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Old 12-05-2011, 05:44 AM   #29
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Go slow, there's no race to win.

I'm usually by myself and manage just fine but when DW is onboard we do the following.

We both get out and scope out the site and verbalize the approach, (she still can't read my mind so I have to say it). Look overhead for any tree branches or other low hanging items that could ruin your day, or impede sat dish tv reception.

Then we agree on a place where we want the driver's side rear corner to end up. Make a mark on the ground or drop something there to indicate it.

She then stays in view of my driver's side mirror and "helps" me back in.

You'll get it, just practice.

2007 Adventurer 38T w/
sway & trac bars, Koni FSDs and SafeT+
2006 Jeep Liberty toad
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:50 AM   #30
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We found out quickly with me "helping" DH to back the truck up to the boat, that I don't understand which way he should turn the wheel in order to go where I want the tail end of a vehicle to go. Once we figured that out, we determined that I just point in the direction I want his tail end to go (we're talking vehicles here!). With the coach, we walk the spot and talk about where we want the coach to end up when we're done, and he will literally tell me exactly where he wants the back end to be. It sounds silly, but sometimes I'll mark it with a stick, rock, etc. When I get him where I'm pretty sure we want to be, then he'll get out and look if I'm uncertain. In our previous coach, he could hear my words from the camera, but in this one he can't. We've developed some hand signals that work well, but if there's a bug flying around me, all bets are off.

Patience on the part of both of you is required . . . soon you'll unhook the dinghie and back in without a word spoken, pop the slides out, pour the wine, and sit back watch other people back in and argue (a favorite pasttime).

John & Cathy Lamb
45' Marathon XLII
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:31 AM   #31
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Worked on an RV lot for a long time. We came up with a pretty simple system there. Maybe others can use it?

The "monback" (short for "come on back", we had no other fancy name for him), obviously in sight of the driver, but that can be in any of the 4 corners of the coach (they WILL maintain eye contact with each other!!!), will first motion for the driver to pull forward, or come on back. His next motion, if there is a steering command required, will be to point to his nose for the front and his butt for the rear, then point in the direction he wants it moved (the front of the vehicle, or the rear). Stop is pretty simple to get across, and "a little bit" or "how much" isn't too hard either. The driver, anyone, can follow these very simple commands easily. Move the nose over, move the rear over, which way, and how far? It's actually kind of fun, and precise spotting is easily accomplished with just a little practice.

Where the lady and I get in trouble when camping is she has a tendency to watch only where the tires are tracking, and the biggest sin, not looking up.... We ARE making good progress though!
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:50 AM   #32
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YES YES. Be sure to look UP. Above, left side, right side, back side.
I once saw a cut tree branch rip the side of a motorhome as the spotter was directing the couch backwards.
'94 Bounder 32h. Chevy V-8 44k miles and like new. Tow 4 down '85 Nissan 4x4 Kingcab
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #33
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These RV headsets work great...no button to push to talk ! RV Headsets
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:45 AM   #34
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FIRST... Have him tilt his mirrors DOWN before he starts to back so he can see the ground at the back of the motor home. I back in by my self and have no problem.

OR... you can just give up and give me your motor home I love that floor plan.

Oh and find a large empty parking lot... set out some cones or anything to mark where you want to park it and PRACTICE!
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:51 AM   #35
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Another suggestion for practice. I have taught many people how to maneuver their RVs (motorhomes, travel trailers & 5th wheels) into and out of campsites. The basics are the basics. Those have been discussed thoroughly enough here in this thread. The main thing needed is practice. What works for one driver and spotter as far as signals, walkie talkies, etc may not work for another pair. I take my students to an abandoned parking lot that has lines painted on it and if possible one that has concrete "islands" to use to similate the side and rear of campsites and which are easily visible to the driver. Just pick out a good spot to try to back into and keep trying until you get it right. As posted earlier, just remember that the driver's job is to learn how to use the mirrors and to steer to RV. The spotter's job is to communicate to the driver when to stop - either to avoid striking something or when the RV has reached it's ideal parking spot.
Roger & Diana
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:55 PM   #36
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Thanks so much to everyone who responded! I appreciate the tips and the moral support! Lemme see if I have this...

2. Look UP!
3. Learn to communicate with hand signals
4. Practice some more
5. Keep insurance premiums up-to-date
6. Practice again
7. Have an adult beverage or two once successfully parked.

Did I leave anything out???

See you on the road. We'll be the ones trying to park for about 2 hours, so pull up a chair and enjoy the show!! (Or direct us to a pull-thru .)

P.S. To RICK: Sorry, you'll have to buy your own!! (Nice try, though.)
Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
.......2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:06 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
I totally agree!
Walkie Talkie: You need to communicate clearly and fast.

One evening while strolling through the RV park, we noticed a large 5th wheel pulling in. All of a sudden, there was a loud crunch sound... Ought Oh!!! He pulled in too close to a small tree.

Here's the thing... We saw 3-4 people in the truck and not one got out to check clearance, and watch, etc.

Well,, in some cases, 1/2 eyes and 1/2 eyes

Two sets of eyes are better than one.
Fleetwood Providence 2008 40e
Ford F-350 4x4 Diesel 6.0L 2006
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:04 PM   #38
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All is not lost--

I have parked many rigs, both Motor Homes and Travel Trailers (and 5th wheels) in a very "tight" campground in Coastal Maine for seven years now. All sites except one very small site, are backins. I don't use radios, just me-

Motor homes are much easier, regardless of size, to back into their sites than vehicles pushing rigs backwards.

If your pushing back a Motor Home (MH) and turning into the drivers side, I position myself at the left rear corner of the unit and walk the line I want the driver to follow WITH THAT corner of the MH, on me- Have the driver turn the steering wheel to keep the corner on me, which ever way you have to turn the wheel- very simple.

Get on the right rear corner and "walk it" into the site, if your pushing back, and turning into the passenger side.

The driver has to use the mirrors and trust the "walker".

Sometimes some small pull ups are necessary to "get it right".

Practice in a large Mall empty parking lot.
Max H,
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire, 37', 3778, W-22, 8.1 Vortac, Ultra Power upgrade, CAI (cold air intake), Taylor wires, colder plugs, Koni shocks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:09 PM   #39
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Max--your method sounds simple and sensible. Thanks.
Sarah (RVM69), Hubby, and Harry the RVin' Dog
.......2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 12-05-2011, 06:37 PM   #40
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I suggest an rv driving school. the one we took is rvschool.com and they did a good job.
The Dog
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:40 PM   #41
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We've been Rv'ing and fulltiming for a year now. We now trust each other and can usually hit the spot we want the first time. I've always had a knack for backing things, but the coach took some adjustments learning where it "pivots". Once the DW figured out (through watching and paying attention) it made parking a LOT less of a vocal event. Me learning to trust her was probably the biggest advantage though.

Sounds like you've got some sound advice, now LET'S GO CAMPING!!

2000 Fleetwood American Eagle DP
2010 Cadillac SRX, 4 bicycles
Fulltiming since Oct. 2, 2010. Kerry & Bess Ann
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:01 PM   #42
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tons of good info here
Remember to be consistent with your hand signals...keep all signals the same every time you use hand signals. Which ever signal you give for stop or go left or go right...needs to be the same everytime.
Remember the RV mirror usually won't cover all of whats needed to see when backing...so adjust them for backing.
My Dw can guide me all day long perfectly when we are at the track and I'm in the dragster...but the RV is another story.

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