Towing is easy, backing up?, well.... - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-15-2012, 09:24 PM   #43
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they sure can.
Just don't have a "knee jerk" reaction when backing up with a clutch!
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:05 AM   #44
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Whenever I have helped people learn to back up a trailer, it seems like they are trying to get the trailer to a certain angle and the straighten out the entire rig. What you really want to do is get the arc of both vehicles set up, then maintain it as you back up. This usually involves bringing the wheel a little back towards straight to avoid having the trailer jack-knife. You want a nice, smooth arc made up of both vehicles. If you were to maintain this arc, you could drive backwards in an infinite circle. The circle can be just about any diameter. I find visualization to be key. People are picturing a car and a trailer. You want to think of it as one hinged unit.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:50 AM   #45
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Hi: All... I find backing up easier if I have something to aim at...like one of the bright orange wheel chaulks or an RV Lego block. This requires you to survey the lay of the land B4 backing in. At night I use the camp lantern to enlighten me.
Staying married and backing up a trailer is easier if you don't let your partner get "Run down"!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:55 AM   #46
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Staying married and backing up a trailer is easier if you don't let your partner get "Run down"!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
yea, and she ain't as quick as she used to be
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:06 PM   #47
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Okay, for those of you still not tried of this subject....

I took her out yesterday to practice in a parking lot. I can back up her up straight pretty easy now. Yes the hand going opposite trailer direction works for straightline backing up. Little nudges when she starts to veer one way gets it back in line.

I am still having some problems with backing in when the space is at an angle to my and the trailer. It seems that once I get an angle with the truck and trailer the more I back up the angle usually just gets narrower no matter what direction the wheels get turned. I did notice it would sometime straighten up but that was after a longer distance of backing up and the angle was close to a 180 to begin with.

I see that my only option is to do the back and forward dance until it somehow clicks. But after just a few short sessions practicing I am alot more confident than before and would suggest to anyone uncomfortable with backing up to give it a shot. I consider it vital to know if you are pulling a trailer.

I read earlier that I should be able to backup in a continuous circle. I'd like to be able to master that and probably need a much bigger space than I have been using so far.

Think you got mad skills backin up? Check this out:

How to back up a trailer - YouTube

It's swedish and looks to be some timed backing up competition. Gets interesting around 1:30.

This one was was a bit ironic. Teaches you how to back up a semi and says he would rather back one up than a boat trailer!

How to back up a short trailer - YouTube

Gary
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:18 PM   #48
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This one was was a bit ironic. Teaches you how to back up a semi and says he would rather back one up than a boat trailer!
There is a fair bit of truth to this statement, but does need some qualification. I have backed up many a semi trailer with different tractors, and the longer the distance from the hitch to the wheels, the slower it is to respond to corrections and less likely it is to jackknife. This is good when the tractor itself has a large turning radius. On the other hand, a shorter trailer like most 'glass ones, combined with a vehicle that turns sharp allows for way better maneuverability, very much needed to get into some tight spots.

Ever tried backing up a super short trailer, like a portable air compressor or generator. When they start to turn, they quickly will jackknife, and it is tough to correct with some big pickups. Good for reversing practice though.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:20 PM   #49
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Here's another called the "scoop." THE SCOOP: How to Back up a Towable RV - YouTube Sandbox version of Jim's pdf.

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Old 08-17-2012, 07:56 PM   #50
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The only thing that they do (or don't do) differently, is to (in this example) cut left for a short bit before they reverse (step 5 in my diagram). This action actually turns the trailer a little bit more, making it that much easier to do. This is something that really helps if the roadway is fairly narrow. Otherwise, the procedure is exactly the same.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:45 PM   #51
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OK folks. After you master backing into a campsite or up your driveway go on to the graduate course - parallel parking. You only get a passing grade if you can do it in one pass and in a spot 3' longer than the combined trailer/tow vehicle length. All curb side wheels must be less than 6" from the curb (and of course none over the curb).

The biggest problem I've found is finding a parallel parking spot long enough, especially at a vacation destination.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:25 AM   #52
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Not asking too much there, are you Orien?

Parallel parking is not too tough once you get used to maneuvering while reversing, but your expectations might be just a wee tad on the high side.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:05 AM   #53
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Not asking too much there, are you Orien?

Parallel parking is not too tough once you get used to maneuvering while reversing, but your expectations might be just a wee tad on the high side.


I was thinking the same thing! I can parallel park a vehicle with the best of them, but trailer hitched and perfection wouldn't happen. I would be lucky to get it in the slot and if someone pulled out a measureing tape to see if I was exactly 6 inches off the curb, I would slap them! I would flunk for sure........



But like Orlen said, finding a spot is near impossible...... Probably a good thing in my world!
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Old 08-20-2012, 04:56 PM   #54
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Orlen,

Find a spot and have someone video it.

Would love to see that.

Gary
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:27 PM   #55
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Orlen,

Find a spot and have someone video it.

Would love to see that.

Gary
Me too! Last year I came close to having to try and do that though. I actually took my trailer (dont ask why) into downtown Portland the last night of shopping before Christmas and did manage to park it less than a block from the store I wanted, it was one of those heart pumping parking jobs but managed to do in the dark without hitting anyone or thing & not holding traffic up for more than a minute or so. Or at least no one was honking at me. Should have taken a photo of that for my trailers book for the intreasting/unusual spots its been parked in.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:31 AM   #56
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On the other hand, a shorter trailer like most 'glass ones, combined with a vehicle that turns sharp allows for way better maneuverability, very much needed to get into some tight spots.
I agree; once you have a reasonable master of backing, a small trailer, rather than more difficult, seems to allow a very precise control.
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