happy camping Ashley
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:42 AM   #3
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There is a pretty deep pool of solo woman RV-ers. You're on the right track.

Have you run across the "sisters on the fly" group?
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:34 AM   #4
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Name: Laura
Trailer: Escape 21' 2nd Gen, picked up on Black Friday 2016
Washington
Posts: 121
Welcome Cheryl,

I've been hauling our 21' Escape trailer for almost 2 years now. I was super freaked bringing it back from Chilliwack. I had pulled a small cargo trailer in the past, but this was way different and that was many years ago.

When we ordered it, we knew I'd be doing most of the camping by myself, so we set it up so that was possible. I don't have a lot of strength in my hands, as well as having tendonitis issues. Here's some of the things we did to make it much easier for me:

Electric jack - no way I'm manually cranking that thing up and down. I also have issues with bending over killing my gut due to lesions on surgery scar tissue.

Escape put a strip of yellow reflector tape on the ball hitch cover and that really helps when hitching. It took a bit to figure out where it was in my back-up camera but once I did I can pretty much back it into place on the first try (knock on wood!). I do better on my own than with Dirk's help. He leaves me to it now.

Yep, back-up camera on the tow vehicle. if you don't have one, you can add one. I also have one on the trailer, which is great when backing into a camping site.

Yep, you'll have to learn how to back up the vehicle and trailer. I took lessons through RV Driving School - they have contractors all over the country so there might be one near you. Or another school. Some will suggest watching You Tube videos - tried that route but it didn't work for me.

When turning the truck, I have some decals on the trailer that tell me when I've turned too far and will jack knife it. I still have problems turning at sharper angles, but I've got the gentle angles and straight shots figured out lots better. Periodically I hit the nearby mall and practice there. I also have some small soccer cones that I measure out to tell me where I need to start turning the trailer. the only ones watching me are the seagulls and for a while a very curious Canada Goose. A security fellow will come by, but once Dirk tells him what we're doing, we're fine. Dirk is usually standing outside, looking around for errant vehicles (we're in the completely empty part of the lot, but of course some folks have to drive right past you to get their giggles or whatever). Needless to say, practice, practice, practice.

When camping, I very rarely put down my scissor jacks since I'm alone and I don't notice it moving around when I walk. Yet more bending over that kills my gut. I will put them down if I'm at a rally where I know folks will want to tour the trailer. Or when it's really windy. Twice I've had to do it for that reason and it really made a difference.

Pepper spray! Always be aware of your surroundings. And don't worry about asking others for help. Other campers have been more than willing to help me out. Once I had to borrow a ladder due to the awning not going in all the way. I ended up with at least 3 guys trying to help.

Some purchases that help make it so much easier to camp (for me, at least):

retriever bar for stuff in the front of the truck cab:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

garden hose quick connectors - I have them on all the hoses and attachments - makes it so much easier to connect as I don't have the strength to tighten them up enough so they don't leak:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

elbow connector for city water - much easier than cranking the hose on:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

water pressure regulator:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

small plastic folding step for when I fiddle around with the sewer hose:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hose grip for attaching to the city water faucet - saw an ad for this in Trailer Life and it's invaluable to me:

https://rvcablegrip.com/Hose-Grip.html

For leveling the trailer, I use these. I don't want to mess with moving the trailer back and forth on blocks. Some swear by that, but not me. I love my KoJacks! Most sites are level enough I don't need them, but for when I do I'm glad I have them. Yes, I do have to bend over and crank on them - I just take breaks to give my hands a rest. I tried a power tool and it about flew out of my hands as I couldn't hold on to it.

Kojack| Support |Purple Line

For peace of mind when I'm away from the trailer, I don't have to worry about it getting stolen, as I install a wheel clamp. Some will pish-pish me for doing this, however this is the one thing I use that gets more comments than anything else on the trailer (excluding the cat decals) - I've heard plenty of stories about trailers getting stolen from either home or campgrounds.

Nemesis Professional Caravan Wheel Clamp | Trailer Accessories | Purple Line

I use these instead of those super horrible cotter pins that were almost impossible for me to pull out. I use them on the weight distribution bar after they were suggested on the Escape Trailer forum. Love 'em!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

All of these things help me camp better. Good luck to you!
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:30 AM   #5
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Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19 on order
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 1,597
Cheryl,

One thing that really helps with hooking up to the trailer is a backup camera. If your vehicle has one, great, if not, you can get an aftermarket one at Costco.

Then with a couple of basic pointers to get you started, you can practice in an empty parking lot by putting the trailer into parking spots.

The very simplest and most basic starting point, is to back up more or less, straight. Start out straight by going forward until the tow and the trailer are lined up and you see the same amount of trailer in each mirror. Then, as you back up slowly, look in your mirrors. If you see the trailer more in the right mirror, turn gently to the right. Or the left, turn to the left. With some practice you can keep it going, more or less straight in reverse. The better you get, the less you'll actually steer.

Then you can build on that idea to steer it in reverse toward where you want to go, by allowing it to be more in one mirror than the other as it arcs around toward your goal. Relax, take it very slow and don't over react. If it gets turned too far, just straighten your wheels, and pull ahead a bit to straighten it back out. Then try again. In the beginning it will turn too far, so be careful not to hit it. And again, the better you get, the less you will steer, so if you find yourself turning the wheels all the way, back and forth. Just slow down and respond sooner to it's movements.

