Do I have enough strength to do this?

I am close to purchasing a [email protected] The intent is for me to camp by myself and the more I read here in the forum the more complicated and challenging this seems. I'm not very strong or nimble at this age, but very determined. So, I am relying on you to tell me what obstacles I need to overcome. One thing concerning me is the stabilizer jacks. How do you get at them and do I need a lot of strength to get them up and down? What else might be a challenge? I will appreciate any input.
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Comments

  • AldebaranJillAldebaranJill Posts: 373Member
    LuAnn said:
    I am close to purchasing a [email protected] The intent is for me to camp by myself and the more I read here in the forum the more complicated and challenging this seems. I'm not very strong or nimble at this age, but very determined. So, I am relying on you to tell me what obstacles I need to overcome. One thing concerning me is the stabilizer jacks. How do you get at them and do I need a lot of strength to get them up and down? What else might be a challenge? I will appreciate any input.
    As a solo woman traveler, I think this is a question that can easily be answered by visiting a local dealership and asking to try out the crank yourself. To lower them, you have to be able to bend over, and insert the end of a fitting, then holding that in place, either use a drill or a crank with a handle. But it will be very hard for any of us to say whether for you, this will be an issue. Better to go and give it a try yourself at the dealership.

    There's another crank at the front, and some have replaced with something that accepts a drill too. Again, you can give this a try at the dealership.

    Other things to try would be hooking up the chains to the tow vehicle, and plugging in the electrical cable. These require bending over or squatting. Maybe also try pulling out and pushing in the step below the entrance door. Or bending over and putting wheel chocks around the wheels.

    From my standpoint, it's all about being able to bend over and reach, there's not much that requires strength, except for cranking the front wheel jack - and it's got a good gear ratio, so it's not too hard to turn.

    But again, a visit to a [email protected] at your local dealership, or perhaps someone in your area, would let you tryout these aspects to see if your eyes, back, hands, arms, etc have any issues.

    (I'm 54)

    J
    2013 MAXX [email protected] towed by a 2006 Subaru Legacy Outback Sedan 2.5i  4 Cyl AWD
    Seattle, WA
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,527Member
    LuAnn, we've got a 2017 MaxS and I love it! I'm the camping nut here and [email protected] is a long held dream of mine! Sometimes DH is along, but sometimes I'm camping with other Tabbers or a local women who camp group (met them on Meetup.com). I love the companionship yet I am still independent. I love the Tab because I can do most everything myself, and there's always someone around to help out if needed. The stabilizers are no big deal. If bending to turn the handle is a problem you can always bring one of those folding garden kneeler benches to sit on. There are a lot of women who travel with these, and some of us have earned our white locks.
    2017 [email protected] Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
  • LuAnnLuAnn Posts: 5Member
    Thanks for these insights, suggestions, and encouragement. The dealer is a few hours away, and when I was there to take a look the sales person seemed clueless. I never thought to ask to get hands on with it...good idea!
  • SAMSAM Posts: 2,147Member
    Rangergirl, you can edit if you want.
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • DonnabDonnab Posts: 60Member
    I just got mine this april
    I find stablizer cracking easy as pie as long as you can bend
    i have issues locking in the ball joint. It just going to take practice and confidence 
    maybe someone in your state is close and you could check theirs out!
    i'm in Maryland!
    Donna 2017  Maryland resident Colorado land owner outback white/black Toyota Tacoma  ; )
  • jason330ijason330i Posts: 72Member
    I think the most physically demanding thing is hitching/unhitching when the coupler gets stuck on the ball. It's also difficult to push/pull the Tab around by hand if you need to. And the most frustrating thing is backing up and parking the Tab.

    2017 [email protected] 320 S

    2017 Kia Sorento SXL AWD

  • LuAnnLuAnn Posts: 5Member
    Would an electric tongue jack solve that coupling issue?
  • marknjudymarknjudy Posts: 378Member

    "Would an electric tongue jack solve that coupling issue?"

