When NOT to tow?

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jymbee

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Feb 20, 2018
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Upstate NY
On our first trip with our new Bounder 33C we got a real feel for how challenging it can be when it comes to maneuvering in tight spaces. Drove truck for years so I was comfortable with overall operation but there were some pretty tight times. For example, gas fill being in the back meant we had to pull way up on any given pump and in some gas stations that meant we'd need to completely block traffic at one end. That was the case in one Pilot even.

But my question has to do with towing. Given situations such as described above do folks towing a vehicle sometimes find it necessary (expedient) to disconnect for a short period of time to facilitate getting into or out of tight spots? If so and you're towing 4 down, how quickly can that be done?
 

wackymac

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Ocala, FL
Only once when I took the wrong turn and ended in a cul-de-sac did I have to disconnect.  As far as gas stations go, if I have to pull forward and block some traffic I will.  It really ticks me off when people park at a pump, lock their car and go grocery shopping and then come out and get gas.  Meanwhile I'm waiting in line to fill up. Why can't they get gas first and then move their car?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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We've disconnected the car more than a few times, e.g. when we needed to make a U-turn in a cul de sac or some such.  With a good tow bar set-up, it should only take 1-2 minutes.  We've stopped, disconnected, U-turned and reconnected in as little a 5 minutes.

I used to avoid that like the plague but I eventually learned that it was mostly a mental block.  Of course, we made every effort to not get into situations where that became necessary, but when it happens we just do disconnect and don't agonize about it.
 

gwcowgill

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Homestead, Fl when not traveling
Several times with our old MH we had to disconnect because of tight spots, with the diesel I have not run into that situation except when entering a campground and the campground has tight roads. So far I have not gotten into Cul-de-sac s but would disconnect if that were to happen I would simply disconnect and re-connect. I generally takes less than 5 minutes like Gary says.
 

NY_Dutch

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Where our wheels take us!
I've never had to unhook to get fuel in 10 years of 4-down towing, but I always make sure of my exit before I enter the station. As said, unhooking can be done in just a couple of minutes if needed though.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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In some ways your fueling options are more limited with a gas coach. Lots of gas stations, but not so many that have adequate room for a 35 ft vehicle with a car in tow.  Especially now that so many stations are designed to facilitate access to the convenience store (which is NOT convenient for RV owners!).  When we had a gas coach, we learned to look for fuel in smaller towns and on the outskirts, where things are less congested.  The stations tend to be larger, with maybe an old-fashioned layout, and easier in/out access.  We got real good at scoping out the exit path before we entered the station, and made it a rule to NOT enter unless we knew how to get out.  If we are out in the toad while at a campground, we made a point of noting the location of stations that would be easy to fuel at when we left.  All this means you have to be willing to pass up some stations, and you start looking for fuel before the gauge says "E".
 

jymbee

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Upstate NY
I hadn't even thought about it but of course you're right-- layouts at gas stations are optimized to increase the ease with which you can go buy something!

I think your strategy for fueling is good advice. Being willing to pass up some stations is also a good point IMO. I know some folks who will drive out of their way to save $.02/gal when filling their autos. Even when buying 50+ gallons or so for your RV is it really worth it to jump through hoops to save a buck or two? Methinks not.  :)


Gary RV_Wizard said:
In some ways your fueling options are more limited with a gas coach. Lots of gas stations, but not so many that have adequate room for a 35 ft vehicle with a car in tow.  Especially now that so many stations are designed to facilitate access to the convenience store (which is NOT convenient for RV owners!).  When we had a gas coach, we learned to look for fuel in smaller towns and on the outskirts, where things are less congested.  The stations tend to be larger, with maybe an old-fashioned layout, and easier in/out access.  We got real good at scoping out the exit path before we entered the station, and made it a rule to NOT enter unless we knew how to get out.  If we are out in the toad while at a campground, we made a point of noting the location of stations that would be easy to fuel at when we left.  All this means you have to be willing to pass up some stations, and you start looking for fuel before the gauge says "E".
 

wackymac

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Dec 9, 2008
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Ocala, FL
We always try to fill up just before we stop for the night.  That way we're ready to go in the morning.
 

garyb1st

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Dec 31, 2010
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Southern California
Gary RV_Wizard said:
In some ways your fueling options are more limited with a gas coach. Lots of gas stations, but not so many that have adequate room for a 35 ft vehicle with a car in tow.

This is one of the draw backs for a large gasser and toad.  I avoid stations that I can't exit from with minimal effort.  That means not contacting another vehicle or part of the station. :eek:  But even with a diesel that's necessary.  A friend with a 37 footer tore the rear end off his when he exited a station. 

If we've disconnected the night before, we'll try to find a station and connect after filling.  But that usually isn't an option when just stopping for a night, or spending the night at a rest area. 

Some of the newer Costco's have fuel and some are accessible to larger RV's.  Do a Google Maps Earth search to check entrance and exit points. 

 
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