Tandem Dual Gooseneck Trailer Characteristics

The first question that such a title prompts is, of course, “what is a tandem dual gooseneck trailer?”

Those of you who already know won’t need an explanation and can skip to the next paragraph. For those who are unsure, then you’ll be delighted to learn that a dual gooseneck trailer is a trailer with two axes parallel for added stability and strength. The gooseneck is the name given to the long goose-like neck of the hitch where the axes come together at the point of the hitch.

Buying one of these is a straightforward task but choosing the right one for you is where some of the harder work comes in. There are (as with everything in the modern world) almost infinite ranges of tandem dual gooseneck trailers out there, but you can keep things simple by concentrating on your needs specifically and what works best for you.

If you look around, you’ll see these large trailers used for all sorts of things – from grape bins in the wine-growing regions of California to excavators in the flourishing Mid-West where more desert territory is being turned into habitable farms and homes every week, it seems. Every business seems to have a completely different attitude to the use of these things, but the common denominator is bulk.

The frame is probably the first thing you need to look at. The heavy duty frame of this type of trailer is its main feature and it means that it can take a great weight as well as being something that will last a long time.

The axle is the next most important consideration. This is a vital one because the type and size of the axle will be the single-most important determining factor in the hauling capacity of the trailer. The all-important GVWR is governed directly by the size of the axles on your dual tandem, as well as by the frame and the hitch. The gooseneck structure is designed for maneuverability as well as helping to take the weight off the towing vehicle and maximizing the GVWR. The range of the axles goes from 6,000 up to 12,000 so take the time to see what works best for your requirements.

Size matters when it comes to trailers generally and if your piece of machinery or whatever it is you want to transport is 20 feet long or if you need to mount two large containers side by side on the trailer, then you need to measure and leave enough space to play with. Another part of the trailer that’s vital to measure is the distance off the ground. The low-slung trailer can carry the taller load but what sort of terrain are you going to be using the trailer in? If its bumpy rough ground, then maybe it needs to have a clearance height or you won’t be going anywhere.

Whether or not you’re going to be hauling in snowy, foggy and/or dark conditions is a consideration that many people don’t even think of. It’s highly important because the tandem dual gooseneck trailer is a huge unforgiving piece of moving metal and if it’s not lit up well enough, there is the potential for accidents.

Storing the trailer bears some thinking about. It might mean that there is a limiting factor on size, for example, if you are taking the trailer on regular long trips and you need to store it overnight in a secure manner. They all come with strapping, chains, tarps and various cords too. Where will you be storing them if you need to stop overnight on the way back and you don’t want to wake up staring at a thoroughly empty trailer?

Finally, you need to know what sort of ramp you want. Are you planning to have an enclosed trailer and put horses onto it or will it be mostly for forklifts whizzing up and down dropping their load, before scurrying back for the next one? Will it be mostly a dozy old excavator? This is something you need to think about because each one of those options works best with a specific type of ramp.

My Life of Adventure in a Car Trailer

So many of my friends have told me that I have to write a book sometime about the various stories I’ve picked up along the way.

I have always loved the open road and have always had a sense of adventure. I never saved. I never worked too hard. I don’t have a pension plan, a dental plan or any kind of cohesive plan. I’m not saying that this is the Big Truth. I’m not even saying that this is the sort of attitude or philosophy that’s even advisable for my children or for anyone. I’m just saying that this has been my attitude: I try to live each day as best I can, treat others and myself with respect and always remain confident in my ability to deal with whatever’s coming.

This way of looking at life has, I believe, allowed me to live the kind of adventures that others don’t get to live. I’ve seen more things and been with more women (and the occasional man) than most folks only get to fantasize about. I’m not saying that’s better than others. In fact, for all my gains, I have also lost. For example, I don’t have a regular group of friends. My parents regarded me as a noble failure and I never settled and got to see children of my own.

So it’s with this life lived true to myself and yet with no real regrets that I think I’ll finally set out to put down on paper what I’ve done and what I’ve learned from life.

