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Old 06-27-2015, 04:27 AM   #1
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City commuting

I'm looking for cost effective and safe ways to unhitch and make day trips to downtown areas without first paying to hook up at a campground or RV park. Obviously, we can't just unhitch the trailer in a Walmart parking lot. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:34 AM   #2
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I'm looking for cost effective and safe ways to unhitch and make day trips to downtown areas without first paying to hook up at a campground or RV park. Obviously, we can't just unhitch the trailer in a Walmart parking lot. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Places I've heard of, but never tried. Churches, if you can find someone to ask. Public building parking lots on weekends. Visitor/Information centers.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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Before I'd leave the trailer unattended: I'd being using a combination of locks. In the case of my 5.0 TA, I have a chain lock on both the tow pin, and another thru 2 wheel rims.

Can you unhitch in a City or State park for a few hours (day-use area)? Or does everyone want $$$?
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:40 AM   #4
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You may want to check with a Camping World. I know that the Good Sam's Membership includes free dumping of tanks. They may consider allowing you to leave your rig there if they feel you might spend money in the store.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:36 AM   #5
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Transit park and ride lots? Take the bus downtown. But I wouldn't leave the trailer over night.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:12 PM   #6
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Transit park and ride lots? Take the bus downtown. But I wouldn't leave the trailer over night.
This makes sense, because you would actually be using the lot as intended, to park (both the tug and trailer) and ride. It also takes care of parking for the tug downtown which would otherwise be needed. On the other hand, they might not like the use of two spaces. And, of course, this only works for parking if public transit works for getting where you're going.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:20 PM   #7
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Churches, if you can find someone to ask.
I'm not sure why churches are so often mentioned. Do people think anything on church property is less likely to be a target of theft or vandalism? Personally, I would not ask a private organization that I have no affiliation with to store my trailer. Now if you are a member...

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Public building parking lots on weekends.
I assume this means public buildings that are not open on the weekend so the lot isn't needed. I'm not sure what that would be, other than a school (and I'm sure the trailer would not be welcome at most schools), or maybe some small town city halls. Interesting idea if you can find just the right facility.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:24 PM   #8
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I actually left a trailer (rented tent trailer, but the principle is the same) parked in a police department lot in a small town (population 2500) while taking the tug on a drive through a national park. We had stopped there to ask the police where they would suggest, and they offered their lot. I wouldn't count on this working anywhere else, or ever again, and of course I wouldn't have done it without their invitation.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:43 PM   #9
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First thing that came to my mind was a large gas station with enough room to accommodate your trailer without disrupting their business Go in, ask more the manager, slip them $10 or $20 bucks and all will be good. Might want to ask what time their shift ends and who to speak to after they've left just to ensure some continuity.
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:19 PM   #10
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Truck stop?

But as others have mentioned I'd worry about theft no matter where it was left unattended.
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:45 PM   #11
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Truck stops usually have great parking spaces, but they provide them as an incentive to get customers. I wouldn't stay at one or leave a trailer parked at one unless I were doing some business with them (fuel, food, coffee, stuff from the convenience store...) and I wouldn't leave an unhitched trailer without their explicit permission. I have noticed signs at truck stops saying that no unhitched trailers (presumably referring to commercial trucks) are allowed.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:01 PM   #12
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For the small fee some cg charge, particularly Passport or other organizations, I'd leave my camper in a cg and be worry free.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:10 AM   #13
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I'm looking for cost effective and safe ways to unhitch and make day trips to downtown areas without first paying to hook up at a campground or RV park. Obviously, we can't just unhitch the trailer in a Walmart parking lot. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have a game knee so its unlikely that I will be taking a pedal powered Mountain Bike with me but lately have become curious about electric bikes or electric bike conversion kits. They can do up to 30 mph (frequently listed at 20 mph) and up to about 30 miles per charge. The batteries seem small enough to pack two if more range is needed. Bike weights for two bikes are lower than the 150 lb. max for the rear receiver. Otherwise I'm thinking about a small street legal dirt bike .... haven't done my research on dirt bikes or really enough on electric bikes as of yet ..... intended as an idea.

Leave your TV and trailer connected and parked while you too explore your cities.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:51 AM   #14
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Not really on topic, but that doesn't seem to be too important in these forums...

I too have knee troubles, and cycling is problematic. Depending on your situation, you knees might not spell the end of your cycling days. Physio and careful exercise have got me back to the point I can do some (careful) cycling again. If that's not an option for you, you can ignore the rest of this post.

If you are pedalling your bike, you need to be very careful about the size and fit of your bike. It has to have a tall enough frame for the length of your legs, and the seat must be far enough back for the length of your femurs. If either of those are wrong, you'll put extra strain on your knees.

