No Sway! Why we installed an RV Sway Bar.

We may have all seen the images of travel trailers or just trailers being towed on the highway, losing control into a roll over crash. Some can be attributed to weight distribution or poor loading of the trailer. Some others can be attributed to driving way too fast for conditions.  A few can be attributed to side winds or the pushing and pulling from larger trucks passing on the highway.  Since we are not experts on the subject, the information we have provided here and in our attached YouTube Video is based on our own research and is not advice in any way.

Since a sway bar for our T@B travel trailer is new to us and we have never towed a trailer before, we decided for the $30 or so that it costs to purchase a sway bar would be a good idea.  If we never have to use it, that would be great! If we really needed it at some point, it would be the best $30 ever spent to prevent a potential loss of control or a roll over crash.

We have never heard that a T@B needs one.  They are low to the ground, light weight, and you really can’t over pack it.  Our tow vehicle has plenty of available weight to pull the trailer.

Here are some of the resources we used to make that decision:

U-haul trailer sway of death

Caravan Sway Crash

How To Control Trailer Sway by RV Education 101®

how to avoid trailer sway

towing tips for preventing trailer sway

rig sway

Here is where we found the one that we purchased:

pro series sway bar link

-Mara

 

 

Our Little Teardrop Camper – T@B

Here it is the big reveal!

We found this great 2014 T@B camper/travel trailer.  We totally fell in love with its cuteness and versatility.  It is lightweight (about 1600 lbs) to tow but still has all of the amenities of a full-size RV. We have a kitchen, hot water, propane stove, air conditioning, and even a commode/shower combo.

Check out the latest video of our little teardrop being delivered….did I mention that it is the coolest shade of blue?

-Mara

Tracing History – Natchez Trace Pkwy

It was hot and humid late August in Tennessee.  We stopped in Nashville to stock up at Costco since we were going to be out in the country right off of the Natchez Trace Parkway.  I love pulling up the RV right into the large Costco lot shopping and putting the groceries right into the fridge!  What we didn’t know is that part of the Parkway was closed for some reason.  In a car that would be mostly ok but in a 36-foot Motorhome pulling a smart car not so OK.  It required a turnaround possibly u-turn. It was not even marked ahead of time nothing written on the thousand trails website! (See the video for full information. It did say it would be closed for a while on the sign.)

img_20160825_144913

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile long drive through 10,000 years of History.  (NPS Gov Website referenced) From Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN  you can bike, camp, tour, hike and more recreational opportunities abound in this area.

We were intrigued by the ominous story of Lewis and Clark’s Meriweather Lewis and his suspicious death.  While we did not have time to drive the length of the parkway, there is a ton to see in each area!

Along Natchez Trace Parkway TN

I would caution those in RV’s to make sure to check the height of the bridges and make sure to have ways around the low clearances.  We had a bridge right outside the thousand trails campground entrance that was 11 feet tall while our RV was 12 feet 10 inches tall.

Check out these links for more information:

https://roadtripusa.com/the-great-river-road/mississippi/natchez-trace-parkway/

http://www.scenictrace.com/

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ms-natcheztrace.html

map-trace

-Mara

 

Exploring Mammoth Cave National Park KY

After a failed attempt work camping at Amazon in Campbellsville, KY in August 2016. (I hurt my foot and decided to leave – longish story but not that interesting)  We moved to the closest Thousand Trails campground and that happened to be this one to regroup and decide where our RVing adventures would lead us next.

The thousand trails campground is located right inside of Mammoth Cave National Park.  So after my foot was mostly healed, I could not leave the area without some exploration of Mammoth Cave.  The area is full of rolling hills and known for their underground passageways that have been explored and mined for hundreds if not thousands of years.

This was a really really hot and humid August summer day in central Kentucky.  The kind of day that is really meant for sitting in a pool or drinking some ice tea on a front porch somewhere.  What was the most remarkable thing I remember about the tour?  Standing outside on that hot day and having a cold breeze taking over the air. It was a dose of mother nature’s air conditioning.  It seemed to just pour out of the entrance.

The tours vary in length and activity level.  I chose a moderate cave tour with stooping and and a ton of steps (at the end over 155 steps to reach back to the outside trail)  I was able to complete the hike within the cave even with a swollen foot from my short stint at my work camping job.  They give you plenty of warnings at the pre – hike lecture and if you need to change your choice at that point you definitely can.  Just be honest with yourself on your level of comfort in the dark and what you can handle physically.  It is a long way up and a crew to come down and get you out of the cave can take hours!

Here is the link for more information:  Mammoth Cave National Park Tours

Take a look at the video I attached.  Please subscribe on YouTube Subscribe here! for more updates and companion to the blog here at firesidetraveler.com!

-Mara