It all started when I inherited a heavy duty trailer from an uncle of mine. He was a laborer in a railroad yard in Dakota – part Blackfoot Indian he was, and one of the finest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

At the time, I was engaged to and very much in love with a beautiful fair-haired Kentucky girl named Rita. We both shared the same passion for the great outdoors and the adventure and we decided to convert it somehow into an RV trailer so that we could ride the ribbon highway together.

Rita was a primary school teacher and she had some good time off during the summer so we’d use that great chunk of free time to hit the open road.

We had some really happy days together, driving and yakking away about what we wanted to do with our lives, our car trailer hanging on behind, stopping every so often to satisfy our endless craving for one another and camping out under the stars.

But my own cravings soon got the better of me. I couldn’t help myself: even though I loved her more than anything, I cheated on her twice in the space of three weeks – once with a girl and once with a guy. I still don’t know why – I guess its all part of my way of living; of taking what opportunity life throws at you for better or for worse.

We never got to walk down the aisle in any case. Rita left me because she couldn’t depend on me. I stayed the course and soon I had enough money (painting and decorating mostly) to get rid of my converted heavy duty trailer and buy myself a landscape trailer.

Being on your own can be lonely but it does have its merits in that you can make these kinds of decisions quite easily. It wasn’t easy dealing with technicalities as hooking up a tow dolly onto a toy hauler trailer by yourself, but I had been around utility trailers long enough to be able to handle it.

Safe Driving with a Trailer RV or any other Trailer

There are many aspects to consider when you’re on the road with a trailer for the first time. Everything becomes that little more complicated when you’ve a motorcycle trailer or whatever hanging off the back of your car. Suddenly, you might be twice the length that you were previously and the new “trailered” you behaves in a different manner when it comes to parking, reversing and simply driving in a straight line.

Here are a few pointers that will help those new to pulling trailers get the most out of life for the time being.

First off, you might have to overnight somewhere along the way. This means that you have to park up your rig nice and securely and without disturbing other people. You might luck out and find yourself a motel or a hotel with a parking space specifically for vehicles with trailers, but most of them won’t have such a facility. You will probably have to park the car and trailer by occupying several spaces at once. Don’t fret too much about this. When I did it for the first time, I was very worried that I’d get a punch from knucklehead who didn’t like me messing up the order of the parking spaces, but people are understanding when it comes to a working man that needs to park his stuff.

The important thing to remember when parking like this (apart from minimizing the space taken over) is to ensure to prepare for a smooth exit. If you’re in anything like a tight space, the last thing you want to have to execute is a three-point turn. You should be ready to simply drive forward the next day, so ensure that there’s no possibility of anyone blocking you in.

Being out on the road and driving along in a straight line is the simplest of tasks when you’re driving with a trailer. It’s so easy; in fact, that you can soon forget that you’re towing a trailer. That, my friend, is the very thing you need to be alert for. The golden rule when towing a trailer is being aware at all times of the position of the trailer. Pulling a little cargo trailer or a motorcycle trailer is one thing, but if you have something like a trailer RV or a 5th wheeler, then you need to be especially vigilant as these types of enclosed trailer are often wider than the car you’re driving.

When the straight line becomes curved (as when turning at a junction), it’s important to give a very wide berth to your load. Common mistakes to avoid are the trailer wheels going up on the curb or the trailer catching the side of another vehicle parked at traffic lights (if making a left turn, for example with a wide 5th wheel trailer behind). You also need to allow for additional time to come to a stop and to just about do anything when you’ve got a trailer behind.

The height is something that you must also take into account. Again, it’s something that you can take for granted as you’re bombing down the highway in a straight line, but those signs warning you of the height restriction of a bridge ahead or the entrance to a car park become vital information that you need to know. Before you set out, therefore, you should know your car trailers height.

