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Old 09-05-2022, 05:47 PM   #29
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Several years ago we were coming back from Alaska an in Canada we pulled off the freeway into a little ski town to have some lunch and do some shopping. as we drove downtown on a narrow street we passed a restaurant with a large raised deck. as we passed i could see numerous people pointing and talking. on the opposite side there was about 5 empty parking spaces. so around the block we go and come back, i pull up ahead of the empty spaces and start to back in, i see the people pointing agian. i Parallel Park the trailer and truck one shot in-between two parked cars, just enough room. yep i got a standing ovation.
Jay D.
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Old 09-08-2022, 03:50 PM   #30
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I don't see why some think this is funny, maybe they are new to this, maybe they had a bad day. We were all new at one point and I for one can remember bad days. We recently had one of those bad days and it took us quite a wile to get parked in a site, first attempt looked good but we did not leave enough room for slides, second attempt put us to far to the passenger side that our steps above would not go down all the way. To shorten the story we finally got it right on the 4th try. We did not have any problems at the last site, one try, with the assistance of my copilot, both mirrors and Backup camera.

How do you think they might feel if they are members of this forum and see the OP.

I'll get off my soap box now.
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Old 09-08-2022, 03:57 PM   #31
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Perhaps the nice thing you could have done was to ask if they could use some help. Certainly being the expert you want us to believe you are could have taught them the proper techniques.
Steve & Debbie + Bentley-Std Poodle
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:02 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by brandss View Post
I don't disagree with "we all have to learn". My question is why in the world don't people spend an hour or so in a wide open parking lot with some cones, rope, towels, something to mark or simulate a road, campsite, etc. It takes the pressure off, allows you to get out and see how a turn of the wheel affects every part of the coach. It also allows the pilot, copilot to figure out how to communicate the best way possible.

My wife and I discovered that we are much better if she is behind the wheel listening to me giving directions via a walkie talkie. She can put our 45 footer in any spot that will hold it. People are often amazed and often say "I don't know how she got it in there". We smile and know it was the days we spent in the church parking lot.
We use the walkie-talkie system, too, when parking our TT. No trying to shout over the sound of a diesel engine. One thing we do is not tell the driver which way to turn the wheel, but, rather which way does the spotter want the back of the TT to go, since thats their perspective anyway. It's up to the driver to figure out how to do that. Eliminates confusion, since turning the wheel left makes the TT go right.
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:03 PM   #33
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Husband drives forward, I drive backwards

Since our first 40 footer in 2007, my husband drives to all destinations...then I back into site when required, level up, put out slides, do all inside stuff for set up while he connects to water, elec and sets up outside.

We have a simple direction method. After we have scoped out the site, he stands to back of coach (43' 2016 Ellipse Ultra) and uses simple hand signals: hands to chest - back straight toward him; hands to his right - turn that direction; hands to left - turn that direction. Using his hand signals, rear camera and left outside mirror - I can put the coach on a predetermined line (from outside survey of site).

Parking and setup is quick and efficient for us. Teamwork!
Paula and Jim - rving since 2010 and loving it!
2016 Itasca Ellipse Ultra, 450 HP Cummins, Air Force One braking system with Blue Ox, 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit towed
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:04 PM   #34
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Another problem is that usually the person doing the directing has no clue how to back a trailer either.
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:22 PM   #35
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In early August we were camped nose out looking at a field that was cut up into trailer parking, overflow, and tent camping. A 45' dp pulled up with a 35' box trailer on the end. He got out of the coach and she climbed into the driver's seat. He walked to the rear drivers corner and started giving hand signals like I've never seen.
He keeps walking along beside the corner of the coach looking at the box trailer and giving signals never looking at her until I'm sure the box trailer is in jack knife. Then he holds is arm up and twirls it. The front wheels take a 58 degree cut and then lean over and continues backing. It had never dawned on me that the overhang on the coach would instantly take that trailer out of a jack knife.
She backed that trailer into that spot perfectly.
It was definitely "E" ticket entertainment and I thanked them for the demonstration.
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:24 PM   #36
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You need to buy a .real Truck
Originally Posted by EdInArk View Post
You'd enjoy watching me and my wife. She pulls the trailer herself when camping with her Sisters on the Fly friends, so I've been teaching her how to back. So I'll get out and walk beside her --- "OK stop", "You've got it started well, but you need to straighten a little, so cut your wheel back left." "No, the top of the wheel." "No, not a full turn, just a little. You still want continue in that direction, but you're cutting too sharp." And on and on .........