    It might. I've found on some occasions, if the coupler won't release, that just putting the tow vehicle in drive and allowing it to roll forward and inch or two (until you hear/feel a "clunk" can relieve any tension in the connection and it opens easier. When that doesn't work, the gentle use of a claw hammer or pry bar frees it up. And - from my own experience - you won't have to exert so much effort that it would damage anything including yourself.

    Mark - 2016 [email protected] Max S (Silver/Red), 2012 F-150
  • SAMSAM Posts: 2,147Member
    We find the need to rock the Tab a little to get the coupler to seat.  Once it is in the correct position, then it locks down or releases easily.  If you are not level, it can also be a challenge.
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • lightningdonlightningdon Posts: 28Member
    I you are looking at one with the clamshell, make sure you try raising and lowering the clamshell by yourself as well.
    Don
    2017 [email protected] XL Max
    2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4X4 with 6 Sp manual
  • PhotomomPhotomom Posts: 1,930Member

    The stabilizer jacks have a long crank handle. There's a notch in the end that fits a notch on the bolt. It doesn't take too long to lower them. The crank hand stows in your car or the camper. But then if you are trying to level your camper you might be running around the thing a lot. 
    The trailer should already be level before putting the stabilizers down. One trip around to lower them is all it takes.
    John and Henrietta, Late 2016 [email protected] S Max in Western New York
  • Tabaz Tabaz Posts: 1,373Member
      
    Tabberjohn - that is a VERY helpful video about the Atwood coupler.  I didn't know that's why they "stick."  Please create a new thread with the video.
  • sbhtennissbhtennis Posts: 36Member
    I have also been doing a brief spray with some lubricant to  the coupler area with some   degree of success. 
  • 2Cougs2Cougs Posts: 451Member
    Great input everyone!  I agree... Each of us has our own limitations and cannot give a definitive yes or no to whether you can do this.  I think @AldebaranJill is spot on when she talks about bending v strength.  Visiting a dealer or another [email protected] owner is a great idea as you can try those things yourself.  We have a clamshell, so that is another good thing to try.  My limitations don't tend to be the physical parts, but understanding all the electrical/plumbing, etc.  My husband and I are slowly figuring that all out.  I want to make a personal owners notebook with labeled pictures and lists I can refer to.  Good luck making your decision.  The great news is that [email protected] owners are the most helpful people I have ever met, so you won't be alone. :)
    2016 [email protected] CS-S silver with white trim and WSU themed
    Pulled by a silver 2017 Chevy Silverado
    Leaves on [email protected] from Spokane, WA


     


  • jgram2jgram2 Posts: 833Associate Member
    @LuAnn, I like @AldebaranJill's idea of finding another [email protected] in your neck of the woods who might be willing to give you a walk-around of their [email protected] and maybe even a hands on opportunity to try out some of the physical aspects of this whole enterprise. We've found getting the water connections sufficiently tightened and loosened can be a little hard, and lying on the ground to connect and disconnect the dump hose (and get the darned caps off!) is a PITA. You might throw out your general location and see if there are any "givers". Failing that, go to a dealer who offers other small trailers and try out similar actions. Only slightly unethical and who knows, they might convince you their product suits your needs. The learning curve is steep but doable. Patience and determination are huge components of success. Can I think of more cliches? Just give me a moment. If you're unfamiliar with them, Sisters On The Fly is a trailer group comprised of women, some of them might be a resource for you too. Have fun exploring it all!
    John, Judi, Guinness & OD
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback/2006 V8 4Runner 


