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I am curious how many of the ladies can pull the outback? I am trying to get the courage up to tow it. I usually have the DH tow and I handle the kids and the dog but in an emergency it would be good to know how to do it. Any suggestions on best place to practice?

Donna
 

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Hi, Donna!
Darlene here!! I think you're a very smart woman for thinking this way. I'm divorcedx2/ex's deceased/not looking, and have a 22 yr. old and 12 yr. old son. I'm disabled, but still able to travel some, so I'm doing the RVing thing, while I still can, and homeschooling my 12 yr. old, via computer, we can go when we want to.
Even though it's just me, and my oldest son is at college most of the time, I made him drive the rig some, and learn how to hook-up/unhook, in case of emergency. I made sure I told him how to handle emergencies: fishtailing, sway, etc., as we were going along. We had been on the interstate, and got off on a nice 4-lane divided highway that's not really heavily travelled. I pulled over, stayed up front with him, and talked him through everything. He drove for about 10 miles, til he felt comfortable with it. That would be my suggestion.
GOOD LUCK!!

Darlene
 

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I'm lucky if I can get my wife to drive up on leveling blocks. I've offered to go to an empty lot for practice but she wants no part of it. I was lucky once to have her tow the boat behind me towing the Outback but she was nervous doing that. I will not even go into what her backing skills were like
.Maybe someday I could take a break from the driving.

To all you gals that do it yourself my hat is off to you


John
 

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I think it is a great idea....

I think that everyone that has a license sould be able to at least drive the rig down the interstate. My DW towed the TT but hasn't towed the 5er...yet.

Get out there, take it to a parking lot and practice....and have fun.

Gary
 

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Hi Donna,

We have a lead driver and a lead mechanic in this household. I LOVE to drive - anything....and know little about the mechanics of the beast...so...I'm the driver. ...and LOVE it!!!! Even so, I was a bit nervous to start with, until I had her on the road for about 10 min. and felt for myself that it really is pretty much the same as driving a car....with longer braking distances.

Any big open parking lot works well - Courthouse, shopping centers, etc. Anyplace where you'll have room to get up a little speed, start, stop, and turn, back up (white lines in parking lots are great guides). And preferably where there are few others....not that having others around really is a problem...but why add to the nerves? Once you feel comfortable there, head out on the road. Back roads seem like they'd be great for being able to go slow...but the traffic can build up behind you and you may not have convenient pull-offs...just adding to the nerves. I find it far less stressfull to drive on the highway. Take it slow if you want - they can go around you. Take your time and RELAX! I'm convinced that - like with cars - its often our own nervousness that creates distractions for us and that can lead to a problem. Focus on relaxing and driving. You already know how to do that - you probably drive your car every day. You'll just be driving something a bit longer & heavier...you'll get the feel of the small adjustments you need to make. Have Fun!!!
 

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Although we are still an Outback Wannabe, when we took my parents camper to MB I drove the entire trip there and back (4 hours one way). Once you get over the nerves and get the hang of it, you don't feel any different.

But then again my father has had me pulling boats and utility trailers since I was sixteen (too many years ago to tell you). He always wanted me to know how to do things on my own. God Bless him because I can take me and the girls if DH is not available.
 

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I think that everyone that has a license sould be able to at least drive the rig down the interstate.
Gary
I don't know about that Gary
There are a lot of people of there that shouldn't even have a license

Don
 

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DW does half the driving when we travel. She was a bit nervous at first but has gotten the hang of it and does a very nice job at it. I had asked her a couple of times to drive right from when we first started camping with a trailer but she resisted for the first season, too many things to get used to with this new way of travelling, setting up, breaking down, etc.

We wanted to start travelling farther than a couple of hours from home and being the great sport that she is she decided that it was only fair that we split the driving responsibilities. We switch off every two hours or so.

Mike
 

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I have helped tow the Outback a time or two. I can't back it up for now but I am practicing. So if I am towing and we get to the campground, we switch around then (when I go into the office to check-in) and Dh pulls it the rest of the way to the campsite and backs it in from there.
 

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Not sure about you're Roo, but My DW is strong enough to pull our 21 all by herself. She's big and burly that way.

Good thing she's not reading the boards these days.
ROFLMAO @ Jim!!! ( I was actually thinking the same thing when I read the post)

Good one Jim.

Although, I've met your wife and I think she might have some trouble on the hills....


