No gizmos here either, after a few years it gets easier. When I am lined up and need to go back further say 12" or so, I leave the truck door open and look at the ground, find a reference point (weed or stone) and move about that distance, it has worked for me.
Usually only about two hop outs and I am good to go.
while reading this. Because at the same time, my DH was home hooking up for the first time without me. We had to take it to the dealer to have a Dual Cam put on and some other minor repairs. I called him and "he said" it only took 4 tries. I'm not so sure I'm believing that one
I use Kevin's method. Line it up and get close then use a ground marker to finish. Usually 4 or 5 trips out of the truck to check things and I am good.
Of course this improves to 3 or 4 times out of the truck when my wife is actually helping me. Last time she manuevered herself into my blind spot, I thought she had gone into the house. I get out of the truck to check my alignment and find her in the side yard, off the driveway. She is standing silently and giving me little, barely noticable, thumb pointer directions. I really love her but I think the two of us may need to work on our trailer backing communications skills.
I was having my bride help me back into the site, I had no idea where she was, I get out and she is standing directly behind the camper, I told her I can't see you. I informed her that if you can't see my mirrors then I can't see you, as soon as she realized this, things went real smooth.
The next trip out I will let her sit in the driver seat and realize how much you actually can't see. I just think some training and understanding For the both of us on the situation will prevent future problems.
As hard as we try my wife and I always seem to find something in the backing up/hitching process to disagree on but for the most part she has it down. It was funny when we first started her signal to stop was my signal to go. And she also had some initial trouble with understanding that if she is not visable all of her signals are worthless. I am thinking that after the next few trips my son will have it down and I will have two helpers.
Gizmo or not, the Hitchfinder works fine for me now. I hate the in and out, heck I think I was wearing my seat out. Takes me 30 seconds to set it up and I'm right on the first time. Been towing trailers for years, have a good idea where I'm at but the bed height on the Avalanche makes it very difficult to position myself. With the Hitch Finder now I no longer have a reason, or excuse, to back over my wife or to wait till somebody is around to help me out.
No offense to women er I mean co-pilots, but why is it so difficult to say "six inches" rather than "a bit more", or "turn to your left" vs. "to far". Ah oh well its making memories, though sometimes not always the best ones (grin).
Brooke, one of the twins usually helps me get the ball lined up, mostly on the first shot too. Since the driveway is slightly sloped, she also lowers the hitch onto the ball and is aware enough to know if it's on or not.
As far as backing up, my lovely wife jumps out and goes to her designated spot at the rear drivers corner of the trailer where I can see her. She only speaks up if I'm about to hit something. No signals and therefore no arguments
She usually stands back there with her arms crossed.
When I get out to check location, we both assess the positioning, adjust acccordingly and we set up, no frustration or arguments.
I do like to get out before backing into a spot to scope it out. I've gotten pretty good at putting it where we want it in one shot.
My wife has gotten to like driving the combo and we switch off every couple of hours. Or on weekend trips, I drive out and she drives back.
We were in NC in April and had to move the trailer across the way to another spot because we decided to stay another day. She backed up the truck so I could hook up and wouldn't get out. She decided she was going to move it and back it into the new spot.
Since watching people back up their rigs is a spectator sport in most campgrounds, several people were starting to take an interest in what we were up to. I suggested the community pool parking lot at home might be a better place for this and maybe I should do it this time. She finally agreed and proceeded to her designated spot (arms crossed
) and we got set up again and on with our day.
When she does learn to back up, she'll probably be better at it than I am
You can tell people who do it that way...they have dented license plates!
Most times, I have someone to guide me back. I use my wife (as little as possible) as a guide for backing up, as well as reading maps/navigation. I'd rather hear fingernails raking across a chalkboard!
I hooked up last night for the first time with the new trucks receiver and got the job done with only three in and outs. First was at 4 feet, second at 1 foot, and lastly right on the spot! Wasn't going to take any chances with a damaged license plate or worse!
I was satified with my performance once I completed the job, so then, I just sat back, relaxed, and pulled my rig for about 36 miles to the RV dealer for warranty work. Did I mention I have to pull my rig at 50 mph for the first 500 miles. Truck tow vehicle break-in is a real pain. Hopefully worth the time spent in the long run.
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