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Old 07-30-2015, 12:45 PM   #1
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TT Backing Tips......

And saving a marriage at the same time!

Last weekend I was camping at a nice state park a few hours from my home.

While sitting at my picnic table reading the paper and enjoying a few barley pops, a new camper and his wife were arriving at the campsite next to mine. As they surveyed the site, the husband was concerned but was quite sure that he could back his travel trailer into the site without much trouble and told his wife to guide him in. Right away, I can tell this guy was a TT newbie as he had very much difficulty backing in his rig. After about 10 attempts of backing in and out, which was followed with much yelling, screaming and weaving a tapestry of obscenities between he and his wife, it was time for me to go over and save the day.

I offered this tip to the newbie. “Grab your steering wheel at the bottom, and then turn your wheel in the direction you want your trailer to go.” After two attempts using my advice, he backed that trailer to the exact spot he wanted to be.

He was so astonished that tip made it so easy for him to back in his trailer. He thanked me over and over again for not only saving his camping vacation, but saving him from having to move into a one bedroom apartment while his wife lived in their home with her new boyfriend!
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:19 PM   #2
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Congrats on saving another's marriage.


Last time out, she guided me in so well, the TT was level left-to-right when I put the truck in park. We 'celebrated' thoroughly later....
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:40 PM   #3
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My wife uses these stupid little hand movements that I'm SUPPOSED to know. point left..point right...come back..just a little...too much..

OH C'MON!

Then she gets bent at me because I don't get what she's trying to say! I still have to get out and get a visual. Then..we're good.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:46 PM   #4
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When I sold my old trailer, the wife had 1 finger pointing down at the hitch of the trailer and gave her husband signals to direct the ball on the truck.


Under a minute. No shouting.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:52 PM   #5
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I have tried to teach my twin boys the "spread hands" method. Start with your hands spread out as wide as they can go and then start bringing them in closer to match the distance I have left to back either into the spot or onto the hitch ball. Works really well until I look in my mirror and see one with his hands about 2 feet apart and the other about 6 inches apart, both looking at the same thing... I now use one for the backing and the other for my blind spots.. The wife now just makes sure that the hookups are aligned next to each other and no overhead obstructions.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:00 PM   #6
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We learned to reduce the "lookie-Lou entertainment" by using our cell phones ~ so much quieter and of course, much less stress (no more yelling, cussing, or rude hand signals). The new TV has hands-free on speaker and the back-up camera is great, we're even faster than we were before!
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:02 PM   #7
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We all have our backing stories I Use the wife as a target just have her stand where we want the left rear corner of the Fitch wheel, works for me.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex1961 View Post
I have tried to teach my twin boys the "spread hands" method. Start with your hands spread out as wide as they can go and then start bringing them in closer to match the distance I have left to back either into the spot or onto the hitch ball. Works really well until I look in my mirror and see one with his hands about 2 feet apart and the other about 6 inches apart, both looking at the same thing... I now use one for the backing and the other for my blind spots.. The wife now just makes sure that the hookups are aligned next to each other and no overhead obstructions.
I still can't get my wife to understand this concept. With her it's back...back...back...STOP....TOO FAR.....
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:03 PM   #9
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We've got our system down by now. First it's get out and look, make sure we can BOTH see the difficulties and I tell her where I want it. 2 minutes, maybe 3 if it's a difficult site. Then back her in with DW guiding and looking, she tells me when to stop. DW checks for side to side level, places blocks as necessary, and we're done. We don't yell anymore, hell, we hardly even talk much during the process.

Usually it takes no more than 5 minutes on the worst day. Sometimes the site is so wide open or easy she doesn't even get out. I'll go and look briefly and then put the trailer where I want it, adjust once when needed, and done.

As for hitching up, my new truck has a camera on the tail gate, so DW does something else while I hitch up. But before the camera, she could put me right on the ball perfect first try every time. It doesn't hurt that I have references inside the cab that I can see in the mirror so I know when I'm centered; it's the forward and back I needed help with.

It just takes patience and practice and a healthy respect for what the other person is seeing. One time I was going into a site that had a very narrow drive at the front across a deep culvert. I kept backing up and DW kept stopping me. After 3 times, I finally got out (with a WTH look on my face) and looked to see she was stopping me from dropping the TT axles off a 3 ft drop into the culvert that I couldn't see in the mirror. Once I saw it, I reset and poked the trailer in first try.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:10 PM   #10
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I want to stayed married so I don't require help. I get out and survey, and get in and back up. If I have to get out once or twice to look, I could use the exercise anyway..
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