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Old 08-19-2012, 10:46 AM   #1
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Learning to tow something bigger than a pop-up?

I've posted a few threads about potential tow vehicles and potential HTT's or TT's that we're considering, but it dawned on me that I've never towed anything bigger than our 1007 pop-up and never driven anything bigger than our minivan (save for moving truck once).

Whether we go with an SUV or pick-up, would it be a good idea to get some training on towing a 19' - 23' trailer? I just can't imagine going to the dealer and plunking down $15-25k for an HTT or TT without having a good idea of what I'm getting into. I'm concerned about others' safety as well as not learning via expensive mistakes.

Suggestions welcome.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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Assuming your TV and TT/HTT are appropriately matched you should not have many concerns. Where people get in the most trouble towing; whether its TT, boats or general purpose trailers is not having a good match between trailer and TV. The handling characteristics are strongly influenced by having a sufficient TV.

When purchasing either the TT or TV don't take advice from anyone financially engaged in the process. Read the specs, take the weights and do the math on your own to determine the effectiveness our the combination you are considering.

Actual towing isn't much different if you are towing a PUP with you minivan or a 40' 5er with a 1 ton dually. Take things slow, think about what you are driving into before you get there and give your self plenty of space on turns. I think you will pleased at how much easier I is to back up a larger TT vs a PUP.

Good luck.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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As Clubhouse mentioned... just remember to take the turns a little wider. First chance you get, find a large parking lot conducive for practicing backing, and ever turning. This will also give you a better idea of how to park your combo at a store, shopping center, WM, etc. LOL... and definitely don't take advice from the one financially benefiting from you.

What may be really freaky for the first couple of times might be gassing up. Your combo is short enough not to worry too much at a gas station, just remember to take a wide turn leaving the pump. Anytime you are concerned taht you may hit something pulling out or backing in, just have the non-driver with a walkie talkie behind you the first couple of times to help reassure the driver everything is indeed safe.

Also, 25k for a 19'-23' tt seems steep. Click on the link below my signi if you haven't had a chance to read it yet. Hope this helps some. Happy shopping
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:04 PM   #4
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As Clubhouse mentioned... just remember to take the turns a little wider. First chance you get, find a large parking lot conducive for practicing backing, and ever turning. This will also give you a better idea of how to park your combo at a store, shopping center, WM, etc. LOL... and definitely don't take advice from the one financially benefiting from you.

What may be really freaky for the first couple of times might be gassing up. Your combo is short enough not to worry too much at a gas station, just remember to take a wide turn leaving the pump. Anytime you are concerned taht you may hit something pulling out or backing in, just have the non-driver with a walkie talkie behind you the first couple of times to help reassure the driver everything is indeed safe.

Also, 25k for a 19'-23' tt seems steep. Click on the link below my signi if you haven't had a chance to read it yet. Hope this helps some. Happy shopping
Good advice. Also, if you are getting a new TV, try to find one with back up cam. Makes hitching up a lot easier, and will save your marriage.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:16 PM   #5
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I didn't find the transition from towing a pup to the TT too different.....I just swing a little wider when turning. I also had to add wider towing mirrors, brake controller and a WDH. Setting the brakes took a little time....I had to figure out how to make the correct setting. All I can recommend to pratice....going to a TT worked for us....we have no regrets.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:24 AM   #6
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I remember the first time that I towed our trailer, after practicing in the parking lot as so many people recommend. Like anything I think it just takes time and practice to feel more comfortable with towing. Having the proper TV and TT combo sure makes it easier to enjoy the experience too.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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I agree with all the good advice above, and would like to add one thing. Braking. Even when all your brakes (including TT) are functioning properly, you still won't stop as quickly as with the pup. And there seem to be numerous individuals out there who either have no clue that a TV/TT combo can't stop on a dime, or they just want to test your reflexes. Be ready for these folks, and always drive defensively, because it will happen eventually.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:27 AM   #8
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I agree with all the good advice above, and would like to add one thing. Braking. Even when all your brakes (including TT) are functioning properly, you still won't stop as quickly as with the pup. And there seem to be numerous individuals out there who either have no clue that a TV/TT combo can't stop on a dime, or they just want to test your reflexes. Be ready for these folks, and always drive defensively, because it will happen eventually.
Great advice. There will be a driver pull around you and then slow down to make a turn. It's happened to me and I had to get on the brakes. To say the least, be ready. When I turn, I always watch the TT wheels to be sure they are clear to make the turn also. Tow mirrors are a must. Know how high your TT is and watch for any low obstacles.
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