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Towing 101


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I've never towed anything so I have Fear of Towing!

An Ollie and my truck would be about 35' of footprint.

How do you handle gassing up? Do you plan all refuelings ahead and then leave the rig somewhere and just take the tow vehicle to the gas station? Jeez, the stations around here are cramped.

Well, I see lots of people towing stuff on the roads so intellectually I know I can do it but, well, you know...

Oh, yeah, and my Mother says my late father was 'not very good' at backing up their trailer back in the day.

Any thoughts would be helpful.


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I remember back when I first tried driving the family's stick shift, '62 Rambler station wagon... it wasn't a pretty site...but my Dad took me to the local empty parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.... and what can I say...after a few hours of practice....I was...a little better... :P it took me many more Sunday afternoons before I was halfway proficient...I never quite understood why we went thru so many clutches on that 'ole Rambler.... :lol:


Once you practice turning and backing up in a isolated area, you'll eventually get the hang of it. Basically, just allow a little more turning space when you do corners and try to avoid driving in big city rush hour traffic unless absolutely necessary. Backing up requires a little more practice, but you'll eventually master that, too.


Pulling the Oliver is like a dream... you'll need to allow a little more space when you pull out to pass and more distance to accelerate and brake. Just keep in mind that you have an extra 20' behind you. It tracks great and I never had any problem with sway or whipping when a semi passed me. Frankly, I think it's the easiest trailer I've ever pulled.


As far as disconnecting and reconnecting to gas up or planning your fuel stops... its unnecessary. If you have a gas station thats pretty tight getting into, stop at another station... or just go into it slow, swing a little wider and keep an eye on your trailer.


Pulling a trailer is not a hereditary instinct... it's just a matter of practice and getting a feel for what you and your trailer will do together.


I find it a far greater challenge these days dealing with the multitude of drivers that believe they can talk on the cell phone, IM, navigate blindly via the talking GPS navigational units and still drive 'safely'... but that's another topic... :roll:

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Dusty, If I can learn to tow, anybody can! SeaDawg's advice was excellent. The only thing I can add is that when you back up, keep your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel..... then turn it the way you want to go. When you put your hand at the top, you have to turn the opposite direction, and that was always confusing to me. Once I learned the hand at the bottom of the steering wheel trick, backing up is still... well a challenge, but not nearly as hard as it used to be.


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