If you’re on the highway, things are a little less complicated. Normally, you just drive in a dead straight line and occasionally go to overtake. Make sure that you understand what the speed limit is for any enclosed trailer beforehand. Additionally, you might want to make allowances if what you’re towing is particularly large. My uncle, for example, maintains that you should never go above 40mph when towing any trailer. I don’t know if he’s right. He may have a point all right as I have heard of trailers detaching without warning and causing accidents. At the same time, you will regularly see fifth wheel behemoths being pulled along at 75mph on the highway. My advice? Stick to the Highway Code and always err on the side of caution.

Trailer Tips for the Camper in You

The fun involved in camping is something upon which opinion has always been divided.

On the one hand, camping and departing into the great outdoors is a romantic notion that fills many people with excitement at the prospects of sleeping under the stars and eating under the blue skies.

On the other hand, there are those who see absolutely no attraction in leaving the comfort of a solidly-constructed edifice to overnight or spend any quantity of time. To such people, the very notion is very much a retrograde step in the evolution of mankind and they insist on a certain level of comfort as standard in their lives, whether at home or on holiday.

I know such people and my brother-in-law is one of them. I once came back from a camping trip with the children and as I explained to him in glowing terms how my children found the whole thing so exciting that, even when we set up the tent in the back yard as a tester, my four-year-old son proclaimed that this was “the best night of my life”, he just looked at me blankly. He was never going to be converted to the notion of leaving a solid structure of some sort and going outdoors to lie under a piece of curtain. At least, that’s how he saw it. I know because those were precisely his words.

In between these two categories of people, there are those who might be persuaded to go camping: those who are a little nervous of the whole idea and who would really love to try it but need a little more comfort.

For those, I would strongly recommend going the trailer camping route.

For a start when you pack all your stuff into a utility trailer or an equipment trailer, you leave your car free of all the clutter that will invariably have to accompany you on a camping trip. The other big advantage is that not only is your car uncluttered for the journey to your camping destination, it also means that you have a place to store your stuff all year round. Some people take the additional step of making or buying an enclosed trailer so that all their camping gear is in one dry and secure place all the year through and ready to be taken out and used again when the weather is agreeable enough. Camping is fun in a fifth wheeler.

Despite what you might think of the camp trailer as being just the tent packed into a dump trailer, the camp trailer is more sophisticated than that it constitutes quite a step up the accommodation ladder in terms of the great outdoors lifestyle.

The standard size is usually about 24 feet in length and will provide sleeping accommodation for up to six individuals. It will often come with a queen-sized bed, as well as a pair of bunk beds and a little table for eating that will convert into another little bed to accommodate two young kids once you’re finishing eating.

Of all the car trailers that I’ve had during my camping years, this is the unbeatable standard. There are other ones, such as the converted cargo trailer and the balsa-wood enclosed trailer that I converted it into. I’ve also gone into the fifth wheel world of RV-class trailers and I’m now on my fifth 5th wheeler. But none of them compare with the fun and the right comfort/wildness balance of the camp trailer. I so enjoy trailers of any kind.

Things to Think About Prior to Buying an RV

When it comes to buying an RV it is probably a very difficult purchase. In what respect could it be more difficult than any other purchase? This is because the purchase of a recreational vehicle is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you make with the exception of your home and car. Sometimes it may even cost more than your car!

In addition to the price and type of RV, there are other things a potential buyer has to keep in mind that may not necessarily be confined to RVs but as certainly issues of importance. These “hidden costs” are ones you must consider in addition to the asking price of the RV trailer such as:

Maintenance – One thing you want to keep in mind is the bigger the unit you buy, the more things that can go wrong. Since RVs tend to have more mechanical issues than the average car, this can be a considerable expense unless you know how to handle the repairs yourself.

Insurance – Another thing that will be affected by the size of the trailer RV is the cost of insurance. This expense is definitely going to set you back more than what you pay for a passenger vehicle.

Fuel/Oil – Unfortunately one of the problems with operating any RV is the cost of fuel. In general you will only experience fuel economy between 8-20 MPG. This, of course, depends on the model you choose.

Towing – it’s important to take this into consideration before you buy your RV trailer since you will need the equipment necessary to handle it. Check the specifications on your vehicle.

