• Ray Whyte
    19
    This tutorial is a stress reliever and marriage saver.
  • Lorraine
    32
    Good info! We manage an RV park all summer. It’s an older park with narrow lane ways. Drivers are in a (bad) habit of pulling down the centre and once past the site, swinging the front to the tow vehicle to the far side of the road. This may work fine if there is lots of room, but in this particular park, by doing that maneuver, the driver has eliminated all swing room for the truck and risks hitting RVs on the opposite side of the lane.

    We encourage the driver to keep to the side on which they are backing in, and making more of a jackknife entry. On a TT, this requires taking the equalizer bars off.

    We personally, are in the habit of using visuals as you’ve shown in the video, in particular situations. Often as the spotter, I simply stand where the RV tires need to start the turn. I then move backwards for Greg to follow me with the back corner of the RV. I have already pre-determined where the RV needs to be to allow for the slides etc. If I am out of his mirror, he stops, because that means I am checking around the RV for any obstacles. We can usually get the RV into place without saying a word. No radios, no phones, no yelling. But, 8 years and 80,000 miles on the RV of practice .
  • Ray
    403
    Too bad they make parks so tight like that because tight jack-knifing is so hard on the trailer tires and suspensions. :( When my fiver is in a tight jack knife the wheels look like they are about to rip off. I remember the first time I saw that I figured something was broken! haha
    Not so bad on dirt or gravel with give to it, but some pavement really grabs.
  • Lorraine
    32
    It’s not that RV parks are made like that, it’s more that many parks are older - from the days of pop ups, slide in campers and 24’ TTs. Now everyone isn’t camping unless their RV is 36 - 43 ft.
  • Ray Whyte
    19
    Lorraine, it sounds like you have backing up down pat. But I'll bet you went through some harrowing time when you first got a trailer. That's why I call this video the marriage saver.
  • Ray Whyte
    19
    Ray, my skin crawled the first time I saw the wheels on my trailer the way you described them almost ripping off the rims on a jack knife maneuver. Scarry!
  • Lorraine
    32
    it is hard to watch without thinking the tires would peel right off the rims! Our tires are very close together, so they don’t look so bad as those that are spaced farther apart.

    That stress the tire is under while backing is why it’s important to use ST tires on a trailer versus light truck tires, which aren’t built for that type of abuse. For some clarification there, Google interply shear.
  • Rolland
    13
    I agree with the ST tires. We have the smallest Arctic Fox trailers and haven’t fount an LT tire that doesn’t lower the load capacity of the OEM tires. Those I ran two years, then up graded to. G rated steel belted radial tire.
  • Jack Tyler
    11
    A slight modification to Loraine's description - favoring the road side with the open space to be backed into - is referred to by some as the Scoop. Here's a simple video on using the Scoop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLtfrBWzNCw We're new to towing and we've found the Scoop very helpful. As for 'stress', as I look at it that's a choice and not a preordained consequence. But I gained that understanding only after struggling for a year when maneuvering our 42' ketch in small marina fairways usually with wind and some current, while cruising. I'm not yet proficient in backing our 24' trailer but that hardly means I have to get worked up about it. The old saying: 'Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.'

    Jack
  • Al Ewers
    1
    I've always had a problem backing up trailers and the 2018 / 2019 Snowbird season was my first real test in doing so because I've avoided trailers like the plague.

    I have an F-150 Supercab with a 6.5' bed and a 12' long single axle trailer. With the tow vehicle being longer than the trailer things go wrong quickly and I although I have a backup camera on the trailer & can toggle the grid lines on / off it's still a real challenge. The only solution is the same way you get to play piano at Carnegie Hall - "Practice, practice, practice" but attempting to get your rig out of everyone's way quickly just amps up the stress level. I have extendable tow mirrors with convex mirrors on the lower section and they do help although I brought my trailer out of storage recently and backing into a triple wide driveway approximately 100' long still took about 6 - 8 attempts until I got it placed correctly. Adding to the add is that my house is situated right where the road curves in my subdivision so I'm unable to pull the entire combination straight & back right in. I'm sure my neighbors get either annoyed or amused at my antics and there have been times when I threw in the towel, drove around the block & parked it in front of the house while I waited for my frustration level to subside. The good news is I'm getting better at it.

    I swear my late brother used to get a kick out of me watching him back my 8' ATV trailer down a 500' long sloping driveway with a few tight curves in it when I lived in CT. Even though I had an Escape at the time it was still much longer than the trailer but he'd deposit everything right in front of my the garage door & always had a small grin as he watched me grimacing while muttering "Thank You." :smile:
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