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Old 04-15-2014, 08:57 AM   #1
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Typically Easier to manuver, MH/Trailer

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I thought I would post my question here and see what kind of info I can get from the forum.

I just picked up our first RV, 97' Pace Arrow 34P and my parents have a 31' trailer. My question revolves around which type of camper is easier to park, I've never owned an RV or a large trailer for that matter, and I'm assuming we'll be doing a lot of camping with my parents, so I want to be able to tell my dad what kind of camping plots I can get into.

Is there a big difference of the type of camping plot you can get a trailer into vs a MH? Technically there is only 3' of difference.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
JBro
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:06 AM   #2
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Not much difference in sites you can get into. The primary difference would be that some folks find backing a trailer to be more difficult than backing a motorhome. And remember during the backing that the mh is 34ft long while the trailer and tow are 50-some ft long together. How difficult either would be depends mostly on the driver.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:09 AM   #3
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Will you be towing anything?

If not, then I would say that the RV would be easier because it is one unit and you simply drive or back as such. Visibility and a good copilot help a lot.

If yes, just remember that you can not back up until you unhook the toad. With a camper, you can back up while attached, therefore you may say that is easier.

Regardless, they both have their own special benefits and drawbacks.

Having fun and making memories is what it is all about. I also find part of the fun of the journey is learning about your rig and how to keep it going down the road to the next adventure....

Happy travels!
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brocja01 View Post
I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I thought I would post my question here and see what kind of info I can get from the forum.

I just picked up our first RV, 97' Pace Arrow 34P and my parents have a 31' trailer. My question revolves around which type of camper is easier to park, I've never owned an RV or a large trailer for that matter, and I'm assuming we'll be doing a lot of camping with my parents, so I want to be able to tell my dad what kind of camping plots I can get into.

Is there a big difference of the type of camping plot you can get a trailer into vs a MH? Technically there is only 3' of difference.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
JBro
JBro,
You've been given some good advice. Your new at it but, many of us have been parking these beasts in tight camp spots and RV parks for quite some time. Nothing takes the place of experience. We can all tell you, "it's a piece of cake" but, DOING IT, is considerably different than being told HOW TO DO IT. So, here's some food for thought. Either cruise on down to your local sports store or, anywhere they sell those little "Hockey" or mini-traffic cones, you know, the ones that are only about a foot high, and pick up a dozen or so.

Then, go find an empty parking lot, school, K-mart, Wal-mart, Home Depot (yeah sure) or, church or, anywhere you can setup make-believe camp parking spots. Then, go at it. Learn the "Timing". That is, what it takes to setup a turn for backing and going forward. Learn what it takes for lead time, that is, how far you must go past a potential site and, what angle you need to prep at, to begin the backing into that spot.

This is all kind of same thing that's used for drivers that are learning to take a Commercial Drivers License test. They kind of do the same thing. The more cones you have, the more you can simulate the actual road/camp spot/entry and more. Again, nothing is better than practice and or, practical experience.

And, do it from both angles. That is, approach your potential spot, from the drivers side and, the passengers side. Obviously it's harder from the passengers side but, there are times when, it might be the only approach due to angle of the camp site in relation to the road in the camping area or, just the layout of the campground or RV park. Now, not only are you concerned with things that are body or, curb level when backing or pulling into a potential spot but, you must equally be aware of obstructions OVER HEAD TOO!

Tree branches, over head lights, wires, and more could be lurking to bite your coach in certain conditions. So, your head and eyes are always pivoting in the mirrors, windshield, side glass(s) and more. And, if you have one, the rear view camera is a pretty good help too but, don't always rely on it for the total picture. A spotter is good and, in many cases, seriously necessary.

Practice with your spotter. If it's your wife, then setup a good repore with her. Don't get mad at her if she's giving you "weird" hand signals or, you don't understand her. By all means, STOP THE COACH, set the brakes, and get out or, lean out the window and ASK. One other thing, many times you really need to pay attention to the location of the sewer/electric/water hook-ups in the site.

Sometimes, the builders of the camp sites, are absolutely clueless in setting these spots up. They may put them way in the back, (been at several of them) so, while your ideal spot may be in a certain position in a camp spot, it may need to be adjusted just to you can reach the hookups.

So, any way, it would behoove you to go out and practice some. Get the hang of how your coach turns at sharp angles and, what it takes to go from, say a straight on approach, to a 90 degree backing turn, to enter a spot, and, like stated, do it from an approach from the drivers side and, the passengers side. Good luck. Take care and enjoy your new RV lifestyle. And, by the way, even if you're towing something like a toad, flat towing or, on a dolly or, a trailer, there's not always room in a "pull through" for that kind of stuff so, you can quickly disconnect prior to your entering your camp spot.
Scott
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:32 AM   #5
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I've had both and parking a Class A is easier than a trailer, although I've not had a fifth wheel so I can't say if it's easier than those.

I've seen a few very tight parking situations and couldn't say which one would be better or worse for those.

For the most part either type will be ok.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #6
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Everyone, thanks for the responses! I'm getting pretty excited, our first trip is planned for Mother's Day at my home town camp site. Driven through it many times so at least I'll know where I'm going. The RV is still in the shop, Auto Parking Brake, couple leaking hoses, and misc stuff getting all fixed. Hopefully will have it this weekend!
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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Watch this video:

http://betterrving.com/rv-driver-con...course-part-7/

It is really helpful. There is a series on this website that can teach you quite a bit. Very good.
Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:00 PM   #8
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Watched that video, learned more in 7 minutes that I did in 300 miles of driving.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:24 PM   #9
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Absolutely agree with dvmweb. The videos are based on the drivers course offered at Lazy Days. Pay special attention to the hand signals used. These are very important, driver and copilot should practice these. Yelling back and forth when backing into a site doesn't work.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
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I think another big difference is we pulled in the same time as a TT and I had my steaks on cooking while he was still setting up.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:22 PM   #11
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I've had both and for me backing in with the motorhome is less complicated. With the trailer the "bend" in the middle makes it more complicated. Either are easy with enough practice and a good partner (guide) helps in both cases.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:29 PM   #12
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We've also had both and I practiced with the TT's but just never got the hang of it. One other aspect not mentioned. Most CG's have a fair number of sights that are deemed, "Pull throughs." They are designed for the overnight stop so you can pull in set up NOT UN-HOOK your TV or your TOAD and pull out the next morning.

That was part of my problem with pulling a TT. We stopped three times heading to FL every year but they were always pull through sights so I didn't practice my backing skills. Then we'd arrive in FL and I'd struggle getting the TT into the sight. Then 30 days later we'd head home, stop at 3 CG's with the PT sights and then I'd again struggle getting back into the driveway at home.

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Old 04-16-2014, 08:08 PM   #13
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While I was learning to drive a semi-tractor/trailer, my instructor told me "anyone can drive straight ahead; where you earn your money is backing-up." That stuck with me. Of the 3, TT, 5er, MH; Having owned and used RV's for many years, IMO backing a 5er is hardest, 2nd TT, MH is easiest. If it bends in the middle it is harder to judge swing, or radius. That said, I could back a trailer into some places I cannot back my MH, simply because it does not bend in the middle. FIRE UP said it- PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:12 PM   #14
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One buddy has a 28' 5er, another has a 32' MH and I have a 28' MH, we have never had a problem with any one of them when we camp. Since there is a huge over hang at the back of my MH I can turn it around in the middle of my residential street, they would be hard pressed to do it because of the extra length of the truck. Of course I can't back a trailer for crap...
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