Front mount receiver hitch for the truck - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2008, 10:59 PM   #1
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Name: Billy
Trailer: Perris Pacer 13 ft 1985 / Mazda B3000 Dual Sport 2002
California
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OK, I admit it, I can't back up worth a darn. My little 13' Pacer has a tiny little spot between the planter box and the prize rose bush, not to mention being tucked behind a cypress tree. It takes 12-15 tries sometimes to put it to bed.

A front mounted hitch on my Mazda truck (same as Ford Ranger) might be the answer. Does anybody use one of these and do they make "backing up" or "fronting up" a lot easier?

Not too expensive at $120 or so, but I don't want to throw money away if they are a gimmick.

thx
Billy
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:02 AM   #2
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Can you use a manual trailer dolly to move the trailer into place? I use one to manuever my 16' Scamp (2150#), but that's on asphalt. Can't help with the front mount receiver answer...
Harbor Freight Trailer Dolly
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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A front mounted hitch on my Mazda truck (same as Ford Ranger) might be the answer. Does anybody use one of these and do they make "backing up" or "fronting up" a lot easier?
Billy
I tried a front hitch once and was very frustrated. YES. it is easy to control, but you can't SEE anything. The trailer is in the way

I personally found that with practice and going really, REALLY slow, I can now 'thread the needle' backing up.

PS: The longer the trailer and shorter the tow, the easier it is to back.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:34 PM   #4
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One of the first things I did with my new-to-me Ranger truck was add a front hitch from ETrailer.

Yes, the vision is blocked, but it is in front of you. I have had front hitches before and one can really thread a needle compared to backing up -- Open gravel shield for see-through view.

Plus, they are a place to put a front step, bike rack, front of canoe rack, power winch, etc.
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:32 AM   #5
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We put in a front hitch on our first tow vehicle, and found it very useful. Plan on doing it again.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:58 PM   #6
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If it's any help, I'll explain my method of backing up my trailer solo...

First off...everything I do, I do it in TINY increments.

Before I back anything up, I walk around looking for anything that may jump out at me...like overhanging branches, picnic tables, sleeping dogs...whatever. I plan my route of travel backing in, just as much as my route of travel getting to the campground, I just don't plan on any rest stops along the way.

I'll get the trailer oriented in the general direction of where I want it to go, but before I commit, I stop and get out and do another walk around...who knows, someone may have moved that picnic table on me.

I should now be 6-10' out from where I want to park the trailer. This is when I start using my SECRET METHOD of backing up...

I back up with my drivers door open and watch the ground to gauge my exact distance of travel.

Example: If I have the trailer set so I only have to back straight-in, and only by 8 ft, I'll make a mark, or pick a feature 8' behind my drivers door along the line my truck and trailer is going to travel.

Note: Don't use as a marker, anything that a pet might like to eat or play with...trust me, that comes from personal experience.

Slowly... slowly... back up... slowly... slowly... scan your mirrors too... naturally watch and make sure that the trailer isn't deciding to not co-operate, or that the picnic table hasn't moved on you. Going slow keeps you from screwing up the direction your front wheels must be. Inches of travel at a time... there's no need to hurry... especially pay no attention that every eye in the campground is focused on you and your back-up prowess.

Watch for the bottle cap, rock, or cigarette butt on the ground you picked out as your 8' marker. When it's is now right under your door hinge you've traveled exactly 8'. Stop, put the truck in neutral or park, put the parking brake on, get out, and do your last check.

See? That wasn't so bad was it?

This is just a variation of a golfing trick for putting...picking out a landmark 2' from your ball that is on the path to the hole. Lining up your stroke to hit that mark is a lot easier than aiming for the hole itself.

This method works especially great for me to get my truck backed up to my trailer hitch. I'll put that hitch ball closer than 1" if I stop often, and get out and recheck my progress as I back up. By watching the ground right below my door, I can easily gauge distances a lot better than watching mirrors.

Besides, my dog is my only companion, and I can't get him to guide me back at all.

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The true secret is TIME...take it slow, there's no rush...take time to think things out...make it a Zen-like experience.

OOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!
ConwayBob
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:21 PM   #7
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It's one heck of a lot easier to 'back' one's trailer if the steered wheels are almost under the hitch ball rather than being on the other end of the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:58 PM   #8
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Trailer: Perris Pacer 13 ft 1985 / Mazda B3000 Dual Sport 2002
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[... excellent advice abbreviated]

The true secret is TIME...take it slow, there's no rush...take time to think things out...make it a Zen-like experience.

OOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!
ConwayBob
Thank you, Bob, for the very generous instructions. I can appreciate how much time you spent writing - it is excellent! I'm sure many people, like myself, will benefit from the secret!

young grasshopper, signing off,
Billy
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:53 AM   #9
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Practice makes perfect. Backing any trailer is a use-it or loose-it skill so just before the towing season starts I pick a Sunday and drive to an empty office park parking lot and spend an 30 mins to an hour backing up. Make sure you are clear of any light poles, meadians or trees. Take a couple of plastic buckets and practice backing between them. Once you get your hand eye coordination tuned up, you'll have the confidence to back into anything.

Rob
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:16 AM   #10
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or that the picnic table hasn't moved on you.
Don't you hate it when that happens?
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:17 PM   #11
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One of the founders of this group, Charles Watts, kept having trees jump in his way...
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:38 PM   #12
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( you'll have the confidence to back into anything. )
Rob
LOL I thought the idea was not to back into anything. Just kidding.
Things do have a way of jumping out at you.

Darrel
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