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Old 06-24-2021, 11:45 PM   #1
MaxwellD
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Be careful out there

Leaving Cody WY last week we fell in behind 3 other RVís heading West. The weather was clear and the roads were dry. As many RVís as there are on the road right now, it didnít occur to me that I was following a convoy of sorts - all traveling together to some common destination. Keeping it at 58-62 MPH, I allowed for about 5-6 seconds between my 2020 Dodge Ram dually pulling a Monty 3730 FL. Then, I saw a tap on the brake lights on the last RV of the convoy in front of me and in an instant I realized that he was coming to a full stop and turning off of the busy hwy to the right, no signal, no warning whatsoever - following an abrupt decision by the lead person in convoy. Even though I thought I was following at a safe distance, when I applied heavier and heavier brake pressure I came pretty close to rear ending the RV in front of me. To avoid a collision with the person in front of him, the RV I was following had to take evasive action into the oncoming traffic lane - thank goodness there was nobody coming! I veered to the safety of the shoulder. All three convoy members took off down an unpaved county road - I think they were lost. I am happy to say that my factory trailer brakes worked flawlessly - no locking up, no skidding. The Ram engine brake combined with braking pressure, actually caused my seat belt to tighten across my chest! ( I have the gain set at 9).
My point: There are a lot of RV drivers out there with varying levels of experience driving these things. We can get caught-up in the beauty of our surroundings and it is easy to get complacent with keeping safety foremost in our minds. I hope everyone has a great year traveling and that everyone stays safe. Things can go very wrong, very quickly!
Safe travels, 

Max
 
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:09 AM   #2
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Great reminder, we too have had those Maalox moments! people donít always do what they are supposed to do. Jill
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:48 AM   #3
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More than 20 years ago a car pulled out in front of us and I had to slam on the brakes with our first travel trailer in tow. I was towing with a Chevy Suburban 1500. The trailer brakes never did have much much grab, I didn't understand how "gain" worked back then. So basically, the tow vehicle did most of the braking.

When that car jumped out in front of us from a side road, I slammed on the brakes. The tow vehicle tires locked up, but the trailer kept pushing it. Tires squealing, and almost hitting that car in front, who now was gaining a little speed. Otherwise it would have been a rear end hit for sure.

Lesson learned from that point onward to leave as much distance as possible between me and the person ahead. That is the reason I drive at 60 mph on interstates. Absolutely everything zooms by and passes me, leaving me in their wind. On secondary roads, I triple my normal distance than when driving not towing. It bugs the hell out of vehicles behind me for leaving that kind of a distance, but I'm running the same speed as they are, I'm just leaving distance. It's amazing how many will attempt to pass on double yellow lines, between the "stop ahead" sign and the actual stop sign or light, keep drifting lift to see if they can pass or not on hills clearly marked no passing.

The bottom line is, it's about safety! Mine! Those driving the family sedan just don't understand the distance it takes to stop a train with a 6000 pound truck and a 12,000 pound trailer in tow. So yes, I continue to keep my distance, even when other RVers are zooming by or behind me.

I never follow anyone for the sake of following them. Again, I'll slow down a bit to create a greater distance than what looks normal, because when towing a train, nothing is normal.

FYI, my Montana High Country Fifth wheel brakes will lock up and skid when when I'm running 30 mph and my gain is set at 10. I think I've got a much better braking system now than that first trailer more than 20 years ago.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:53 AM   #4
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I have found it challenging to maintain a safe distance in front of me, as folks will constantly pull in front of me and fill up that space. Cannot count the number of times I have been coming up to a stoplight and somebody suddenly cuts us off.
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:36 AM   #5
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Old 06-25-2021, 12:05 PM   #6
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I have found it challenging to maintain a safe distance in front of me, as folks will constantly pull in front of me and fill up that space. Cannot count the number of times I have been coming up to a stoplight and somebody suddenly cuts us off.
I experienced the same thing every day for 20 years while trucking.
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Old 06-25-2021, 01:39 PM   #7
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I experienced the same thing every day for 20 years while trucking.

