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Old 07-06-2015, 08:50 AM   #43
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We just got our new 5th wheel and poor hubby!!!! He has been backing Popups and TT for more than 37 years and just can't seem to back this 36 ft 5th Wheel! he does ok backing in our drive but we have a lot of room for backing! This past weekend at a state Park it took him about 45 min to get backed in. There were a few nice guys trying to help but its going to take a lot of practice. I felt so bad for him but thank goodness he is a patient man. Tara

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Old 07-06-2015, 11:10 AM   #44
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LOL! We took our 34' to a state park for the Fourth weekend. Our site was big enough but the approach was really tight with a very narrow loop road. Tried one direction and quit as it was 90 degrees with the site marker post in the way. Tried the wrong way on a one-way loop and was able to pull into campsite across road but approach was only a couple of feet wider than the fiver and was somewhat boomerang shaped. After 30 minutes, DW called office asking for a different site and was told it was a full house. 15 minutes later we finally nailed it after taking out some brush on one side of the entrance. We started happy hour early.
BTW, got it out 3 days later just barely clearing the site sign post then dropped the passenger side fiver wheels in the marsh on the next curve. Had to use 4WD to get it out, ripping off the bumper cap and bending the end of the bumper. This is after 4 years without an issue.

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Old 07-06-2015, 12:22 PM   #45
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Took ours out for the first time 2 weekend ago...very narrow lot..ended up going around behind the lot and driving between 2 rigs (they had their picnic table moved for some reason) ..neither owner was there but it was a tight squeeze... long but narrow lots...arg..

doing major trip next weekend..picking up the rig tonight and going to do some backing...never been nervous before..
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:30 PM   #46
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Just brought the rig home tonight...painful is the word I would use in reference to my backing up..

The "z" turn doesn't work...I think my subdivision road is too narrow and we have ditches all around.

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Old 07-06-2015, 07:23 PM   #47
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Put one hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and the way that hand goes so does the back of the fifth wheel.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:41 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs View Post
A couple of things: get walkie-talkies for communication. It cuts way down on the screaming and works with co-pilots who don't get the stay in my mirror thing.
For me, once I get the rig jacked at 45 degrees, it is time to turn the wheel the other way and chase the fiver. And we all prefer to back so we can see the target in our driver side mirror if possible, otherwise we are blind.
Just a few days ago, I had to back into a service bay at a spring shop for some work. After two seriously failed tries, I let one of the shop guys do it and he nailed it in one try. Still some learning to do!

THat sort of works. I about lost it the time DW said she wanted me to move the trailer over 3/4 of an inch.
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:17 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by pismocouple View Post
Do what I do - find the spot, pull forward, and just start backing her up, leaning on the horn...
Too funny!
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:27 AM   #50
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I think some problems people face is you just need room, as I drive around my city you see plenty of different kind of streets, paths, driveways ETC, streets full of cars, Tree placement, houses, fence lines. DW prized flowers, everything plays a role in ones ability to back and park. So someone saying oh its easy and another banging their head might have totally different kinds of situations. Even the truck you drive plays a role, my friends Ford turns like a ship.
I also wonder how much manufactures decide on where to place the axles or if they even care... you could have 5 5th wheels with 5 different pin to wheelbase measurements, and each one will react differently.

My friends boat trailer turns 2x quicker then my truck so once it starts to turn I have to pull forward, the truck just could never catch up. Think about the distance between the front and rear axle of TV, and the pin to center of axles on trailer...

But I agree practice is helpful.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:14 PM   #51
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I first pulled a boat for many years and then bought a 28 ft TT. The transition to the TT wasn't difficult. I then purchased a 36 FT fifth wheel and the transition was difficult. One thing I've learned over the last 8 years was to pull well beyond the site or driveway you are wanting to back into. Then slowly start back turning the wheel just slightly. The Fiver will slowly start turning but will eventually start turning faster/sharper without turning the steering wheel. Then start turning your steering wheel as needed to get the appropriate amount of turn you need. Practice this a few times and you'll see what I mean. You'll also learn how far by you should go. After you've gotten used to this move, using your mirrors, identify a "path" you want your fiver tires to hit. (you will be able to see the side of the fiver and the tires in your mirror) Once the fiver starts turning and your on your path continue backing. If you get off the path, stop and pull forward just enough so you can get back on your path. Don't try to change the direction the fiver is turning because it takes a football field to do that. Stopping and pulling forward allows you to get back where you want. Trying to change the direction of the fiver once it starts turning is very difficult. Like I said, stop and pull forward. Patience and practice will lead to the skill level you are looking for.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:21 PM   #52
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If you are in the mindset that backing a fifth wheel is the same as backing a bumper pull trailer that will probably cause you the most stress. Realizing that you can't alter the turn of the trailer until the tow vehicle has gone past the neutral line mark will help immensley. I like the idea of getting the trailer in the right position to back, but also making sure that you get the truck in the position to back is key as well. For example if I know I have to turn sharp right at the last second I turn the truck as hard as I can to get the truck positioned to "jack" as the previous posters have used the term. Then I'm mostly chasing the trailer. Also I would rather have my truck "we wa" (that's scientific enough right) side to side a thousand times than try to make massive adjustments, unless those are needed.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:52 AM   #53
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This has been one of the best reading threads around here in a while.
Lots of good advice so far, not much left to add except practice, practice.

My Dad owned an auto salvage so I was moving junk cars around the yard since I was old enough to reach the pedals (same as backing a bumper-pull trailer).
Years ago when I got my 5er it was like I had never even backed a shopping buggy. ....until I stopped trying to back it like a trailer.
Once I got my head around it, it seems much more precise and easy over a trailer.

Two pieces of advice previously given that stand out helped me early on:

1. Move the bottom of the steering wheel the direction you want the trailer to go.
This is a gem with any type of trailer.
A buddy who had never really pulled anything recently bought an RV and backing up was a nightmare for him. After clueing him in on this he was backing his bumper-pull like a pro.

2. Don't hesitate to pull forward to make corrections.
Even pulling up just a few feet can get you lined up like you need to be.
With a 5er or goose this seems way more effective over a bumper-pull.

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Old 07-25-2015, 01:18 PM   #54
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One thing I learned when backing straight is to put your hands at the bottom of the wheel and set your mirrors to just see the trailer on each side. When you start to see the trailer more in one mirror, turn away from it. But go slowly. If the tail gets too far over one way you have to get back to neutral.
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:40 AM   #55
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[QUOTE=SkiSmuggs;2627174]A couple of things: get walkie-talkies for communication. It cuts way down on the screaming and works with co-pilots who don't get the stay in my mirror thing.

Just remember to take the batteries out of your wife's walkie-talkie- makes things much easier...
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:13 AM   #56
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Backing up a 5th wheel..

Read Danjo"'s comment! Dead on.

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