Ok guy's, This seem's to be a problem every time we go out. The person standing guiding the trailer back sends you in the wrong direction? How do you guys do it and what sytem works the best?? open to suggestions Kirk
When backing in, my wife only stands where I can see her. She uses hand singnals to tell me which way to move the trailer. When she needs to check clearance on the other side, I stop, and do not move again until I see her.
Sometime I forget to put my hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and then turn it the way I want the trailer to go, but I figure it out.
We use a pair of the FRS radios, I just put it down and she will guide me backing up. She stays to the left (driver side) of the camper so I can see her and we use my left/right for directions. On my old PopUp I installed backup lights, and I think I will do that again on this camper as it really helps when you arrive late at night and can't see much behind you.
we use a pair of walkie talkiesset on a channel that only we have. we then can back up with my wife standing at the back directing me. with her directing me I can be inches from a treeor space just roght for the awning Mike
I have actually seen some serious yelling between couples at campsites on this topic. One time a man was having so much trouble getting his camper into a space my wife told me to go help him. I told her no way was I going to get involved in that mess. I can only imagine the response I would have gotten when I asked him if he wanted me to back it in for him.
Anyway, we use the exact same system that Randy uses except I simply cannot do the bottom of the steering wheel thing. I have to keep mine on top. If you are not using radios of some sort to communicate with the most important thing is to make sure you both are on the same page with the hand signals. When we first started my Wife and I had a different signal for stop.
My wife is many, many good things but helping me back up is not one of them. She is getting much better at guiding me though. I just ask her to stand back there and let me know if I'm about to hit anything
. I usually get out and check where I'm at in relation to where I want to be. I've told her I'm going to get mud flaps like the semi's that say "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you".
I tried the hand on the bottom of the wheel thing but I always forget to do it.
This is my foolproof method;
I turn the wheel, if the trailer goes the wrong direction, I turn the wheel the other way, works every time.
My wife has the habbit of not using the same signals consistantly. I'm in the vehicle thinking "what does that mean"? We are getting into a better routine though. I will also get out and check where I want to be in relation to where I am. I mainly need to know if I'm about to hit something and top clearance. My hand is always on top of the wheel. I might consider djd1023's method.
I have a very tricky place to store the trailer. My wife gives me signals via a frs radio. The biggest problem is that I have to come in just right. Last time I exited the site I placed markers along the path. Now she knows just where the back wheels should be and so can give me a better idea of where I am relative to the markers.
Backing up is NOT fun. Another thing that helps is to have a friend that CAN backup well guide you. I have done this and learned a lot - it also really reduces the frustration level which can get too high.
Some of this stuff is classic. I don't know if this will help anybody but one thing i learnd driving a tractor/trailer around for a couple of years is make small corrections when backing up, turn the wheel to far to fast and it just makes it hard to get it straight. Hope it helps someone.
LOL, Mike. "I turn the wheel, if the trailer goes the wrong direction, I turn the wheel the other way, works every time."
Yeah, well, I had never backed up a trailer in my life until 2 months ago putting my 26 RS into storage. A buddy told me to put my hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. If I want the trailer to move left, move your hand left (turns the wheel clockwise). It worked, and I was able to back that puppy into a 12 foot wide space on the first try. I was so proud of myself.
Backing up is second nature to me. I can often do it with no one guiding me. (hate to brag...but I will
) Guess it's from backing fire trucks and trailers into the fire station for 20 years. I do send my wife or son back there to make sure I'm not taking down the water spigot, or to get me in the precise spot. (safety's sake!)
FRS radios....and lot's of patience helps if your new to this thing. Proper hand signals can work wonders too.
I also drive tractor tralier for a living an backing is second nature for me but what i tell the guys i train if you want the trailer to go left turn the wheel right ...tralier right turn left...another good thing to remeber is with the shorter trailers every slight turn to the steering wheel will make the trailer turn.. having the mirrors adjusted to see all four points help out alot too.. i also have my wife stand outside just so she feels like she is helping....
I too have been fortunate enough to have been backing trailers all my driving life ( and some before the license too!) but the FRS is the best way to go, with the diesel you really can't yell loud enough so I tell the other half to go in the back and just talk in the radio if I'm coming to close to something. Usually that gets us in in a short time frame. The best part is if I'm camping with the parents. Dad taught me travel trailers & backing years ago but now I do it for all the rigs, and he guides me!
Someone that really can guide you makes it GREAT for getting situated. We can do it all by hand signals and usually one shot even with his 36' fifth.
Heres a little tip that no one else has mentioned. It has worked out very well for me...
Once you start backing up, keep the vehicle moving! Slowly but nonetheless moving. I run into trouble when I try to move 3 feet, stop, turn the wheel, look at my spotter, back up some more, stop again, turn again...ops wrong way...oops too far...blah blah blah... Bottom line is to keep the vehicle moving and make a smooth entry in the site or lot. If things get too far out of whack START OVER!! Drive around the campground and hit it again... much easier on the nerves than getting all wadded up in a knot because your you've managed to get your camper upside down, crossways and backwards from where it ought to be.
Of course, as others have said, an empty parking lot and lots of practice will do wonders and keeps me from saying things I shouldn't when parking under stress because it builds confidence. sunny
Well someone has to speak for the WOMEN, surely there are others besides me who back up the TT's?
Now don't get me wrong. My husband can backup the TT, it's just I like it a certain way and its better for me to do it so I have it right where I want it.
In other words, my husband lets me have my way cause he will never hear the end of it otherwise.
I pretty much agree with everyone's comments. The talk boxes are great so when you do scream at each other, not everyone in the next campsites can hear you.
But mainly patience and a lot of practice will help. I myself do the turning of the wheel the opposite of where it needs to go. I also get out and assess things as I close in. I am a very visual person and it helps me to see exactly where I am in relation to everything else.
I actually enjoy the challenge of backing into tight places just to see if I can.
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