Parking for Your RV – It’s also important for you to make sure you have a place to park your new RV. Sometimes the Homeowners’ Associations don’t allow the residents to park RVs or there may not be enough space to store them. This may require paying a fee to store your RV at a storage facility away from your home.

Where to Stay When Traveling – You also want to think about where you will stay while you are traveling with your trailer RV or 5th wheel. It is more than likely you will park your RV in a RV park or campground that charges a fee.

Meals – Another thing you want to consider is whether you will have the ability to make meals in the RV or whether you will need to eat out during your travels. This will make a huge difference in the cost of your trips.

Connectivity – There are other perks that may be important to you such as the mobile internet, Wi-Fi booster, GPS, Satellite TV, etc.

There are several different types of RVs. Before you buy it’s important to choose the one that is right for you. Some of the more common types are as follows:

  • The Class A motor home is the type most people think of when they hear the word “motor home.” These are usually the most popular, largest, self-contained and with the most features. These are also the type most people think of when it comes to traveling full-time in an RV.
  • The Class B motor home is similar to the Class A but it utilizes a full-size van and is specifically designed for mobile living. The gas mileage and handling is usually very close to that of a regular car or SUV.
  • The Class C motor home combines some of the benefits of both Class A and class B. The best part of this model is the over the cab sleeping area that many people use for storage. There tends to be less space than Class A but more than Class B.
  • A travel trailer offers the most flexibility and is the most popular choice in towable RV trailers. Sometimes all you need is an ordinary truck, SUV or minivan.
  • A fifth wheel trailer connects to the open cargo area of the vehicle doing the towing which is usually a pickup truck (the best kind of the heavy duty model). This makes your trailer a two level model with the area over the bed of the truck being a good sized bedroom. Fifth wheelers are nice to stay in.
  • The popup camper is the most compact, lightest weight and lowest cost. These are very easy to tow and even easier to park.

Towing Car Trailers Safely

For someone who is using a trailer and taking that trailer out onto the highway, you must be aware that there are regulations governing the towing of trailers that you need to adhere to.

It’s all about safety. The Safety features come before any other consideration when driving along the highway at 50 miles per hour. In fact, let’s just take up that point – the one of speed for a start.

When you’re pulling any kind of trailer, you should really not exceed a speed of 40 miles per hour. I know plenty of people who regularly exceed that nominal limit but if you do choose to do so, then you’re really not giving yourself a good and reasonable chance of staying safe on the road.

The problem is two-fold: It’s about stopping the two-part structure of car and trailer from becoming unstable on the road and it’s about simply being able to stop that two-parter in a hurry when you need to.

Taking the first point first: You need to know that once you go over about 40mph, the physics of what you’re doing kick in. You’re essentially pulling a non-self-propelled trailer behind a self-propelled vehicle. As speed increases, the tendency for the behavior of the trailer will be to sway from side to side. This is pure physics and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Unless you’re towing a very basic and small type of dump trailer, then this phenomenon will appear to be completely counteracted by suspension system of the trailer in question. Plus, if there is considerable weight in the trailer, then that too will give the feeling of stability.

But you must be aware that this feeling of stability is just that – a feeling and an illusory one at that. It doesn’t matter whether the trailer you’re towing is a monstrous landscape trailer full of the entire family treasures or a mini equipment trailer with some bubble-wrap in it. Once you’re going too fast, the side-to-side motional tendency will kick in whether you can perceive it or not. I love trailers!

It all comes home to roost only if you hit an obstacle of significance on the road – i.e. a bump or a large animal like a fox. The trailer can then go just about anywhere – up in the air, flip over on its side or hit a vehicle in the lane next to you.

The other problem is trying to stop a car and trailer that’s going too fast. If you’re going over 40 and you need to stop suddenly, the problem is that you can’t – not without jack-knifing that sucker and I don’t need to go into detail about how serious that can be.

So whether you’re pulling something large and expensive like a toy hauler trailer or a trailer rv something more simple such as an equipment trailer, an enclosed trailer or any of the other myriad of car trailers, the important thing is that you check your speed and watch out for the safety guidelines. Be careful when towing.

