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Old 07-30-2015, 02:43 PM   #11
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For the Newbies reading this post.... Practice before the first trip. When I got my first Trailer, a 21ft hybrid, I grabbed some pylons and went to a school parking lot where I spent a couple of hours practicing backing it up and parking in avariety of situations.

6 years later as a seasoned "Reverser", I upgraded to a 34ft TT. First thing I did was get those pylons and go practice because new demensions meant a new pivot point and the rig was going to move differently then the old one.

I promise the first time you arrive at a State/Provincial park just after dusk and have to reverse into a site that is two whiskers wider then your rig...you will appreciate the the fact that you know exactly how the trailer is going to move when you start turning that wheel.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griswald One View Post
For the Newbies reading this post.... Practice before the first trip. When I got my first Trailer, a 21ft hybrid, I grabbed some pylons and went to a school parking lot where I spent a couple of hours practicing backing it up and parking in avariety of situations.

6 years later as a seasoned "Reverser", I upgraded to a 34ft TT. First thing I did was get those pylons and go practice because new demensions meant a new pivot point and the rig was going to move differently then the old one.

I promise the first time you arrive at a State/Provincial park just after dusk and have to reverse into a site that is two whiskers wider then your rig...you will appreciate the the fact that you know exactly how the trailer is going to move when you start turning that wheel.
+1!

Before I had my TT, I hadn't backed anything other than a smallish boat in YEARS. My 30' tandem axle TT didn't back ANYTHING like my 18' single axle bow rider! An eye opener for sure, and I learned the hard way; though I still have never hit anything with the trailer, bumped a fence with the truck once though ... no damage
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:00 PM   #13
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X2,3,4,on practicing!

I was a bit spoiled as a kid. I had unfettered use of the garden tractor and tip cart to do chores around the house. Many afternoons of backing that little rig into just the right place....

40+ years later, I can put any trailer exactly where I want it.

The most important skill is patience! And enough confidence to stop, pull forward and try again from zero.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:51 PM   #14
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Griswald is spot on....practice, practice, practice before you ever go camping.

Start with just backing your trailer in a straight line. Pull forward 50 yards, back up in a straight line 50 yards....over and over. Get use to how your trailer end reacts to even the slightest movement of your steering wheel. There are 2 different methods...hands at the top turn in the direction of the hazard. Hand at the bottom, turn in the direction you want your trailer end to go.........they both result in the same responsive movement in your trailer end. Get familiar with how much response you get from the trailer with a quarter turn, then a half turn, then a full turn........

There are many keys to successful backing.....1. Set up - If at all possible avoid what is called a "blind side" back in... .that's backing in making your turn from the passenger side. As much as possible back in from the driver side if you can. If you have no option, keep in mind that phrase printed on your passenger side mirror...."Objects may be closer than they appear..." 2. GOAL! - ask any trucker driver what this means and he or she will tell you, Get Out and Look. Visualize where you want your trailer and what you will have to do to get it there......check for any and all objects. Clearance (side to side, top to bottom), hazards - utility pylons, trees, branches, poles, culverts, etc., etc.... 3. Don't over steer......remember as long as there is an angle between your TV and your TT, it keeps moving in the direction of the started turn. Getting back under (aligning your TV with your TT) stops that turn direction. 4. Back slowly....it's not a time trial. 5. Go back to step 2.....GOAL! 6. Don't hesitate to start over......it's better than filling out an accident report.

Backing is easy......the marriage partner thing is something else, that's one of the reasons I'm blessed. My wife can back anything from a 2 horse trailer to a 53' box as well as I can.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:32 PM   #15
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I have a camera on the back of the truck. I get the hitch every time first try that is nice. Otherwise, DW walks the kids and dog. It works out very well for everyone including the neighbors.

I do remember as a kid, my dad and I did a race trailer without even talking. Like a well oiled machine.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:46 PM   #16
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I have backup camera on the truck so hitching up is a fairly easy and simple process. I'm ready to go with truck and trailer by the time the DW is!


Backing up...we use cell phones to communicate and I use the hand on the bottom of the wheel technique. Truck has Bluetooth so she tells me where to back the trailer. This of course is after I survey the area with her.


I typically get the trailer in the spot on the first try but I'm not afraid to pull forward a bit and start over. No pride lost in trying again...pride is only lost when hitting something!
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:50 PM   #17
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I suspect most of us new folks start a with smaller TT. Those are actually harder to back than a longer TT. The severity of a small error is multiplied because of the shorter distance from the hitch to the TT wheels. Learned this pushing aircraft ( everything from 727-100 to MD11s ) to the taxiway. The short ones bite you the quickest.

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Old 07-30-2015, 08:17 PM   #18
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Here's an aid I use for backing into my curved driveway.
The driveway is at an angle from side to side. So I put a couple of 2x6 boards in the driveway for the wheels of door side of the trailer to climb on so I am level. Not only does this level me, but gives me a perfect target to aim the trailer wheels at. I get it in perfect almost every time with the target to shoot at and the boards and trailer wheels are always visible in my right side mirror.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:02 PM   #19
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When we got our new Jayco -- which is half-again longer than our old hybrid -- I also got a set of inexpensive Motorola walkie talkies. I didn't care about range or features or anything, just as long as they'd reach the 50 feet or so to the back of the trailer, and I told DW that there's only four words she has to worry about: left, right, stop, and STOP! I told her to keep an eye on overhead branches, and don't get run over. This has served us well in the half-dozen trips we've taken with the new trailer, and it's made the backing-in process almost pain-free. No mistaking what she means when using the radios, no confusing hand signals, just simple directions. If she needs me to get out and look, she just tells me so. Some of the best money I ever spent.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:07 PM   #20
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I second those cheap Motorola walkies. I bought a pair 12 years ago and they still work great. There have been CGs where my DW can't get a cell signal and other where I couldn't (different carriers). On our last trip to a Missouri SP, there was zero coverage for any carriers in the valley were we in.
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