This method shows you the basics and lets you practice. Every trailer is different in how quickly they respond. The shorter the quicker. So take it slow.

When you are ready to take a trip, make sure your brake controller is adjusted and working. This means you can feel it braking just a bit and it doesn't skid when you stop.

You should be able to feel the trailer holding back just a bit, or be able to stop with no more than the usual pressure on the brake pedal. You can look for skidding by stopping harder than usual in a practice area and see if the trailer skids by looking for marks, looking in the mirror, or having someone watch.

Practice applying the brakes with the override knob on the controller so you know how to do it. This is generally an emergency procedure, but it's also a way to test that the brakes are working.

I hope you have lots of great adventures! It will be much more fun once you relax and get this basic stuff figured out. And it is not hard to do.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:35 AM   #6
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Name: Lee
Trailer: Casita
Texas
Posts: 363
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Here is an article on trailer hitch assist products that you can look over.
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:36 AM   #7
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Name: Vicki
Trailer: 2019 Scamp 13' with 2015 Nissan Frontier V6
Alabama
Posts: 49
I'm 63 and also new to towing a camper. I had trouble getting my truck in position to hitch the trailer until I bought a set of Hitchin' Rods Trailer Hook-Up Guides. I bought them off Amazon for $35.99. They would be easy to make at home if you did not want to spend that much.
Long story short, I have been able to back up and hitch the camper on the first try every time when using these rods. It was worth every cent for me!
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:06 AM   #8
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Name: Steven
Trailer: Rockwood
Kentucky
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I also use Hitchin Rods- great product! As a man, I'm not too proud to use them. They have saved lots of fights with DW, and I can hitch up alone. Highly recommend them.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:21 AM   #9
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Name: sharon
Trailer: Scamp
Virginia
Posts: 162
Just take your time & maintain your cool. I find parking by myself easier than a ‘helper’ ( what do jazz hands mean when I’m backing up??? Lol).
If you can’t see a way thru don’t guess- I got bottled up behind a gas station I thought I could drive around.
In general, camping people are kind and helpful. Many times I’ve heard ‘ma’m, do you want me to park that for you?’ And sometimes I take them up on their offer!
Make sure you have a jack & lug wrench that fit the camper- it might not be the same ones for the TV. Like the kind NC state trooper said, it’s all part of the adventure, right?
Most of all, have FUN!
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:23 AM   #10
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Name: Jean
Trailer: Scamp
North Carolina
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I am 64, had my 19' gooseneck Scamp 3 years now. I can handle it myself just fine. I do have my son handle replacing the propane tanks. I use those tennis balls on metal rods to line up and my son taught me a trick to get the hitch easily seated. Often travel with girlfriends my age or over and sometimes alone. Happy to tell you more if you like.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:30 AM   #11
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Name: Cheryl
Trailer: Looking While I Continue to Work
North Carolina
Posts: 39
Thank you Ashley,
We share a love for farming! I had a small vegeatable and fruit tree farm for several years in CA. Never had to hook up though because I used a BCS walkable tractor.
What do you farm?

Thank you for your encouragement!
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:39 AM   #12
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Name: Cheryl
Trailer: Looking While I Continue to Work
North Carolina
Posts: 39
Humbled by everyone's gracious help and suggestions.

Thank you for pointing me to the tools I need and confirming the driving school.
I don't have a TV yet as I wanted to make sure I got the best one for the job.

Thanks to the great people here, I have many new resources for my tool bag!
So grateful for your encouragement and promise to become trained and courageous.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:45 AM   #13
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Name: Wendy
Trailer: 14 Casita 17 SD
Florida
Posts: 136
Here’s the thing — if you’re determined to learn, you will. Everything’s hard in the beginning, but overcoming challenges is exhilarating. I started full timing at 68 without ever having set foot inside an RV, towed a trailer, or even camped. The learning curve was steep, but I was never too weak or small or ignorant to figure it out. Other campers or people on this or other RV sites are glad to help.

At a Casita rally a couple years ago, I ran into a woman who was 90+. She still soloed but now only part time. Stop asking whether you can or should do it and only ask how. We other solo women are here to cheer you on!

WendyW. and
Rhett the Anti-War Cat
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:40 PM   #14
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Name: Ashley
Trailer: Boler
Ontario
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Originally Posted by CPrice View Post
Thank you Ashley,
We share a love for farming! I had a small vegeatable and fruit tree farm for several years in CA. Never had to hook up though because I used a BCS walkable tractor.
What do you farm?

Thank you for your encouragement!



I'm a retired Organic pig and sheep farmer. Farm to table, 100 acres of rotational crops.

I miss being out side on the farm all day. Even in our Canadian winters -30. That's why I feel I've got the camping bug again. Last year we moved in to town. I've started my search for a small fiberglass trailer. But so far only large trailer advertisers have contacted me.



If you happen to see a trailer (13ft) that fitted my needs could you contact me ?




All the best Ashley.
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