No matter what you do, it’s possible to get to your destination and be there on time once you leave on time. That’s the essential message. Rushing will get you into trouble every time. I know from my own personal experience too, having jack-knifed a flatbed trailer on two separate occasions as well as wrecking a very expensive landscape trailer in an accident that also cost the life of my dog.

Choosing the Best Cargo Trailer

It can be very difficult and tedious when you have the task of choosing the best cargo trailer because of the substantial number of choices that are available. If you begin by learning some of the most common types of cargo trailers, you will be one step ahead when it comes to choosing the one that is best for your needs.

The first thing to understand is the purpose of this type of trailer. A cargo trailer is a special type of trailer used for hauling cargo. The trailer is hitched behind either a truck or SUV and comes in a variety of types and sizes. You want to choose the trailer based on the type of truck you are using as well as what you are hauling.

This article will provide some information on the most common types of trailers that are available in today’s market so you will be aware of the options that are available to you. While it is possible to customize a trailer to meet your specific needs, the first place you want to start is choosing the most appropriate model based on how you plan to use it. In this way you will be able to choose the trailer that comes closest to meeting your specific needs and can then add those options that will allow you to come the closest to what you envisioned.

If your requirements are specific in nature, you will probably be better off shopping for a new trailer since you want to make certain the dealer can provide the exactly add-on options you need. When you buy a new trailer some companies will offer package deals while others will allow buyers to choose from a variety of possible options so they will only need to pay for the options they need and want. You want to make sure to ask the companies where you are shopping to see the manner in which they offer their add-on options and extras. The most common types of cargo trailers available in today’s market are as follows:

  • An enclosed trailer is practical when you need to protect cargo that is more valuable or for cargo that cannot be exposed to the elements during transportation or storage such as electronic equipment or even auto parts. It is also possible to modify the interior of an enclosed trailer to meet the specifics of the type of cargo you are hauling. These types of trailers can also be transformed into a car trailer, motorcycle trailer, ATV or snowmobile trailer. I have used an enclosed trailer to move.
  • An open deck equipment trailer includes all open model utility and landscape trailers as well as flatbed trailers.
  • A horse trailer is used for the transportation of horses and is a very specialized trailer that is designed for the safe and comfortable transportation of horses. There are also models with living accommodations for longer traveling.
  • A stock trailer comes in a variety of sizes and styles for safely and comfortably transporting livestock.
  • A dump trailer is a good choice when you have jobs that require both hauling and dumping but do not require the more extensive services of a full size dump truck. They work well on the farm, golf course, personal property, home construction jobs and other projects of a small to medium size. They are available in standard or low-profile models in a variety of different sizes.
  • All aluminum trailers are lighter weight and more resistant to rust and corrosion compared to other trailers that are usually constructed from a hybrid of steel and aluminum. The aluminum trailers are usually used when aesthetics are involved such as with an antique car or a race car show. I love trailers!

Within each of the above models you will find a variety of sizes, styles and models, and by understanding the scope of choices it is easier for you to determine the best choice in a trailer for hauling cargo.



Towing a Trailer with the Right Vehicle

If you plan at any time in the future to get involved in camping or want to invest in an RV, you need to have some knowledge about tow vehicles. While the very thought can be scary, it is actually pretty easy to tow a trailer or average size.

Before you get involved in towing any trailer for the first time you want to make sure you have two very important things: common sense and the ability to make adjustments to your driving. This means when you are towing you need to plan to drive at approximately half the speed you do when driving without a trailer. You also need to drive around corners substantially slower and accelerate much easier. It is also essential to allow a great stopping distance when you brake and to remember when changing lanes to allow plenty of space for both your vehicle and the trailer.

