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Old 07-31-2015, 08:21 AM   #15
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Practice of course, but for me the thing that works best is to get out and both physically and mentally walk the path that the rig needs to take. If there is a tight spot, I'll drop a marker as an aiming point to insure the inside edge (the one I can see) is where it needs to be so the outside edge is where it is supposed to be. Once I've got a good mental picture for where the rig needs to be, then all I have to do is stay on the markers all the way in.

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Old 07-31-2015, 08:29 AM   #16
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A combined length of 40 feet isn't terribly long but it can be intimidating for someone not used to towing or backing. I'm 54' bumper to bumper and it gets a bit tight in many campgrounds but I always find a way. Lots of practice is the best thing. I also have a remote camera on the back of my trailer. Not just for backing up, it is always on while I'm driving. Works as an extended rear view mirror as well as an aid for backing up to tree's etc... It won't do much for side views when backing into a spot at an angle though. For that you need to just practice until you get a feel for it. As others have stated, the direction the bottom of your steering wheel is turning is the direction the trailer will go. Tiny corrections are your friend. No shame in pulling forward a few times to correct or make things easier. Just don't get in a rush, that will guarantee endless frustration. Take it slow, small corrections and add some technology to ease the burden if you can justify the expense.

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Old 07-31-2015, 08:57 AM   #17
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imo find a m/t parking lot with a line and put the line on the l/hand side of tv/tt and back up and try too keep the wheels of your tv/tt with in a few in. of the line and keep backing up as far as you can 500 feet or so. then do the same thing on the outher side of the line. once you can back up in a straight line you can back up anywhere. imo the bigest mistake when backing is over steering.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:30 AM   #18
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one of the biggest aids is the back up camera, you can stop and look

at ir as well as your mirrors. another is to take your time.

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Old 07-31-2015, 09:41 AM   #19
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These are all very good tips and I'm sure that I, and many more who read this, are getting a lot out of this. Yes, I looked online but it helps to hear your guy's words because online strategy sites don't necessarily have a "user feedback" section.

I read about the Scoop Method but that was an instant fail because I could never get the trailer to straighten up enough so the trailer - truck pivot was in the opposite angle which made things even worse.

I've been doing a little more research on "walking the cab" too which has lead me to some good semi truck backing instructional videos. I think I'll order some cones and head down to closest parking lot and begin to practice, this has really helped. Please continue contributing.

I also like the Google Earth idea for measuring - Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:06 AM   #20
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Get out and walk around. Nothing else is as good as checking out the site and surrounding area. Rest cameras are nice but nothing beats seeing what you have in the big picture. Stop get out and recheck often. And as everyone else has stated practice practice practice
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:11 PM   #21
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Lets say your slot is on the right side.

Pull up staying fairly centered maybe slightly more to the right side of the road.

Stop with trailer wheel about 10' past the turn in (Variable based on length of TT & TV)

Put vehicle in reverse and crank the wheel (all the way maybe?) to the left.

This will cause the trailer & TV to "jack knife", make sure anti sway is removed if applicable.

As you back up, once you like the line of the trailer (I watch the wheels, in this case only in the right (passenger) mirror). When the trailer is close to being lined up down your slot, start to turn the wheel all the way to the right.

Now the TV should "follow" the trailer as you back in.

Straighten out the wheel as the TV & TT straighten out. When it is time to pull out of that turn is a variable, so only time & practice will accomplish it.

Once you're "in", do all the little adjusting for left to right by just pulling as far forward as you can and make slight adjustments as you back up.
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:30 AM   #22
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If you forget everything you have read here DO NOT forget this. "When in doubt get out" and look. Even with a spotter. If you don't feel comfortable Get out and look for yourself. Backing a trailer is one of the things that cant be taught. I can Tell you how to do it but it takes practice and lots of it.
93 Jayco RK 325, 03 freightliner Columbia HDT 435 hp 60 series Detroit, 10 speed, 3:55 gears with full locker. 260 inch wheel base, 07 Chevy classic crew cab long box LBZ Duramax. I am a Father, Farmer, and A Trucker.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:13 AM   #23
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Smile Thanks but not necessarily done

I've practiced a little since the advice posts were shared and I found that with a 26', dual axle, a good 5-8' is needed to even start getting the trailer to turn.

