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What not to do to your 5th wheel


Jeff.Sloan

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This was a video I saw a few days ago...made me cringe. I have taken a horse trailer on some super sketchy roads (aka rutted space between cacti) but they are built for that...I certainly wouldn't have even thoughts about taking my 5'er down them! There are some places I would consider taking a camper that others wouldn't, purely because of my experience level. But if a sign says no trailers, there is a reason and it should be heeded.

 

I'm sure I'll do something embarassing and/or expensive at some point in the future of my full-timing days but here's hoping it's not because I was being an idiot and not paying attention to instructions!

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Pretty hard to justify that FUBAR......way too many just plain stupid things going on there.

I have been around winches a fair amount, and am surprised that they didn't keep people back away from that cable....could have made an already bad situation worse..

Also surprised that in that amount of time no authorities showed up...

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I want to say that particular road is in eastern Tennessee. Fondly called Tail of the Dragon for its 318 curves in 11 miles, also know as US 129. Bad road for anything longer than a Smart car.... But very fun in muscle cars, corvettes, bikes, etc!

 

EDIT- I didn't watch the video- just looked at the pic

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Wasn't there a tunnel in the video? No tunnels on 129, aka Deals Gap. That said, I agree that it looks like some of the roads in that area. I've been on a bunch of roads down there that are clearly marked "no trailers" and such. Ever been to Burke's Garden? Severely twisty and only one way in or out.

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Looks like US 16A south of Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

 

I had that thought, but if I remember correctly, that road has three tunnels, and in the video they said there were two. Been wrong before though. Another great motorcycle road...........

 

Someone here will know exactly where it is.

 

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It was 16A in SD. There are 3 tunnels in the area, but only two are actually on 16A. The Dragon would be easy even with my big turning radius--there are lots of other roads in east TN that wouldn't be so friendly. That includes at least a half dozen railroad underpasses at less than 7'.

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Basic luck of knowledge, instruction and practice. Doesn't matter which particular road this is or in which state. Geography will not alleviate the basic problem shown in the video.

 

Another example in this illustrious industry known as RV industry. Sign the sales papers and the bank loan documents, hook it up to your pickup and go. All qualify for the "RV experience and the way of life". The brilliant, the clever, barely capable, as do the idiots and morons.

 

Let's see, licenses, or at least minimal instructions are required to operate cars, boats, motorcycles, airplanes, heavy equipment, machinery, etc., etc. Not RVing, "You already have the keys to your pickup, right? Here are the keys to you fifth, let's go onto the sales lot and hook her up". "By the way, that gate out of the sales lot is wide, but keep it to the left before you take a right onto the street". That's the extent of RVing education, if any at all.

 

OK, first time you take a street corner to the right and the fifth follows you over the sidewalk curb, you figure out what to do, if you are a member of the first three subgroups of RVers. If you are a member of the last two, you keep doing it over and over.

 

A friend of mine (he's brilliant) was ready to drive off his 40 plus footer from the manufacturer. I hooked up my 40 footer to the Volvo, took it out of my (very narrow) driveway onto the road and swapped seats with him. We did straight country roads, we did interstate (a breeze), then narrow and windy country road, we practiced backing into slots on an empty parking lot. Then I had him drive into a Walmart parking lot and stop. I took over the left seat and demonstrated that a 40 footer can be maneuvered on such a lot and driven even in between the isles if you plan it and position the rigs at some odd angles and wide approaches. Also I demonstrated that some aisles and pathways are just not "make-able" and that it's better to pass those by and pick another way. Then he tried the same on that lot and passed with flying colors.

 

How many heard of anyone offering such a rudimentary "education", by the industry, the dealers, the sales people, or be required by the state.

 

That corner in that video, was easily "make-able", all he had to do was to drive on the wrong side of the road, "sorry oncoming traffic, you might have to stop, or move over, until I pass". Guy's a moron, who still didn't master the concept of wide turns to the blind side.

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I often thought there should be a lesson in trailer towing required when a person gets their license since most people will haul at least a small trailer at some point in their life. Even if they don't it would be useful knowledge to have regarding stopping power. I don't know how many times I've had some idiot cut me off or pull out in front of me when I'm hauling a loaded horse trailer...you CAN'T just slam on the brakes with live cargo. Maybe these a'holes just don't know and an education would help, or maybe they just don't care. Either way, it does surprise me that any one can go get the biggest trailer they want and haul it anywhere without any kind of training.

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Pretty hard to justify that FUBAR......way too many just plain stupid things going on there.

I have been around winches a fair amount, and am surprised that they didn't keep people back away from that cable....could have made an already bad situation worse..

Also surprised that in that amount of time no authorities showed up...

 

I agree about keeping people back from the winch cable. In the mid-80s a crew at FT Stewart, GA, was moving a disabled M1 Abrams tank with a tank retriever (basically an M1 with towing equipment instead of a gun) and the cable snapped. It cut the guy standing between the two vehicles in half. Not pretty.

 

Rob

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