Everything Else

National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass: A $10.00 lifetime pass that provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies for senior 62 and over. They also have annual passes for those under 62 years of age at a higher price.  This can save $$$ on campsite fees as well. Update, price is going up in 2017 to $80. Still worth it. Seniors can get a yearly pass for $10.

Backing/Towing a Fifth Wheel Trailer

  • Z Backing Method for Trailers – blog link
  • 1) start by learning to back it in a straight line (200 to 300 yards). Start with the rig perfectly straight.  Go slowly, watch your mirrors, when you can see the side of the unit you need to “Gently” adjust until you cant (otherwise you will get the unit all out of kilter).
    2) Once you have mastered #1, with the rig purposely out of line (turned varying degrees of angles).  Back the unit and recover (straighten it out) and then continue to back straight.
    3) Once you have mastered #2, start practicing on back around a corner or into a parking space (with lots of room around).   You may be surprised by how much you learned from #1 & #2 that is applicable to this step.  Start with forgiving expectations and once you get that start trying to tighten up the spots (smaller spots).
  • Remember that like flying an airplane, turning in a truck/trailer combination is a matter of setting a curved line by first turning the wheel for a few seconds then straightening it back out to continue that curve. If you hold it turned your turning angle will get sharper and sharper until you can’t recover.
  • Video from Love Your RV – Excellent
  • Computer Game Video: Backing trucks with fifth wheel trailers.
  • Back a fifth wheel – good forum thread.
  • If available, place an object (like a small orange traffic cone) on both sides of the site where you want the back of the trailer to stop at.
  • Changing Lanes blog 5th wheel towing video. *** The best I found as of 1/5/19.
  • Another video on backing a trailer. These are using a tractor-trailer which has a different pivot point than say a fifth wheel where the rear tires are further forward from the rear of the trailer. In other words, on an RV there would be a lot more trailer hanging over the rear tires. Still worth watching this series of video.
  • I thought this was a great forum post concerning how to avoid hitting something with a 13’6″ trailer height:
    • When hooked up to my truck, my trailer is also at 13’3″.
      • When going somewhere new, I diligently plan the route. I purchased the LowClearances library and plug it into Google Maps/Google Earth. I imported the file that flags anything lower than 13’6″. If anything pops up, it shows.
      • When I am traveling a new backroad, I walk the route using Google Maps in satellite view mode looking for over passes and under passes – especially train tracks. You can use Google Street View to see the low clearance warnings, etc.
      • Once the route is planned, I try my hardest to stick to it regardless of what the GPS tells me. I trust my planning more than the GPS.
      • When driving I try to always remain situationally aware. When I go through towns, and there are 4 lane roads, I try to stick to the left lane as the low hang branches are always on the right.
      • When I am pulling in to campgrounds, I never hesitate to stop – get out – climb on up the ladder – and look. I don’t get in a hurry.
      • I try to not arrive at a new campground (especially ones with trees) at night.

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