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Old 02-19-2019, 03:39 PM   #21
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Name: Mike
Trailer: !977 KingsleyGMC, 1968 Bailey Mikado
Nova Scotia
Posts: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
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!

I was pretty impressed with your tutorial, Laura, until I came to the part of trailer theft.
Does ANYONE on here have a 1st hand experience with having a trailer being stolen; never to be seen again??
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:54 PM   #22
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panhead_mike View Post
I was pretty impressed with your tutorial, Laura, until I came to the part of trailer theft.
Does ANYONE on here have a 1st hand experience with having a trailer being stolen; never to be seen again??
Firsthand, no. There are several reported every year on the various molded fiberglass sites I frequent. Perhaps itís fake news, a conspiracy to sell security products...

If the reports are to be believed, some have been recovered, others not.

Havenít heard of one disappearing from a developed campground, though. I suspect thatís the least likely place for a trailer theft to occur. Most are stolen while in storage, at home or in a lot.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:39 PM   #23
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Name: P
Trailer: Casita
Washington
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
. I've found if I center the tow vehicle to the trailer and slowly back up, everything will line up. When I think I'm 'close' I get out and check, then think... okay two more feet. I look over my left shoulder and have spotted something on the ground that's 'about' those two feet and slowly backup.

You'll get this, I promise you. Don't let someone else's fear get under your skin. You are not them and they are not you.
Oh yeah, I get out and eyeball the distance from ball to hitch and then throw a glove on the ground or something at where I want to stop. I use the open pickup door for a reference--when pickup door edge is over glove, get out and check again.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:25 PM   #24
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Montana
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Not to make light of a great, informative thread, but...

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Old 02-19-2019, 06:30 PM   #25
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Petroglyph?

Or, petrolglyph?
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:28 PM   #26
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A trailer full of towing wizards!

Or, more likely, as the thread is titled: solo woman towing wizards
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:13 AM   #27
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Oregon
Posts: 3,046
Don't under rate your ability to learn how to do new things. You did learn how to drive a car, this is way easier than that, it is just a subset of skills you have already developed.


Learning to judge the distance between the trailer tongue and the hitch ball on the tow vehicle is the hardest part of it. But that is not a mechanical thing and the only way you are going to learn it is to do it a number of times. You learn it by creeping up on it, move a little, get out and look, move some more. After all you did learn to park the car, to back it up and the to get a driver's license you even had to learn to parallel park which also requires a lot of judging of distances. When you switched to a different car you had to retrain your brain to new distances as they are different for each car model. But you managed that as well.



So what I am saying is have more confidence in yourself. You have the ability, it just requires some extra practice to make it stay stuck in your brain. No one cares if you have to get in and out of the car 10 or even 20 times when you go someplace that is not busy and practice, practice, practice. Once you have done it enough you will gain the judgement.



If you have depth perception issues then find yourself some helper aids to make it easier. I have some of those brightly colored tall fiberglass sticks with magnetic bottoms because I have some new depth perception issues after having had eye surgery on my right eye. They moved all the curbs on the right side of my car several inches further away than they used to be. I don't know how they managed to do that in every town I go to.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:56 AM   #28
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Name: Laura
Trailer: Escape 21' 2nd Gen, picked up on Black Friday 2016
Washington
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by panhead_mike View Post
I was pretty impressed with your tutorial, Laura, until I came to the part of trailer theft.
Does ANYONE on here have a 1st hand experience with having a trailer being stolen; never to be seen again??
Well, thanks - I guess.

I don't want to have first hand experience of getting my trailer stolen. However, I have heard enough comments from others. Nor do I think they're fake news (such a useless term). First time I used it, the fellow at the next site came over to ask what it was and told me that if he had that several years ago his trailer probably wouldn't have been stolen from the front of his house.