But, we didn't all come out of the womb knowing how to do this. Gotta learn. And most of us learn better by doing than watching YouTube.
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:27 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by SkipWatson View Post
We use the walkie-talkie system, too, when parking our TT. No trying to shout over the sound of a diesel engine. One thing we do is not tell the driver which way to turn the wheel, but, rather which way does the spotter want the back of the TT to go, since thats their perspective anyway. It's up to the driver to figure out how to do that. Eliminates confusion, since turning the wheel left makes the TT go right.
This! Any time my wife or my dad help me back, they seem to feel the need to tell me which way to turn the wheel or which way to turn the truck/where to put the truck. I have enough experience backing a trailer that I'll figure it out, even if I'm not as smooth as someone who's been doing it for 30 years. Tell me where you want the back of the trailer and I'll put it there (eventually).

Also, my wife learned all the hand signals the first time we went out and has never used them since.
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:30 PM   #38
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[QUOTE=twogypsies;6297331]Agreed! Why would anyone sit there and criticize and shake their heads?

Also, there's nothing wrong with offering help/suggestions. If they refuse so be it but don't sit there and laugh.

We both drove the motorhome so we both learned to park it. That helped when the other was outside directing. We used hand signals only; never voice. If the driver couldn't see the one outside the driver didn't move. The one outside constantly halted the back-in process to look on both sides for obstructions.

Exactly! We do that too with our own well understood hand signals. Sometimes someone jumps in to help. We completely ignore them and their very often really bad hand signals. We rarely miss getting our rig in the first shot.
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:36 PM   #39
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I've been backing trailers since I was ten. Not bad at it at all.

Then I bought a little 10' long cargo trailer to hitch along with my 29" Class C.

I have never had so much difficulty backing a trailer in my life as I have with this combo. I know I've provided lots of entertainment with it.

Got me right over that sort of smug self-satisfaction of watching newbies of which I know I was guilty before.

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Old 09-08-2022, 04:53 PM   #40
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When we first started our camping group would get out the lawn chairs to watch me back our 25 ft 5th into a site. They would count the new words Id come up with. Thank goodness for walkie talkies. That was over 35 years ago. Im a little better now and we get out the lawn chairs.
Bob, Sally and our Yorkie Tammy
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:00 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by bowpulpit View Post
Perhaps the nice thing you could have done was to ask if they could use some help. Certainly being the expert you want us to believe you are could have taught them the proper techniques.
Exactly. No reason to be a putz.

We were staying at Disneys Campground a few years ago, when a woman with a couple young kids pulled up out from of our site. I could hear her tell her son, she had not done this before, so I went over and offer her some help. She asked if I would park it for her, but I told her to get in, and put her hand on the bottom of the wheel and I would direct her.

Walking next to her, and giving some simple instructions, she nailed it the first time. She felt good about it, and her 11 y/o son finished setting it up.

It doesn’t take any time to offer your expertise, as you were just sitting there anyway.

I do the same thing when experienced semi drivers are doing a blind reverse, and watch their blind spot.

Everyone appreciates it. If someone tells you otherwise, back off - but watch anyway.

We’re all in this together. Don’t be a putz.
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:25 PM   #42
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I worked at a campground in FL for a couple years. Friday afternoons were best times for me and my co-worker to enjoy the parking shenanigans...and there were plenty. We spent a lot of time shaking our heads. And I can flat out tell you with 100% certainty that semi drivers were the absolute worst at backing in 5th wheels, especially if they had a crew cab pick-up.
We have a 38' motorhome. I have a lot of experience driving truck so I was fine, although my wife had never driven anything any bigger than an S10. On our first road trip, she expressed a desire to learn how to drive the coach so I pulled into a mega church parking lot (we also had the tow dolly/car attached) to give her some driving lessons. The first lesson she learned was to look ahead for things that could be an issue. As she's driving down a row, she tells me at the end of the row she's going left. I tell her that's really not a great idea and she should go right. I've already looked to the left and have spotted the 9' canopy over the parking lot. She says she wants to go left so instead of correcting her I let her do her thing. Halfway thru the turn she spots the canopy and the big yellow 9' sign. At this point she says she's going to back-up and go right. Again I say, you can't back up a tow dolly with a car on it. Again she disagrees with me so I let have at it. I tried to stop her before she put the huge dent in my passenger door.
Since that time she's driven quite a few miles as we full timed and does a great job.
I always told these people at the campground to find a big parking lot and practice, practice, practice...but they hardly ever do.
2002 Fleetwood Expedition 36T
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