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Old 07-16-2014, 08:33 PM   #1
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New 5th Wheel Backing Issues

I have been trying to learn how to back this 5th wheel but I am consistently having the same issue over and over and can not figure out what I am doing wrong.

When I try to back the RV into my driveway the inside wheels of the turn stop turning and instead of me chasing the trailer back into the driveway it is like I am pushing it. The tires look like they are about pull away from the rims. It does not matter if I try to backup into the drive way from the passage side or the driver side. The tires that are on the inside of the are getting dragged and are stop rotating.

Does anyone know what I am talking about and any advice on what I am doing wrong.

Thanks

Tom
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:35 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have it jack knived. Try getting less angle.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:39 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have it jack knived. Try getting less angle.
That is what I thought of first but my truck is not at an 90 degree angle to the RV. The angle was at the most half that and I am trying to back it into my driveway on a pretty wide residential street. I could imagine the trouble I will have in a narrow campground when I need to back in.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:33 PM   #4
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here is how I was taught to backup (at tractor trailer driving school)

  1. drive about 3' off the curb closest to the spot you want to back in to
  2. when the rear tires of your tow vehicle passes the point of the spot you want to miss (ex: the farthest corner of your driveway) turn your steering wheel (while your tow vehicle is moving slowly) so that your tow vehicle turns to a 45 degree angle to the curb. you may have to adjust this a bit; i need to wait until the rear bumper of my tow vehicle passes that point.
  3. when you approach the opposite side of the street turn the wheel of your tow vehicle so that you are now moving parallel to the opposite side curb.
  4. your trailer is now at a good angle (roughly 45 degrees give or take a little) to start backing in.
  5. now you chase/jack it as needed.


this procedure works. the important part is that when you are positioning the trailer, do not turn the steering wheel while the TV is stationary. to get proper angle, ALWAYS have the TV moving when you are turning the steering wheel.

You will notice that the inner wheels at time do not look like they are turning and are flexing unbelievably. Trailer tires have stronger sidewalls than other vehicle tires to withstand that type of stress.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:02 PM   #5
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This is common with the factory tires. I changed to 17.5" tires and rims and eliminated it. Stiffer sidewalls. The problem is your tires.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by K-Star View Post
here is how I was taught to backup (at tractor trailer driving school)

  1. drive about 3' off the curb closest to the spot you want to back in to
  2. when the rear tires of your tow vehicle passes the point of the spot you want to miss (ex: the farthest corner of your driveway) turn your steering wheel (while your tow vehicle is moving slowly) so that your tow vehicle turns to a 45 degree angle to the curb. you may have to adjust this a bit; i need to wait until the rear bumper of my tow vehicle passes that point.
  3. when you approach the opposite side of the street turn the wheel of your tow vehicle so that you are now moving parallel to the opposite side curb.
  4. your trailer is now at a good angle (roughly 45 degrees give or take a little) to start backing in.
  5. now you chase/jack it as needed.


this procedure works. the important part is that when you are positioning the trailer, do not turn the steering wheel while the TV is stationary. to get proper angle, ALWAYS have the TV moving when you are turning the steering wheel.

You will notice that the inner wheels at time do not look like they are turning and are flexing unbelievably. Trailer tires have stronger sidewalls than other vehicle tires to withstand that type of stress.
I have read this several times and it seems very confusing to me. 45 degree angle (truck or trailer) to what curb and are you always going forward making these adjustments. It seems to me if you are running parallel to the opposite curb and back up you will just jackknife the trailer?
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:17 AM   #7
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everything i mentioned relates to the tow vehicle. your starting point is the curb on your driveway side (side where you want to back in to). while rolling, turn your steering wheel so that the tow vehicle is 45 degrees then continue straight as far as you can go, then turn the steering wheel so that your tow vehicle turns to be parallel to the curb on the opposite side of the road from the space your backing in to. once the tow vehicle is parallel to the opposite side curb, stop - you are now ready to start backing up. DO NOT CONTINUE DRIVING UNTIL THE TRAILER IS ALSO PARALLEL TO TO THE CURB. using these steps, when the tow vehicle is parallel to the curb, the end result will be that your trailer will be 45 degrees to the parking spot; not jack-knifed.

it is certainly easier to demonstrate than explain. once i learned this, it made backing into a spot very easy no matter how wide the road is. it even works in campgrounds with narrow roads.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:31 AM   #8
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See if this link will help you.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:32 AM   #9
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here ya go watch this video hope it helps; Tips on How to Back Up a Fifth Wheel Trailer - YouTube
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:12 PM   #10
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This is common with the factory tires. I changed to 17.5" tires and rims and eliminated it. Stiffer sidewalls. The problem is your tires.
Thanks I decided to look up the tires on my Grand Design because of your suggestion and I found a long thread on the Grand Design forum about the WestLake 15" they put on the RV at the factory and people discussing replacing them with Goodyear G114 tires.

What would you suggest as a good replacement?
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:13 PM   #11
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here ya go watch this video hope it helps; Tips on How to Back Up a Fifth Wheel Trailer - YouTube
Thanks I have watched this video a half dozens time so far today.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:45 PM   #12
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If you have 15" tires you would have to buy wheels also. No one makes a quality 15" tire. The 16" Michelin XPS Rib tires are great tires and about the best money can buy. Bridgestone makes a quality steel belt commercial tire also. I personally believe if you now have 15" the 17.5s is an overkill.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:18 PM   #13
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Thanks I decided to look up the tires on my Grand Design because of your suggestion and I found a long thread on the Grand Design forum about the WestLake 15" they put on the RV at the factory and people discussing replacing them with Goodyear G114 tires.

What would you suggest as a good replacement?
I went with 17.5" tires (Sumitomo, there are others) that carry 4905lbs per tire. The trailer gross is around 15,000, so there is 12,000lbs on the trailer tires compared to a capacity of around 19,000lbs, or 62%. The important thing is the side walls are much stronger. Using 16" tires will improve your issue, but may not solve it. Ask on the Grand Design forum. I sort of like that the Sumitomos are marked "Regooveable". Try that on an ST tire.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:41 PM   #14
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Actually no one re groves rv tires. they age out before wearing out.
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