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Pulling RV’s

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    • Pulling RV’s

      What RV do you have?
      What do you pull it with?
      We have a ’98 Rockwood pop up and a 2020 Coachmen TT.
      I need some help. The last couple of years I get really messed up when I’m driving through a busy interstate through a city. Or if I’m driving over a really high bridge, like what goes over the Mississippi River. I feel like I’m going to have a panic or anxiety attack. I never was like this before. Any ideas on how to overcome my problem?
    • I'd say don't fight the problem... work around it. Adjust your departure time to avoid congestion times in cities. Take gas or meal breaks well outside of the cities so you're not dealing with as many impatient drivers as you get off & on the highways. Study your intended route on Google Maps and pick places where you can easily maneuver your truck and trailer.

      As far as high bridges, I understand where you're coming from. The 2-lane Route 301 bridge over the Potomac River near Dahlgren VA is high and only has low concrete barriers on both sides. Going over it with two giant sails strapped to my roof had me laser-focused on staying in the center of my lane. If it would have been windy, I would have taken another route. Remember... the trailer is obedient - it will go where it's towed. As long as your truck is in your lane, the trailer will follow. Slow down if you have to. Other motorists may honk their horns or give you a salute, but they'll get past you soon enough and go back to their distracted driving.

      My standard practice driving a rental car on the left side of the roads in New Zealand was to pull over and let people overtake me. Better to let them by than to drive outside of my comfort zone.

      I don't think you're messed up - I think it's normal to have some anxiety about pulling a big trailer in traffic with today's crop of drivers.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Pinkham Notch NH.
    • It's odd..... I'm fine if I'm in the passenger seat. Last year on a trip down to Texas I knew of a tall bridge coming up. I pulled over for gas and asked my wife if she wanted to drive for a bit. She realized why when she saw the bridge. She laughed... Then got nervous as we started going up, lol. (I had been over it by myself on a different trip).
    • I pull a Pop up trailer (10 ft box) with Toyota Highlander (a bit of overkill for the small trailer).

      I don't usually drive the trailer in cities, but I am the odd ball in that I rather like driving in cities. I learned to drive in the Washington DC area and I sometimes miss not having all the challenge of a big city. We take weekend trips into Chicago a couple times per year. My wife will be in the passenger seat screaming as I dart in and out of traffic. On a family vacation to Europe years ago, I even drove the rental minivan around the Arc de Triomphe twice just for fun.



      As for bridges, that is a common issue. Some bridges, such as the Mackanac Bridge will have someone drive your car over the bridge for you at no extra cost.

      mackinacbridge.org/fares-traffic/fare-schedule/
    • When in Brazil, Singapore, Australia, and Europe I usually let my wife drive while I navigated (pre-GPS). I like maps and she likes to drive. Taking our Toyota minivan to the UK made things interesting as the steering wheel is the opposite of the road layout.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I pull a Coleman 286RK total length 32-11 with a RAM 1500 Big Horn. I use an e2 weight distribution/anti sway set up. We don't travel on holidays or Fridays or Sundays. So we'll leave Monday thru Thursday and come back on a Monday thru Thursday. Way way way way less stress.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • We made it there and back. The pull there wasn’t too bad. I left at 5:00am. Traffic wasn’t too bad. We enjoyed surf and pier fishing. The water was still too warm for the fall runs. Just a dozen or so fish were caught. Friday evening the wind picked up as we were packing up. I noticed two ruined awnings in the campground the next morning. We pulled out for home Saturday morning at 10:00am. A much later start than I had wanted. The traffic wasn’t horribly bad, but the wind was. It never let up from the night before. With some of the swaying going on, the passing of semi’s gave new indentations into the steering wheel. My wife claims I was speaking in tongues. But all went well and we made it home safe. Now to finish washing salt water off of everything....
    • A few pics....
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    • Glad the trip went well. Like most things it's a matter of pratice. The more you drive it the more comfortable you will feel. I agree with timing your trip A LOT! I often drive bypasses around cities or taken longer routes that are often not only faster, but a lot less stresfull. People that have never hauled a trailer don't understand. My ex hated riding with me in the Semi when I took her. She said I didn;t talk. I tried to explain to her I have 80,000 pounds under my butt. Fast reactions don't go so well. I aim for fluid. I constantly scan in front for vehicles in front I may have to pass, While at the same time fast comming traffic approaching from the rear. At the same time keeping in mind the near traffick that might be in a blind spot. A simple disraction is the last thing I need. Same applies when towing any trailer. I even go so far as turning off my radio in congested work zones.
    • ^^, I also have bypassed routes. We used to leave the Dallas area and drive to Corpus Christi for a beach vacation. Well you can take I35, but it goes thru Waco (not bad), Austin (they NOW have a bypass) and San Antonio. Then onto I37 (fast and easy) to Corpus. OR, I would exit off I35 and go due south of US 75. Sure there are towns to slow down for and maybe even a light. But little traffic and MUCH less stress. I35/37 and I'd get to Corpus and need a vacation from the drive. US75 and I was just fine getting down there. Time was perhaps a bit slower by 30 minutes but well worth it. That was driving my F250, no trailer.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • It's amazing how different the experience is between driving highways vs local roads. When we took our first trip with our camping trailer, we were going from MI to Yellowstone. We took I80 to central Iowa but then got off the highway to camp at St Park near Ames. The we took local roads to visit my relative in a small town in Northeast Nebraska. From there we took local roads to Badlands NP. This road across northern NE is amazing. You go through several towns with populations less than 100, including one that had a listed population of 2 (but last I heard it is down to 1 after the husband died). When we got back on the highway in SD. even though there was not much traffic and the driving was easy, I felt so much more removed from my surroundings. But as we went to the Black Hills, YNP, GTNP, to SLC (to visit my sister) we were on back roads (there were no highways). But then we're had to drive I80 for 1500 miles to get home from n time. As impersonal as the drive is, I more often than not take the highway because it is faster and the trade off is getting to spend more time at the place we really want go.
    • odd man out wrote:

