Poll - How Safe is Trailering? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

View Poll Results: Which have you experienced while towing/camping? (check ALL that apply!)
Accident 3 2.21%
Unhitched Unintentionally 19 13.97%
Blowout 41 30.15%
Fire 3 2.21%
Explosion 0 0%
Other Mechanical issue 31 22.79%
Theft or Robbery 5 3.68%
Vandalism 5 3.68%
Wild Animal Encounter 9 6.62%
Alien Abduction 7 5.15%
Stuck, Mired or High Centered 9 6.62%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 136. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-19-2012, 08:02 PM   #41
Senior Member
Name: george
Trailer: FunFinder
Posts: 455
Flat tires

I've had two flat tires over the years. One on one of my boat trailers about 30 years ago, and one on a motorcycle/rail trailer hauling my dirt bikes. That little cycle trailer had the little old 4.80x8 tires that were really small, so those little guys were really spinning at highway speeds. And being that we were typically running late to get to races, we were usually running way too fast ! It's amazing I didn't blow out a LOT of those tires. Man, we used to pull that thing 75 to 85 mph all the dang time.

And yes I too had the little side door on the tack room area come open on one of the horse trailers a few years ago.

As far as I know, no alien abductions, although sometimes my friends say I act weird.....so who knows.....maybe......
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #42
Senior Member
Name: Kathy
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
Posts: 600
Most of our problems have been with other rigs we've owned over the years. So far our Bigfoot has been relatively trouble free.

Our first RV was a little Class C Toyota Dolphin. My husband was on a trip with it and started noticing that the brakes were acting really soft. He found a shop and they discovered that someone had put transmission fluid in the brake lines instead of brake fluid. He was lucky the brakes didn't fail completely.

A 24' Class C we had developed a leaking roof which we didn't discover until we started off on a trip. We started up a hill and it must have been just enough of an incline that all the water that had accumulated up in the cabover section came pouring down right onto our heads and into our laps! That was fun.

A 32' Class A was the worst offender. The fuel pump failed and we had to have it towed to a shop that worked on big trucks. The fuel pump was actually in the gas tank which required that the shop drain the gas and drop the fuel tank to replace the pump. It was a pricey repair and we had to spend a night in a motel waiting for it be fixed. While going up a very steep and narrow road with that rig we started noticing black smoke coming out the exhaust pipe and that turned out to be some sort of seal that also required a big truck shop to fix and a three day stay in an RV park waiting until they could get to it. That rig also had lots of tire problems. We got flat after flat, but always while we were stationary fortunately. Each time we had to get someone out to change the tire. You don't just jack up a 32' motorhome yourself.

After we got our current Bigfoot we took it on its maiden voyage and had problems with our TV. First the alternator went kaput and then we had to get a new radiator. We got a different TV and it's peculiarity is to stall and die when idling after a long drive in hot weather and/or at high altitude. It's taken three mechanics to finally - we hope - diagnose and fix the problem.

So far most of our issues have been with the mechanical parts of our motorhomes or TVs, rather than with the RV parts. We've only had minor things happen with that part like the "door flying open" and once my husband dragged the electrical cord, which he'd forgotten to unplug and stow away, all the way to the gas station about two miles away before someone pointed out that he was dragging something. Oh, I forgot the time the awning on the 32' motorhome came unfurled while we were driving up the Oregon coast - in a driving rainstorm of course!

We have a roadside assistance plan with Good Sam and have used it two or three times. Their service has always been good. Towing is new to us and I do find it a little nerve racking at times and find myself double checking everything which I suppose is a good thing.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:18 PM   #43
Senior Member
Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
Posts: 1,148
Two catastrophic blowouts on the Bigfoot - one of them took out the waste drain lines - covering following cars in ****.

"Door popped open" was such a regular occurrence on the Boler that I didn't think it was worth mentioning. I had to travel with Bungee cords from hinges to the grab handle until I finally broke down and re-did the striker plate so the catch would hold. On the bright side, that made it easy for the wonderful folks who got into it one afternoon at a Wa State Park to remove stuff they really wanted, without having to actually BREAK into it.

Walked up to the trailer (Boler) in a parking lot and saw that nearly all of the center of the pass side tire was missing - cords showing through.