Several years ago, on the Escape forum, there was a fiberglass trailer (can't remember if it was an Escape or not) stolen in the Pacific NW area from the woman's house. It was recovered and I think mostly due to social media getting the word out. Lots of folks were looking for it and it was eventually spotted.

There was also someone posting about a friend of theirs that lost their non-fiberglass trailer from a campground in BC.

You can also get tracking devices for your trailer, such as Spot.

To me, the wheel clamp is just like insurance - may you never need it, but it's sure great to have when you do need it. Who knows if the wheel clamp deterred someone from driving off with it?
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:58 AM   #29
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Name: Laura
Trailer: Escape 21' 2nd Gen, picked up on Black Friday 2016
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
If you have depth perception issues then find yourself some helper aids to make it easier. I have some of those brightly colored tall fiberglass sticks with magnetic bottoms because I have some new depth perception issues after having had eye surgery on my right eye. They moved all the curbs on the right side of my car several inches further away than they used to be. I don't know how they managed to do that in every town I go to.

Amazing how inconsiderate some cities are! I had that same problem once but it was due to the pain pill I took. And no, I wasn't driving, but I kept yelling at my friend for getting too close to the curbs. We still discuss that issue years later.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:58 AM   #30
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Name: Laura
Trailer: Escape 21' 2nd Gen, picked up on Black Friday 2016
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisle View Post
Wow, Laura! As a prospective solo female trailer traveler you just gave a great tutorial! Thank you! Lisle

You're welcome!
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:00 AM   #31
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Name: Laura
Trailer: Escape 21' 2nd Gen, picked up on Black Friday 2016
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpat View Post
One warning that I've not seen in my quick scan of this thread, Helpful Strangers. They will hop in and start doing things that you don't want them to do. I happened to see a guy starting to remove my wheel chocks before I was ready. Had he succeeded, there was a good chance of the trailer heading down a hill into the woods. I had damage done to my car from a guy deciding I needed help to get a kayak off (he didn't ask). He grabbed the boat, it slipped off onto the hood and mirror, bending the radio antenna and dinging the car. Gotta watch out for those guys. I'm not meaning to bash men, but it has always been men who have done this in my experience.

Wow! Can't say I've ever had that happen. Dang, that would be majorly frustrating, to say the least.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:05 AM   #32
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Name: Z
Trailer: Sasquatch
Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Petroglyph?

Or, petrolglyph?
I thought you messed up and meant petroglyph or pictograph, but was that a petrol pun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
A trailer full of towing wizards!

Or, more likely, as the thread is titled: solo woman towing wizards
Yes, I just couldn't let go of the image in my head from taking the thread title literally.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:20 AM   #33
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
The Mountains of NC/SW Desert of UT
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I don’t see solo trailer towing as a male/female issue. It’s more about awareness, driving ability and common sense. We have friends where the wife has all those attributes and regularly tows solo. Meanwhile the husband does not have those attributes and would be in trouble towing solo.

Few things are about brute strength, but flexibility and mobility do enter into the equation. Lowing stabilizers = getting down on your knees. I use a gardening foam pad for this along with a battery powered drill. Easy, easy!

A power tongue Jack is a very nice addition too! Next trailer I will get one, might add one to my current trailer.

One nice thing about most molded FG trailers is they are narrower than traditional trailers. My two trailers are both about the width of my TV (F150) which makes lane positioning so much easier.


I find a backup camera to be very helpful, once I figured out what I was looking at! It prevents the entire backing up, getting out of the TV, seeing how it looks, getting back in the TV and repeating several times.

For quick single night stays, often I don’t bother unhitching and look for a pull through site instead.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:05 AM   #34
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Trailer: Sasquatch
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It's a very good point that's been brought up a few times now and is something I'm finally needing to learn myself: it's not about brute strength.

Not that I've ever been some huge bulky guy, but I've realized as I'm now in my 40's that it helps to do things smarter, instead of harder. I can pick up my canoe, hold it over my head and walk up to my truck and slide it on the roof. But one misstep and I could easily mess up my back. So I don't do it that way anymore.

