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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > backing up trailer

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five'er

Canada

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Posted: 03/02/12 06:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go find a garden tractor and trailer and practic with it. Would you believe us harder to back that up than your tt.. you need to learn the limits if you're steering and that will only come with practice and more practice.. source.. I spent a few years as trucker and a couple months as shunt driver (spent all day parking trailers)... Ya know though. Some guys just can't do it.. I've net sine truck drivers that couldn't back up to save their lives.... It well become second nature for you if you practice enough. Use you're mirrors.. watch the wheels of the trailer and mind the nose of the truck... If in doubt. Get out and look.. Have fun..

jmtandem

western nevada

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Posted: 03/02/12 06:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

I am completely unable to understand how to back up our trailer.


Or are you really saying you just need to find a big lot that is unused and take some cones or cans and practice over and over until you feel comfortable. Make sure you cannot hit anything nor be in the way of other traffic and just keep practicing. As you back up s-l-o-w-l-y notice what the trailer is doing to your steering changes. Back straight, around corners from the right, around corners from the left and soon you will get it. Then tighten up the cones so your area of maneuverabilty is less (tighter) and do it all over again. When you can put the trailer exactly where you want it, you are finished with the lesson, your confidence is up and your camping experiences are way better. As long as you worry all the time about not being able to back up a trailer you are essentially partially paralyzed as to using the trailer and most likely wont.


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PapPappy

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 03/02/12 07:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hand at bottom of wheel, and make minor alterations will help the best. Also, don't hesitate to pull forward again, to straighten up if you need to.

Take your time, and as mentioned...PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Getting some plastic trash cans or soccer/traffic cones will help you, as will having someone help with a walkie-talkie to help with blind spots.


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Rescuebub

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Posted: 03/02/12 07:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First, don't get discouraged... As some have mentioned, try practicing with a small tractor or small trailer. I also agree that a smaller trailer is harder to back than a larger trailer. I have a small utility trailer that I use, and I am constantly pulling forward and readjusting when backing that thing up the same lane that I can hit on the first try with my TT. Just keep practicing and also let the DW try... she may be able to pick it up quicker, and then you can be the spotter, directing her exactly where you want to park. My DW and I sometimes do that as she sometimes isn't the best spotter, but can back pretty well. Good luck and don't give up! You can get it eventually


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CincyGus

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Posted: 03/02/12 07:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's a video I have posted a few times this issue comes up. People have already given you the tips I would such as putting your hand at the 6 oclock position on the wheel then moving you hand to the side you want the trailer to go. Move to 8 oclock to make the trailer go towards your left, 4 oclock to go towards your right.

I teach people to back aircraft containers with air freight to the loader on our aircraft that have never backed anything in their life.

The three biggest tips are:

1)Keep your hand at the bottom of the wheel
2) Go slow and be patient.
3) Don't make large movements, small adjustments at a time.

One last tip while watching the video. After you complete "The Scoop", continue to move forward until your trailers back wall is almost to the drivers side of the lane you are going to back into. Watch for this on the video and you will see what I mean.

Best of luck, practice all you can in a empty parking lot and you will quickly get the feeling and understand why your failing and whats different about when you do it correctly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLtfrBWzNCw


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rust_luvr

Mid Tennessee

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Posted: 03/02/12 07:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have always had trouble backing using the mirrors. If I can look over my shoulder see the back corner of the trailer (car trailer, equipment trailer etc..)I can back in almost any spot. But of course this isn't possible with a TT.

We've had our TT for nearly a year now and I've learned to back using the mirrors only. It takes practice and patience.

Take your time and don't be embarassed,we've all been there. After a while you'll have sense of were the back of your TT is and it will become nsecond nature.

A good spotter is a big help also. The wife and I use handheld radios to communicate that way there are no indiscernible hand motion or yelling back and forth that only creates more nervousness.

Hang in ther you'll get it!


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camperforlife

Midwest

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Posted: 03/02/12 08:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is a clicky to the video mentioned above. Note that he is backing in so that he is looking over his left shoulder. Much, much easier than backing in blind looking over your right shoulder.

Like everyone else said, find a lot and practice, practice.....

LVJJJ

NW WASHINGTON

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Posted: 03/02/12 08:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Years before I started RV'ing I had a job that unknowingly trained me well to back up trailers. Working for the USGS (making topographic maps) in northern Idaho, we surveyors had to drive every Forest Service dirt road to the end to make sure the aerial photography was correct. As there was often no area to turn around at the end of said "roads", we had to back out, sometimes for miles. It didn't take long for me to figure out that it was a lot less strain on my neck to use mirrors instead of trying to look out the back window. Out of necessity, I can now back up using mirrors as fast as my car will go in reverse (one of my very few skills).

My point? I suggest you first take your TV to that empty parking lot and practice backing up using mirrors only, without the TT. You really need to get used to the very different perspective you get driving via mirrors. It takes a while to automatically turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction you're used to. Once you gain this skill, then hook up the TT, you'll get good at much faster.


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tbirds255

Tujunga,CA

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Posted: 03/02/12 08:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One more thing that make backing up easier is to remove your weight dist. bars once you get to the campground (do it while the DW checks in).


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dfwscotty

Texas

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Posted: 03/02/12 07:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just more encouragement to offer here. Use those parking lots. Also get the communication down if one of you ends up as the spotter.

One thing you didn't mention was your trailer and TV length. If you have a full sized pick up and a large trailer it makes the whole rig move slower when backing and turning. A small vehicle and short trailer is aggravating since they move quicker in the turns. Used to have a Jeep Wrangler and pulled a short utility trailer with it.....I can back our travel trailer all over the place just fine but the short combo was a total pain in the backside!

Keep looking for help. One of those people is going to give you a tip that will give you the, "wow, now I have it!" feeling.

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