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Old 06-29-2015, 01:41 PM   #1
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Backing up a 5th wheel..

I was told by some that backing up a 5th is the easiest...ah, no..not for me..

I have been towing for years (decades) and I now own a 5th. Easiest to pull but i just cannot get the hang of backing up into my driveway where you don't have acres of space for maneuvering..

I have watched some youtube but still bad..

Does anyone have a really good vid in their collection to show how to do this ?

Feling like a newbie again..

Thanks
grassy
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:47 PM   #2
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Had a 5th wheel, same issue, bought a MH. Life is now good
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:51 PM   #3
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Had a 5th wheel, same issue, bought a MH. Life is now good
I am in my mid 50's...not old enough for a MH yet....
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:03 PM   #4
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I am in my mid 50's...not old enough for a MH yet....

That's funny.

I do agree that backing a 5th wheel is a lot different than a TT. I've only had my 5th wheel for about 4 months and I'm getting the hang of it. It will just take some time, you'll get used to it.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:04 PM   #5
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I gotta say -- it takes practice. The ancient and long gone 28 footer, piece of cake. The 34 footer - tough but still doable without too many expletives. Now we have a 38 footer with an extended pin box. The 12' wide cul-de-sac street and 2 trees 'nicely' placed on the center island with us in the center of three homes, a 9' wide driveway with a dog leg, up hill ..... you get the picture. Practice makes for local kids that don't have to cover their ears when you back in. Of the thousands of miles we have traveled and the many CG sites we have stayed in, our driveway can ruin my weekend .... but practice and you WILL finally get the gist
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:05 PM   #6
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Grassy, I've been towing trailers for years, but a big 5th wheel - I'm still getting used to it. Takes forever to turn.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:47 PM   #7
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I don't feel so bad...mine is only a 32 and IC2..you must live close to me....I try *very* hard to book drive through spots but some places just don't have them..

I think I need to go to a local school when school finally gets out..with a couple of cones and make an idiot of myself...

My co pilot in life has some vision problems...so I do a lot myself...i have a back up camera (sony) but I think it just gives you something else to bi*ch at..is there any sure fire method to connect up without the aid of someone ? I could do it with the TT...but not sure about the 5th..the DW does help but it does stress her..

Thanks
Grassy
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:11 PM   #8
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I don't feel so bad...mine is only a 32 and IC2..you must live close to me....I try *very* hard to book drive through spots but some places just don't have them..

I think I need to go to a local school when school finally gets out..with a couple of cones and make an idiot of myself...

My co pilot in life has some vision problems...so I do a lot myself...i have a back up camera (sony) but I think it just gives you something else to bi*ch at..is there any sure fire method to connect up without the aid of someone ? I could do it with the TT...but not sure about the 5th..the DW does help but it does stress her..

Thanks
Grassy
I may live close but Canada is still another country for me.

As far as hookup --- and that's a different point and another thing you need to practice. Luckily I can easily see the pin and pin box and hitch through my truck's back window either by turning around or by the rear view mirror but I do have a long bed and it is somewhat easier. As far as initially lining things up, I use my side mirrors and by looking out through them, make a judgement call (calibrated eyeball?) as to how much of the trailer can be seen in each mirror. Since I also have a 5th wheel tailgate, I don't worry about how far I back the truck as long as I know the pin will clear. If your hitch tilts down in back, use a stick to level it. I have one cut to size but have used a tree branch. Once it's level, it should be fairly easy. The there is the fact I've been doing this with either my dad's (1971) or mine (1976) so do have a good 'feel' even though I still do make occasional significant screwups due lack of .... practice

Oh and my co-pilot - sigh. She like to stand in a blind spot and wave her hands. I've tried to train her and it's starting to work, but it may be a cause that will never come to fruition. Not a big deal as everything else is perfect. And a back up camera - maybe someday, but so far only a toy for my use

Why not fill in the rest of your information/signature so we know where you are and what your equipment is something like mine if you don't want to use a city, only a general location.
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:48 PM   #9
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Don't feel bad, when I went from a TT to a 5ver I felt like I had forgotten how to back up I really put on a show at a couple of National Forest Campgrounds a time or two. My wife reverted back to yelling at me instead of using the GRS Radio we have. What I have learned is to slow down even more than I did with the TT and to really watch the sideview mirrors. If you see the side of the 5ver in the mirror it's almost to late to start your correction. Seems like the 5ver is a lot slower reacting to inputs but when it does it really starts going, that's why I slowed way down. My truck is a 4x4 with a 6 speed and manual locking hubs so I will put it in 4x4 high or low and leave the hubs unlocked so I can manuever real slow and not have to ride the clucth so much.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:09 PM   #10
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I used to teach people how to drive big trucks and backing was my specialty.

When I had a person that was having troubles, I would use a toy truck and trailer to show how to back up. It worked every time. It just takes a little practic to get GREAT at it.

Remember.......positioning of the rig to start with is a major key to the success of backing in a rig.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:00 PM   #11
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Remember.......positioning of the rig to start with is a major key to the success of backing in a rig.

Agreed. Also it takes a fiver a little longer to start turning, but after it begins it turns faster than a trailer. It's mostly a matter of timing.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:32 PM   #12
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My two cents. I was a firefighter for 35 years and can remember when our department bought its first hook and ladder truck in 1980. If you're not familiar it's basically an 18 wheeler or a large 5th wheeler. The city hired instructors to teach us all aspects of moving forward and backward and I still use that training today when backing up trailers or boats. Our final test drive was backing through the police officers parking lot without help from a tiller driver. I passed with confidence because of the training.

At about the same time we bought the truck I took up golf. I bought some clubs and played with my buddies. Never had a lesson and have rarely broken 100. I bet that if I took professional lessons from the beginning I would enjoyed the game much more because I would know how it's supposed to be played.

Long story short is get some professional training so you'll have the skills and confidence to maneuver your rig through crowded streets and into and out of your camp sites even when it's dark, cold, and raining.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:43 AM   #13
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When backing a trailer to your left try to imaging the line from your trailer tires to the point where you want them to be and follow that imaginary arc in your mirrors. Hope this makes sense.
Cheers Rick T.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:27 AM   #14
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Wow...thanks all. I am going to act on some of the suggestions pronto... I have to make this work better...thanks..
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