A lot of people go with mountain bikes when they start to slow down, because of the more upright posture, but mountain bikes tend to be a bit under-sized (when you're on a rough trail, you want to be able to easily put down a foot). Today there are lots of alternatives in the "comfort cycle" class that are probably a better choice for casual cyclists.

You should be cycling with the ball of your foot on the pedal. Use loose toe clips if you have trouble keeping your foot in position. With your foot in this position, at the bottom of the pedal stroke you should be able to almost (but not quite) fully straighten your knee with your foot/ankle in a neutral position. You want a bike frame that is big enough to let you do this without raising the seat too high (if you have to raise the seat too much, you might not be able to get the handlebars high enough to give you a comfortable posture).

You also need to make sure that the seat is positioned correctly front-to-back. When the pedals are at the 3- and 9-o'clock position, your leading knee should be directly over (not in front of) your leading toe. It's not obvious that this is important, but it really is -- very hard on the knees if your seat is too far forward.

Once you get the seat in the right position, then you need to get the handle bars positioned for a comfortable posture. If you're a casual cyclist, you don't want to lean forward too much, because with occasional cycling to don't adapt to the weight on your arms and it will give you hand/wrist/elbow pain.

As in most things, the key is to know what you are doing (or go to someone you trust who knows what they are doing) to get a right-sized bike.
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:50 PM   #15
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Very good advice re: bicycle "fitting"!

And, since we're already off-topic . . . some other bike-related observations:

I have just recently (like 5 days ago) had a knee arthroscopy (why else would I be hanging around browsing the forum when I could be out camping?), and my orthopedist tells me that getting back to bicycling is absolutely the very best thing I could be doing for my knee -- despite him having confirmed that I have severe advanced osteoarthritis in my knees.

I have never liked or gotten used to "mountain" or "comfort" bike bars, but as I aged I had increasing difficulties with the usual road-bike "drop" bars. For the past decade I've been happily touring using something called "mustache" bars. These look very old-fashioned, and in fact seem to have fallen out of favour over the years, but I really like them -- in my opinion, they combine the best of flat and drop bars with none of the drawbacks. They're worth seeking out and checking out. Fit them with bar end shifters. If all else fails, Rivendell Bicycle Works (rivbike.com) in California are both a source and evangelists.

Happy trails.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:05 PM   #16
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Thank you dbailey for taking the time and effort to write your bicycle post. I would love be able to get on a bike again. I haven't ridden since my early thirties and now in my mid sixties with knee problems, I'm finding it increasingly harder to get enough exercise.


Think I will take your good advice and go to a good bike shop and see if I can work out a good fit. Escapes and a bike seem to go so well together.


Thank you,
Tom
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:45 PM   #17
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For the small fee some cg charge, particularly Passport or other organizations, I'd leave my camper in a cg and be worry free.
Me too.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:32 PM   #18
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I have a game knee so its unlikely that I will be taking a pedal powered Mountain Bike with me but lately have become curious about electric bikes or electric bike conversion kits. They can do up to 30 mph (frequently listed at 20 mph) and up to about 30 miles per charge. The batteries seem small enough to pack two if more range is needed. Bike weights for two bikes are lower than the 150 lb. max for the rear receiver. Otherwise I'm thinking about a small street legal dirt bike .... haven't done my research on dirt bikes or really enough on electric bikes as of yet ..... intended as an idea.

Leave your TV and trailer connected and parked while you too explore your cities.
Golden Eagle.com can add to any bike . They have different motors . We had to go to work with hills so this works . First bikes installed on were Diamondback mountain bikes . Was hard to swing leg over . After a few years got 2 Comfort bikes and reinstalled on . Can go 28-30 mi per hour , easy to install Company are very helpful . Good website . Not heavy like a battery bike . About 200 mi to gal . Check all the pics and you can see many different bikes on their website. Only changed out our wheels to heavy duty Stainless after couple years . You have a throttle cable and you use your brakes on your bike .Pat
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:36 PM   #19
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Golden Eagle.com can add to any bike . They have different motors . We had to go to work with hills so this works . First bikes installed on were Diamondback mountain bikes . Was hard to swing leg over . After a few years got 2 Comfort bikes and reinstalled on . Can go 28-30 mi per hour , easy to install Company are very helpful . Good website . Not heavy like a battery bike . About 200 mi to gal . Check all the pics and you can see many different bikes on their website. Only changed out our wheels to heavy duty Stainless after couple years . You have a throttle cable and you use your brakes on your bike .Pat
more pics Engine starts always 2nd pull . Made in Japan .Some pics from Peterson Museum . Harley and other 's used this technology in early 1900 's Pat
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:59 PM   #20
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more pics Engine starts always 2nd pull . Made in Japan .Some pics from Peterson Museum . Harley and other 's used this technology in early 1900 's Pat
Forgot the most important you can peddle your bike also or just sit back .Pat
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