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RedandSilver

Class A With A Trailer

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I'm wondering if any of you pull a trailer behind your Class A MH.

I going to be pulling a trailer and am thinking about putting a camera behind the trailer.  Have any of you done that?

I assume that all of you that pull a toad have no need for a camera other then the one on the MH.

In my case the camera on my MH only shows the front of the trailer and I can see nothing behind the trailer.

Because I will need to swing wide making right hand turns - it would be nice to see if someone tries to sneak up along side me before I make the turn.  Also if someone is tailgating me, I won't know that if I can't see them.

So If anyone has trailer towing advice, I would like to hear it.  My trailer is an enclosed and about 24ft behind my MH counting the tongue and receiver setup.

Thanks in advance for any advice on cameras or driving etc.

 

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There are cameras available to be used on the back of the trailer, some cheap, some not so cheap. If you are going to use a wireless camera, there are wireless repeaters available that can be mounted at the rear of the motorhome to retransmit the signal on to the front of the coach, if you do not use one of these repeaters, my experience is the signal from the camera is too weak to depend on it for use like you are wanting. One other thought about cameras is that you can also add one on each side at the rear of the coach mounted at or near the roof line, looking directly at the rear of the trailer, aimed to monitor each side activity. My personal thought is also if your mirrors on the coach are not adjusted properly so that you can see far enough behind the trailer, they should be corrected. You can also use a wired camera setup, but that will require some extensive wiring which can be done but really not necessary with wireless technology. Red and Silver, the name reminds me of my old days when I worked with an International dealer as a mechanic, there were two  gasoline engines available back then, they were both inline 6 cylinders, red, 165 hp, silver 190 hp. Just memories of course.

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Be nice if you could add the make/model of your coach and trailer.  These beasts are capable of towing very little to 20k.  Get your calculator out and figure what you can tow based on the ratings and your GVWR and GCWR.

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My thought, because of research, is that I would go for a wired system.

I wouldn't want to take the chance that a wireless unit would not send a signal just when I needed it most.

With a wired system I would plan on having it on anytime the coach was running and the trailer was connected.

Yes that will require a trailer package so I can disconnect the wires when I disconnect the trailer.

 

FIVE

My coach is in the link below along with a picture of it.

It has a 10K tow rating and my trailer is 7K rated and will be closer to 5K when it's being used - so I feel it will be fine.

I don't know if you can tell from the image but I can assure you that I can't see behind the trailer when towing.

I can see the fenders with the mirrors and of course someone a long way behind me is no problem.

But I think it would be better to SEE somethings more directly behind it - so I'm hoping someone has a camera on their trailer.

 

Can someone please tell me something?  It seems all my posts so far are always double lined.  But most of the others I see are single lined.

Is there a setting I'm missing OR after a certain number of posts will it go to single lined text in my posts?    Thanks for any help anyone can give me.

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RedandSilver, I almost said something about that in the above, I used to do the same thing. Simply keep on typing and do not use return when you think you are at the end of line, the post will automatically wrap for you, with the beginning of the first word that does not fit, and will only advance one line instead of two. I think the proper term is pagination.

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Red.  How much does your trailer weigh empty and what do intend to carry?  Also, what is your coach rated to haul?  I have seen the end result of a coach rated to haul 5K and they where pulling a 10K trailer...very expensive! 

You can put any size hitch on the back, but that will not increase the rating of the coach!

Carl

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8 hours ago, manholt said:

Red.  How much does your trailer weigh empty and what do intend to carry?  Also, what is your coach rated to haul? 

Carl

Coach is rated to tow 10K  and trailer will weigh about 5K  - Empty is about 2K.

 

This posting was/is about anyone that has a Class A and tows a trailer AND has a camera setup on their trailer. Hoping that someone would be able to recommend a camera system and let me know how well it worked in showing them things (vehicles etc) that they couldn't see without a camera and did it help them when backing up.

One reasons that I'm interested in a camera system on the trailer is because I will be alone most of the time and don't have a DW to be a spotter and guide me or keep me from hitting something that I didn't see etc.  IF I had someone with me all the time, I might not be as concerned.  However something else I wanted to know is, when in traffic did a camera system on a trailer help you when changing lanes etc.  Because my coach and trailer are 65ft long it is different than towing with a SUV or Pickup Truck..  It's just that I don't want to hit anyone or anything.  Then again if someone said that it made no difference or wasn't worth it - well I don't want to waste money..... yet if it will help I don't want to wait to long, just bite the bullet and do it.  Hope this explains why I'm looking for advice hopefully from someone that been down the road I'm planning on going.  Am I really the first to do this?

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Yes a camera on the back of the trailer does help in monitoring what is behind you. Backing up the trailer works OK to make sure that you don't back too far, but not very helpful for positioning the trailer.

