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rhart

Parking The Beast

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We've decided to stop hunting for 30' Class C and get a DP instead. With a small toad it will be a challenge to park I'm sure. If pulling into Anytown USA for the day just where DO you park the train? We rented a large Class C years ago and I don't remember an issue but a 60' rig has to change the parking dynamics. Not made any easier by the fact we have to leave the gen going to AC the dog.

Just what do you big rig folks do for parking?

Thank you

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One thing you will have to learn if you haven't already is to "DRIVE AHEAD OF YOURSELF", meaning before you pull into a parking lot or space, make sure you can get out without having to backup. Avoid one way or dead end road, alley's, shopping center perimeter roads with obstacles, or restricted turning spaces. Plan, look, insure parking spaces will give you enough room to get out. Park in such way that no one can block you in. Four wheelers will, if you give them the opportunity park both in front and behind you. I always park in a large retail store lot away from the customers and facing a concrete curb but leaving four or five feet to get out but not enough room for a car to get into the spot. I cut my wheels all the way in the direction to get out ensuring I can get clear.

Last but not least, I always use Walmart or Sam'sClubs for parking if possible. Wherever you go, be sure to check for city signs that outlaw parking, especially in Florida. Check with and get permission from store management. I personally never leave my motor home unattended except to go in the store. If I need to visit locally and leave the MH unattended for more than a couple of hours, I will go to a campground.

What you used to "get away with" in a class C, you will not be able to with a MH or large 5er. RV's are ATTRACTIVE NUISANCES, remember they draw criminals in parking lot's like flies to garbage.

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Good advice above. We stop along the road at rest areas, sometimes for overnight but a good place to get out and walk for a few minutes, look over the rig, check the toad and its attachments, etc. Picnic areas will serve the same purpose in some cases. As rbarkleyii mentions, scope them out carefully before entering to make sure there is an outlet without a turn-around needed. Scenic stops are another temporary or in some cases overnight stop. In many cases my GPS has enough detail that I can see the entry and exit roads for picnic and scenic areas and other small parking lots along the highway.

In towns, the above mentioned stores are excellent, sometimes an out-of-business property will work if it isn't posted. In some cases we've stayed on grocery store lots with permission. We always ask if there is someone available to ask. Temporary stops can be done on wide streets, parking like cars at the curb in a vacant section. This works even in very small towns in some areas. I've done this in a few larger towns, once near a hospital so I could get Louise in for an emergency check. We've stayed overnight in shopping center, parked next to a Bed, Bath and Beyond. The manager came out to ask us to move as we were in his preferred employee parking area. We had the nicest conversation and he gave us some great advice about local traffic and we parted best of friends. That like a number of other times was well after dark when we arrived and we had no where else to go. Another time in California we pulled into a small town. There was one shop in a small strip mall just closing, I asked the owner if we could park and she agreed, just asked us to be gone by a certain time in the morning.

Every state has its own quirks. In Montana they have historical stops with pull-outs. These make great lunch stops or rest stops to get out and walk. I've never stayed overnight in one but I guess you could. We prefer if possible to get off the roadway as far as possible. we have stayed in parking areas adjacent to highways if they are wide enough so we can get away from the roadway. There are truck parking areas in Wyoming that are large gravel lots. We overnight in them when we are traveling through. Kansas has rest areas with an RV loop that make for great overnight stays if you can pull to the side far enough to allow other traffic to pass.

We generally avoid truck stops but have used them a few times when it is late and we are needing a place to pull up for the night. They tend to be noisy and sometimes quite dirty. Trucks can back up and it may not be possible to find a pull through spot.

There is an excellent app for iPhone, All-Stays Camp and RV which has Walmart/Sams, campgrounds and dump stations. The Walmart stores are coded as no parking (in red) and ask to park (in blue). There is a little brother, All-Stays ONP Walmart which has the same information as the other for Walmart but doesn't have the campground information. I like the campground listing, has many more than in the large phone book guide books. Many are not suitable for a large motor home but there are some that are quite nice and just not in any guide book. You have to pay for this app but it is way cheaper than the big book!

One tip, when hunting for that perfect stopping spot it pays to slow down. You need time to assess an area and then make a decision and still have time to stop to take advantage of the place. This can be difficult when you are in heavy traffic. I've passed more than a few spots that would have been suitable but turning around and going back can sometimes be quite difficult. After 14 years on the road, we have many spots that are favorites along the routes we travel every year.