The most physical part of working with my trailer is the tongue jack, and an electric jack takes care of that problem. Whether it's cultural or genetic I don't know, it seems like in general men find it more natural to pick up the skills associated with towing, but obviously anyone can do it. I see plenty of women driving semis.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:09 AM   #35
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Trailer: Roamer 1
Smith Valley, Nevada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Lowing stabilizers = getting down on your knees. I use a gardening foam pad for this along with a battery powered drill. Easy, easy!

A power tongue Jack is a very nice addition too! Next trailer I will get one, might add one to my current trailer.

One nice thing about most molded FG trailers is they are narrower than traditional trailers. My two trailers are both about the width of my TV (F150) which makes lane positioning so much easier.


I find a backup camera to be very helpful, once I figured out what I was looking at! It prevents the entire backing up, getting out of the TV, seeing how it looks, getting back in the TV and repeating several times.

For quick single night stays, often I donít bother unhitching and look for a pull through site instead.
Great post. I agree.

My previous trailer had manual stabilizers and the battery drill made quick work of lowering them. The power jack on the tongue is a very nice feature. One thing about tongue jacks that is so annoying in many cases. Too often manufacturers put the jacks right at the front of the tongue and it prevents opening the tailgate of the truck to get things out. I have a cab high camper shell on the truck and, on my older trailer, I could not get my bike out of the truck unless I disconnected the trailer to drop the tailgate. Very annoying. Fortunately, Oliver puts their jacks back out of the way.

Towing is much easier with a 7' wide trailer, compared to an 8' wide trailer.

I've gotten used to my backup camera and can put the ball under the coupler without getting out to look or having someone watch for me. Very convenient.

Many nights we have stopped at a parking lot or rest area and not disconnected. You can still level a bit though, while still connected, or at least stabilize if needed. Or just back one wheel up onto a board to level. Easy. Ours is almost perfectly level when towing and often rest areas are level. And I don't want to look like I'm camping. So I just pull into the spot and that's it. Then leaving is just as easy.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:20 AM   #36
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Name: karen
Trailer: 2018 Casita Spirit Deluxe
OR
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NW Cat Owner:

Thanks so much for the long list of devices that make setting up easier.

I'm on my own with my 2018 Casita SD. I have really bad arthritis so bending over/leaning over, puts a lot of stress on my hip joints particularly and when I going about the business of setting up or breaking down I forget to bend at the knees (they are painful too after all) and by the end of the day, I am crippled when I do it like that. When I remember to be more careful and bend at the knees more and/or use a little stool to sit down when I'm attending to things, there is no problem.

Like many of us, though, as we age, the getting all of the water oriented things connected with a tight connection and no leaking is often an issue so will look at the stuff you use and might have some shopping to do on Amazon today.

thanks so much,

- karen
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:59 PM   #37
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Trailer: Formerly Scamp
Oregon
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Hi, Laura; Thanks for sharing your suggestions - about the brass water connection, did you get a 45 or 90 degree? Do you keep it attached all the time? Concerned about it hitting bushes.
Thanks for a reply.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:55 AM   #38
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Name: Cheryl
Trailer: Looking While I Continue to Work
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Thank you Steve for your humor!!! I love it!
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:58 AM   #39
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Name: Cheryl
Trailer: Looking While I Continue to Work
North Carolina
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So grateful for all the Women Tow Wizards here!

I can't believe how amazing you all are, and humbly thank you for adding to this great discussion.

OK! GOAL - Get Out and Look!
Got it...
I can do this!
We can do this!

So grateful to be part of this great community. Going to my first RV show tomorrow and can hardly wait.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone...
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:45 AM   #40
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Name: Linda
Trailer: Scamp 1992 13'
Washington
Posts: 35
Hi NW Cat Owner
Does one have to buy 4 of those wheel levelers at $94 each?
Thanks
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