I always give those big boys plenty of space. When car and a tractor trailer gets in a fight guess who wins every time?
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Old 06-25-2021, 03:16 PM   #8
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Recommend reacting to relative motion vice turn signals or brake lights.
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Old 06-25-2021, 03:47 PM   #9
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Everyone needs to understand that some day you will need to make a panic stop. It's not a matter of if but when.
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Old 06-26-2021, 10:16 AM   #10
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Jim, you are correct. In fact,just about every trip. I am thankful for disk brakes. I also have added a dash cam just in case. At $130 for a Garmin with GPS speed tracking, I will be able to record an incident should something happen.
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Old 06-27-2021, 09:31 PM   #11
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I agree with stupidity, but all these guys driving 15-20 mph under the speed limit arenít helping the situation either. Just my 2 cents at 6-7k Miles a month on mostly interstate/turnpike driving.

I get behind a semi, or an rv daily going slow as hell and creating a jam.
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Old 06-27-2021, 09:45 PM   #12
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So, right now, I am in Montana. The speed limit is 80. Is it stupid to drive 65? Just curious where you set the bar for stupidity. Let the flailing begin.
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Old 06-28-2021, 12:07 AM   #13
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So, right now, I am in Montana. The speed limit is 80. Is it stupid to drive 65? Just curious where you set the bar for stupidity. Let the flailing begin.
I agree. While towing 62mph regardless of posted speed limit. Go around or wait.
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Old 06-28-2021, 08:52 AM   #14
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Agree with Ron plus these rigs take a beating on the road just running at 65.
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:06 PM   #15
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Yep, X or retired OTR drivers experience this almost daily!

Happy trails.
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:16 PM   #16
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So, right now, I am in Montana. The speed limit is 80. Is it stupid to drive 65? Just curious where you set the bar for stupidity. Let the flailing begin.
That was not what I was referring too. Was referring to those that drive 65.3 the go out to pass someone going 65.1 and it takes them 4 miles to pass and backing up traffic and causing a dangerous jam.

Semiís are the worst, and I realize many are governed. The governed truck drivers wonít check up to let another governed truck by and they drive side by side forever.
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Old 06-28-2021, 06:41 PM   #17
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I try to drive 62 mph. However when the limit is only 65, I will go up to 65 to be courteous to those that drive the limit. When the limit goes up to 70 or more, I drop back to 62mph.
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:56 PM   #18
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All I know is that on this busy two-lane road with a line of traffic in front and behind me and nobody is budging over 62 mph, passing lanes seemed to be few and far between. My only point was that maintaining a safe distance could be something that we might get complacent about (me included) when someone does something unpredictably. The incident I described shook the DW pretty bad - it was very close. I will never believe that RV’s should be pulled at anything close to 80 mph - I do my best to help others pass me.
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Old 06-30-2021, 10:24 AM   #19
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If I haven't towed for a few days it always takes me about 30 minutes or so to settle back into it. When we are stationary and I have been just driving the truck (without tow) or we have been on the Harley a lot there is an adjustment period.

I have to get back into the mode staying far enough behind traffic I'm following. I'm around 60 feet long so I have to adjust and stay about 120 yards back from someone I'm following at 60mph. If you watch most RVers they never allow that much distance (vehicle length for every 10mph).
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Old 06-30-2021, 11:25 AM   #20
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If I haven't towed for a few days it always takes me about 30 minutes or so to settle back into it. When we are stationary and I have been just driving the truck (without tow) or we have been on the Harley a lot there is an adjustment period.

I have to get back into the mode staying far enough behind traffic I'm following. I'm around 60 feet long so I have to adjust and stay about 120 yards back from someone I'm following at 60mph. If you watch most RVers they never allow that much distance (vehicle length for every 10mph).
You are exactly tight about the adjustment period. I thought it was just me that felt like that. It takes me about 50 miles to settle back in to where I feel like i have it all together.
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