successful 1st outing with Burro thanks to FRV - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-26-2020, 08:38 PM   #1
gwc
Junior Member
 
Name: Gary
Trailer: Burro
Washington
Posts: 16
successful 1st outing with Burro thanks to FRV

So after a winter of work on the '85 Burro, and a lot of help from all of you, our 1st camp outing was successful without incident. Before leaving I told my wife this would probably be the one & only trailer pulling experience for me. Too much complexity, too much differing opinions on critical issues etc.


After getting the Burro weighed (1100 lbs) & adjusting tongue weight to the limits of my 4 cyld. Rav4 I had a bit more confidence I wouldn't do damage or place us in any more risk than we lived with in a '66 VW Bus. It was hard to believe how well the trailer towed, how well the TV managed it, and the surprise of 22 - 24 mpg mileage we got. About a 450 mile RT drive to the ocean (Kalaloch Wa.). Planned not to drive over 50 mph but after a few miles of what seemed steady & secure, we felt comfortable at 60 unless a road proved to be uneven, rough or curvy. Little Burro did prove to be "pretty bouncy". I'm sure the torsion system could be replaced for less of that. Has anyone heard of installing some sort of shock on these things?



One minor surprise was the fairly steep slop to the back of the parking pad. I had made one ramp type level block thinking side-to-side level would be the likely issue. Solution was running one wheel up on the parking curb with a chunk of fire wood under wheel on front and back sides & the other wheel rolled up to maximum height on the ramp...choke on each. With jack wheel lowered all the way & stabilizers at rear we were close to level & stable. With no fridge it didn't really matter. Speaking of fridge......as some may remember, my 3 way wasn't working on 110 or 12vlt. so pulled it out thinking we'd give the past used ice cooler a try. Drilled a hole for a drain, inserted and RTV'ed a pvc stub & used a levered expansion plug to close it off. Our gal. + 1/2gal jugs of frozen ice lasted 3 days with enough left for probably another night. Put an upside down rectangular cake pan lid in the bottom for any water/condensation to live under keeping food dry on top. Simple daily drain seemed to work to our satisfaction. Did keep an old Army poncho liner over the box which may have help with ice retention. Cooler is bigger than we need so may line the walls with some sheets of foam core stuff.


Again thanks to everyone on this site for answering questions & sharing opinions & ideas. I'm talking about towing next year back to Kentucky & New Orleans to visit relatives.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:45 AM   #2
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Name: Marcia
Trailer: '00 Burro 17' WB
Seattle, WA
Posts: 70
Thanks for the great trip report! Sounds like you had a very positive trip. You will quickly gain confidence as you travel with your little Burro.

We have a '99 Burro and nearly lost our 26 year marriage over learning how to back it up our steep driveway, having to back across a relatively busy Seattle city street! Now we do it like old pros, and we're still happily married. :-)

Enjoy the journey, the adventures, and the learning.

//Marcia
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:37 PM   #3
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Name: Arthur
Trailer: Between RV's But Shopping
Mississippi
Posts: 33
Super ....

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwc View Post
So after a winter of work on the '85 Burro, and a lot of help from all of you, our 1st camp outing was successful without incident.



You just can't beat a positive trip!


Arthur


.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:06 PM   #4
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: '06 Scamp 16
Rochester, New York
Posts: 223
Great first time out report. Two simple suggestions:
1. Balance the trailer tires if you haven't done so already.
2. Carry a half dozen 14" long 2x6s with ends cut at 45º.
They can be driven onto/stacked under wheels or jacks to cover most
leveling situations.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:05 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1982 Burro
Posts: 9
scissors Jack for leveling

