Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How Much Is Enough?

How much is enough? I guess it depends on who you are. Earlier in the year when we were out west, I watched a strange trend developing that alarms me a bit. Perhaps this has been going on for a while and I had not noticed it. I’ve not really seen it happening in Texas, at least not on a large scale. But I’ve seen it quite a bit in the RV parks where Donna and I stayed in Nevada.

I have a Dodge Ram truck that I pull a 28 foot trailer with. That is it. If we take our bicycles, we carry them in the back of the truck. There are many larger rigs out there, especially 5th wheel trailers and motor homes. Some are quite large in their own right. But a new development is for these already enormous rigs to pull some pretty sizable trailers. Some of these are open trailers, while others are enclosed utility trailers. I would venture that most trailers contain some sort of ATV, for driving the desert out west seems to be a very popular pastime. But some also carry motorcycles, and I’ve seen a few that even carry cars. It’s not unusual to see a motor home towing a small car that can be used for transportation once the motor home is parked, but those are relatively easy to tow.

I’m concerned about this trend for numerous reasons. First, when you are rolling down the highway with all these different pieces, there have to be some safety issues. For example, how fast do you pull these trailers down the road? Most trailer tires are rated for 65 mph, but I see these rigs traveling faster than that. I can verify this because I get passed by them quite a bit. And when you have this much weight – weight from the RV itself as well as the weight of the attached trailer and its contents – there is an added element of danger.

In the RV parks themselves, I watch with some amusement as these folks attempt to park these enormous rigs. Many of them are upset because there is not enough room for them. As a result, many of them end up with some of their equipment sticking out somewhere and causing a bit of a traffic hazard. And because of their large size, some of them spread out into their neighbor’s area. They feel that because they are larger than a little outfit like mine that they are entitled to sprawl wherever they can. But I pay for a spot, and that entire spot is mine – they have no right to any of it. I’ve paid for my space, and I’m entitled to all of it whether I use it or not. Now, if they want to sublet part of it, I'm open to negotiations.

But this trend is just a reflection of how we live our lives in all areas. We go to a fast food place and we “supersize” our order. Homes continue to get larger and larger. Our televisions continue to get larger. We seem to be consumed by a passion for everything to be larger. Our American appetites are enormous. Will we ever be satisfied?

Well, to each his own, I suppose, just as long as it doesn’t affect me.

Below are a few pictures of these oversized rigs. I've blotted out any identifying information, such as license plates.

Big motor home, big trailer, and dune buggy. Note the flat tires on the dune buggy. And there was a car with this rig as well. I don't know if the trailer carries the buggy, the car, or something else.
Imagine the total length of this rig going down the highway. You have the truck pulling the travel trailer, which, in turn, pulls the utility trailer.

Another large motor home with utility trailer. The car at left belongs with this rig. I do not know if the car was hauled in the trailer or not. If so, it must be a tight fit. Notice the window unit at front of motor home -- odd!

This fifth wheel is pulled by the white truck that is partially shown at far left. There is a flat bed trailer the man is working on, and it carried the dune buggy at right-center. This is another very long rig on the road.

Another large motor home and a very long utility trailer. I'm sure the trailer carries the VW, but overall length of these two vehicles is quite long.

At least one simple trailer carries the car and the boat.

Another large motor home and another very large utility trailer that is almost as large as the motorhome.

And another very large motor home and utility trailer.

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