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Old 05-04-2021, 08:46 AM   #1
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First Time Driving with TT - VERY SCARED!!

I consider myself comfortable behind the wheel of a car, but this is the first time I'll be towing anything. Today is going to be the inaugural run with my new 22' TT. I'm going close to home, about 30 miles, taking a route that will be somewhat rural with minimal traffic or a need to change lanes. I'm going to be boondocking in a large field so backing into a camping space is a problem for another day!

I WILL, however, need to merge onto a lightly traveled highway for about 10 miles, and I'm nervous about the merge. I do have a backup camera mounted and can therefore see behind me, as well as two mirror extensions.

Any words of advice for a new driver about hitting the road? Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "hitting"............. ;-)
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Old 05-04-2021, 08:49 AM   #2
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You’ll likely gain confidence as you rack up more miles! Good luck, have fun.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:18 AM   #3
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Don't worry, you'll be feeling comfortable behind the wheel very soon! Just drive at a speed that feels good to you and don't let anybody rush you. Keep in the right lane as much as possible and just let the world rush by!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:22 AM   #4
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Most people are worried about towing when they first start. You just need some practice. As far as backing, find a large, open parking lot and practice. It takes practice and some time to be comfortable.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Souljourner View Post
I consider myself comfortable behind the wheel of a car, but this is the first time I'll be towing anything. Today is going to be the inaugural run with my new 22' TT. I'm going close to home, about 30 miles, taking a route that will be somewhat rural with minimal traffic or a need to change lanes. I'm going to be boondocking in a large field so backing into a camping space is a problem for another day!

I WILL, however, need to merge onto a lightly traveled highway for about 10 miles, and I'm nervous about the merge. I do have a backup camera mounted and can therefore see behind me, as well as two mirror extensions.

Any words of advice for a new driver about hitting the road? Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "hitting"............. ;-)
Don't fall in love with the rear camera. It is a good ideal to have one but do not use it only. Use your outside mirrors to look. If you use the rear view camera too much you may be distracted and not pay attention what is ahead. You can easily get distracted by the rear camera and take your eyes off the road ahead for TOO long of a period to when you may need a panic stop to keep from introducing yourself to the person in front of you
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:47 AM   #6
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Take it slow, and easy. Keep a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front. Agree with not using your backup camera too much. Take the time to get your mirrors positioned correctly.

Brake controller, and hitch will need adjustments as you get a better feel for your setup.

Don’t be nervous, stay calm, and after a few miles you’ll be feeling better.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:12 PM   #7
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I had a 5x8 cargo trailer for about 10 years before I bought a truck and Arctic Fox 22G. I bought the trailer about an hour away because they were the closest Northwood dealer.

I had to merge onto I80 about 1/2 mile from the dealer to get back home. It helped that I had my wife providing an extra set of eyes. The truck handled the trailer just fine and I had to get a feel for acceleration and breaking on I80 going over the 7200 foot high Donner Pass.

Everything worked out well and I am more comfortable now. I added 3 cameras so I can see on each side of the trailer and behind the trailer. Having a GMC2500HD gave me a great towing vehicle for the full size trailer.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:20 PM   #8
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stay close to the posted speeds , unless your in the Midwest. Over 75 mph is never a good idea! Make sure your door rear view mirrors stick out at last 4~6" wider then the trailer. I followed some Gifted new owner with a mid size Nissan SUV pulling a 24' travel trailer that was 8' wide , for sure he could not see me behind him! I could not see his car or the mirrors

slightly wider and later turns will keep your trailer tires off the curbs.

Enjoy your new camper , stay safe and pay attention.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:42 PM   #9
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Take it easy.
Go slow. Keep your distance in front
If they cut in front of you get that distance back fast, take your foot off the gas.
Get a set of walk-in talkies for the backing in.
I still remember my first tip in my 32 ft Class A in May of 1999.
The #1 accident involving RVs is you rear ending someone else.
The #2 accident is you take a right turn to sharp.

Take it out in the early morning and ride around where you are familiar.
Go for a ride with it on a Sunday morning, practice getting on and off the highway.
That’s what I did.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:45 PM   #10
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Remember. Speed limit signs indicate the max speed. You are allowed to go slower. I personally don’t tow over about 100 kmh.

Stay safe.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:24 PM   #11
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I have an easier time merging into heavy traffic with my 36' 5th wheel behind me than I do without. For the most part people are really nice when you have a big trailer. They understand your limitations and the tough situation you face. Contrast that with a merge in a car/truck and everyone (at least in my angry city of Portland, OR) speeds up or does whatever they can to make your driving experience miserable. Don't worry... you'll be fine.
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Old Yesterday, 07:16 AM   #12
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If other people can do it so can you. There really is no other way than to get the experience than doing it. Your mpg will be cut by 47% and your truck will feel different but that is normal.
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Old Yesterday, 10:32 PM   #13
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Your getting some good advice here, and you’ll be just fine.

I would suggest you stay in the middle lane on the highway (assuming 3+lanes) and avoid the right lane if possible, too many people getting on and off to deal with, just get up to a comfortable speed and go down the road.

If your camping in a big field, that would be the perfect place to learn to back up, give it a try, but don’t ruin your trip by getting frustrated with it.

Have fun!
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Old Yesterday, 10:57 PM   #14
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Depending on your mirror setup getting a clear view of a on-off ramp in the mirrors may be the hardest thing. If you side mirrors are mounted on arms, you can add another mirror that normally appears to stare into space, but is aimed to give you a view of the ramps and merging traffic. I agree do not become overly attached to any camera system. I use a windshield mount and place my rear view monitor directly over the normal rear view mirror. That's the place you're accustomed to looking for that view and does not required unusual eye movement.
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