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Old 08-03-2014, 08:10 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: memphis
Posts: 287
Here's some pointers from a few years OTR truck driving.

1. Practice, practice, practice.....a big empty parking lot and five orange cones are your friends. There's not that big of a difference between the handling of a short bed or long bed TV, as far as backing the trailer. Your king pin point isn't going to be that different. It's more mental at this point and that's why I said practice. I think you'll be surprised once (if) you go that route as to how little the difference is going to be.

2. Never fixate on just one point (pivot point or king pin). You have 2 points that are pivoting. The first is your king pin in your bed, the second is your axles on the trailer. Neither of which is going to hit anything. The back end of your trailer is going to crunch before either of those comes into play. The back end is a good 10' beyond your rear axle. This is the point you need to pay attention to.......remember, you're pushing the back end where you want it to go.......everything has to follow.

3. Slow going is the key........it's not a speed contest. Once you get the back end going in the direction you want it to go, it will continuing in that direction until the force (turning movement) is counter acted. You have to get back under (TV lined backup) your trailer. In your practice sessions, observe how much movement you get with the back end with a full turn of the steering wheel, then a 1/2 turn, then a 1/4 turn.....get to know and understand the response of your trailer end with each increment of steering. Keep in mind that nothing goes anyplace that the back end doesn't.

4. Know your surroundings and the objects you wish to avoid. If your trailer is 8' wide (usual) and the slot you're trying to back into is 12' or 10' wide then you know how much distance you need on both sides to successfully slip it in. If you've got 2' clearance on the driver side, then you know you've got 2' clearance on the passenger side of your trailer without looking (assuming your space is 12' wide). Your point of reference is going to be the danger side (direction side you are backing in from)........which brings us to the last point.

5. Try to avoid "blind side" backing (i.e. from the passenger side). Especially if your passenger mirror has that warning on it..."Objects are ......". You want as little distortion as possible, driver side backing is always best whenever possible even if it means an extra maneuver is required to set yourself up. With that said, you should practice backing in from both sides ..... sometimes it's not possible to get the driver side position.

6. And one last point............get out and look GOAL! It's no shame. I drove for a company that required you to get out and look at your entry point (that point where the trailer entered the slot) and once again when you were under the trailer lined up to get completely in the slot. In the event you had an incident, the first question they asked was did you GOAL........usually followed by if you did, then how did you hit that bollard or side of the building or that other trailer....and trust me, the last thing you wanted to do at midnight in some god forsaken truck stop was hit the trailer next to your slot and wake up some sleeping driver......that's how the fight begins.

Steve and Lisa
Un-tethered buoys in the shipping lanes of life.

Jayco Jay Series 1206
Dodge Ram 1500, Hemi
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:28 PM   #12
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Elizabethtown
Posts: 127
Thanks for all the responses...

I settled this morning on a 2001 F250 Lariat Crew Cab 6.8L with long bed (8 foot) this morning to replace my F150 Crew 5 1/2' bed. What a beast. It's a local one-owner truck that had been garage kept its entire life....it's in fabulous shape!

The last time we camped, it was quite a squeeze to get my TT maneuvered into a rather tight spot, but I have quickly learned in the 3 years I've camped that other RV'ers are patient and very helpful. I had a small line of vehicles that wanted to continue around the camping loop but I received no dirty looks.

Thanks for the suggestion about the use of cones...makes perfect sense, both when backing into a campsite and when backing into its storage spot.

2011 Jayco 29L w/Outside Kitchen
Reese Straight-Line WDH
2001 F250 Lariat 6.8L Crew w/Long Bed
Honda EU2000i Generator
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:36 PM   #13
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Location: KC MO
Posts: 358
Congratulations 5arnolds on your new TV. Sounds like a super deal. You will really like the torque.
Happy camping
Darrell, Mary & K.C. Toller Mix
In our hearts: Goldens, Tess & Jericho
'15 Jayco Precept 31 UL "Bertha"
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:14 PM   #14
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Location: Murrieta
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LIFESPALLETE, I'm saving that excellent tutorial Every time I think I've got it mastered, I get a wake up call.

'11 Eagle 320RLDS
'02 F350 PSD Dually 4WD
DW's Ride, '13 Expedition
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