Before you buy a tow vehicle (or the trailer if you already own the tow vehicle) you have to keep the towing capacity in mind. A car with a full-size body on frame and rear wheel drive (think Ford Crown Victoria or Chevy Caprice) has the capacity to tow a 2,000 pound trailer. If the trailer is smaller than that a smaller car can handle the job, but if you are considering a RV trailer or 5th wheeler that is more than 2,000 pounds you definitely may want to consider a truck or SUV. For anything that exceeds 4,000 pounds you need to think about a half-ton truck such as a Ford F-150 or Chevy Silverado. Even with a half-ton truck there can be a variation in its towing ability. It’s also important to think about the towing capacity of the transmission, brakes and real axle instead of just the engine. Be sure to check towing capacities.

You also need to consider the towing capacity of the hitch which is rated based on the load weight and tongue weight of the RV trailer or 5th wheel you are towing. Many SUVs come with a factory-installed Class III hitch which is the most popular. No matter what you are hauling (camper, RV, car trailer, etc.) a Class III hitch has a capacity to tow trailers up to 5,000 pounds. If your trailer weighs more than that you may want to consider a three-quarter ton truck which usually comes with a Class IV hitch and can tow up to 7,500 pounds.

If you are new to driving a tow vehicle you may want to work with someone who has had experience towing trailers. A good idea here is to first make sure you have the trailer RV you plan to tow; this will make it easier for you to seek the assistance of someone before you actually take the trailer on the road for long trips. The most important tip to remember about towing is you must allow a great deal more room for clearance and margin of error. Both your vehicle and trailer have much less maneuverability than they do without a trailer, so it is essential to always account for the additional length caused by the trailer when you change lanes in order to avoid running someone off the road or worse yet, causing an accident. I love trailers.

When you are towing a trailer RV, 5th wheel or any other type of camper you want to keep in mind you will incur a great cost for fuel. However, you also want to keep in mind that how much impact the trailer has on your fuel economy will depend on the type of roads on which you travel and the actual weight of the trailer.

For heavier trailers you need to consider whether the savings in fuel can offset the extra cost of buying a tow vehicle with a diesel engine. This is important today when the cost of diesel can be substantially more than gasoline, sometimes as much as forty cents a gallon.

The last thing you need to consider is the law regarding towing. The laws in each state are different, so you need to check the laws in your state and possibly even in any other states in which you know you will be traveling. The bare minimum you can expect is all trailers must have working taillights and brake lights as well as registration of the trailer through that state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Camping in an RV in Cold Weather

Many people think of RV camping as something you do in the warm weather to get away—beach trips, hiking, and other similar activities. While there are probably more activities to do in the warm weather, there is certainly no reason you shouldn’t enjoy taking your RV trailer out in the winter months and enjoy some cold weather activities. The only thing you need to remember is to plan ahead and make sure when you buy an RV you buy one that is designed for cold weather use.

There have been dramatic changes in RV camping over the past few years. In the past RVs were build intentionally for warm weather use, and as such they were not well insulated. In addition you have the option to buy four season models such as the Dutchmen Denali, Infinity and Voltage models; the roofs of these models have R40 insulation in the roof, floor, top of the slides and nose cap in addition to featuring vented roofs. The following tips will help make your winter camping experience more enjoyable.

A very important thing to remember before you ever leave on a winter excursion is to never use the water system even if you have a four season model. You may feel that because the unit is build for year round use it should be perfectly acceptable to use the water system, so why are we telling you to avoid doing that? In spite of the fact your trailer RV is designed for winter use, once you turn off the heater it will be frozen solid within just a short period of time. The other big problem winter RV campers may face is the buildup of condensation itself the trailer itself. If you have a four season unit that has dual pane windows and a vented roof you will not see condensation as quickly as you will if you are tempting to use a summertime unit during the cold winter months. The problem areas that will be of greatest concern for condensation are cold surfaces such as single pane windows and in any areas that allow the metal frame to come into contact with interior wall paneling.

