Backing up a trailer - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-10-2009, 05:58 PM   #15
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PS: Jim - I've always wanted to learn to drive "the big rigs" -- I have a class B Commercial license (basically anything that's not articulated and up to a 10,000# trailer, plus air brakes) but have never driven a semi-tractor/trailer. Looks kind of fun
It was very enjoyable for a while, but like anything did lose its glory after a while. Once you are accustomed to driving a big tractor/trailer, backing it up is actually WAY easier then a shorter wheel based trailer.

I like the tern "Driving the hitch", it is somewhat self explanatory.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #16
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My other piece of advice. Don't be embarrassed by your actions or in actions to back up correctly. I remember those sweaty palms and sticky back against the tug seat. I've learned to relax and if it takes me six or seven times to get the trailer back in where it belongs... so what? If someone looks like they're laughing at my inept ability, when I finally get the trailer where it belongs... I get out of the tug and take a bow. I've learned to laugh at myself, that's all it takes!
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:37 PM   #17
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Good point, Donna.

Another thought along those lines is to be careful of taking the advice of others. I was not assertive enough once in my early commercial driving career and let someone else (a helpful civilian) direct me when I was backing up. I didn't really want his help, but I was trying to be accommodating.

Well, he directed me without thinking about the vehicle's height, and as a result I took the corner off a neighbor's garage eave Embarrassing and maddening both

After that I learned to just go on with my own backing. If it would work out without offending, I would just mostly ignore their directions and continue with my maneuvering; if not, I would politely (yet firmly) say something along the lines of "Thank you for the offer of help, but I am responsible for the vehicle, so I'm more comfortable backing it up myself, and getting out to look if need be."

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Old 03-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #18
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]When backing, trailer bumper goes in same direction as bottom of steering wheel goes. With or without trailer, TV bumpers go same as top of steering wheel.

Whenever possible, get a pull-thru site and avoid backing entirely (In fact, I do that in parking lots even without the trailer because backing is a goood source of accidents, esp in my pickup where the canopy creates more blind spots). However, if there aren't many of them, be considerate and leave them for the bigger rigs which may NEED them.

Next best is to pick campsite on LEFT side of road because left mirror is much more useful than right one.

I keep thinking I will add a small tractor floodlight to rear bumper of Scamp, powered by relay on Scamp battery, triggered by switch in TV cab using the center pin on my 7-way connector.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:37 AM   #19
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BUT there is the home issue...
Before we moved to town, we had 5 acres, and that would have been VERY easy. Now not so easy. lol
Have the neighbors forgiven you for driving through their front and back fences to get to your RV pad yet?
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:03 PM   #20
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When I got our 5er I went over to the neighborhood middle school and set out some cones (or, more precisely, empty 5 gallon paint buckets) and parked the trailer a few dozen times until I thought I was getting the hang of it.

Of course this doesn't stop me from making a fool of myself when I arrive at a campsite, so I've learned to arrive under cover of darkness and park while no one is looking , and of course I always get the trailer in on the first pass when there's no one there to watch. There has to be an audience for you to make a fool of yourself.

Alas, my late-night strategy does not work at fiberglass gatherings. There always seem to be people assembled around the campfire when I arrive. Sitting there in their lawn chairs, yaking away, just waiting for me to arrive. There are a few concerned faces and the occasional horrified look from the campers on either side of my slot, but most of them seem to enjoy the show.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:00 PM   #21
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No, but I think they will get over it. <G>

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Have the neighbors forgiven you for driving through their front and back fences to get to your RV pad yet?
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:34 PM   #22
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Being a software developer, I have to wonder why no one has developed a 'Backing Trailer' video game (like Flight Simulator - which is even used by Pilots!). I've seen a couple one's that were too simplistic to be really used for training.

I would think that there would be a niche market - not only us but the big stickies, and perhaps even commercial haulers.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:01 PM   #23
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Nothing to add about technique -- it's been pretty well covered by others far better than I could ever hope to be. Mine is about karma, and inner piece ---

so when as a newby you are on your 12th try backing this [at]%$*&!?++^ thing that we never should have bought in the first place, and the lawn chair crowd of gawkers looks like a Springstein concert, just remember -- you ARE where they once WERE. Hmmmmmmm Hmmmmmmm
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:03 PM   #24
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You've got that right Ed! Always make certain you have a beverage of your choice cooled down properly. Because the first few times, when you're finally parked... you're going to want to wet your whistle... even if it's just a cola or Dr. Pepper
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:07 PM   #25
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Attachment 18365

When backing up, instead of holding the wheel at the top, place your hand at the 6 o'clock position.This way the trailer will turn left when the wheel is turned to the left and right when you steer right.
Anyone else have a good tip?
This is why I am known as the King of pull throughs. I won a gold metal in Bisby last year!

Arghhhhhhhhhhh!
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:36 AM   #26
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I recall seeing folks in lawn chairs with beer coolers hanging around the popular launch ramps in Florida to watch the show -- Backing and launching all in one place.

It sometimes wasn't pretty to watch when late in afternoon, with family coming in hot and tired and wishing maybe they hadn't had the last beer or three. Dad gets to back trailer down ramp alone because wife has wisely taken complaining kids out of swearing range of the docks and ramps...
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:41 AM   #27
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Kevin:

One of the best backing tips I've ever received re; backing a trailer (beyond your hands on the bottom of the steering wheel) was to approach the entrance to your camp site from the LEFT side of the road (assuming your site is on the left), then when your trailer reaches the entrance to the site turn sharply back to the RIGHT side of the road. Drive forward slowly on the right side watching the left rear of the trailer and you'll see that the back end of the trailer will be pointing somewhat toward the site entrance...this provides just a little jump start in the actual backup/turning process. Obviously if the camp site is on the RIGHT side of the road just reverse the above instructions. Just a little practice is all this takes and you can SEE what's happening. I received this tip from my nephew who is an interstate big rig truck driver.

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Old 03-12-2009, 10:59 AM   #28
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I used two small plastic cones to mark where I want the wheels to be with one set forward of the wheel marker to give me a guide line. It is of course much easier on the left hand entry but works well either way.
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