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Both above posts are most helpful. Thank you so much.

I hauled vintage cars in an enclosed 20' trailer for years and learned they will try to hem you in. I carry a couple of orange cones to block off some space and they have never been messed with. I'll try that with my new train. I also put a decal sign on the rig that says in case of emergency call so and so number. This has saved me a couple of times and has given me a chance to go move my rig before tow. I guess the beast will be pretty much the same only much larger and without the ability to reverse. Common sense will prevail along with great ideas above.

Thank you for the input.

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As previous posters have said......plan ahead. Try to pick an area that has wide driveways in and out, and room to turn around if necessary. Worst case scenario is you might have to unhook the toad and have wife back you out of a tight spot. With the 55 degree wheel cuts on the newer DP, its pretty amazing how tight you can actually turn. Watch your tail swing. Happy travels !

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rhart.

Welcome. I would practice backing up with toad attached. Both my wife and I did that, it came in handy on more than one occasion. Since I have traveled solo for the past 25 years, I have, in a lot off cases, not been able to separate toad from bus.

5-10 feet in most cases, is what was needed. At my last fill up, the 18 wheeler in front off me, overshot the DEF pump by about 5 feet, I put it in revers and gave him enough room to do the same...made his day!

Good luck.

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Actually, I (and the towing equipment manufacturers) recommend against ever backing with the toad attached. Way too easy to do a lot of damage to the toad and towing equipment.

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Brand new to RV and more than a little bit nervous. We were advised to go as big as possible, and are planning a full year or more on the road. We got a great deal on a used 45' Monaco. No problems driving straight but need to practice turns and parking. Pull through is probably the easiest ??? Any suggestions on backing up w/o a tow? We don't pick it up until 8/14 and plan on hitting some big parking lots for practice

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Here we go again - last post disappeared. Newbies here. Planning on a year plus full-time. We were advised by others to go as big as we could, and we ended up with a great deal on a used 45' Monaco. We don't pick it up until 8/14. Plan is to hit large parking lots on the way home to practice turns and parking. Does anyone have suggestions about backing up with our tow disconnected? Straight driving doesn't make me nervous, but I know I need a lot of practice with turns. One other question: I'm guessing that is tha MH makes it through a turn, then my Escape on a dolly will automatically clear? Thank very much in advance for any suggestions

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Slider, welcome to the Forum.

1) Join FMCA if you haven't already done so.

2) Join or vist a Chapter or to.

3) Do not back up your coach with the Toad Attach!!

Good luck with your new coach.

Herman

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Thank you Herman. We did join FMCA.. I would back up "maybe" two feet no more.

Better question for practicing:

1) are most spaces angled?

2) is there a standard width in RV parks?

3) is there a FAQ list in this site? I'm just learning the site

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1) Most sites are not angled, but should be. If you plan ahead, you can Google Earth to look at the site to see if you think it will work for you.

2) No, but older parks are usually narrower than the newer ones. National and State parks are usually tight on sites. We have found some that the sites were 60-80 feet long and the same between sites. There just isn't a standard. FMCA rallies try to have enough room to park your towed auto between your coach and the next one.

3) You will find good information in all areas of the FMCA forums. You just may not know when you need the information.

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Here we go again - last post disappeared. Newbies here. Planning on a year plus full-time. We were advised by others to go as big as we could, and we ended up with a great deal on a used 45' Monaco. We don't pick it up until 8/14. Plan is to hit large parking lots on the way home to practice turns and parking. Does anyone have suggestions about backing up with our tow disconnected? Straight driving doesn't make me nervous, but I know I need a lot of practice with turns. One other question: I'm guessing that is tha MH makes it through a turn, then my Escape on a dolly will automatically clear? Thank very much in advance for any suggestions

Let me start by welcoming you to the form. First lets go over your post # 12

"Thank you Herman. We did join FMCA.. I would back up "maybe" two feet no more. Never back up towing 4 down.

Better question for practicing:

1) are most spaces angled? Older parks are more likely to be strait newer tend to be angled but not all.

2) is there a standard width in RV parks? NO

3) is there a FAQ list in this site? I'm just learning the site" not so much on this site but this site has a good library.http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php

Go to YOU TUBE and do a search on driving and backing some good video and tips.

