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Old 07-01-2015, 06:13 AM   #29
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I had the DW try parking it once. After many attempts, she got frustrated and quit. She still isn't any better at guiding though. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:15 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Tollyman View Post
And finally, if the fifth wheel is straight in line with your final position, but the truck isn't, you won't be able to continue straight back. You need to start straightening the truck before the RV is straight. Keep practising.
This is a great point, thanks!
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:14 AM   #31
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Grassy I had seen this in the past, maybe it will help:


Backinga 5er
There are a few tips that make it easier.



Tip1: Do everything possible to insure that you will be turning on the driverside. Even if it means driving around the campground and up/down a few roads toget yourself turned around. Passenger is your blind side and should be lastresort.



Tip2: You have to learn how long the reaction time is for your trailer to react.Go to a parking lot and practice. Always use your trailers rear axle as thereference point. The reaction time is the time it takes from the time you turnthe tow vehicle steering wheel until the time the trailer starts turning.



Tip3: There are two terms you need to know. Neutral, Jack and Chase. Neutralposition is when the tow vehicle steering wheel is at the position where thetruck is going in a straight line. When you Jack the trailer you are causing itto turn the opposite direction that the truck is turning. Such as injack-knife. Chase is when you are trying to straighten out the truck and trailer,thus the term chasing the trailer.



Tip4: Get out and survey the parking area (with your spotter) for obstructions.Determine where you want the trailer to end up and pick a reference point,which will act as the "edge of the parking area".



Tip5: Start with the truck and trailer traveling straight. You want the side youare turning into to be about 4' off the curb or edge of the road. When the towvehicles rear axle is at the far edge of the parking space, cut your truckwheel hard away from the curb. When the truck is about a 45-degree angle to thecurb (or as close as you can get given the space you have to use) straightenthe wheel back to the neutral position. As soon as the truck has begun goingstraight, cut the wheel hard in the opposite direction until the truck is againparallel to the curb. STOP. Your trailer is now at a good angle to startbacking up.



Tip6: Jack the trailer until it get to about 15-20 degree angle of the space youare going to park it then start chasing it.



Tip7: If your running out of space to get the truck & trailer runningstraight, don't be afraid to pull forward to help straighten it out.



Tip8: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE,PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE and never backup without aspotter.
I always have my wife (spotter) standing right next to the truck (rather thanat the back) In the angle of the turn. We've already surveyed the area so weknow what is where. We've picked our reference point as the point we want tomiss. This point is far enough away from the opposite side of the parking areasuch that I will miss any obstruction. She watches to rear trailer axle andtells me whether to JACK IT or CHASE IT. That is the only thing I need to hear(other than STOP). With those terms I know exactly which way to turn. She isnot standing at the back of the trailer flailing her arms yelling LEFT, NO MYLEFT, STRAIGHT, TURN IT THE OTHER WAY…... Nobody can react to those terms.

Just hang in there, you will be okay....
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:00 AM   #32
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I have a fifth wheel 41 ft . Also had trouble. Backing up. When doing it with driver and a helper outside. It becomes much easer. With a backup camera on 5 wheel (wireless) it is even easier.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:12 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by grassy View Post
I am in my mid 50's...not old enough for a MH yet....
I'm in my 50's and wish I would have purchased my MH 20 years ago! #lovemymh
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:20 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by coolhand108 View Post
all you have to remember is turn your steering wheel in the opposite direction you want the back of your fifth wheel to go. I learnt this after 40 years of semi driving lol. heck I got so good I could back up doubles in a compound on the ny thruway fairly good. itwill become second nature to you after some practice
Come on! don't exzagerate, I drove doubles for years and can spot a trailer on a dime, but backing a set of wiggle wagons requires only "LUCK" and doing it in the same spot a second time means means you should have bought a lotto ticket that day!
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:41 AM   #35
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When I hauled a TT, I would start the back in process (driver's side) with the trailer wheels on the left edge of the driveway so they would swing in into the driveway.

With the z method, where do I place the trailer wheels to start ?

Thanks
Grassy
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:43 PM   #36
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Do what I do - find the spot, pull forward, and just start backing her up, leaning on the horn...
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:46 PM   #37
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I am in my mid 50's...not old enough for a MH yet....
Dooh!

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Old 07-05-2015, 08:55 AM   #38
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I would agree, the change from backing a TT for many years going to a 5th Wheel took some learning / practice but since we been fulltiming for almost 4 years now and move about every two weeks year round, I have gotten pretty good with our 42 foot 5th Wheel.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:26 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs View Post
Here is a good description of the Z-method described at the beginning of this thread:
Z Method for Backing a 5th Wheel | Michigan Traveler

This helped me picture it better and it seems to make good sense. Now if I could only get the DW to understand that when she says the other way and I turn the wheel the other way, that it takes time before she will see results. She just keeps yelling "No, the other way!"

Good link! Thanks!!!!

Like the OP, I too struggle with the FW backing and used to be able to put a 28' bumper pull trailer on a dime in the dark...
I still use the rules of using the bottom of the steering wheel moved in the direction that I want the tail of the trailer to go.

One thing that will screw me up every time is looking over my shoulder to back up... If I stick with only using my mirrors I seem to do much better.

I did buy a backup camera system for my Garmin RV 760 LMT but have not yet had the opportunity to use it. That will augment Dar as my 'MonBACKer'...



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Old 07-05-2015, 01:55 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Big-Foot View Post
...One thing that will screw me up every time is looking over my shoulder to back up... If I stick with only using my mirrors I seem to do much better.

I did buy a backup camera system for my Garmin RV 760 LMT but have not yet had the opportunity to use it. That will augment Dar as my 'MonBACKer'...
That's the other thing that makes a 5th wheel more difficult. If you look over your shoulder, all you can see is the nose of the fiver all up in your back window! Like Big-Foot says - use the mirrors, and a camera might help.
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:11 PM   #41
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Keep your hands at the bottom of the steering wheel
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:32 PM   #42
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Quote:
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With the z method, where do I place the trailer wheels to start ?

Thanks
Grassy
As the Z method states, your only concerned where the trucks drive wheel are. That is where/when you start your turn. Follow the instructions and your trailer will be in the perfect position to back in.

My wife spots me when backing in. After we get out and survey the campsite for obstructions and where we want the 5er placed, she walks alongside the truck, outside my window giving me instructions to jack, chase of follow (ie neutral). If there is a looming obstruction, she will stay at the rear of the trailer. There is no use of Left or Right in the spotting instructions.

I started out with my hands at the top of the steering wheel, but never really got used to it. I put my hands at the bottom and turn in the direction I want the trailer to go.
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