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Old 07-23-2014, 04:37 PM   #1
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Back Up A Travel Trailer

I just got back from a week in the woods with two grandkids -- The Great Granddaughter Getaway & RV Adventure (we had t-shirts and everything) -- and I saw something at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that reminded me of your dear old dad.

As we were enjoying ourselves at our camp site one day, we watched someone take at least half an hour to back his trailer into a camping spot. He'd start to back in, get all crooked, pull out, back up again, get crooked again ... this went on and on.

And I remembered the wisdom a friend shared during his days trailering around the country in his fifth-wheeler. Now I used to camp in a pop-up trailer, so I know a thing or two about what a pain in the butt it can be backing up a trailer -- I just never mastered the skill and it is why I now have a motor home instead.

So I asked him about the difficulty of getting such a monster trailer into a parking spot. He said there was no problem.

"I just ask for a pull-through space," he told me.

"And if one isn't available?" I asked.

"Well," he said. "I just pay someone to back it up for me."

*****

Here's the t-shirt:
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:01 PM   #2
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Hard for some people to learn but there are two simple keys to backing any trailer.

First, you must turn the tow vehicle the opposite direction you want the trailer to go. A simple trick is to put hand on the bottom of the wheel and turn it the way you want the trailer to go.

Second, after the trailer starts to turn, you have to follow it and reverse the direction to stop it's turning.

Both these vary in amount depending on the distance from the trailer wheels to the pivot point. IE, short pop-ups turn fast. Just take practice and patience.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by shiggs68 View Post
Hard for some people to learn but there are two simple keys to backing any trailer.

First, you must turn the tow vehicle the opposite direction you want the trailer to go. A simple trick is to put hand on the bottom of the wheel and turn it the way you want the trailer to go.

Second, after the trailer starts to turn, you have to follow it and reverse the direction to stop it's turning.

Both these vary in amount depending on the distance from the trailer wheels to the pivot point. IE, short pop-ups turn fast. Just take practice and patience.

X 2 practice and patience
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:30 PM   #4
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Just drop the Hubby at the rest room and the DW will have a dozen of males to help her back in.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:52 PM   #5
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Good idea!
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by shiggs68 View Post
Hard for some people to learn but there are two simple keys to backing any trailer.

First, you must turn the tow vehicle the opposite direction you want the trailer to go. A simple trick is to put hand on the bottom of the wheel and turn it the way you want the trailer to go.

Second, after the trailer starts to turn, you have to follow it and reverse the direction to stop it's turning.

Both these vary in amount depending on the distance from the trailer wheels to the pivot point. IE, short pop-ups turn fast. Just take practice and patience.
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Originally Posted by dsbear View Post
Hard for some people to learn but there are two simple keys to backing any trailer.

First, you must turn the tow vehicle the opposite direction you want the trailer to go. A simple trick is to put hand on the bottom of the wheel and turn it the way you want the trailer to go.

Second, after the trailer starts to turn, you have to follow it and reverse the direction to stop it's turning.

Both these vary in amount depending on the distance from the trailer wheels to the pivot point. IE, short pop-ups turn fast. Just take practice and patience.


X 2 practice and patience

That is weird that you both had the same response.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:22 PM   #7
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Back Up A Travel Trailer

I am not good at backing a trailer, or much of anything else for that matter... The hand at the bottom of the wheel works for me.

Some additional comments. Take your time. Get out often and survey the situation. If you get messed up pull out and start again. Don't worry or rush because of blocking traffic, the hurrier you go the worse it will get. If need be asking for help is ok.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kurtsara View Post
That is weird that you both had the same response.
In the words of the immortal Yogi Berra .
" Just like deja-vu , all over again"

DW was always amazed that I could take a 30', 5er 60' forward and back up to the exact " wrong spot " she designated. Practice dear, practice.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:47 AM   #9
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Back about +40 years ago I went on a fishing trip with my Dad & Uncle. My Uncle brought his own boat and trailer. The boat landing we were using did not have a turn around close to the water and you had to back the boat ~300 yards down a straight drive. My uncle could not back up the trailer but refused for either my dad or me to back it up for him.

Simple solution was that he'd back it up until it jack knifed and then I physically lift up the back of the boat, motor, trailer and put it back in the center of the road. Fortunately I had more brawn then brains to get the job done.
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:16 PM   #10
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Our First Experience with Backing

Long time "Campers" first time "RVers" We just got back from our first trip out in our new rig (new to us) 343L Keystone Everest, but while we were out we learned a thing or too and not because we wanted to! We took a wrong turn on a mountain gravel road and needless to say the road less travelled is that for a reason. The road was steep and wet and unknown to us clay was mixed in the rock. We approached the hill and learned right away that we were not going to make it. As our truck slid, so did the rig. The more we tried the more the rig slipped and it was heading into a wash at a very fast pace.

I started to cry and begged for the man above to please help my DH get the 5er back down the hill safely. He got out of truck to assess what to do and I froze in my seat hoping that my movement would not trigger the truck and trailer to slide backwards even more.

I fine man, who was driving past our train wreck got out of his truck and offered to help. We took it. He did an amazing thing with the E brake and actually used the sliding to his benefit. He got the truck and the trailer back down to the right road in a matter of minutes.

He was our savior that day and he taught us a valuable lesson, When in doubt get out and walk to to see if you can make it. We had a great rest of the trip and on our way back through we both glanced at that hill and just laughed. And we realized that going "camping" is NOT the same as going "RVing"
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:00 PM   #11
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Should of walked on up the hill. You might of met Robin Williams up there in his RV
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:12 PM   #12
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I have the good fortune of having a retired truck driver for a dad. Dad paid for my books in college by backing up other people's rigs! I got in a pinch the first time I tried to back my new boat into my shed and I called him to come to my house and rescue me. He came to my house and, as frustrated as I was by this time, refused to get in my SUV - "You think I want to come up here and see you every time you try to back this thing in? You're a smart girl, you can learn this. Now here's what you need to do..." When I get in a pinch now backing a trailer up, I hear my dad's voice!

That said, I would much prefer backing up my 23' boat than my 8' utility trailer!

His general advice is make small maneuvers, "get the right angle on the dangle," and always keep your eye on the left tire of your trailer.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rjf7g View Post

His general advice is make small maneuvers, "get the right angle on the dangle," and always keep your eye on the left tire of your trailer.
That in my opinion is the best advice to tell someone, watch the left tires, that is your pivot point. I back our BBQ vending trailer into a lean to on the side of our shed, there is 2" on the drivers side and about 10" on the passenger side when it is parked, 9 times out of 10 I get it in there the first time backing up and it is not a straight backup.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:08 AM   #14
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That is weird that you both had the same response.
I wondered about that myself.
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