  • JandJ92010JandJ92010 Posts: 302Member
    An other way to unhook a "stuck" hitch is AFTER you get your trailer chocked and cord disconnected, is to pull the pin on the ball mount and move your TV forward about 6-8 inches. The ball mount comes out of the hitch and then there is no tension on the hitch lock. Had to use this method recently.
    The [email protected], 2015-L, towed by a2014 RAM C/V
  • SAMSAM Posts: 2,147Member
    Smart idea!
    Sharon and John - Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Blue and Silver 2017 CSS towed by a 2015 Salsa Red Toyota Sienna
  • LuAnnLuAnn Posts: 5Member
    "lying on the ground to connect and disconnect the dump hose (and get the darned caps off!) is a PITA."..That's a deal breaker right there.
  • foxdenfoxden Posts: 149Member
    @LuAnn I have to admit I have never had to lay on the ground to connect/disconnect the hose.  I just squat down or bend down and twist them off.  If squatting or bending over is difficult, you might consider getting a gardening pad and kneel down on it to get to the caps.  Go try it out.  I think you will be surprised how easy most of these things are once you get used to them.  You may have to modify how you do them but do whatever works for you!
    2017 Max S - Silver/Red - [email protected] -  2016 Jeep Cherokee - Fredericksburg, TX
  • jgram2jgram2 Posts: 833Associate Member
    @LuAnn, maybe we're just better at lying down than squatting, even with our senior exercise classes! YRMV! It's also possible our Outback edition has a different angle for the hose/outlet. Or our arms are abnormally short! Perhaps we need remedial [email protected] classes. I do not want to discourage you, @foxden is right-there are multiple ways to do things - I'm tempted to go out to the driveway right now and try the squat and reach method but haven't had my requisite 2 cups of coffee yet.
    John, Judi, Guinness & OD
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback/2006 V8 4Runner 


  • Smullis7Smullis7 Posts: 219Member
    LuAnn, I'm in Colorado Springs and would be happy to walk you thru my Outback (which is basically the same as the Max S, but higher) if you are nearby.
    Sheila and the Mullis Pups (Winston, Morgan, Leroy & Dakota)
    [email protected] [email protected], my 2017 [email protected] Outback Max S (silver w/black trim), towed by Maude Myrtle, my 2016 Jeep Rubicon Hardrock.



  • LuAnnLuAnn Posts: 5Member
    Thanks but I am in the Northeast
  • creamsiclecreamsicle Posts: 19Member
    All good ideas for us solo campers. I have to say the first thing I do is PUT MY GLOVES ON, ( numerous scraped knuckles ), then I get out my gardening kneeler and it is usually all good from here on out. The coupler and backing up are still a pain but doable just take your time, don't rush!
  • MouseketabMouseketab Posts: 528Member
    I have an older [email protected], so I required a portable step. I find that step also works as a seat that I drag around to the stabilizers to sit down to put them down or up. Then I use the stabilizer handle as a cane, and the [email protected] handle to haul myself back up :) I'm much better at sitting on my butt even on the ground rather than kneeling down or standing with my head upside down.

    Carol
    [email protected]
    #2741
    2007 Dutchmen [email protected] Clamshell, 2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
    Harvest, AL
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,527Member
    @Tammara good for you! I've been working on similar issues. I bought drill bits that fit the stabilizers and it makes the job so much easier! Also learning to slow down has been a good thing to work on as my body changes. Your schedule sounds wonderful!
    2017 [email protected] Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
  • RandylroseRandylrose Posts: 1Member
    Thank you All for great information and inspiration. I have been full time RV traveling alone (mostly staying monthly in RV parks) since my husband passed on in 2011. I have a 32' Class C with hydrolic jacks so I also want to compare the physical aspects of having a [email protected] and towing it behind my Jeep Cherokee rather than the Jeep behind the motorhome. A lot to weigh and a major downsizing for me but I love the idea of the little [email protected] saving gas and having only one engine to support. :) I'm 68 so I think this is still doable. All of your comments helped!
  • HomebodyatheartHomebodyatheart Posts: 1,527Member
    @Randylrose thanks for posting! I discovered over this last camping season that I've actually gotten physically stronger, never a bad thing! Another plus for the [email protected] is that unlike bigger rigs you can dry camp in tent sites, giving you many more options. Good for you for doing what you are in the first place! There are a lot of women camping solo, and lots of new friends to be made! Good luck with your decision.  :)
    2017 [email protected] Max S silver and cherry red, TV 2015 Toyota Highlander [email protected] ("Bug" aka my [email protected] pod), towed by Big Red, or Silver
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