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Old 01-08-2007, 03:31 AM   #21
Montana Master
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Grant - I love your persistance!

Reading your post I'm starting to get nervous about our new 3400. Saturday, the DW caught me staring at one sitting all by itself at the CW parking lot. I told her - "DAMN, THAT IS ONE BIG TRAILER!!". I never really noticed at the Dealer when they were all packed in together. A full side view - it looks like the Queen Mary!

My brain was whirling wondering how much different this will be to maneuver. We spent Sunday re-measuring our storage space and front access. (gulp).

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Old 01-08-2007, 07:52 AM   #22
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Grant sounds like you are doing great! See you have to have your wife to direct as I tell my husband..LOL...Actually I always feel better seeing first hand what is behind the rig! Have fun!
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:50 AM   #23
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I know what you mean about "it didn't look that big on the lot". Around all of the other 5th wheels and Motorhomes it looked small but by itself it towers over the truck.

Brad and Phil P,
Good luck fellas; the 3400RL is about 5 feet longer than my 3075RL.

Phil P,
Next time you go by Rum Runners stop in and order some crab cakes and Alaskan Amber for me. Just remember if you didn't have those horrible winters we would all move up there.

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Old 01-08-2007, 11:51 AM   #24
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quote:Originally posted by bsmeaton

I am still extremely bad at backing with the angle to the right side. Once I loose sight out the right mirror, I'm blind and done. I can do pretty good on the left just by hanging my head out the window and looking back. Unfortunately most of the campsites we hit require a right turn backing. Someday I'll figure out what the secret is.
Brad, that's the most difficult part for me, too. The last couple of times Vicki has stood at the intersection of the site and the access road and I aim to turn just beyond her a few inches. She also has a walkie talkie to help me through this. I much prefer backing from the other direction where I can better see the edge of the site.
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Old 01-08-2007, 12:16 PM   #25
Montana Sky
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M.O.C. #889
Backing is the hardest part of RV'ing, especially if you are a single traveler. Once I got used to backing off the kingpin instead of the receiver ball life became much easier. Keep working on it, before long it will click!
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:59 PM   #26
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I've been reading this thread with a big grin! I'm one who selected a 3400 as my first rv and have to wait till school is out in May to actually hook it up to my tv for the first time (it is being stored at dealer in MI). Thanks for the posts!!! :-)
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:54 AM   #27
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Backing up is a snap! Remember to turn the bottom of the steering wheel in the direction you want the back end of the Monty to go. That is turn the bottow of the steering wheel to the right will swing the back end of the Monty to the right. I got this tip on my first RV Park for "Dennis from Minnesota" --my RV Park neighbor and an experienced hand. Get those tips from the experienced RV'ers. Also go slow---and have FUN!
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:25 PM   #28
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Backing is always a issue and these Montana's are long..all of them. It is better and safer if it is a team effort. We find that we do better if I am outside the camper directing and Helen is doing the driving and turning, Particularly in a tight area.I can better judge when to start or stop the turn from the outside where I can see the entire unit and Helen has the Patience and expertise required. In a pinch each of us can do it alone but it is much easier when done as a team effort.
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:10 AM   #29
David and Jo-Anna
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My but I'm enjoying this thread. Glad to hear I won't be the only newbie trying to maneuver a big rig for the first time this spring. I expect it will be somewhat more difficult than manevuering my old VW camper. LOL!!! I expect to spend many hours practicing backing and turning in the dealer's parking lot before I even venture across the street to the Wally's World to try driving around a bigger parking lot--on a Sunday evening when no one is around. Already have the walkie talkies, and I am good at twisting and turning like my DW tells me to do. LOL!! Now all I need is to go buy a batch of those orange cones!!!!
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:42 AM   #30
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Grant, first congrats..I am still a rookie as well, although I have towed my 5er about 12,000+ miles in the past year. I have found it is always an adventure, but have enjoyed every minute of it, sometimes it took a few days to feel the joy, but it has been fun. My DW and I have survived the backup experiences on unknown deadend streets, tight gas stations, and tight space at storage sites. Backing up is definitely not my strong point, but after having to do it more than I would like it is slowly coming together. On the bright side, you will find some wonderful people on this forum who can offer you great advice on just about anything dealing with rving, besides being there for you when life throws you some curves. So welcome, and get out there and enjoy this wonderful lifestyle.

barb and bob
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:05 AM   #31
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We have the walkie talkies and the experience of trying to back up our 17 foot travel trailer. Which we never were good at!

Our experience this past Saturday was; The 5th wheel turned very sharply very easily and although I love my Monster Truck it never turns sharply. We seemed to get at a 90 degree angle without trying and could not get the truck straighted out without the 5th wheel continuing to turn.

Admittedly, when we towed the trailer it was with a relatively short wheel base Infinite SUV, not this very long truck with a very long wheel base.

We had planned a trip to the mother load country for this coming weekend (pull through site) but, there is a cold front heading our way and the daytime highs for that area are forecast to be mid 30's with overnight lows in the teens. So, we may pickup the Monty and practice backing up some more.

We have to get better at this before Spring. Our favorite RV Park is Marina Dunes RV Park. Eight mile north of Monterey's Fishermen's Wharf and right next to a state park with a 1/4 mile walk to the beach. It is an older park that only has back-in sites. I have seen some real pros back in some very large 5th wheels so, I know it can be done and that we will fit into the sites they have.
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:36 AM   #32
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Grant - reading your posts is reliving my experiences, as well as the relearning experience of each Spring. My driveway always has these little "Z" marks from the tires where I stop, crank the wheel over, and then pull up some, then stop, crank the wheel the other way; pulling forward is the only way I could keep from 90 degreeing myself as well. Have gotten much better with more experience (and you will as well) but do remember, go slow (at times you might think that earth worm is going to pass you , let em!!). The key is slow, as soon as you see it going amiss, correct, and if necessary pull forward and try it again. My first summer I even had a 'neighbor' tell me to get out and let him park it -- I refused his kind offer with the comment - if you do it, I'll never learn!! He agreed and stayed back enjoying his beer!!

(By the way for those who have driven regular 18 wheelers as I did for a few years in the Army (18 wheel JP4 tanker); I find that my mountaineer does NOT turn like the ole tanker trailer. Those wheels being mid trailer instead of at the the end make a BIG difference.)

Be safe, and those of you out on the highways now, take it slow and easy. We want to see you at the Rally's.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:17 AM   #33
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When backing into a space on the passenger side...us truckers call that blind side backing. It is discouraged, and to be avoided at ALL costs when driving a semi. Being an old trucker, I'm not apprehensive about pulling my 3475 down the road, (I pulled double trailers for UPS),and I have no fear of backing (it was my favorite thing to do when driving semi), what I'm afraid of is not having enough truck to legally pull the 5er. All that research and questions I asked were for nothing...:-( Anyway, I'm pullin' out of here this Sunday or Monday, whichever day is the clearest...and headed south for my two week maiden voyage... Wasted away again in margaritaville...:-)YeeHah Jan
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:24 AM   #34
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Oh yea...the shorter the trailer (when dealing with a 5th wheel situation), the quicker the reaction time. When I pulled 53' trailers over the road, I could damn near eat my lunch waiting for the trailer to react when backing. Pulling pups for UPS, if I had not started the corrective move before the trailer reacted...too late, there would be a pull up involved. Also, if you DO have to do a "corrective" pull up...make sure you've pulled up enough to straighten out the trailer, otherwise you'll go right back into what you were trying to get out of. Thats because the shorter trailers reaction time is so quick (shorter I mean relative to a semi trailer). Hope this makes sense...Jan
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