Towing: 5th Versus Bumper Pull? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-17-2012, 08:01 AM   #15
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Hi Cathy P,
I think that you could teach yourself all about driving trailers.
Experienced "towers" could give you help and hints, but you have to actually experience, get the idea set in your brain and get a feel for it yourself.

If you don't have a trailer, find someone that does and ask them to bring it to an open parking lot for you to practise and get a feel for this new experience. Find a parking lot someplace and pracise driving around things (maybe plastic garbage cans? not light standards), pulling up and parking beside things and backing up.

Take your time, don't get flustered, think it thru and I'll bet you figure it out.
Don't be afraid to pull ahead and correct your angle when you are backing up. You'll see what I mean when you start doing it. Also when backing up, if you crank your neck and watch your trailer, then switch over to the interior or outside mirrors, you will get confused at first. Try to do the same thing each time. Sharp trailer angles when backing up are hard to correct until you get experienced with your combination.

Don't be afraid to get your passenger ( if you have one ) outside watching where you are backing into - you should also get out before attempting to back into a spot and have a good look at where you are trying to go.
Shut off your radio and roll down a window so you can hear them yell STOP or 2 feet more, more to the left, etc.

None of this is hard, it's just a new learning curve. The more you practise the better you get at it. If you are pulling a trailer and it's properly set up, you will be amazed at how fast you adjust to having it behind you.

5th whls I don't know anything about - yet.

Wayne
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:12 AM   #16
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Rereading the original post, I don't really see an explicit question. I think the implicit question is "Can I do this?".

As others have said, yes, you can do it. You don't eat an elephant in one bite and don't become proficient in towing in one session.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:31 PM   #17
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Cathy you as Donna and others have said you CAN DO IT! The first tow is always the worst but once you have done it a few times you will be a lot more comfortable. Yup there are tips and tricks that you should learn and others will be happy to share with you.

My worst tow ever - a horse trailer with one four legged passenger who liked to start a party dance and get his fellow 4 legged passengers to party with him..... dancing/moving cargo is never a good thing! :-))
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #18
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It's easy

Towing the smaller fiberglass trailers is easy. What's even nicer is that there are many people willing to help you.

When we started RVing 11 years ago we joined a local club and people volunteered to help us get started. There are certainly many people on this site that probably live close to you that would help you.

We've been to three fiberglass rallies and 90% of the people are helpful beyond anything one can imagine and really nice.

The only tough issue with a trailer is learning to back it in. It just takes time. When we started we would sometimes draw a crowd of watchers, someone always offered to help. Gradually we've become good at it and so would you.



If you are a decent driver you can tow a trailer.

All of us were beginners. Don't let the negatives scare you, it's all easy to learn and the rewards are enormous. Outside of choosing my wife, this is the best decision of my life, to hit the road, to relax a little, and see North America.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cathy P. View Post
Thank you both. It sounds more and more like maybe I am tent person. I love being outdoors!

Cathy, I've got to be on the bottom rung of ability as far as backer-uppers go. But I tow my trailer and also back it up (kind of haha ) You'd be amazed how many campsites can be used as 'pull through' with these little trailers and you never have to even back up! You can also look at maps of the campsites and pick corner sites which have more manuvering room (as you can see from, my posting, I am not a 'practice, practice, practice' person). I never towed a trailer until I got my Uhaul and I do fine. If I see that people want to pass me, I slow down and let them go by. I changed my car for a small SUV (2wd Ford Escape) so I don't feel I'm pushing the limit of towing weights. It sounds like you've done your research, and hopefully you'll find the right trailer for you. Trailers don't come 'perfect', its the owner that makes it 'perfect' for themselves. You CAN do it. Good Luck!
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #20
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Thanks again everyone for taking the time to respond and I truly appreciate all comments and read them more than once and ponder them. As I thought about it, during the time we have been in campgrounds, I actually saw a few of the older eggs. My memory gets jogged each time I see a name that I had seen. They do draw attention in a campground just like a Prevost does - funny! Tom Thumb and a Giant? You'd do a double take? I just need to work up my determination and courage. Well, if I keep thinking about ending up like one of the very old neighbor ladies in their 80's at home with her cat...........14 cats more likely!
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:41 PM   #21
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Cathy, I'm 56 and just got my trailer 4 years ago. It took me a few years of lurking to take the leap of courage and buy one. My girlfriend is 60 (and met me when she saw my UHaul in the yard, and liked it so well that she went and bought a used Scamp). We also camp with a third lady who is in her upper 60's who has towed her little Boler all the way down to Alabama and back by herself. None of us are fabulous superwomen, just ladies who want to camp. You really can do it. Let me know if you're ever in Michigan (I'm south of Flint) and maybe we can meet up. And remember, these little trailer hold their value so well, that if you find you don't really want to keep it, you can resell it for pretty much what you paid for it. (try that with a stickie!).
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:55 PM   #22
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It might help you if you have a friend who has some experience with towing trailers and who can ride with you on your first tow-drive. Just to talk and reassure you, see what you're doing and give you pointers. Get into an area that is pretty deserted and feel what it's like to have that thing behind you. Go to an empty parking lot and practice backing up. Practice hooking and unhooking with your friend watching over you.

A 5th wheel is generally considered to be sway-proof because the pivot point is over the axle instead of several feet behind it, but a correctly loaded trailer (with about 10% of its weight on the tongue) should not sway anyhow. Also some people feel that the 5th wheel tows with less bounce; it won't make your tow vehicle bob like a seesaw the way a trailer can when going over humps and stuff. Those are the main differences. But a 5th wheel requires a pickup, and a trailer doesn't.

There is risk in anything; it's risky to get up in the morning, because you might slip and break your neck! The risks in towing a small trailer are pretty manageable. Hardly anyone crashes and burns. A few folks slip up and forget to fasten the latch on the ball, or they back into something and make a dent... pretty manageable stuff. The 13, 16, and 17 foot trailers all tow pretty easily. Way easier to do than a monster 30 footer. Once you get a little practice and feel confident that you know how to do it, you'll be happy you did it.

Never let fear rule your life.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Never let fear rule your life.
Amen!
Plus being scared means you are alive!
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #24
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Do one thing every day that scares you - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:02 AM   #25
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Cathy

When I had my first Egg years ago I was driving back from Florida going through Atlanta on the Interstate when I felt a "Lurch" and saw one of my trailer wheels passing me on the drivers side of the car!

I was shocked of course as you really are not expecting this kind of thing to happen and it freaked me out pretty good for sure.
Well the funny thing was that I never lost control or even really felt stressed as though a crash was coming next?
The rig handled about the same on 1 tire as it had on 2?
I pulled off the road right away of course and all was OK aside from the missing wheel/tire and I got it back on the road within a day and continued home.

I have also since had a blowout on the highway with the same result.

My point in telling this story is that I can not imagine many situations worse than that one while on the Highway towing and all came out well and no one was hurt.
I am not suggesting you try this(Ha!) but it has helped me relax when towing to a great degree for sure.

I also am committed to towing with too much vehicle rather than too little and if I think I am on the margin of too little then I go towards too much.
I never want to be in an event where the trailer is telling the vehicle where to go if I can help it.
The price of fuel seems small to me when I think of the extra safety that I perceive when towing with a Full Size Truck.

Ed
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:24 AM   #26
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Ed: Your first paragraph made my hair stand on end! I am glad everything turned out OK and yes, I can see how after that you would feel more confident that you could handle an emergency.
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