The Turtle is our mascot because she carries her home on her back just like us RVers.
We also have a theme song based on the old 1940’s tune by Guy Lumbardo…”Enjoy Yourself! It’s later than you think.” You can hear the song (Click Here)
Why do they call it a 5th Wheel?
Trailers have been popular since the invention of the wheel…well almost. A horse can carry about one-quarter ton of weight while a one ton trailer can be pulled by a horse. After the invention of the 5th wheel a horse could pull up to three times the weight because the weight was balanced over the pulling wheels axle and distributed over a larger surface.
Think of a stage coach, the front axle would pivot when the stagecoach made a turn so the horses would not have to drag the front wheels around the turn. That devise to allow the axel to pivot was the original 5th wheel since the coach had four wheels and this “wheel” was called the 5th wheel.
Charles H. Martin introduced the Martin Rocking Fifth Wheel in 1915. At the time, the fifth wheel literally was a wheel that moved with the trailer. It was mounted over the rear axle horizontally and a two wheel trailer which extended forward and sat on the horizontal wheel could turn. The advantage is that a majority of the weight is distributed on the trailer bed behind the axel. A typical 5th wheel has about 20% of the weight on the hitch over the rear axle and 80% behind the hitch on the chasse of the trailer.
Another advantage to towing with a fifth wheel is the increased turning radius. The front end of the trailer sits above the truck bed helping to reduce overall length. This setup also allows you to turn the trailer up to ninety degrees and even a little more in some cases, making it easier to back up.
The Long, Long Trailer
Every avid RVer should rent the movie about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez in The Long, Long Trailer. Desi hitched a 28 foot, three ton New Moon travel trailer to the back of a 125-horsepower 1953 Mercury Monterey convertible.
The movie was made in 1954 and features Desi buying a car and a trailer and hitch. Lucy tried to take some boulders home in the trailer. She also tries to cook a meal while traveling down the road. It’s ridiculous and funny especially by today’s standards. Take note of some important errors about towing. I don’t know if auto manufactures had GCVWR or towing weight ratings then.
Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country
from coast to coast without seeing anything. ~Charles Kuralt
Missing America at 75 MPH
Motor Homes are great for the road. The driver can keep driving while someone else fixes lunch or uses the restroom. You can really make time. Think about it, one driver can take a nap while the other driver speeds down the highway at 75 or 80 mph.
Well that all depends on why you are on the road. If you want to see the country and get some stress relief… this ain’t the way to do it. If you are rushing to a funeral across the country, OK. I remember when my wife’s father died suddenly. We were 2000 miles away and we drove for 24 hours and got there without stopping for a layover. We just kept driving…one would sleep and the other would drive.
No, the interstate does not give you the best view of America. Although out west you can enjoy some great views from the interstate, but it is best to take the two-lane roads to experience the real America. You will feel the pulse of this beautiful country. You must STOP to enjoy the scene and you can’t stop on the Interstate, except for rest areas. I highly recommend that you turn the clock back by traveling the two-lane roads whenever possible. Seeing America at 30 to 45 mph and stopping often will teach you how to relax and learn what makes this country wonderful and beautiful. You will cherish what you see. You will meet people and understand much more than TV can show you. TV is passive and being there is active.
I remember Dinah Shore used to sing, “See the USA in your Chervrole…America’s the greatest land of all!” Often we only go 50 or 100 miles in one day. My best advice is to not get yourself tied down to a schedule and things will happen in a way that you’ve never experienced before. Don’t miss America! It’s the greatest land of all!
Today with the high prices of fuel you might think about not traveling so fast. Save by slowing down and getting more miles per gallon. The most enjoyable trips are the ones when you don’t know where you are or what time it is. Remember, “Half of the trip is getting there.”
If you want a stress-free trip I suggest you stay in the right lane as much as possible and use the cruise control. If you stay a couple of mpg below the speed limit you will hardly ever encounter traffic because they will always pass you up and go faster than you. I personally go about 65 in a 75 mph speed limit. You have got to acquire a habit and not think about the other ones. It’s not a race. Just stay in your own world.
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