Assuming the site is on the right, trick 1, "scoop" if you have room but make sure to turn truck right to close the angle to the right below 180 degrees - before you start backing. Having an angle greater than 180 is an automatic big step back since it takes a lot of space to get back to 180 and eventually 90 (assuming site is perpendicular).

Another tactic that seems to help, once you understand how much it can actually help, is to shimmy the tow vehicle back and forth. Someone mentioned "walking the trailer" which I think is what this does.

It's like you guys said, "practice, practice, practice" but it helps to understand what you're doing and the logic behind the tactics. The other thing I'm trying to figure out is what my "swing out diameter" is when backing and how to keep it shorter so all you guy's tips have helped a lot.

Thanks but if you feel you have something else worth sharing (as I think I may have), please share!
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:36 PM   #24
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This is really great stuff - here's a couple more suggestions for anyone brand new to backing trailers:

1. Leave the trailer home and take just your Tow Vehicle out to an empty lot and practice carefully backing using the mirrors. Your brain needs to learn how to process what your eyes are seeing when backing up. Getting comfortable on your mirrors,without the distraction of the trailer weaving around, will make everything easier.

2. Next hook the trailer back up and go back to that lot. You may find that when you're actually behind the wheel, trying to shove a trailer around while looking in a mirror, that everything you think you understand about "turning the wheel right to make the trailer go left" will go right out the window. Overcome that by planning where you're going before shifting into reverse and focusing on the mirror that shows where you're going, so you only glance at the off-hand mirror every now and then. Place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and move the wheel toward the mirror you want to see more of the trailer in. So if you want the trailer to be moving toward the driver's mirror, move the bottom of the wheel toward that mirror. If the trailer is moving too much in the direction of that mirror, move the bottom of the wheel toward the other mirror.

It really does get easier as you do it more!
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:05 AM   #25
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Know i'm going to piss a lot of people off, but just practice, and don't over analyze this, it ain't rocket science !! Too much thought !!! Just practice and it will come to you .Been there , done that, srewed up many times, Good mirrors a must , i find the cameras not much help for me .Using your wife as a spotter, is almost useless, sorry babe !!!
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:03 PM   #26
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A good spotter is the best accessory you can have, if that be you DW or ? My experience includes many years of trailer towing and spotting with good results. My DW acting as a spotter was not the best because she never understood the nuances of backing the trailer. We had several lock jaw events, but we finally arrived at a win-win solution.
She got behind the wheel of the tow vehicle and I gave her directions, often standing right beside her outside the tow vehicle. This worked GREAT, and I would recommend it to anyone!
No more tight jaw events and everyone is happy.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:17 AM   #27
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1)Pull far enough forward of the site you want to back into so that you have time for the trailer to react and begin turning in time. When in doubt pull further up than you think you need.

2)Don't aim the truck too far to the opposite side of the road before you start backing, you won't leave your truck enough room to swing out. Don't pull too close to the same side of the road making it hard to get the TT to turn quickly enough. I aim for the middle.

3)Hand on the bottom of the wheel, move in direction you want the TT to go.

4)Backup camera was just distracting and made me second guess myself. I ditched it. The only purpose it served was knowing if I was backing too far into a site.

5)Try to pick sites on the driver's side of the road. You have much better line of sight on your side than the passenger side.

6)If you end up in a site on the passenger side, don't be afraid to change the mirror angles as often as needed to allow you to see the wheels of your TT. Also try to pick one on the outside of a curve so your angle to back in is less severe.

7)Watch the trailer wheels at all times. Aim to have them follow the edge of the pavement. If i'm within a foot of the edge of the pavement on my side, i'm very unlikely to be off the pavement or about to hit something on the other side. There is no penalty for straightening out then continuing.

8)If you have a spotter, and you can't see them in your mirrors, stop and do nothing until they reappear.

9)Go practice in an empty parking lot.

10) Pick a pull-thru spot =)
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:41 PM   #28
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Lots of good advice here....

My best tip is to use small movements (of the steering wheel). One of the most common things to do is to oversteer.
Once you get your head around which way to turn the wheel to make the trailer go in the desired direction, start backing up slowly, and don't turn the wheel too aggressively.

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