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Old 04-06-2008, 08:11 PM   #21
Driftwoodgal
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My MOC name is Driftwoodgal for a reason......hubby has never posted on the thread and probably never will. I am the one that did the research on the Montana, found the message board, and ask the questions. I can barely get him to read the boards at times, but heah if something is going wrong he sure listens to what posters have to say. I am not allowed on the roof as he knows I would panic and fall off I do wash and wax most of the RV when it needs it.

I have towed the Montana before to the dealership and pulled our SOB about 70 miles. I have never backed or hooked the trailer up to the truck. I do help with the outside set up when we arrive at a park, so I feel sure I could handle the outside things if need be. I guess the next time out I will mirror him just to be sure. The thing I always forget is which way I need to turn the little black handle on the awning.

We were in Louisana last month and I got the flu. I was worried he would get sick before we got home. I was dreading the drive home not only because of the hook up and drive, but because I never pay attention to how we got to where we are parked. I am hopeless when it comes to directions. I think I can do all of the rest of the stuff with some practice. I will leave it up to the Garmin to get me home.

Helen.....I was a cheerleader....someone has to fire up the team....you go girlfriend .... good job. Hope to meet you at some point down the road.

Colleen
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:17 AM   #22
Gypsy
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Hi Gals!
I have to jump in here and respond to Cathy who said..."Poor Sandy didn't know a thing about the outside functions. The RV had to be left here. I heard that fellow LOW instructors are taking care of the RV until Sandy returns to decide what to do."

I'm afraid you were misinformed. Sandy *did* take their Excel 5th wheel and Ford F-550 (medium-duty truck) to Oregon, where she's now spending time with friends and family. They were in Benson when Dave died suddenly. Friends Beth and Mike Myers, who were at the Escapees park there, helped Sandy check out the rig, such as tire pressure, etc. and make sure it was road-worthy before she left. Then Beth rode with Sandy and Mike drove their Jeep following them from Benson to Casa Grande, where Don and I met them and helped Sandy set up for the night. Chris Christiansen (another single lady) rode with Sandy to Medford and flew back a few days later.

I considered Dave and Sandy Baleria some of my very best friends, and spent the Christmas/New Year's holidays with them the past 4 years, as well as lots of other get-togethers on the road as full-timers. Sandy always did at least 90% of the driving, but she wasn't as familiar with the outside duties. Still, she's capable of handling them, just needed assistance because of the severe shock of Dave's sudden death. I'm still in close touch with Sandy, who's having a terrible time accepting her fate, but I hope she won't give up RVing.

And, on another note, backing up is a matter of practice. Get out in a wide-open parking lot, agree on those hand signals (and make them BIG so they're easier to see in a mirror), set up some cones or boxes or garden hoses to outline imaginary campsites, go *slow* backing along a straight line first, then making small turns to get the feel of what happens when you turn the wheel 1/4 turn to the left, then to the right, and practice, practice, practice!!

To know which way to turn, I'm always amused when a spotter makes circular motions with his/her hands and expects the driver to know which way that means to turn. One tip that helped me was to put one hand at the bottom of the wheel and have the spotter point in the direction he/she wanted the rear of the trailer to go. I then pushed my hand in that direction. You don't have to think left/right or driver/passenger, or which way the truck is turning; just push toward the direction the spotter's pointing.

As some of you know, I managed my Montana alone for about 4 years. When I started out I couldn't back it in a straight line. Over the first several months I got pretty good at backing just from doing it. And I had a different spotter everywhere I went, so I simply gave them the directions I just described and it worked every time. I even parallel parked it a couple of times. I wish I had known about RV Driving School (www.rvschool.com) when I first started. When I switched to a motorhome last year, I took the course and can't say enough about the boost it gave my knowledge and confidence. I highly recommend it, even for experienced drivers.

And Margee, I *have* seen people back a 5th wheel in perfectly the first time, but they're ones who do it often. And you're right, 5th wheels are easier to back than motorcycles.
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:27 PM   #23
D and M On The Road
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Oh my gosh!! A blast from the past!! How are you doing Sharon? Good to see a post from you on here.

I know I haven't seen your name for Lake Siskiyou.... but any plans on surprising us all with your presence? That would be so great.

I totally agree with what you said about using hoses or ropes. I used to use the "rope trick" when I was backing up alone at campgrounds. And I still use the hand at the bottom of the steering wheel.... it definitely helps.

My husband says he doesn't worry about me when I take the Montana camping by myself and back that 35 foot monster into a campsite. He says he knows any men who are watching aren't going to mess with a women who can do that. They are either in awe of her, or more than likely deathly afraid of her....*LOL

Good to see you on here..... hope to see you more.

