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Old 10-24-2009, 09:06 AM   #1
Sierra 117
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Passing slower traffic

Is there a reliable method of judging when you are clear of traffic so that you can pull into a lane safely?
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:10 AM   #2
H. John Kohl
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I use two mirrors. First I have found when the full nose of the vehicle I am passing disappears in the windshield rear view mirrow I am clear. Then I double check the passenger side mirrow and once verified I start moving over.

I had a friend park in a parking lot and I pulled the trailer forward until his nose disappeared. Then I walked back and checked the distance.

If there is any side shadow I use that all the time.
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:05 AM   #3
Sierra 117
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Thanks, I will give that a try.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:31 AM   #4
ols1932
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Courteous drivers will flash their headlights at you when you put your turn signal on and have cleared them; this tells you that they are aware that you are wanting to pull in and that you are okay. A lot of over-the-road truck drivers use this method.

If I don't get an indication from the driver I have passed that I can move back into the driving lane, I just stay in the passing lane until I have assured myself that I can move back in. A lot of it just comes from experience.

On edit, I might explain that I had my passenger side rear view mirror changed to a regular mirror in 2002. I didn't like "images are closer than they appear." I then installed the little mirror that gives you a "a blind spot view" of the lane where you are getting ready to move into.

Orv
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:15 PM   #5
Devildog
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years ago, I watched the shadow of the camper, when I first started pulling. Once I saw I was clear, I noted what the view was from the side view camper mirrors and use that as a reference. however, I surely like it when someone flashes.
I flash for campers and trucks. With my headlights. Clothes stay on.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:19 PM   #6
NCFischers
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Many people don't know about flashing high beams to tell you that it's safe to change lanes. I do as John Kohl does. If I can see the front of their car in my passenger side mirror and I feel that I'm far enough ahead of them, I'll signal for a couple of seconds and then start pulling over to the right lane slowly. Pulling into the left lane is the same with the left hand mirror. Knowing if you are far enough ahead comes with experience. Try John's method in a parking lot and you'll get a sense of how far ahead you need to be. Practice will take the fear out of it.
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Old 10-24-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
CmdrDewey
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I went to a safety demonstration once that was sponsored by Roadway Trucking. They told us that when you could see both headlights of the vehicle you are passing you are good to pull over. That seems to be always true with trucks but some cars hug one side of the lane or the other and that changes things a bit.

They also said not to flash your high beams. Even in daylight that can bother the driver. I drive with my headlights on all the time and even at night, I will turn the lights off to parking lights for a second or two. That is what the Roadway instructor said he preferred YMMD.

Some trucking companies, UPS is one, tell their drivers to ignore those flashes of light and change lanes when they feel it is safe. Again, YMMD
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Old 10-24-2009, 04:46 PM   #8
Bill-N-Donna
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As previously mentioned on a sunny day I will watch the shadow but I donít fully rely on that because it still looks too close when it first clears. I mainly judge by the distance in the mirror. A good mirror makes a big difference as well; IMHO. I also use a small round mirror for a quick side view in the blind spots. Once I feel that I have some distance between us I will move over, remaining very careful of other cars that may be darting out and around you. Some people just canít stand to be behind any kind of a truck or trailer at all and will dart around them quickly, even on the right side. I also try and give a good warning with my signal light as well as to what my intention is. With more experience it becomes easier and you know more what to watch for.
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:40 PM   #9
Waynem
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Sit in the drivers seat and have your co-pilot walk to the rear on each side. Have her signal to you when she is several feet past the rear of the trailer. Get yourself a reference point of view in the mirror for safety factor. You could even do it in the street with a parked vehicle for better reference. As stated, experience is a great aid. Some people have installed back-up cameras and that will also give you a reference as to when it is safe to move over.

Good luck.

Edited: p.s., having your side view mirrors adjusted correctly is a big, big help. To many have them turned in and see the side of the trailer. I typically turn my head to look at out the mirror and when I do, that is when I seed the side, and just barely. For several years my mirrors have been electric and I adjust them accordingly for backing, and then back to what I stated for driving.

And the person walking back toward the rear will also let you discover your blind spots.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:00 PM   #10
thor
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i instaled a backup camera on the trailer near the license plate it works real well even with the bikes on the back
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:07 PM   #11
exav8tr
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I pull over until I hear scraping, pull back, speed up and try again. NOT REALLY. I normally do as Orv does. I also wait until I can see the whole vehicle first. I also look for flashing lights from truckers, although not all truckers are the same, especially when it comes to RVers. Experience is the best teacher....
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:17 PM   #12
Bill-N-Donna
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I had a back up camera on a M/H we had. I think they are worth their weight in gold. It was very helpful especially when backing into a parking space. Iíve thought about putting one on the fifth wheel but I was wondering if it would cause confusion when trying to back up; is anyone using a back-up camera on the Monty when backing, if so how well does it work for you?
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:20 AM   #13
richfaa
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We have the back up cam on the 3400 but rarely use it for backing. Do use it as a rear view mirror and we would not leave home without it in proper working order. Can see everything in back of you..... eliminates blind spots. We are usually the slower moving vehicle so do not get much opportunity to pass. If we do pass we need to see the entire vehicle in back of us both in the mirror and the camera before we sart over.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:27 AM   #14
Delaine and Lindy
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When we were working up the order sheet on our 2010 5th wheel we had them install the hard wired back up camera. It was a great decision for us. When backing into a site when you put the Truck into reverse the camera automaticaly comes on and there is a button on the dash to turn the camera on while in motion. We knew we were going to double tow, and when pulling the Chevy HHR you can watch the car when rolling. It also gives you a clear view of the traffic behind you. When passing you know when your clear of the vehicle you are passing. And its in color. Being a X-Truck driver passing isn't a issue because of pulling many miles with the 53' Trailers etc. Our rear camera also has the option of adding two side mounted cameras, one on each side of the Truck and we will look into that option. Our Freightliner has a rear camera also. I recomend a rear camera. GBY....
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:41 AM   #15
Tom S.
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If you look in the rear view mirror and see them in the ditch, you probably pulled over too soon.
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:52 PM   #16
thor
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the backup camera works very well. they evenhave infra red for night time backing in,they also help with the wifes directions .she does not have to yell directs as the camera also have speakers.
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