I was just getting ready to make a post about learning how to back up my trailer, but obviously this is the place to do it.
I had just hauled my Lil'Bigfoot to the DMV to get the VIN
certified (I had tried asking local law enforcement to do that, and they informed me I could have that done at the CHP office with an appointment [thanks a lot])
so went through the misery of hauling and appointment and in line and stuff.
Anyway. After that, I had the LilB in town, so drove her through some neighborhoods and then over to the Civic Auditorium, where there is a big, open parking lot.
I didn't have any cones, but picked individual stalls to back into. The hand on the bottom of the wheel turning the way you want the trailer to go works, but it was almost more helpful for me to watch the mirrors, even the rear view mirror.
This 13.5 trailer does react quickly. I had to learn to straighten out the steering wheel quickly once she was pointed in the right direction, and then crank it the other way to get the car to follow.
Don't try to correct if you get too sharp a turn. Just pull forward and try again.
We probably did 20 backups, and each one became a bit easier. I tried these backing up both to the left and to the right.
When it finally seemed we had *been there, done that,* I drove all the way to the end of one aisle, and tried to learn how to back up in a wavy line, all the way to the end. The goal of that was to develop an instinct of how to steer without trying to stop and figure it out. I never could back down the entire aisle without pulling forward and straightening, but the automatic reactions got better.
This was enough to give me confidence to back the trailer in at home. We have a narrow side driveway and the trailer goes through a gate and behind a fence. I did the recommended "scoop/swoop" in to get the angle started, and then had to work at getting her over the rolled curb.
We live on a corner, so it's a bit spooky pulling out into the middle of the street to back up again while worrying about someone barreling around the corner. (I've had guys honk angrily when I'm just trying to just back the car in with a load of groceries -- it's a very busy corner.)
I had several encounters this time, but mysteriously, no one seemed annoyed. Everyone who drove by either smiled or waved, or both. I don't know if it was "hey look at that poor lady trying to back that trailer," or "wow, she's really good at that," or "isn't that a CUTE trailer?" but whatever it worked and wasn't stressful.
The DH, who is a trailer backing maniac, was totally impressed when he got home. I think he was even a bit twitterpated.
I say practice and practice, and don't get frustrated, don't have people telling you what to do (and I did get out and look many times), and if you get into a fix just pull forward and try again. If *I* can do it, anyone can!