Backing up my Burro - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-04-2014, 12:10 AM   #1
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Name: Linda
Trailer: Burro 13'. 1982
Montana
Posts: 286
Backing up my Burro

Hi All!

I've practiced backing up my 1982 Burro but I always have problems that make me almost tear out my hair! I now only camp in pull-in sites.....I've had other people who are (what I would consider pros) very, very good at backing up their campers and THEY have problems with my Burro too.

Is it just because it's so small? All of us use tiny movements but what usually happens is no matter which way we turn the steering wheel, it continues to only go one way. All of us then pull forward to straighten everything out and then we try again.....same results. My daughter was finally able to get the Burro into the garage sorta sideways and her and my soon just picked up the front and wiggled it into place.

My son in law is suggesting some type of stabelizing bar.......what do you guys think???
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
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The shorter the trailer, the harder it is to back it up.
You are doing the right thing by stopping and pulling forward to get it straight.
Then, start backing without turning the wheel, followed by turning the wheel slightly.
If you hold the wheel at the bottom, with your palm facing up, you then move your hand in the direction that you want the rear of the trailer to go.
Practice in an open area where you don't have to worry about running into something, until you get your confidence.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:45 AM   #3
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Yup, short coupled trailers get away from you REAL quick. Two things I would tell you. In backing up, more than half of it is how you stop your forward motion and how you have positioned the trailer for it. The position you want is having the trailer angled so you only have to chase it back with very little wheel movement until you get to the point of straigtening it out for parking. I have always set up my pre backing up so I have the trailer cocked to the drivers side so I can see it from my side mirror. Having to use the other side, RT, called the blind side makes it much more difficult as you have no real reference unless you have someone guiding you. Second would be to say do not look over your shoulder out the back window. Use only the side mirrors. The inside mirror does nothing at all for you in backing up, hang a rag over it if you do so you have to use the sides. I started towing at 16 and 95% of the tugs and trailers I used kept me from being able to look over my shoulder. Now if I do I always turn the wheel the wrong way first . Whoops, got a third thing for you. As long as you know you have the clearance, top and width you only have to watch the side you can see to clear it. I used to back my class A beside the house, as long as I was within 6 inches of the drivers side mirror to the gate post I was clearing the house eve by a foot. Kind of like taking a wheelbarrow through the side door of the garage....watch one hand, good, watch both hands, bang.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:01 AM   #4
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All I can add is that every time you move the wheel one way you will have to correct/stop the trailers movement in that direction by moving the wheel the other way.

In short, once the trailer starts to go "left" it will continue to go that way until that direction Is reversed.

I have a 120 foot long, uphill, drive way I have to back trailers up all the time.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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Its a learned skill...keep practicing. There is no try...do or do not. (hee hee hee)

I have to back my ParkLiner into my mom's driveway and it has gotten a lot easier after doing it a few dozen times. Keep doing it and eventually you will get it.

When I first moved to a marina with a real strong current in the creek it was real hard backing my sailboat into the slip because of such a small motor and in the beginning it took me almost an hour of trying... by the time it got destroyed by Sandy it was no longer big deal doing it.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
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One thing I keep in mind is that, while starting the backing in process, when the trailer is pointing where I want it, it's already too late to start relaxing the wheel turn. I think I tend to over-turn the steering wheel at the start trying to see evidence of the trailer turning. I remind myself to "lead" the trailer angle. This is more for when I'm looking to make a relatively large change in direction like from the loop and starting into the site.

That and get out and check what's behind me frequently (I travel solo so no outside help). Even if a passerby offers to help the responsibility is still mine if I crunch a tree.

But it is tricky, that's for sure.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:01 AM   #7
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From the bottom of the steering wheel, nudge the trailer in the direction you want it to go, then reverse the direction of the wheel slowly and follow it back. Because it's a short trailer, a little (steering wheel input) goes a long way. Use smooth, gradual inputs, not abrupt back-and-forth corrections.

It's partly mental: you're following the trailer, not pushing it.

Practice when you have plenty of time and no one is around. And in the field, take your time, no matter how many people are watching and waiting! Again, it's partly mental - don't feel pressured. If things go awry, don't feel bad - happens to all of us! Pull forward, take a deep breath, and have another go, slowly.

And no, a stabilizing bar won't help. It's all in the geometry.

Finally, for really tight maneuvering at home (like getting it into the garage) a trailer dolly might work for you. You can place the trailer on a dime using one of these. Just don't use it on any kind of incline!!!

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Old 06-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #8
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Yup - small wheel movement and keeping your hand on the bottom on the wheel and moving it in the direction you want the back of the trailer to go are the two things that work best for me as well.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:12 AM   #9
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
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I am terrible at backing these trailers too. I can back up my 17 foot boat trailer but my 13 foot Scamp is an endeavor of perseverance. Avoiding backing it up by using a pull through isn't going to help. Keeping the trailer angled to the Drivers side is the way to go and driving through the drivers side mirror is the best way. Keep your mistakes small is very important. Nudge it along the path, if you allow it to wander about too far you get so crossed up you have to start over. Stop worrying about how long it takes to back in Take your time and anyone pressuring you can wait or go around. Don't take it as backing the trailer up 100 feet take it as backing up 10 feet 10 times.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:25 AM   #10
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Just a hypothesis…
I have owned several types of trailers over the years, most no longer than my egg, but the egg is definitely more challenging to back, especially straight. Certainly the short length is one issue, but I think there may be something else. I am going to posit that the curved shape is part of the difficulty. In other trailers, straight sides and sharp corners provide a visual reference for what the trailer's axis is doing. With an egg, you can get pretty far off-axis before your eye perceives it.

What do y'all think?
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:21 PM   #11
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Name: Kathy
Trailer: 1987 Bigfoot 13'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Just a hypothesis…
I have owned several types of trailers over the years, most no longer than my egg, but the egg is definitely more challenging to back, especially straight. Certainly the short length is one issue, but I think there may be something else. I am going to posit that the curved shape is part of the difficulty. In other trailers, straight sides and sharp corners provide a visual reference for what the trailer's axis is doing. With an egg, you can get pretty far off-axis before your eye perceives it.

What do y'all think?
I'm no expert but that would explain a lot to me. Even when I try to straighten it out by pulling forward it is hard to tell when it is truly straight.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:23 PM   #12
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Trailer: Casita 13
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backing up

something you might consider is to have a receiver mounted on the front of the TV. this way you are looking at it. It might not be practicable to unhitch and hook back up at a campsite , but at home..in tight situations.....priceless. they (receivers ) can be mounted in the middle or offset to either side for enhanced visibility. other than that it is just a matter of practice. you'll get it
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:34 PM   #13
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Front receiver? Kinda difficult to use your mirrors, which are optimally placed for backing, when you are facing the white expanse of the front of the trailer.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:06 PM   #14
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Trailer: Casita 13
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hello. you don't use the mirrors when you are "pushing". you are looking " at " the trailer. if the receiver is mounted in the middle you " do need " a second person or as you say you are looking at "the expanse" with no help in identifying an obstacle. When the receiver is offset to either side and sometimes they are mounted on both sides, one on the right one on the left, then you are looking down the side of the trailer and hopefully where you might " be tight ".
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