      It's amazing how different the experience is between driving highways vs local roads. When we took our first trip with our camping trailer, we were going from MI to Yellowstone. We took I80 to central Iowa but then got off the highway to camp at St Park near Ames. The we took local roads to visit my relative in a small town in Northeast Nebraska. From there we took local roads to Badlands NP. This road across northern NE is amazing. You go through several towns with populations less than 100, including one that had a listed population of 2 (but last I heard it is down to 1 after the husband died). When we got back on the highway in SD. even though there was not much traffic and the driving was easy, I felt so much more removed from my surroundings. But as we went to the Black Hills, YNP, GTNP, to SLC (to visit my sister) we were on back roads (there were no highways). But then we're had to drive I80 for 1500 miles to get home from n time. As impersonal as the drive is, I more often than not take the highway because it is faster and the trade off is getting to spend more time at the place we really want go.
      That is some beautiful scenery on that trip you described. The Badlands really stood out to me, it made me feel sort of like I was on another planet.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I have thought about getting some type of RV/trailer. But even in retirement I believe I will just stick with a tent for me, and motels/cabins when traveling with my wife. This approach also allows a lot of flexibility. Break even point is pretty high, especially if buying new. And used you have more maintenance concerns (I am not a mechanic and have no desire to be).

      And if I ever cross the break even point, I will look at the positive side that I did get to do a lot of traveling and seeing a lot of different things. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      Mountain-Mike wrote:

      Glad the trip went well. Like most things it's a matter of pratice. The more you drive it the more comfortable you will feel. I agree with timing your trip A LOT! I often drive bypasses around cities or taken longer routes that are often not only faster, but a lot less stresfull. People that have never hauled a trailer don't understand. My ex hated riding with me in the Semi when I took her. She said I didn;t talk. I tried to explain to her I have 80,000 pounds under my butt. Fast reactions don't go so well. I aim for fluid. I constantly scan in front for vehicles in front I may have to pass, While at the same time fast comming traffic approaching from the rear. At the same time keeping in mind the near traffick that might be in a blind spot. A simple disraction is the last thing I need. Same applies when towing any trailer. I even go so far as turning off my radio in congested work zones.
      It was bike week too... So I had to keep another eye open for the ones flying through traffic. ... I kept my radio off the whole time, there and back. That's a first for me.
    • New

      odd man out wrote:

      It's amazing how different the experience is between driving highways vs local roads. When we took our first trip with our camping trailer, we were going from MI to Yellowstone. We took I80 to central Iowa but then got off the highway to camp at St Park near Ames. The we took local roads to visit my relative in a small town in Northeast Nebraska. From there we took local roads to Badlands NP. This road across northern NE is amazing. You go through several towns with populations less than 100, including one that had a listed population of 2 (but last I heard it is down to 1 after the husband died). When we got back on the highway in SD. even though there was not much traffic and the driving was easy, I felt so much more removed from my surroundings. But as we went to the Black Hills, YNP, GTNP, to SLC (to visit my sister) we were on back roads (there were no highways). But then we're had to drive I80 for 1500 miles to get home from n time. As impersonal as the drive is, I more often than not take the highway because it is faster and the trade off is getting to spend more time at the place we really want go.
      I've spent a lot of time in northern Ne. Most of it up River from Niabrara in a cabin. It's beautiful country for sure.
    • New

      Dmax wrote:

      I've spent a lot of time in northern Ne. Most of it up River from Niabrara in a cabin. It's beautiful country for sure.
      Not alot of people up there. We drove NE12 which follows the north side of the Niobrara river from where it ends at the Missouri River to Valentine. 76 miles of the Niobrara river downstream of Valentine is a NPS Wild and Scenic River.
    • New

      odd man out wrote:

      Dmax wrote:

      I've spent a lot of time in northern Ne. Most of it up River from Niabrara in a cabin. It's beautiful country for sure.
      Not alot of people up there. We drove NE12 which follows the north side of the Niobrara river from where it ends at the Missouri River to Valentine. 76 miles of the Niobrara river downstream of Valentine is a NPS Wild and Scenic River.

      odd man out wrote:

      Dmax wrote:

      I've spent a lot of time in northern Ne. Most of it up River from Niabrara in a cabin. It's beautiful country for sure.
      Not alot of people up there. We drove NE12 which follows the north side of the Niobrara river from where it ends at the Missouri River to Valentine. 76 miles of the Niobrara river downstream of Valentine is a NPS Wild and Scenic River.
      I think hwy 12 is the one that runs through the town of Niabrara. The bridge just west of town that goes over the niabrara River got washed out in the bad floodinging during the spring. ... I have fished a lot of the lakes in that whole area. We really enjoyed ice fishing or chasing walleye on the Missouri River.