I am alone so I don't have anyone to guide me in for the better or worst of the matter... what I did today during my practice session was to take out my bright red door mat, throw it down where I wanted the door to be and backed up (a few times) until I was able to hit that mark via looking in my mirrors. I think I will continue the practice!
I have never pulled a trailer and have been thinking of renting a small one from Uhaul for practice.
the smaller and shorter a trailer is makes it harder to back up as a short trailer turns much quicker. Best thing is to go to an empty parking lot, like a school on the weekend, and better yet if it has marked spaces, and practice. Jaye has a good idea, put something out as a marker to aim for. The truck leasing company I worked for had a backing policy "GOAL", if in doubt Get Out And Look. I like Glenn's comment of shut up. Every year where we spend the winter is a campground with tight sites and lots of trees. I always guide my neighbor in with his big 5th wheel camper. Usually others show up with advice, but he always says "I can only listen to one person and that's Bob". I put the others back in the site to be my eyes where I can't see. Too many helpers can be a problem.
Regarding the front hitch idea, how do you see around the trailer from the driver seat.
If you back up, using towing mirrors, you can see around the trailer so you know what you are about to hit.
Another issue, these days, is will that front hitch receiver defeat the crash technology built into the front of the vehicle?
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
My opinion is that if you have a trailer, you need to learn how to handle it, not look for ways around normal use. Last year at a rally I did a backing seminar using a golf cart and small trailer. Not the best thing to practice with being so small but it worked to explain the principle of backing. Only ones that tried were a few ladies, and they all later reported that they were now able to back their campers better. When we gave our daughter a pop-up camper I took her to a parking lot to practice and she learned quick. Now have to teach our son as he's taking our old pop-up in June.
In over 45 years of trailering and camping I have never ever seen a camper put into a site with a hitch on the front of a vehicle, so "normal" to me is to back in with the trailer hooked to the rear of the tow vehicle. For those that don't want to learn to back up, get a pull through site. I know a few people that just refuse to learn, so they either get out and let someone else park it, or do the pull through.
I'd say if you can use your trailer safely, you're ok. Avoiding backing anytime possible is a good policy for anyone. The Michael Jordan of trailer backing still can't see what's right behind the trailer. It's a risky maneuver and if you can avoid it, do.
But that's no excuse to not know how. You definitely need to practice and get some basic level of competency backing. Because you know that sooner or later you're going to be in a situation that requires it, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
But front hitch? Rear hitch? Don't matter to me. "Do it safe" is the only "right" way I'll judge by.