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Old 04-07-2016, 12:01 AM   #1
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Pro-Trailer Backup Assist

Just bought a 2016 F150 w Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Wondering if anyone has used it with their TT, and what did you think?
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:09 AM   #2
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Wonder where the name comes from? I've known and ridden with dozens of professional drivers over the years and never seen any of them use any "device" to accurately and safely back up their rigs. Will be interested in how this helps ford sell trucks. Suspect it is targeted at folks who don't tow very often or have chosen not to spend the practice time to learn how to back up their tows.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:57 AM   #3
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Interesting comment Bassdogs...I see all the fancy electronics and safety assists on new vehicles and wonder why they're really necessary. Both of our vehicles are 2014 and have many of the assist features but I don't rely on them. The back up cameras are helpful but I've spent so many decades behind the wheel that I still actually look behind me when I back up.
I learned to parallel park almost 50 years ago and can still park in almost any spot on the first shot....no assist needed. I check my mirrors and keep safe distances from other cars on the road. I pay attention to my surroundings and don't out drive my headlights. Funny how we think we need all the electronics to park our cars, warn us if a car is in our blind spot and stop the car if we're getting too close. What happens if something happens to the fancy electronics?
Guess I'm just from an old school....learn the skills folks and put them to use!
IMHO. Sorry for the rant....
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Camping Grandpa View Post
Interesting comment Bassdogs...I see all the fancy electronics and safety assists on new vehicles and wonder why they're really necessary. Both of our vehicles are 2014 and have many of the assist features but I don't rely on them. The back up cameras are helpful but I've spent so many decades behind the wheel that I still actually look behind me when I back up.
I learned to parallel park almost 50 years ago and can still park in almost any spot on the first shot....no assist needed. I check my mirrors and keep safe distances from other cars on the road. I pay attention to my surroundings and don't out drive my headlights. Funny how we think we need all the electronics to park our cars, warn us if a car is in our blind spot and stop the car if we're getting too close. What happens if something happens to the fancy electronics?
Guess I'm just from an old school....learn the skills folks and put them to use!
IMHO. Sorry for the rant....
No Rant when you speak the truth that is backed up with experience! So much of the new technology comes out of think tanks that dream up for gadgets that coddle the many who for what ever reason choose not to learn how to do stuff. They even have guns now that aim themselves. If that's not a scary thing, I don't know what is. Much of the technology is very good as a backup to good training or an assist such as power steering or anti-lock brakes but if someone can't park a car or stay between the white lines, they have no business behind the wheel. I'd accept the usefulness for something like a lane control function if it forced the car to pull to the side of the road when it detected a driver who was unable to maintain control of their vehicle. All of this stuff is another brick in the wall for those who think driverless cars is not only the thing of the future, but also believe that it will somehow greatly enhance our way of life.

I for one am beginning to accept that while much of these innovations will become "state of the art" eventually, I will have moved on to that peaceful CG down the road of life long before then.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:47 PM   #5
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Peoples attention span is very short nowadays. I agree with Bassdogs and Camping Grandpa
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:00 PM   #6
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I would never trust it to do what they show it to. I trust my eyes and my wife to guide me and she hasn't failed to get me backed in safely and without incident so far. Just like GPS I love it but I still have a paper map and know the route I want to take before I head out. I do love my backup camera though on my truck. It will put me right under the trailer hitch without getting out of the truck to check 10 times lol. I still need the wife to make sure the trailer hitch is high enough for me to back under though.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:44 PM   #7
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I have a 2016 F150 with Backup Assist. I didn't want it but it came with the Tow package. I may use it with my boat trailer to head down the boat ramp. It won't work with a 5er (by design).

For those of you who haven't see it - you put a special sticker on the trailer tongue. Then you calibrate the sticker with the system (won't go into how here). Then when you're backing, the backup Camera 'sees' the sticker and can tell if your trailer is straight or at how much of an angle.

There is a knob on the dash - you turn the knob the direction you want the trailer to go and the onboard computer, looking at the backup camera, puts the trailer in that amount of angle.

I guess my biggest problem with backing a boat trailer down a ramp (when retrieving a boat) is staying straight in the ramp lane. Yea, Yea I know - get a reference point on the side of the trailer in the mirrors and steer it straight by that. I still wind up "snaking" down the ramp.

I assume (haven't had the truck long enough to get to boat season yet) that the backup assist will help with this. Basically if the knob is in the middle, the computer is going to straighten the car/trailer out and keep it straight.

In summary - I think it might help back a trailer where you need to keep it straight for a long distance (like a boat ramp). Can't see it helping me back on into a campsite but I'd love to hear someone who's used it with a travel trailer. Won't help with a 5er at all because it doesn't have a tongue to put the sticker on.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BuddyRay View Post
I have a 2016 F150 with Backup Assist. I didn't want it but it came with the Tow package. I may use it with my boat trailer to head down the boat ramp. It won't work with a 5er (by design).

For those of you who haven't see it - you put a special sticker on the trailer tongue. Then you calibrate the sticker with the system (won't go into how here). Then when you're backing, the backup Camera 'sees' the sticker and can tell if your trailer is straight or at how much of an angle.

There is a knob on the dash - you turn the knob the direction you want the trailer to go and the onboard computer, looking at the backup camera, puts the trailer in that amount of angle.

I guess my biggest problem with backing a boat trailer down a ramp (when retrieving a boat) is staying straight in the ramp lane. Yea, Yea I know - get a reference point on the side of the trailer in the mirrors and steer it straight by that. I still wind up "snaking" down the ramp.

I assume (haven't had the truck long enough to get to boat season yet) that the backup assist will help with this. Basically if the knob is in the middle, the computer is going to straighten the car/trailer out and keep it straight.

In summary - I think it might help back a trailer where you need to keep it straight for a long distance (like a boat ramp). Can't see it helping me back on into a campsite but I'd love to hear someone who's used it with a travel trailer. Won't help with a 5er at all because it doesn't have a tongue to put the sticker on.
Like most things the ads don't go into detail about how something will help you, just give those starwars style headlines and lead you to believe you can just push a button and finish your morning coffee and the truck will park your TT. Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:13 PM   #9
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Its funny bc I could probably guess the ages of the guys that post that they are better at backing up the trailer themselves than some electronic and are totally against new technology. I understand its a pride thing. My father inlaw and father said the samethings when I told them my F150 had Pro back up assist. Not trying to offend anyone. Just pointing out the difference between generations.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:22 PM   #10
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No offense taken. Tech is not a bad thing , I have lots of techy stuff, but when it fails us old guys just switch gears and fall back on skills we learned before the gadgets.
Ain't no tech gadget backing up my truck, car or RV. That's what good judgement, mirrors and a partner are for.
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