Steve
 

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Hi Donna,

Excellent idea & I had the same. I know everything about our trailer. We set up & we break down together from the beginning. I wanted to know everything in case there was ever an emergency & I had to get us home. I have driven home once & it wasn't that bad at all. I was good driving in the slow lane. However, soon after my first time driving we had a blow out. Ever since then every time I ask to drive, my DH says no that's OK I'll drive. I think he is still traumatized over the blow out & does not want me to have to experience & handle such a scary situation
But, I keep asking every time we go camping. I want to be thoroughly proficient in everything pertaining to the Outback. I have even dumped the black tank & that isn't so bad


Good Luck & I'm with ya all the way

Tami
 

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YES…indeed I do!
Actually I'm the full-time…
Hooker-upper,(bars & friction sway)
Tower,
Backer-inner,
Leveler,Un-hooker-upper,
Set-up person.
I also do the tanks after repeating the above steps when leaving a campground!

*Short story, We went camping with my sister and family. My sister arrived first. During her check in the CG owner said "your sister may have a difficult time getting into that site" "maybe we should move her to site#??" My niece was standing there and replied "Oh, that’s OK, my aunt can do it" "she can pull into anywhere!" (BTW she is the president of my towing fan club…LOL)
The site ended up being amongst several trees. It was actually a pull-through but we wanted to have our campers face each other(awning to awning) So I had to actually back into the site from the "wrong" direction! It was very tight, and hilly with trees on the corners of the sites. I did a lot of maneuvering to get in. But, I did it!!! I couldn't disappoint my niece ya' know! (pix below)



I'm not a very good passenger. I'd rather drive.

My very first time towing was by myself with the kids. It was like an 85mile trip! We went camping in the top’O the thumb.(Michigan)
My DH went by boat around “the thumb” to meet us there. I had quite an audience when I pulled in. I had all kinds of people there trying to "help" (pix in signature)
Good thing my girlfriend was there already to instruct people to "just let me do it" It is VERY distracting when too many people "try" to help you. I have a system now which means that DH in back and DD in front to watch for "blind spots"

Anyone can do it if they try! Our last trip I had my DD(15) back the camper up and then pull up onto the lynx-levelers! She did awesome! (baby steps) With only one person telling her what to do it was fine…no confusion.

***I think it would be a great idea for somone to know how to tow a camper. Not just tow but everything. From hooking up to un-hooking. Changing a fuse to dumping the tanks.

Sorry for the long post but I am a firm believer in "equal opportunity towing!" LOL

MaeJae
 

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MaeJae, you're my hero!
I would never have attempted that! My 10 year old granddaughter is my spotter or I don't have one. She also helps set up and tear down. Though I'm pretty fussy about keeping things clean as we do it, we can set up in a jiffy and my record tear down is 2 hours and that's moving with true deliberation. Backing up is my problem. Son Bill keeps saying he's taking me into a parking lot to teach me. Wolfie's 100% correct about the stress. I do much better if I'm all alone without an audience. I don't mind other Outbackers helping me because most of us have the same set-up. However, whenever I camp, I find that there's always 1 man who tries to take over when I arrive or while tearing down, even if they have a tent or a pop-up!
After I leave, my granddaughter and I say, we were doing fine until our neighbor showed up! I have even camped alone now and I've torn down with no help at all twice. I almost always hook-up alone (no problem) and park it at home. I am fine parking if I don't get nervous AND if I can see. I think you'll be very happy you learned. Good luck to all the DWs out there who decide to try it after reading this thread!
 

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MaeJae, you're my hero!
I would never have attempted that! My 10 year old granddaughter is my spotter or I don't have one. She also helps set up and tear down. Though I'm pretty fussy about keeping things clean as we do it, we can set up in a jiffy and my record tear down is 2 hours and that's moving with true deliberation. Backing up is my problem. Son Bill keeps saying he's taking me into a parking lot to teach me. Wolfie's 100% correct about the stress. I do much better if I'm all alone without an audience. I don't mind other Outbackers helping me because most of us have the same set-up. However, whenever I camp, I find that there's always 1 man who tries to take over when I arrive or while tearing down, even if they have a tent or a pop-up!
After I leave, my granddaughter and I say, we were doing fine until our neighbor showed up! I have even camped alone now and I've torn down with no help at all twice. I almost always hook-up alone (no problem) and park it at home. I am fine parking if I don't get nervous AND if I can see. I think you'll be very happy you learned. Good luck to all the DWs out there who decide to try it after reading this thread!
Just remember that to make the camper go one way you turn the steering wheel the opposite direction.
It’s simple for me to "tell" you that but, like Wolfwood said…go to a parking lot with lines.
You can practice backing up within the lines.

You can do it!
MaeJae
 

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I actually do better with my hand on the bottom of the steering wheel turning it in the direction I want to go! I know how to do it, I just get nervous if it's slow to respond. I don't like to make a spectacle of myself or disrupt the peace and pleasure of those around me while I'm trying to get my TT just right! So, MaeJae, not to hijack this thread but are you coming to the Fall Rally? Please, please, please???????
 
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