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 > Help!!!! Travel Trailer Back in

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ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 02/25/21 07:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That anxiety is the enemy so try to let it go. Those people watching don't matter. Don't be too concerned about blocking traffic either. Backing in from the drivers side, meaning turning to the left is easier. Position your mirror so you can see the wheels of the trailer and pick a point to start your turn and when the wheels are at that point start your turn. One hand at 6 o'clock and turn the wheel the direction you want to turn. Take your time and go slow. I stop and get out when I feel the need to go look. Don't feel pressured. Don't be rushed. You will wreck your trailer if you try to be fast about it when you don't have the confidence to do it yet....but that confidence will come with practice. You can do it.

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Alberta

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Posted: 02/25/21 08:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Natural to feel pressured those first few seasons of backing a rig. For sure get somewhere open and practice with your spotter. I insist on radios or phone contact so theres no yelling/gesturing etc. Back in the day if we got really out of shape I did a "lap" of the campground and then started over. This gave me cool down time and cleared all the folks behind me out. Its all part of the lifestyle.


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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 02/25/21 08:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I noticed a guy backing into a tight campsite in a state park one time, and he took a good 45 minutes getting the trailer in there. I admired his patience and persistence. I doubt anyone nearby was judging him, laughing about it, or anything negative. We're all there to enjoy ourselves and backing in is part of the process.

Personally, I was lucky to have a positive experience early in life. I was about 15 years old and we lived on a dirt road out in farm country. Dad needed to get a disk loaded onto a flatbed wagon, so he parked the wagon in a deep enough ditch 1/8 mile down the road, such that the bed was nearly level with the road. Then he walked home and informed me that I was to tow the disk with the other tractor to that location and back the disk up so it would be sideways on the wagon bed. I was unnerved, obviously. But I just kept jockeying it around and in about 10 minutes I had it on the wagon. No one was around to watch, and maybe that helped. Boy, did I feel a great sense of achievement! I never again feared backing up trailers.

Like someone else suggested, go find an empty parking lot at an 'off' time and practice trying to back your trailer into a parking spot. You can't hurt anything, and you'll gain both skill and confidence.


Mike G.
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hornet28

Muskegon Mi.

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Posted: 02/25/21 08:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another tip always try to be backing to the left, much easier to see what's happening to the tailend





Jackathan

Nebraska

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Posted: 02/25/21 09:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've been camping for 10 years. First, a 28' trailer, then, 36' fifth wheel, now 39' fifth wheel. Backed into so many sites, left, right, sun, at night, off cambers, off level, trees, in the rain, in the rain at night, brick retaining walls, drop offs, short sites, knocked down posts, removed posts, vehicles parked on the road. Once with a bow hunter that used our site as a parking spot. Squeezed in next to him about 4" away. Good guy though, had a good laugh when he returned. Pretty much everything. Some of these older campgrounds weren't designed for a 39' rig with long bed dually. Point is, even after 10 years, it is still hit or miss. Sometimes I get in on one shot, sometimes many more. At the storage unit, I often unhook the fifth wheel, and re-position the truck. I do a lot of Get Out and Look. Even then, I rarely get exactly where I want to be. Oh Well!

MitchF150

Puyallup, WA

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Posted: 02/25/21 11:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

the best training for backing a trailer is a small 8' utility trailer where you can barely see it in the mirrors!

I too was lucky in learning how to backup stuff since I was a kid. Laugh if you want, but I started doing it at around 5 years old, on my tricycle with a hand truck strapped to the back and "going camping" in the parking lot of the apartment complex we lived in back in the late 60's..

I would load the hand truck with my 'camping' stuff. Pedal out and back it into my camping spot.. ha, ha..

Anyway, over the years and doing real world backing, I find it easier to do it with the mirrors and just watching the trailer tires and the hand at the bottom of the wheel.

Once the trailer starts going where you want it to go, start 'following' the trailer so you don't oversteer the turn and adjust as you back up.

I find that you will be spinning the wheel, following, turning again, but all the while keeping the trailer tires in the mirror. Be that the drivers side, or the pass side. Also remember to keep in mind where the front of the truck is... If it's tight, you don't want to steer the front end into something!

If it oversteers, don't fret. Just pull forward to straighten out again, and start again.

I like having a spotter... But ONLY to tell me if I'm going to HIT something I can't see.

I don't want my spotter telling me to turn 'right' or turn 'left'... As long as you can see the trailer tires and where they are going, that's where the trailer is going..

Hand signals work too. As long as the spotter stays in your mirror view, they can use their thumb to point the way you should go, or in my case, when to stop in the site and that's just the open palm signal. Works every time. [emoticon] We do the same thing when hitching up the trailer. Even thou I have a backup camera, and I can do it by myself 9 times out of 10 the first try, the hand signals still work great for us with the second set of eyes.

No yelling, no walkie talkies..

Anyway, that's what has worked for me for all these years.. Yet, the little 8' utility trailer is the one that is the hardest to backup! [emoticon]

Good luck! Mitch
[image]

* This post was edited 02/26/21 01:10am by MitchF150 *


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rlw999

Washington State

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Posted: 02/26/21 12:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I was 16, I tried, unsuccessfully, to back a travel trailer down my grandparent's long, narrow driveway. My grandfather got out the garden tractor, hooked up a small utility trailer to it, then told me to back it down the driveway and into the small storage shed.

I spent a good couple hours of practice with the garden tractor, then tried the travel trailer again, and got it backed down the driveway and into the RV carport on the first try.

Being able to see exactly what the trailer was doing with the garden tractor (and not worrying about running it off the edge of the driveway) was a big help

2112

Texas

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Posted: 02/26/21 04:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This it's about 1/2 hour long but it has some good info
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p1B5d_K2__4

I'm looking for something that explains our illustrates the S Maneuver. Basically, it's drive in the opposite lane of your target site. As you approach the target site stear towards the target site entrance. When your truck front tire gets into the site, turn in the opposite direction to place your truck in the center of the roadway. Follow the center of the roadway until the back of the camper just clears the site entrance. This puts you at a good angle to start backing in.

Forget about people watching you. Chances are nobody even noticed you arrived.


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organcory97

West Columbia

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Posted: 02/26/21 05:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jackathan wrote:

We've been camping for 10 years. First, a 28' trailer, then, 36' fifth wheel, now 39' fifth wheel. Backed into so many sites, left, right, sun, at night, off cambers, off level, trees, in the rain, in the rain at night, brick retaining walls, drop offs, short sites, knocked down posts, removed posts, vehicles parked on the road. Once with a bow hunter that used our site as a parking spot. Squeezed in next to him about 4" away. Good guy though, had a good laugh when he returned. Pretty much everything. Some of these older campgrounds weren't designed for a 39' rig with long bed dually. Point is, even after 10 years, it is still hit or miss. Sometimes I get in on one shot, sometimes many more. At the storage unit, I often unhook the fifth wheel, and re-position the truck. I do a lot of Get Out and Look. Even then, I rarely get exactly where I want to be. Oh Well!


Wow looks like i got alot to look forward to, lol. I also dread vehicles at the edge of the other spaces and hitting them.

organcory97

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Posted: 02/26/21 05:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hornet28 wrote:

Another tip always try to be backing to the left, much easier to see what's happening to the tailend


Yeah thats my preference, and what I do when I get it to the house. It used to be very easy at the house, as there wasnt much traffic and woods across the street. They have now made a subdivision across the street which has made it all more difficult, of course I havent tried in several years. I will be backing in at home, on Monday after we come back camping. Yes I got a pull through for this weekend lol.

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