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Send a PM to Bill Edwards, he tows a 25 foot, triple axel trailer.  Include your email and phone number (nobody but him will see it) he's out in AZ somewhere and checks mail and PM's on Forum every 2 weeks...or you can wait until April 10th. he'll be back home in Evergreen, CO.

Carl

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RedandSilver,

We have towed our 24' trailer from Houston area to California on two separate occasions.  Once with a car in it delivering to our daughter in college and the other time with a partial load of red oak firewood to my brother.  The top rails on the trailer stand about 7' above street level so I was unable to see behind the trailer at all (issue you raised).  With that setup I never felt a need to have a camera on the back of the trailer.  I always have my rear camera on but use it more to ensure my toad/trailer hook-up is still in proper order.

Up until recently we've only had our truck as a toad.  You'll see from our signature it is a 2007 Dodge Ram 3500.  This truck is a 4 door Megacab that is lifted with 35" tires.  Same issue with towing the trailer mentioned above.....I cannot see behind the truck and have never felt the need to have a camera behind the truck either.

I'm guessing we have towed the trailer and truck over 40,000 miles without issue (we've put on over 50,000 miles since we bought the coach).

I always keep my eyes moving when driving and am constantly scanning my side mirrors.  So, when planning a lane change I know what's next to me and how quickly another vehicle may be coming up in the lane I want to move to.  We also recently added side cameras that automatically default to a view of the side that our blinkers are indicating.  The cameras work okay and I use them as a supplement to side mirror knowledge.

As for tailgaters, I don't worry much about smaller vehicles following too closely.  However, I get antsy if a big rig is too close but the truckers usually move into the next lane and move on past me.

Back to earlier discussion about towing a partial load of red oak from Texas to California in the trailer.  Funny story, my brother never got that firewood.  I was stopped at California Agriculture check-point and was told I couldn't bring in the contraband firewood due to potential Texas beetle infestation.  So, I was given two options, dump the load in the field next to the Ag Station, or back the trailer into a designated spot and pick it up on the way out.  Now I split each piece of that firewood and I wasn't about to let anyone take it home other than me........so, I backed it into the spot without a problem.  Then picked it up a couple of weeks later.

Hope my note helps!

Blake

 

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Red,

I have also driven many miles towing everything from a Jeep Wrangler, Suburban, extended to crew cab trucks. Nary a problem one. I do use my camera to see if I have cleared the vehicle I am passing. When I can no longer see the vehicle I will then put on my turn signal to return to the driving lane. In the past most truck driver would signal when I am past far enough to move back safely. Not so much any more.

Herman

 

PS: What happened to the Knight of the Highway???? The truckers of the by gone era. 

  

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3 hours ago, hermanmullins said:

Red,

I do use my camera to see if I have cleared the vehicle I am passing.

  

That is one of the things I don't think I can do with the camera that's on the back of my coach now.

All I see is the front of my trailer.  Yes I would use my mirrors but I would have to be pretty far ahead of someone to see if I was clear, before I could pull over. Since I usually drive 55mph most of the time I doubt I will be passing too many people.  But every so often, an exit or interchange would require me to move left and it would be nice to know if someone was about to pass me before I pulled into their lane.

I looked at one system and the camera and cables etc would run around $325.  I would plan on installing it.  There is no guarantee that it would keep me from getting into an accident or hitting anything - but if it did, don't you think the cost of a camera would be cheaper then getting a coach fixed?

I'm still on the fence - since no one here has used one.  And as of yet no one has stated they wished they had one OR that having one would have saved them from an accident or from hitting something.

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Well, I guess my post goes unread, YES I HAVE USED ONE, sorry my anglish aint very gud.:wub: But since I know how to adjust my mirrors, I won't spend the extra money again. Although the system that I used was wireless with a repeater placed at the back of the coach, but not in the motor compartment. as far as a camera system goes, it worked flawlessly.

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Kay.  I read it.

How many if any OTR 18+ wheelers do you see out there with a camera on the box?  My humble opinion is that your not committed to the whole trailer thing to begin with !  If you where, you would be out there right now and we would not be having this discussion. 

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Carl, We don't know how many trucks have cameras on the back of their trailers. Only the CIA ,FBI, and HSA know for sure. Always remember BIG Brother is watching.:mellow::o

 

I remember when truckers were known The Knight of The Road.:) Now so much anymore. Truck Driving Schools will teach, (take the money) anyone that comes through their doors how to drive a truck but not the common courtesies that go along with the obligations needed to be a good driver. An then the companies will hire these folks with no experience to push 80,000 pound of junk down our highways.:o

I it sound like I have issues with the present trucking industry you are correct. But what the heck, anyone with or without any knowledge what so ever of how to drive a motor home can walk into a RV dealership and purchase one and hit the road. :(

Herman 

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I agree with you Herman, that the newer truck drivers are a different breed, most of them can hardly hold them in the road, much less give all clear signals as they used to do, mostly because of texting on their telephones. In earlier days most of them had CB radios and they talked to each other, a mike is not nearly as distracting as a cell phone where you must dial a number, blue tooth has helped with dialing the phone but not texting. What I would like to see is a mandate that text will not work on any vehicle within four feet of the steering wheel, and with today's technology that will be an easy accomplishment.                                                                                                                                                       A camera on the rear of a trailer for backing purposes doesn't work well because watching the camera one will have the tendency to turn the steering wheel in the wrong direction, it is only good for making sure that you don't back into an unwanted obstacle. So in a sense, it can help eliminate a spotter at the rear of the coach, if the driver can learn coordination between the camera and the mirrors.

