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Old 01-26-2013, 10:31 PM   #11
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**Do your best to make sure you pick a gas station or restaurant with a large lot so entering, parking, and exiting is smooth. Make sure you always park as if you're ready to leave that way no one will block you in and will lessen your chances of having to back up and wiggle out of the situation. I learned that from both scenarios and my hubby had to take over for me in McDonald's lot but made me get out of the gas station lot on my own. I succeeded!
**Don't allow yourself to feel panicked or rushed. You'll just make the situation worse.
**When turning left, where there are two turning lanes, make sure that you are in the outside lane so you have room to make that extra swoop without being overcrowded.
**If it's any consolation, I am of the female variety and drove our TT for the first time only 9 months ago and I insist on driving all the time, which my hubby loves! I am still working on backing up and getting wheels on leveling boards, but I insist on trying every time and if I need help, then I'm never afraid to ask.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:10 PM   #12
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Remember that when you depart the RV dealership on Saturday with your new TT that the WDH was adjusted under "unloaded" conditions. Your TV/TT combination under "loaded" conditions (ready to camp) will require that the WDH be checked and possibly re-adjusted.

Having a properly adjusted WDH under TV/TT "loaded" conditions will enhance your TV's handling of all the great advice given in this thread.

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Old 01-27-2013, 06:52 AM   #13
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WOW, great advice from JOF members. I even picked up a few tips. One single item that's helped me the most are side mirror extensions! 2-way radios are a good idea as well!
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:29 AM   #14
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All the above posts are very good advice. Heres another bit of advice. Do not EVER let yourself become rushed or hurried because of a vehicle waiting to get past on the CG road when you are hooking up or dropping off. They can wait. You have sunk a lot of your hard earned cash into your rig and to damage or break something while making haste is foolishness.

By the same token, be PATIENT when you are the guy on the CG road waiting for someone to back in, hook up or drop off. Camping is time to chill out and relax. Shut off your engine and talk about tonights Dutch Oven meal or how good it's going to feel taking that dip in Lake Michigan.

Tune out all the distractions and focus on your task at hand when driving & maneuvering and you'll do fine.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfarmall View Post
All the above posts are very good advice. Heres another bit of advice. Do not EVER let yourself become rushed or hurried because of a vehicle waiting to get past on the CG road when you are hooking up or dropping off. They can wait. You have sunk a lot of your hard earned cash into your rig and to damage or break something while making haste is foolishness.

By the same token, be PATIENT when you are the guy on the CG road waiting for someone to back in, hook up or drop off. Camping is time to chill out and relax. Shut off your engine and talk about tonights Dutch Oven meal or how good it's going to feel taking that dip in Lake Michigan.

Tune out all the distractions and focus on your task at hand when driving & maneuvering and you'll do fine.
You nailed it, mcfarmall ! And the vast majority of fellow campers WILL be patient and even helpful. I once got into a back-in situation where the combination of my crew cab long bed truck (22 ft) and a large tree just wouldn't let me put the 5er where it needed to be. Had to jockey several times because the tree was right in the only place that it could cause a problem. A fellow camper waiting to go by waited patiently for a few minutes, then got out and asked if he could help, maybe as a spotter. That's the kind of spirit we all should have.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:33 AM   #16
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Find an empty parking lot and PRACTICE in it make turns and see how your trailer behaves.. practice backing up and as stated before put your hand at the bottom of the wheel and if you want to go left turn your hand to the left... when backing small turns of the wheel make a big difference. A stadium parking lot mid week is best for practice...
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #17
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There has been a lot of good advise! I would recommend purchasing a good set of auxiliary mirrors. Being able to see is a wonderful experience. I also move my TV power mirrors so I can see the road lines at the front of the TT, so I know if I am wondering as I drive down the road.

In my option before backing into a campsite. Pull up to the site, park in the roadway, get out with our significant other, and walk through the site, talk about where you want the TT, look at obstacles and so forth. Then to back in is like a game of chess. Think about where you want the TT to track, as you back in. The one thing I had an issue with at first was pulling far enough forwards, before starting. So I would rub my heal in the gravel road and tell my DW to tell me when the rear of the TT was past that mark.

One more tip for backing in, I have the rule with the DW and kid. If you cannot see me in a mirror I cannot see you. I will stop backing up if they disappear for more than a few moments, as I really do not want to back over them if they would trip and fall.

I guess one more tip; discuss what you are going to use for hand signals, and be willing to change them up, after a few trips, as the driver may find them hard to see in the mirror.

Take your time drive slow, and think ahead.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:00 PM   #18
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Can't over emphasise what was stated above enough:

Be patient - haste makes waste, and damage.

Small corrections - sudden moves (as in the deer example before this) are not good while towing.

Practice backing up - to include looking up and down. Your TT is taller than your car, so trees and branches can cause issues that you normally wouldn't even thing of in a car. The same is true regarding the slope of the ground. It doesn't take much of a hill to grab your back bumper.

Mirrors - if your TV doesn't have towing mirrors, buy some. They make a huge difference. On my last TV I used McKesh mirrors and they worked great. The Excursion has good towing mirrors, so I sold the McKesh's.

Pay it back - once you've learned to back into a camp spot, keep your eyes open for people that need help, and politely offer your assistance. That's what makes our camping community great. But you also know how to spot the people that don't want help (and try to look and grin without being noticed ).

have fun!
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:59 PM   #19
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This is our second year towing our trailer so still fairlyl new at it. I've pulled boats and a small utility trailers for 30 years and backing in was a sinch. I never used the mirrors because i could always see which way the boat or trailer was turning by looking back through the rear window and not using the mirrors. I found out real fast that i'd have to start using the mirrors for the trailer because i couldn't see which way it was turning buy just looking through the rear window. Had no idea which way the rear end was going. I like the method as mentioned above where putting your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and turning in the direction that you want the rear end (trailer) to go.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:43 PM   #20
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You'll be fine. Just try not to hit anything. Everyone here has been in your shoes. Don't worry.
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