Margee.
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:37 PM   #24
eeoski
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Sharon,

Great advice on the steering wheel/spotter positioning and directions...when I read it I recalled it from my experience with our "pop up" tent back in the early 80s. It really does work well, if I try to "analyze" too much I wind up with my stomach, the tow vehicle and the towed unit in a gordion (sp?) knot!

Practice, practice, practice is DEFINITELY the key! Doug and I are already doing "inventory" of potential locations where we might do practice sessions for when we take delivery of our unit later this month.

Biggest challenge with backing up a motorcycle for me is having enough contact with the ground with my feet. Second biggest is getting it to start rolling...gotta love those Hondas with the reverse gear!

Thanks for sharing with us how follow RVers can and do "step up" to the plate and help one another out in times of need.

Robin
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:35 PM   #25
labmom
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Hi everyone-I know Dave would like me to help with the driving, etc. However, two years, I had a slight stroke and get confused very easily. It is very hard for me to think what to do anymore when I am in a situation where quick thinking is a must. There are times when we are just driving that I think that I could do it and then I get afraid. Maybe one day I will be brave enough to take on that task. Until then, driving much less backing up is out of the question.
labmom (Betsy)
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:51 PM   #26
Gypsy
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Hi Margee, Sorry I've been silent for so long. A lot has happened during the past several months. I now have a MAN in my life (had you heard?) as of September and a new motorhome as of January. We're having a great time. But our travels will take us to my home base of Hart Ranch in Rapid City, SD for Memorial Day this year, so I won't be able to attend the rally at Lake Siskiyou. I missed it last year because I was getting the first MH set up, buying a car, etc. Maybe next year. I do miss you guys, and I love that place! You really started something when you organized the first western MOC rally there, didn't you? It has taken on a life of its own and become a wonderful MOC tradition.

Good for you, taking the Montana out on your own and having Doug join you later. He's right -- when people see a woman handling a rig by herself they know not to mess with her! LOL! But watch those batteries. Discharging them below about 12.2 or 12.0 volts (depending on type, lower for AGM batteries--more info for anyone interested; in fact, we could do a whole thread on solar/batteries/boondocking) could damage them permanently and cause them not to fully recharge. Do you have a battery meter so you know the level of charge? And any solar panels or a charge controller?

Robin, you sound like a cool lady, motorcycle rider, too! I'll bet you can handle anything you tackle. Just make up your mind you can do it, and go for it!

Everyone else--Helen (I met you briefly in Goshen), Cathy, Colleen, Jan, Carol, Patty (the latter two know me well), Betsy (just saw your post and understand your limitations, but you might try some *slow* backing or driving on low-traffic areas) and everyone not named (hope I didn't miss anybody), but any woman RVer -- just know that you can do it! I always say it doesn't take testosterone to back a 5th wheel or dump and flush a black tank. In fact, many women do a better job because they take it *slow* and careful. And the time to learn what you don't know is NOT when your man has a medical or other problem and there's an emergency. Take a lesson from Sandy Baleria. She knew HOW to do things, but wasn't totally comfortable with them because she hadn't done them on a routine, daily basis. And my partner broke three blades on the ceiling fan after his wife died because she always positioned it before bringing in the slides. Try trading places with your partner a few times, doing each others' jobs, like some women have posted elsewhere, then check each other. It will make you much more knowledgeable and confident.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #27
D and M On The Road
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There seems to be a few women on here who [s]ride[/s] drive motorcycles or hold a motorcycle license. Maybe we should start up a group of "Montana Mommas".......*LOL

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Old 04-07-2008, 06:30 PM   #28
eeoski
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Man, I just wrote a respons to you all and it went "POOF! Into the cyberspace black hole! Its late so I'll recreate it tomorrow. Suffice to say it was just "brillant" and the rewrite won't be anywhere near as wonderful! LOL

Robin
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:11 PM   #29
Driftwoodgal
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Sharon,

Glad to see that you are doing well, good for you. I might have to break hubbies arms to let him let me back up the trailer into a spot. I can become a southern belle when I have to and hold my hand up to my head and ask for help. Now saying that I might have to bite off half my tongue because I would rather do it myself. Maybe the next camping trip I will tell DH I need to back it into the RV site. He will have a moment while I am doing it, but I have heard from a girlfriend about using the hand on the bottem of the steering wheel. What I have found out, while we have owned our Montana, people that RV are always willing to help you out. Sometimes the directions parking will raise the blood pressure of the person parking the RV. That is why I don't give DH directions anymore. I let the poor innocent (man) soul to give him signals. We stay happily married without me giving directions

So sorry about your friends loss. It sounds to me that she is a strong lady that will survive, but has lost a soul mate. Thanks for your post. I hope that we will meet some where down the road. High five until we do.

Colleen
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