I owned an 85 Burro for 10 years and got an automotive scissors jack from a junk yard and welded metal on top of the jack so I had a very safe attachment to the back bumper with a slot cut in the welded section and sides that help on the front of the trailer. This allowed me to jack the back of the trailer level and help to support the front in a safe maner.
Noel
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:37 AM   #6
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: Burro
Ohio
Posts: 16
Just bought a Burro. Haven't learned to back it up yet. What's your advice?
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Old 05-12-2021, 05:53 PM   #7
gwc
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Name: Gary
Trailer: Burro
Washington
Posts: 16
We practiced in local parking lots & learned by placing a hand at the bottom of the steering wheel......that had goes the direction you want the trailer to go. After that it's pretty much a practice of timing & how much of a turn


Gary
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:22 PM   #8
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 4,014
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Advice on backing:

1. The “brains” of the operation is the person giving the directions. The driver’s job is to follow those directions. A lot of people do this in reverse and it’s asking for problems.

2. Directions: “hand on the bottom of the wheel, move your hand to the right. No your other right. Turn harder.”

3. Once lined up a good driver should be able to back up straight using their mirrors. Adjust the wheel frequently!

The problem with the less knowledgeable person giving directions they won’t know which way you need to turn, is there room, etc.

Watch some of the Ford F-150 with backing assist sometime. Watch how often the computer adjusts the steering wheel, it’s close to continuously!

Practice in an empty parking lot, both backing up AND giving directions!
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:28 PM   #9
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 5,115
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Advice on backing:

1. The “brains” of the operation is the person giving the directions. The driver’s job is to follow those directions. A lot of people do this in reverse and it’s asking for problems.
...
Actually the "brains" of the operation is the person doing the backing. First, you are lucky if you have a lookout, but you can't count on having one, or having one that can give good directions. The responsibility rests on the driver. And if that means you have to stop, get out, and look behind the trailer 25 times, then so be it. Just two days ago I had a helper looking out while I backed up a trailer between a bunch of trees. This person's idea of giving directions was to say so softly that I could not even hear, "Don't hit that tree." And I have seen similar situations at many campgrounds. I saw another "helper" trying to guide a Class A into a Scamp sized site from the rear, while ignoring the dreaded blind spot on the tow vehicle's passenger side front corner. I was able to yell "STOP!" just before he took out a post. So what I tell my lookouts who don't often back up trailers themselves is to watch the areas that I tell them to and say nothing unless I am headed toward a collision, in that case yell at the top of your lungs. Then I will hit the brakes, stop, and evaluate for myself. After all.. it's my dime, not theirs.
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:07 AM   #10
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 4,014
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Agree, the random campground volunteer is often a bad idea.
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:38 AM   #11
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Agree, the random campground volunteer is often a bad idea.
Just to be clear.. in both cases of helper I just mentioned, the "helper" was the driver's partner. They just did not understand things from the driver's perceptive. The random campground guy was me, just passing by when I saw the Class A driver was about to hit a pole. Ideally, the partner / helper should have some experience backing and be aware of blind spots, etc. That and clear communication that is discussed and agreed upon before should help.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:17 AM   #12
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,556
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Backing… nudge the bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go. Then as soon as it starts to turn in the desired direction, gradually reverse the wheel to follow the trailer, making corrections as you go. Timing the reverse is the key to smooth backing. A little steering input goes a long way, especially with a short trailer. Easy does it. Go slow and steady.

I set a folding camp chair where I want the back corner to end up (on the side I can see in my mirror). A nudge tells me when I’m done. At night put a flashlight on the chair. I’m not big on spotters unless they are themselves experienced at backing a trailer.

Get out and walk 360* around the rig before starting, and repeat often in tight quarters. Remember to watch for overhead obstacles like branches as well as boulders and stumps on the ground.

When there’s room, line up at an angle to back in rather than a sharp 90* turn. When possible, back toward the driver’s side.

Keep an eye on the front fenders of your tow vehicle, as they sometimes swing wide when backing.

And most important, when things start going wrong, stop and pull forward. Straighten out and resume backing.
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:20 AM   #13
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: Burro
Ohio
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Thanks, Gary, Jon, Gordon & Bill!
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Cordially,


Bruce
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