If you are camping in the wintertime, it’s a great idea to have a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of condensation, especially if you plan to take long trips in your RV trailer. You may also want to think about running the dehumidifier for a few days in advance of going on any winter trip in order to try out the air and clear any excess moisture from wooden cabinets—this will make your trip much more comfortable. You also need to remember your trailer RV or 5th wheeler will use much more propane in the winter to keep your RV warm although this will be greatly reduced if you use a four season model that is well insulated. In areas where the temperatures drop into the single digits air conditioner heat strips or heat pumps may provide some additional options, but these do have some limitations. In many areas the colder temperatures will require you to use the furnace for heat. I love trailers!

Whenever there is a snow fall you should make it a habit to clean the entire top of a slide before you close it in order to help keep the seals operating more efficiently. Keep in mind there is a flat surface to the slide, so snow will not be able to melt and slide off the roof on its own volition.

While the refrigerator doesn’t actually require any special care, if it has an icemaker you need to make sure you disconnect it in order to prevent antifreeze from getting into the system when you turn it on.

If you own a motorized unit it’s a good idea to add a gasoline additive in order to prevent the gasoline from becoming stale and causing varnish to form in the system. Once you pour the additive into the system it’s important to allow everything to remain running for awhile so the additive can enter the engines. The genset on your RV trailer may have temperature and elevation controls, so you want to refer to your owners’ manual for proper settings. In addition the recommended weight for the motor oils in your trailer RV or 5th wheeler may change during cold weather, so you need to refer to your owners’ manual for those recommendations as well.

Getting to Terms with Trailer RV Terms

If you’ve recently purchased a trailer RV, then I wish you the best of good luck in your travels and adventures.

It’s a rich and rewarding way of life – rolling from place to place with all your worldly needs in one vehicle that’s also your home. Even if you’re only using the 5th wheel on the weekend and on holidays, you still become a full-time RV-Er as soon as you leave terra firma and head out on the highway for two nights or for two thousand nights. At least, that was always my attitude and most other folks who have the same passion for the heavy duty trailer feel the same way.

In order to help you to get bedded into the whole RV or 5th wheel scene quite quickly, I’ve put together the following list of common phrases and concepts that you’ll need to get to grips with as soon as possible. 5th wheels are nice to stay in.

The Different Water Types

There are some different types when you’re on the road as opposed to being in one place. First of all, you’ve got you’re fresh water that you use for showers and for drinking. What washes away after you’re done with is referred to as “gray” water, except for the water that drains from the toilet – that’s referred to as “black” water. I kid you not. I still can’t figure out what to call the water I use to hose down my motorcycle trailer.

The whole culture of the black water is the source of numerous stories about funny incidents. In many ways, it’s a bit like the British “toilet humor” of the settled community, only it refers only to those with an RV or an equipment trailer. There’s the one about the guy who sprays himself with black water or the one about the guy who gets his fresh water and his black water mixed up or who makes a coffee using gray water. The list goes on and on. Another hazard is RV-ing in sub-zero temperatures: if you’re not careful, the black  water tank can freeze and crack to the container. You won’t notice the problem really until it thaws out again and begins to drip… It’s a particular problem on the cargo trailer, in fact. Choose the best trailer for your needs.

Reversing into Spots

This is another of those situations that spawns a thousand campfire tales of woe and slapstick humor. It’s a tricky skill, but not one that will take you too much time as long as you take it nice and slowly. The main thing is not to bother with hand signals and walkie-talkies and learn to trust yourself and your wing mirrors. Practice with smaller utility trailers first and then gradually work your way up through the equipment trailer and the heavy duty trailer.

Cable, Satellite Dishes and Batteries

One of things that many people dream of when they dream of life in a trailer RV is to be able to just pull up and park anywhere that takes their fancy, without having to plug in or any of that sort of thing. I love trailers.

This is often referred to as boon docking. It can be done, of course, but you do need to consider extras such as power, light, heat and sanitation. It isn’t beyond you to deal with all of that stuff, but you need to have a lot of extra gear than you might normally carry around in a dump trailer in order to be able to comfortably fulfill your dream.

You need to find out how long batteries will last and then calculate how many hours you’ll need them and how much space they’ll take up. You will need to think about solar panels and plugs and the size of your black water tank and your fresh water tank (and maybe even your gray water).