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I agree, today's truckers seem to just not have the pride as they did years ago, it's just a job. I always flash my lights to signal that it is clear for the truck or RV to pull back in front of me and always flash my coach lights to say thank you when they tell me it's clear to pull in. Most big trucks have a switch for just this purpose. On our Charleston there are two buttons on the Freightliner steering wheel, one to flash the headlights and one to flash the marker and rear lights. They must have skipped that part in driving school:huh:. I adjusted my rear camera and I can see behind my toad and can see if I have cleared the vehicle I am passing , also I always put my signal on and wait for three full flashes before making my lane change.I was taught this 40 years ago by an old school trucker that I knew. And yes you need to use your mirrors and most of all common sense :blink: But I also have come across many RVers that also have no clue about driving etiquette and to be fair these are the ones that piss off some of the truckers and give us a bad rap. Need an education on both sides.

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Rick, Herman, Kay.  Total agreement on all points!

Rick. It's called a smart wheel, I got it on my Spartan!  Suspect Herman has it also.  Kay's coach is a different animal ! :o

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On 3/23/2017 at 4:14 PM, hermanmullins said:

Red

I can't see over my toad but I can to the side. Have you considered raising the angle of your camera? That may give you a better line of sight. 

Herman 

I may look into adjusting the angle of the camera, to see if it does anything.

My trailer is about 8 foot tall, so it is taller then most vehicles whether a car or pickup truck being pulled as a toad.

Also it's about 25-26 feet behind the MH which is also longer then most vehicles.  Since my full size Chevy Van is only around 18-19 feet long.

At 65ft I'm almost as long as most semi-trucks and even longer then some of them. It depends on how long their tractor is since most trailers max out at 53ft. 

It's just starting to get warm here (40's and 50's for daytime highs) so it shouldn't be too much longer and I will be wasting fuel to practice cornering and backing up using orange cones I bought in case I ever broke down.  That should help me decide if I really need a camera.  I don't want to waste money on something that I might use at first for a few times and then think - I don't need it any more.  Since most of you seem to think you do fine without one.  Then again I assume MOST of you have a DW or DH to help you backup etc.

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7 hours ago, rickkey2 said:

I also have come across many RVers that also have no clue about driving etiquette and to be fair these are the ones that piss off some of the truckers and give us a bad rap. .

That's one thing I DON'T want to do, is piss anyone off because I couldn't see them.  Also, most of us know that we have to swing wide on right hand turns (especially when you have a trailer behind you) and if/when you move left to do this, there are some that think your going to turn left even if your right turn signal is on.  Then they get in your blind spot and if you hit them, everyone has a bad day.

This is one reason I think a camera on the trailer MIGHT be a good idea.  Maybe not - but isn't usually better to be prepared just in case?

 

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RedandSilver I can understand that your trailer is 8ft tall that changing the camera angle would probably not help. It helped me as I am just looking over the toad but as another poster said I don't think that the majority of the big trucks out there have rear cameras but I could be wrong. I do know in the mid 70s when I got out of the service I drove 48 states for three years and drove trucks local prior to going in and there was no such thing as rear cameras and we went about our driving without any problems. You were supposed to get out and look before backing if you did not have a spotter ,( Imagine that how barbaric ):wacko: I think that you are very smart to go the cone and practice route and not be one of the NUTS that have no idea about this and just buy a big coach and pull something big and have no clue. One more thing is last year I ran into a guy at Daytona Speedway and he had a Dutch Star and was towing a 28ft enclosed car trailer that was 12ft 8 in high. What I noticed was that his hitch stuck out about a foot and a half and he told me that because his trailer was about as tall as his coach that with a standard hitch if he drove through a big dip such as a driveway out of a gas station that there is a chance the top of the trailer could hit the top of the coach. Makes sense to me:ph34r:

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Yes Carl,:lol: mine is a different animal, I top out at 12'9", I have a rear camera, air brakes, only 335HP, I sometimes also pull a cargo trailer about 7'5", it's only 19' plus tongue, puts my total length at 64'6". Let's see what else did I miss, oh yes my fully loaded GW is 31,500 plus toad.:wub: And thanks for putting up with me, come by this way sometime and I'll treat you to Dreamland.:rolleyes:

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