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Old 05-22-2006, 03:25 PM   #1
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HELP!! After owning a class A motor home for several years and now recently purchased a 5th wheel, I can't seem to get the hang of backing up. It seems the truck starts turning at a faster pace than the 5th wheel and I can't seem to get the 5th wheel into camping sites without over or under shooting the site. Does anyone have any suggestions/tips for backing up? Thanks for your help. Retired USSS
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:25 PM   #2
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HELP!! After owning a class A motor home for several years and now recently purchased a 5th wheel, I can't seem to get the hang of backing up. It seems the truck starts turning at a faster pace than the 5th wheel and I can't seem to get the 5th wheel into camping sites without over or under shooting the site. Does anyone have any suggestions/tips for backing up? Thanks for your help. Retired USSS
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:01 PM   #3
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I don't know where you're located at, but call the place were you bought the fiver or a larger RV Dealer in your area and see if they give driving lessons for new owners of fifth wheels.

We have a dealer down here that does that. I don't know if that is the exception, but it would be worth checking out.

The other thing is, get a couple cones and go to a large parking lot and just try backing in
between the cones. Can't hurt nothing there. The trick is knowing how far to pull up before you start backing. Get your co-pilot out there with a radio and practice a little. After while it will be 1-2-3 done.

Dave
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:52 PM   #4
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I own my first 5th wheel, coming from a 25' TT for 25 years and I had a problem backing up. One thing that I can say is that when your back-end of the 5th wheel starts turning, you had better start turning the front end of the truck after the trailer.....or you will not catch up to the trailer. I have owned the 5th wheel for 3 years and still catch myself being too slow with the truck. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:17 AM   #5
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The truck will respond to steering changes faster then the trailer will, so it's better to start "correcting" your direction before you actually think you should. It does take practice -- and no one is such a pro that they always hit there spot the first time -- but the more you do it the better you'll get.
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:35 AM   #6
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all goo d thoughts
I use the method of holding the bottom of the wheel and turning it the direction i want the rv to go. and jsut as it starts to turn i slowly return the wheel to teh nuetral position and slowly make correctiosn as i back up.
ONE big thing i learned is take your time, dont get in a hurry, slow and steady corrections are much better than leap frog forward and back till its right. dont get caught up in the "whos watching me" syndrome, its your rig, take your time and learn each time you park it.
I also watch my wife, she points I STEER
i usually screw up when i dont watch her.
I also try to do the big swing first, if we are backing into a 90 degree spot, pull way past and next to the inside edge, then hard over the wheel til she starts turning then slowly back in.
also if you have room , back up farther than needed , then pull forward the final few feet to get her straight in the spot.
I use my awning rod as a guide on slide out clearance , if the rod will stick out from the slide and not bump a object then we are good.

I practiced in parking lots for over an hour when we got this latest one, she is much longer.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:50 AM   #7
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Top of the wheel vs. bottom of the wheel - individual preference. I use the top of the wheel as I find it easier to correct my steering while looking backwards. A few points to remember (learned from a truck driving school).
<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
<LI>Always back in on the driver side. Never, unless there is no alternative, back in on your blind (passenger) side.<LI>approach your campsite (or parking spot) about 2 feet off the "curb line". <LI>When your rear Axel is at the far end of the parking spot, turn the wheel [right] toward the opposite side of the road.<LI>Continue forward as far as you can (the goal is to get your tow vehicle runing in the same direction as the parking spot given enough room) and then cut the wheel to the left until your tow vehicle is again perpendicular to the parking spot. This will leave your trailer "jackknifed" at an angle that will make backing in easier.<LI>Backup correcting as necessary<LI>Finally, ALWAYS use a spotter.[/list]
This always works for me and has made parking it a lot easier.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:59 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by K-Star:
.<LI>approach your campsite (or parking spot) about 2 feet off the "curb line". <LI>When your rear Axel is at the far end of the parking spot, turn the wheel [right] toward the opposite side of the road.<LI>Continue forward as far as you can (the goal is to get your tow vehicle runing in the same direction as the parking spot given enough room) and then cut the wheel to the left until your tow vehicle is again perpendicular to the parking spot. This will leave your trailer "jackknifed" at an angle that will make backing in easier.<LI>LIST]

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>


i like that statement, I may have to give it a try, sounds incredibly perfect for them 90 degree spots. Thanks
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:42 AM   #9
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The easy way. Hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. Move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go. Step 2, practice in an EMPTY parking lot.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:01 PM   #10
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Something that has really helped me a lot is to watch where the trailer TIRES are going instead of the trailer. Of course you need to keep watch for trees,etc..., but "driving" the trailer by it's tires VS it's rear-end seems to help me a lot.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:54 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">When your rear Axel is at the far end of the parking spot, turn the wheel [right] toward the opposite side of the road. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

K-star,
Which axle are you refering to? I am leaving Friday and my backing at the house was semi straight back. I have enough room to pull up and back in(probably about a 30 degree angle) I put it in the driveway first shot but missed the room for the slide.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:59 AM   #12
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also
I have found that these help:
dis-engage the brake system @ the controller
put truck in 4x4 high.

regards
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:05 AM   #13
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That is true. I found that I had to do that with my other trucks. My new truck has the integrated brake controller and I no longer have to to that. It is an awesome controller.
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Old 05-24-2006, 11:13 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by K-Star:
That is true. I found that I had to do that with my other trucks. My new truck has the integrated brake controller and I no longer have to to that. It is an awesome controller. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

i have to agree
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