Backing up

Discussion in 'Towing & Tow Vehicles' started by Lee49, May 20, 2014.

  1. Lee49

    Lee49 Novice

    Has everyone learned the art
    of backing up a trailer
    i know iam going to have problems
  2. Well it takes me under 30 minutes to get it into the driveway now and that is progress! Honestly the best thing I did was take to an empty parking lot one day and practice - I think it takes time and we still look for camping sites that we can drive through or at least there is fair amount of maneuvering room. But we are relative newbies also! You can always unhook! - except in our driveway which has a steep downhill slope :((
  3. Lee49

    Lee49 Novice

    I guess it takes some practice
  4. Steve & Ellen

    Steve & Ellen Novice

    There have been some very good write-ups on this forum about backing up. The length of the camper makes it difficult.
    It seems someone said with the camper and car straight, begin backing up with your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. Overhand is my preference. Begin turning the wheel gradually in direction, maybe opposite, you want the camper to go. I use the rear view mirror. This method seems to work well for me. Sometimes I get so jacked trying to do it quickly, I stop slow down and do it the way I know will work.
    You might search this sight. I think it came from that fellow out of Georgia.
  5. Evan

    Evan Administrator Staff Member

    Put your hand on the bottom of the wheel and turn it the way you want the trailer to go. Works like a charm. If you get in a horrible pinch just unhitch the trailer and push it where it needs to go. By that time there will be a crowd of gawkers that will be happy to help push.
    Mark & Casandra likes this.
  6. PaigeJason

    PaigeJason Novice

    When we brought our camper home in a Jan snowstorm, it took 40 minutes (first time backup up a trailer) to back her up the driveway far enough that we could unhitch and push her into the garage. Not fun!

    When it warmed up, we took her over to a nearby school parking lot to practice. Last Sun, I backed her into the garage in maybe two minutes. Having a spotter sure helps.
  7. Sweeney

    Sweeney Novice

    The method I like is to grab the bottom of the wheel, and move your hand the direction you want the trailer to go. Once you've mastered that, then you get get crazy. If things "go wrong" just pull straight ahead to get the trailer in line with the vehicle and try again.

    I can back up straight for as long as I want to using this method, and can easily park the trailer between two parked cars now. Always use a spotter, there are all kinds of things that can jump behind you....

    The one think to remember is to keep moving, but keep moving slowly...rushing won't help...haste makes waste.

    Lastly get you signals with your spotter straight....wildly waving hands just causes fights.

    Personally, I like signals used by Air Marshals....the ramp guys at the airport...they just work. Handsignals.pdf
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2016
  8. pat walsh

    pat walsh Novice

    Has anyone added a rear view camera to their tear to help with backing up?
  9. Bear

    Bear Ranger

    Evan nailed it! Good job! ~BEAR
  10. Inn42

    Inn42 Junior Ranger

    Great advice from Sweeney. My one refinement is that Alea & I use only two hand signals - keep coming and stop. That is because Alea goes to about where she wants the galley to be when we are parked. She looks to see which mirror I can see her in. She then stands where she wants that corner of the galley to be located. I simply backup toward her, and as I get lined up on her the van and camper eventually straighten out and then it is straight back until I get the signal to stop.

    This method is quick and easy, and allows me to keep an eye on whatever is around me, since I don't need to worry about missing a hand signal.

    My two cents would be that people have been backing up campers in analog mode for a long, long time. It isn't often that I see campers with their back ends crunched, and I suspect some of those are caused by being rear ended. So having a back up camera probably isn't all that necessary. If it were me, I'd get a drone equipped with a camera. Have it hover where it has a clear view of where you want to park, then back away. At least then you have something to amuse yourself with at the campsite (and possibly annoy your pesky neighbors). ;-)
  11. pat walsh

    pat walsh Novice

    The drone sounds fun but a bit over kill for us . We are backup challenged and when drawing a crowd at a campsite become more challenged. Just want to make it easier so we don't have to park with the big guys.
  12. Inn42

    Inn42 Junior Ranger

    We've all been in those same shoes. I had never towed a trailer of any sort the first time we left the Camp Inn factory. Many is the time that I blocked a drive aisle in repeated failed attempts to get the camper to go where I wanted. But I eventually acquired the skills, and without backing into anything in the process.

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