If you are towing using a dolly you have to leave a little more room as the dolly will track out side the line of your duels and the same on the road. When you have your mieres adjusted properly you can see where you are on the road and in your lane. See you tube for videos on that to. I use to tow with a dolly. You have to watch that your right hand wheel isn't tracking on the edge of the pavement or in the rumble strip or....

Bill

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I'll be towing with 4 down. Thankfully with experience towing a 20' enclosed trailer but only with a Porsche Cayenne. May I ask what the danger is backing with a toad? Does it jack knife quickly?? Can you get away with a couple of feet if the rig is straight and kept straight?

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Yes, a toad will jack knife very quickly. No different than a grocery cart pushed backwards. The caster makes it want to track straight when going straight and "turn like crazy" when going backwards.

If there are two of you traveling together, best advice is to work together so that you have a "spotter person" guiding you. Do NOT back if you can not see them in your left rear view mirror. That allows them to walk to the other side and check for obstacles (either overhead or on the side).

Work out very simple signs (when they are behind you and you are backing (without toad!):

Left arm extended and waiving slowly up and down= back left

Same but waiving fast= back hard left

Both arms over head= back straight

Right arm= see opposite of left......

On edit: Crossed arms means STOP. (thanks, Herman)

Dianne can guide me into VERY tight sites.

Start in an empty parking lot with a couple of cardboard boxes for marks.

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rhart, Hi!

Are you getting the coach from a dealer? There are several out there, that offer a hands on driving school. The Escapees, a chapter of FMCA, also offer a driving school and DP MH school. FMCA, at the rally's, are set up to weight your coach, so is Escapees.

Congratulation. Oh, Porsche Cayenne, can not be towed 4 down, even if it could, who would want to? Mine is a 08', black/tan. :wub::wub:

Carl

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Ha. Only one reason to tow a Cayenne. Put 10,000 miles on it without the engine running might bring the average MPG up to 8.5 or so. (Its a Turbo and I use the gas gauge as the speedometer.) At least I can go from the Cayenne TT and into a 42 footer or so and not go much backwards with MPG. :)

We thought briefly of towing a 356 but it wouldn't hold much overflow from MH and wouldn't be worth a **** exploring old fire roads in the back country. Hence looking at something like you tow.

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Brett is right on the money. One thing you will need to do is look up, you are a lot taller now. I recommend getting out and looking at any place you are going to back into. If you have a hard time "seeing" get out and look at it again it is a lot cheaper. go look at the videos on you tube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfCuqhMe2r4

Bill

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Just to add a bit more to Brett's comments.

When the person behind the coach is giving you instructions and directions Always look at them. They must Always be in sight. (in giving directions remember if you can't see the driver in the mirror, they can't see you)!

Crossed arms means STOP.

If your parkers arm/hand points to the Right, turn the TOP of the Steering Wheel to Right. And visa versa, Arm/hand to the Left Top of the Wheel to the Left.

Always remember if you can't see the person trying to direct you STOP till you can.

Herman

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1) Most sites are not angled, but should be. If you plan ahead, you can Google Earth to look at the site to see if you think it will work for you.

2) No, but older parks are usually narrower than the newer ones. National and State parks are usually tight on sites. We have found some that the sites were 60-80 feet long and the same between sites. There just isn't a standard. FMCA rallies try to have enough room to park your towed auto between your coach and the next one.

3) You will find good information in all areas of the FMCA forums. You just may not know when you need the information.

Yes Google Earth is your friend, I use it all the time in earth view mode, like he said you can check it out perfectly. I always prepare before leaving home, I also check fuel stations when we had a V10, but now with a DP we hit the trucker stops.

Good Luck

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I still use Gas Buddy.com to find the best price on fuel. You being in CA. I guess there is no good fuel prices! In Oklahoma, on I-40, I filled up ( 83 gal.) at Loves for $2.18 a gal.

Yesterday, on I-20E, at Pilot, I got it for $2.38 a gal. in Anniston, Alabama. I generally take 70 to 90 gal at a time, so if I can save a nickel or more per gal. I'm happy.

When using Google Earth, you got to have a sense of hummer! Just love it, when your RV park is in a field or shopping center!

The Jelly Stone Park that I'm in now, 35 miles from Atlanta, GA., Earth showed it in a river, with a "DAN Dive Flag"! :lol:

Carl

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