First Time out in my Lil Bigfoot - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-10-2014, 01:36 PM   #15
Senior Member
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 676
ah, backing up.....

Don't get discouraged or anxious about backing up.

Keep in mind that what you are trying to do (backing up in straight line) is basically soon as your rig starts to back up your tow vehicle is trying to push your trailer out of the way (that's just plain old physics and ain't going to change THAT)....and a shorter trailer will be even harder to control because the shorter distance between hitch and trailer tires the faster the trailer will "try to get out of the TVs way" (move to one side or the other of centerline)......and you have a real short trailer!

So while you are trying to back into a spot with an audience of campers with much larger trailers.....keep in mind that they have it a lot easier than you....they might have more bulk/volume to contend with but it's a lot easier to control going backwards.

Because it's hard to back up in a straight line, when I used to tow and launch boats (26') I always backed up in an arc, with the inside on drivers's easier to control an arc than it is to constantly steer left and right chasing a trailer that is trying "to get out of the way"....but that was with boats and long trailers.....

when I first got and tried to back up the 17 Bigfoot....I felt like I never backed up a trailer before!!!!! was horrible and frustrating....that's because of the shorter length and the fact that with a flat front (instead of a boat shape) the visibility is lousy, very hard to tell if not impossible to know when the trailer is starting to move off center line....and it happens so fast you can't correct it with have to pull forward and straighten out....

One suggestion....put some targets on the front of your trailer....go to a large parking lot, drive straight and slowly come to a stop....look at your side mirror....get a friend with a pencil to mark the spot where the side of your TV meets the front of the trailer.....repeat on the other "mark" both those spots with a short piece of electrical tape......end result when you are driving down the road you should just be able to see both when you start backing up you will see instantly when and on what side your trailer is "trying to get out of the way"....and be able to correct it by steering...

if you look closely at the pictures below you will see my "targets" left and right.....(you might also see a center target, higher up, it lines up with another target stuck to the inside of my back window....backing up to hitch up the trailer I look into the rear view mirror and line both targets up...)

Regards, F
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:59 PM   #16
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MsRubyLu-Kathy's Avatar
Name: Kathy
Trailer: 1987 Bigfoot 13'
Posts: 185
Thanks for the encouragement. I do notice I can park it better if I can keep myself from getting too frazzled and remember to take a deep breath and go slow.

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Old 01-10-2014, 03:04 PM   #17
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carlkeigley's Avatar
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,361
Originally Posted by MsRubyLu-Kathy View Post
Thanks for the encouragement. I do notice I can park it better if I can keep myself from getting too frazzled and remember to take a deep breath and go slow.
I can attest to a longer trailer easier to back up.
As an ex-truck driver it was a lot easier to back up a 40 ft. trailer,
but harder to maneuver a 12 ft. utility trailer when at home. Two
reasons = Difference in length, but also the semi-trailer has the
wheels basically at the back door of the trailer. The utility trailer
has the wheels in the center. So the rear is not exactly going where
the wheels are going. Something to adjust for on our little campers.

Even a 40 foot utility trailer is a different beast. It has the length,
but the wheels are also in the center. So turning street corners you
have to be aware half the trailer is swinging into the other lane on a
turn. And backing up is a lot of fun..............LOL
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:38 AM   #18
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Cece's Avatar
Name: Cece
Trailer: 13' Lil Bigfoot & Jeep Liberty
Posts: 5
Smile Pictures of my Lil Bigoot

I have finally uploaded some pictures of Little Betty here. Thanks, Kathy, or the reminder.
Little Betty is a 13 foot 1995 Lil Bigfoot and she is towed by a Jeep Liberty
She pulls like a little red wagon.

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