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Old 03-22-2019, 02:29 PM   #1
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New 3901WB owner

..and first time rv-owner. Yeah, I know...let's not bother working our way up! Go big or go home! I'm going to have a lot of stupid questions for all y'all.

We will be full-timing come the end of the month. We'll stay close to the dealer for a couple of weeks of shake-down then head for the coast.

I did a lot of research on this endeavor at least. Went with a Dually for a tow vehicle in spite of what the salespeople told me. The thread here where everybody listed their tow vehicles was what finally convinced me. Thanks for that. I do have to get a Texas Class A license though. I'll be taking a driving class in a couple of weeks and then the Class A road test. *gulp*

I've never driven with a large trailer before but I have driven some large straight trucks. So far we've had a couple of minor close-calls but I got it home in one piece and tucked into it's storage spot. That was a huge victory for me.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:30 AM   #2
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new owner

Take a breath !....Its all easy....you just need a little time....remember both ends of the spectrum are un-safe.....being so timid or being over confident...You got a dually...great job ! No matter what some say....a dually is by far the safest most predictable tow vehicle.....the trailer is less likely to push the truck around....all these things are true if they are married to common sense....Avoid hauling your rig in high winds...take a break....let things calm down....your got an RV and enjoying the life style...you should not be in a hurry...Get together a check list of "Pre-flight" tasks so that you don't forget things....don't let others tell you what to do when backing in to your camp site....train your significant other to be an excellent spotter keeping an eye on things when you are trying to get parked..Don't let others driving pressure you into an unsafe maneuver....but don't impede traffic....Plan your routes to minimize surprises.....and always....ALWAYS stop for HAPPY HOUR..!!
Get out there and have fun...!!
Wes
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:25 AM   #3
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Welcome to our bunch !! You'll find a great group of people here with a tremendous amount of experience, warmth and enthusiasm. Never, never hesitate to ask a question, you'll get an honest answer.

And don't think you're the only one that started with your last rig first. The 36RL we have was our first RV. We've had it now for over 6 years and pull d it more than 42,000 miles. The last 9k miles have been fulltime and we added the Focus to the train just for more fun.

Take your time getting used to the rig. Don't know what truck you have, but if the mirrors are like my Ford, set the bottom ones so you can always see the truck and trailer tires at a glance to check where they are in turns. Then go out on a weekend o an industrial park, find a BIG parking lot, take some cones, and PRACTICE.
The confidence and skill will come.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:29 AM   #4
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We went from being the newbie to this is our current setup. Pulls great and some of the places I've had it in and out of amaze even me. Lol
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:29 AM   #5
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I did OK getting it home from the dealer, which was about two hours through Dallas freeway construction. There was a close call with the rear corner of a Cracker Barrel but I missed it by a couple of inches.

It took me about 6 or 7 tries to get it in it's storage slot. Which impressed my wife, but she loves me. I wasn't all that happy with that.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:34 AM   #6
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Sounds like you did fine....remember the trailer turns different than your truck.....its wheels track slightly inside your truck wheels when turning a corner....so "curb jumping" or similar is common if you don't swing out a little....But its totally practice....after you have been moving your RW on a regular basis for a couple of weeks...its amazing how fast it becomes reflex.....and you know where the trailer is and how much room you have....In regards to backing....get some practice in a open space some where....a fifth wheel maneuvers easily once you get use to the length...I do stress using a spotter....I come from an RV tech back ground and at the dealership I worked we packed units in so tight...inches to spare....we had so much stock and the yard was not big enough.....My wife is a pro spotter....she makes sure she is in the mirror and when she give me a signal...I listen....She is back there... she knows what happening....we do the same when I bring our trawler (43' ) into our slip at the marina....Its tight....and ramming into someones million dollar yacht makes for a really bad day !

Wes & Denise.....2015 loaded 38RL / 2016 F-450
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:07 PM   #7
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Even when you feel more confident, NEVER let you guard down, because that's when one of those OOPs will happen, Murphy's Law.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:57 PM   #8
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Use your cell phone on speaker or Bluetooth and talk to your spotter over the phone. It saves a lot of yelling back-and-forth
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:54 PM   #9
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Backing is easy as long as you don't over steer. Find a parking lot that's empty put out two cones try to back between them as if parking, practice when you turn your steering wheel a quarter turn right simply watch your trailer wheels, you will be amazed how far your trailer will track to the left and vise versa. From that you will gain confidence on how far to turn steering wheel to make trailer move in desired direction.
Another good thing to do in empty parking lot is find a light pole or even a tree in far distance behind you, and try to back straight towards it, keep in mind you only have to move the steering wheel about two or three inches left or right depending on your correction needed, but again be patient and watch wheels of trailer move, if you go to quickly left to right over steering, you will not back straight, give trailer time to react.
Keep your eye on the tree \ pole you choose and try to keep wheels of trailer moving straight as possible, its a lot of fun and good practice.