Had an "interesting" time bringing the Surfside home from Winnipeg - near the Sask/Alta border it began to slam on its brakes and then release them, while the TV simultaneously experienced electrical power surges that kept tripping the breakers. Turned out that (no trailer battery installed) the trailer's battery connections kept shorting together, causing all sorts of mischief.

Had the ball almost unscrew itself off the hitch platform once - hitch was still firmly done up to the ball, but only about one turn or so of thread held the ball to the TV's hitch platform when I saw it at a gas stop.

Grenaded 2 transmissions in 8 hours of towing

Twice I have had surge-brake equipped trailers "pull out to pass me" (they were empty both times!)and had to accelerate madly to get back in front to regain control. Also had a surge-braked rental give me fits trying to back it up a sloping driveway. It rode forward against the hitch, locking its brakes, while the TV smoked the tires trying to push it uphill! (until I realized the issue).

Vandalism was scrawled message about "keep up with traffic, don't block the road" (censored, cleaned up version of message presented here! ) scratched into the paint of the tug (and mirrors broken off!) - in Montana. Keeping up traffic is a LOT cheaper than being seen as a mobile roadblock!

When I was just a "kidlet", my dad had a utilty trailer come unhtiched - at about 30 mph, on a gravel road. I remember watching it zig that-a-way and then zag back the other way, staying out of the ditch and stopping on the road, ready to hitched back up. (The days when trailers required no lights, fenders, safety chains or registration and the TV hitch was clamped onto the car's bumper)
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:45 PM   #44
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honda03842's Avatar
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 7,485
How safe is trailering?

Me experience is that trailering is very safe, particularly if you exercise caution and pay attention to your equipment.

We have been RVing for 11 years and have only had one of the listed problems.

In general we have had no problems in campgrounds of all varieties in probably 2500 nights of camping, over 300 this year. Our experience is that campers of all varieties are freindly and helpful, no thefts, vandilism or problems of any kind, (not that they don't happen).

As to trailer problems, like all vehicles, one needs to pay attention to the tow vehicle and trailer maintenance. Things like balls coming loose, wheels falling off, hitches coming loose, tires failing, all can be dramatically reduced by a few steps whenever you tow.

Our one failure was having the trailer coupler come off the ball. It was caused by the previous owner modifying the coupler. If I had tried to jack the coupler off the ball after hitching up I would have caught this failure. Jacking is something I do every time I hitch up now.

We regularluy check our ball, have sensors on our tires, check the hitch bolts, lug nuts on the tires, balance tire pressures and so on. Some we do daily, othes weekly and some monthly. Sort of like a pilot's pre-flight check.

We honestly feel totally safe towing and at the same time check and recheck every time we hitch up knowing that one must pay attention to prevent failure. Sometimes I miss some small thing but Ginny's there to catch it for me.

We probably have 150,000 RV miles and generally feel safer than we do driving around the Northeast. Part of the reason for feeling so safe is that when RVing we are generally in areas of low population density; the other part of the reason is that we know our equipment and take the time to check that things are working well.

RVing is not something to fear....safe travels
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:54 PM   #45
Senior Member
Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
Posts: 1,148
I agree - RV trailering is quite safe (esp relative to daily commuting in a major city! )

In the several hundreds of thousands of miles of towing I have done (of which a tiny fraction of the total has been pulling a travel trailer) I have found that pulling with a straight hitch (non 5th wheel) seems to be safer than "just driving" and the additional weight of the trailer seems to add stability to the tow vehicle. (Assuming an adequate tow vehicle and a good trailer!)

My least favorite trailers to tow are small, light ones, while the double- and triple-axle cargo and/or race car trailers are much nicer. They hitch on easier, they ride better and they 'behave themselves" back there much nicer, as well as being much easier to back up with. My current Bigfoot 21 footer comes somewhere in between those two "extremes".

Worst one EVER - an empty boat trailer for a 15 foot boat! Too small, too light, too short a tongue. Nearly impossible to back it up and it wagged back there - esp when empty!

I may be somewhat unique in that I greatly prefer a "straight hitch" over a 5th wheel, esp for long trips.
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