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Old 11-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #1
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Tips and Tricks for pulling a 5RV

We just picked up ours last week and I need to practice backing into spaces. It's a lot different than a bumper trailer or even my old Class A. Some have provided me a few tips. Would like to hear more from everyone else.

What advice can you give on towing, backing, or just setting up a 5RV?
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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First and foremost, dont be in a hurry,,whether its on the road, hooking up or unhooking
Know you stopping distance at various speeds
Maintain a good safe distance between you and a vehicle in front of you
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:13 PM   #3
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You will need to play semi and make you turns wider than you did with the TT or you'll be hitting curbs. Best is to find an empty parking lot (seems to be lots of them these days) and practice, practice, practice. Backing will take some getting used to as you have moved the piviot point forward by 6 or 7 feet. Take it slow and easy and you'll get the hang of it.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:28 PM   #4
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Empty parking lot, plenty of cones on a Sunday afternoon.

As far a backing up, I learned the following at a tractor trailer driving school that was teaching articulated RV driving (best 400 bucks I ever spent)

  1. NEVER, EVER backup without a spotter.
  2. never, ever back in on the passenger side unless you have no other choice. ALWAYS position yourself so that you are backing in form the driver side.
  3. You really only need to know 2 terms: JACK means turn your wheel so that your tow vehicle and trailer is moving towards a jack-knife position. and the CHASE meaning turn the wheel in the tow vehicle so that your are attempting to straighten the combination into a straight line.
  4. drive down the road about 3' from the "curb line".
  5. when the rear wheels pass the far end of the parking space turn the wheel to the right so that you are turning right (away from the space).
  6. when your tow vehicle gets as close to 90 degrees as possible turn the wheel back to the left so that you are going straight down the road again.
  7. your tow vehicle and trailer are now lined up to start backing. This means your trailer is almost at the same angle as the space and the tow vehicle is in a position towards a jack-knife knife position.
  8. backup following your spotters instructions which should basically be telling you the CHASE or JACK. This eliminates the confusion of LEFT or RIGHT and trying to determine whose left or right. No confusion. You are either turning towards a jack-knife position or straightening the combo out.

It works. Try it. We do this every time we back up. We stop, look over the campsite, decide where we want the trailer and my wife spots me. In fact she does so standing right next to my driver door unless there is a definite obstacle in the campsite. Then she will stand behind the trailer and use those little personal radios.

When turning right from a 4 lane road onto a 2 lane road, don't be afraid to takeup both lanes of your side in order to make the right turn without hittin the curb. It is called "capturing the intersection". The rear of yur trailer is blocking the right lane so nobody sneaks up alongside of you and the front of the tow vehicle in in the left lane so you essentially own both lanes.

Turning right from a 2 lane road onto a 4 lane road is easier. When your TV rear wheels are lined up with the corner, make your turn. That will give you plenty of room to turn.

Good luck.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:24 PM   #5
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A lot of good info here. John, I will definitely practice that. Thanks!
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:55 PM   #6
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Get yourself a pair of FRS radios. We use then all the time. DW gets out and tells me where to go. I have made it a practice to never move unless I can see her in the mirrors. It is her job to watch my rear end, give me directions. I never respond to her on the radio, just listen.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:40 PM   #7
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John offers good advice. Towing the fiver is easy, just remember to swing a little wider on turns and increase the stopping distance. Don't forget the extra length when changing lanes.
I have fun backing into our parking stall. Because the neighbor's fence is on the edge of the laneway, I am forced to back into the passenger side which leaves me blind once the trailer starts to turn so I move to the right tight against the parked vehicles. I swing the back of the truck left to start the turn then try to straighten out soon enough that the trailer enters the slot without jack knifing or hitting the fence. The lane is narrow so don't have a lot of room to correct by straightening out if I screw up. It does take practice.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:27 AM   #8
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For me the key to backing up has to do with the position of my hand on the steering wheel. I put my hand at the bottom of the wheel. I then turn the wheel in the direction that I want the back of the trailer to turn (thus if I want it to turn left, I turn my hand left). This works for me.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
DW gets out and tells me where to go.
Ummmm.....so does mine. Other than that, though, the radios work well.

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:52 PM   #10
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I also found that backing up in 4W low makes life easier, and saves wear on the vehicle. On a side note, I was sitting in a parking lot where truckers park, and saw a trucker back into a spot between 2 other trucks with only a foot or so on each side. He did it all without stopping or jockeying the truck. Just one smooth movement into the spot. Also this was in the dark. Damn now if only I could drive like that.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:06 PM   #11
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Ditto on the 4W low range. Use it almost all the time backing into spots. Can back into just about anything at an idle, avoids the lurching that can happen when the xmission locks up
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:10 AM   #12
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Look up.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:56 AM   #13
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Make sure your spotter uses hand signals that are understood by both.
I had to ask my wife to motion me with her arm. Not her little finger.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:24 PM   #14
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When backing up and you think you are going slow enough, SLOW DOWN SOME MORE! The slower you back up the better the chance of hitting it right the first try. 4Wh low allows you to go very slow.

This advice comes from the several try guy.
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