Have a spotter behind you and when you back try to have spotter stay in your mirror preferably driver side, at all times, if you lose site of them stop, this will prevent you from having something serious happen.
Most spotters don't understand when first starting out that you don't have full vision of them always when backing so you must train yourselves both to get in the habit of making sure you do that.
If spotter signals stop, do so immediately.

Hope this helps, have fun at the school.
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff&Karen39MB View Post
Backing is easy as long as you don't over steer. Find a parking lot that's empty put out two cones try to back between them as if parking, practice when you turn your steering wheel a quarter turn right simply watch your trailer wheels, you will be amazed how far your trailer will track to the left and vise versa. From that you will gain confidence on how far to turn steering wheel to make trailer move in desired direction.
Another good thing to do in empty parking lot is find a light pole or even a tree in far distance behind you, and try to back straight towards it, keep in mind you only have to move the steering wheel about two or three inches left or right depending on your correction needed, but again be patient and watch wheels of trailer move, if you go to quickly left to right over steering, you will not back straight, give trailer time to react.
Keep your eye on the tree \ pole you choose and try to keep wheels of trailer moving straight as possible, its a lot of fun and good practice.

Have a spotter behind you and when you back try to have spotter stay in your mirror preferably driver side, at all times, if you lose site of them stop, this will prevent you from having something serious happen.
Most spotters don't understand when first starting out that you don't have full vision of them always when backing so you must train yourselves both to get in the habit of making sure you do that.
If spotter signals stop, do so immediately.

Hope this helps, have fun at the school.
Happy Tuesday Jeff... Hope you and Karen are both doing well ! !! Health holding up for both I hope ! ! !

Any plans to be back in Ashland anytime soon?

Joe
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:43 AM   #11
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One important thing to remember when backing is that it is not a race. Take your time,and go slow. Backing faster will come with experience. And don't let others rush you.
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Old 03-29-2019, 05:44 PM   #12
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We have 2019 3901 wb and rear camera but the wife is still the best spotter and cellphone on speaker is the only way to go.....happy camping....
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
..and first time rv-owner. Yeah, I know...let's not bother working our way up! Go big or go home! I'm going to have a lot of stupid questions for all y'all.

We will be full-timing come the end of the month. We'll stay close to the dealer for a couple of weeks of shake-down then head for the coast.

I did a lot of research on this endeavor at least. Went with a Dually for a tow vehicle in spite of what the salespeople told me. The thread here where everybody listed their tow vehicles was what finally convinced me. Thanks for that. I do have to get a Texas Class A license though. I'll be taking a driving class in a couple of weeks and then the Class A road test. *gulp*

I've never driven with a large trailer before but I have driven some large straight trucks. So far we've had a couple of minor close-calls but I got it home in one piece and tucked into it's storage spot. That was a huge victory for me.
Welcome to the group. You'll find a lot of experience here and many who are willing to share their experiences. Remember that the only foolish question is the one that isn't asked. Practice makes perfect in maneuvering and we find that a set of small "walkie talkies" make backing in a lot less stressful. Glad to have you aboard.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:07 PM   #14
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Welcome to the club. Remember this one thing and you will be fine: everything in ssslllooowww motion.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:36 AM   #15
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Part of the deal is that I'm licensed in Texas so I have to go get a Class A license due to the GCWR being over the limit. Road test is in two weeks. *gulp*
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:37 AM   #16
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What is requiring the Class A license?
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:59 AM   #17
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I thought recreational vehicles were exempt from that rule. Was I wrong?
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:38 AM   #18
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I thought recreational vehicles were exempt from that rule. Was I wrong?
That all depends on whose interpretation you hear or talk to. I read the same as you, was told by my local DMV when renewing my DL the same thing & when I ask a highway patrolman was also told rvs were exempt if for personal use.
So my take is if you read it's necessary by all means do it, then there's no issue. I've towed heavy rvs or trailers for 40+ years all across the country & my DL (class C with M for motorcycle) as never been questioned.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:53 AM   #19
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Great information, thanks. We are new to the rv community and live in Colorado. The length and weight of our unit are both under the requirements, but still good to know. Enjoy your travels! We are a few years away from full timers, but look forward to future adventures. Good luck with your class A, always a good thing to have.
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