Backing straight... - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-21-2018, 08:27 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 973
Backing straight...

While taking my trailer (15) out of the garage for the first time I marked where the wheels hit the driveway on the way out, and put tape there (to be paint eventually.) Today I used those marks to put the trailer back.

Problem- I don't have a lot of room to straighten out the car/trailer combo. So I can line up with those marks for the trailer tire and still have the trailer go in at the wrong angle. I tried pulling out and backing as straight as I can but I still ended up with a slight angle in the garage (and unfortunately- angled the wrong way if I'm going to be angled.)

Any hints for backing absolutely straight? (And with the car in line with the trailer?) I can see that I'm not hitting the garage door opening but I can't really tell if the trailer is going straight back without getting out to look. I didn't end up off by too much but it took 3 or 4 tries to get it straight enough to allow access to the trailer inside the garage.
__________________

Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2018, 08:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,773
Consider getting out to look as your exercise regimen.
__________________

__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2018, 09:04 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 4,331
The mark on the approach is a good idea. However sometimes a line on the floor where the trailer needs to set helps. I line up on the saw cut in the concrete and estimate how far away I’d like to be as well as watching the door frame. Your rear view mirror tipped slightly down so you can see the floor and the line will help. Go very slow and only make minor corrections with the steering wheel.
Iowa Dave
__________________
Strike while the iron is hot. Live every day as if it were your last and one day you will be right.
Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2018, 09:08 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Devil Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Steveston B.C., British Columbia
Trailer: 2012- 17'B.... 2016 Tacoma SR5 TRD
Posts: 505
The best thing is to pull forward straight first. With your lines( good idea ) lay a hockey stick or broom handle down on the drivers side visible from rear view mirror lined up with your lines . I use that trick when backing into a camp spot solo . Works for me , some times I use 2 pieces of fire wood or rocks.
__________________
I've almost been everywhere man.
Almost been everywhere.....
Devil Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2018, 11:18 PM   #5
Commercial Member
 
tractors1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 - "Felicity"
Posts: 2,626
I have 3 pieces of 1 inch Schedule 20 PVC pipe that I line up aligned with one side of the garage as an extension of my path into the garage as I have to make a 90 degree turn to back in. I also have a rear view camera with a target mounted in the center of the back garage wall.



The pipes let me line up on my path, then I use the rear view camera to back in, keeping the target centered in the monitor. Once you run over the pipes a few times they get kinda flat and stay in place even better.....



As a stop gauge I mounted a garage door safety sensor so the beam goes sideways across the garage. It's wired to be ON if the trailer isn't blocking it. When it turns OFF I stop.
__________________
Charlie Y

Need custom storage to your design? Don't drill holes!
www.RVWidgetWorks.com
tractors1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2018, 11:53 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
The mark on the approach is a good idea. However sometimes a line on the floor where the trailer needs to set helps. I line up on the saw cut in the concrete and estimate how far away I’d like to be as well as watching the door frame. Your rear view mirror tipped slightly down so you can see the floor and the line will help. Go very slow and only make minor corrections with the steering wheel.
Iowa Dave
I can't see into the garage to where the wheels are going. Otherwise that's basically what I did- I'm just not getting the car-trailer combo perfectly straight as I back so the trailer is entering the garage at a slight angle. Maybe I can extend the lines further out to make sure I am straight at that point.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2018, 11:58 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
I have 3 pieces of 1 inch Schedule 20 PVC pipe that I line up aligned with one side of the garage as an extension of my path into the garage as I have to make a 90 degree turn to back in. I also have a rear view camera with a target mounted in the center of the back garage wall.



The pipes let me line up on my path, then I use the rear view camera to back in, keeping the target centered in the monitor. Once you run over the pipes a few times they get kinda flat and stay in place even better.....



As a stop gauge I mounted a garage door safety sensor so the beam goes sideways across the garage. It's wired to be ON if the trailer isn't blocking it. When it turns OFF I stop.
Happily my 90 degree turn is at the other end of a 35 or so foot driveway. I'm just not ending up straight enough. I like the rear view camera idea but currently don't have one. I figure I can mark a line where the car needs to end up.

At least I haven't (yet) hit the garage door trim or worse, the new doors.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 12:00 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Dog View Post
The best thing is to pull forward straight first. With your lines( good idea ) lay a hockey stick or broom handle down on the drivers side visible from rear view mirror lined up with your lines . I use that trick when backing into a camp spot solo . Works for me , some times I use 2 pieces of fire wood or rocks.
I tried that- several times- but still did not end up exactly right. The problem was having to make tiny corrections to get between the lines and then the car wheels aren't straight so the trailer goes in at an angle.

I don't get the hockey stick, though, wouldn't I just run over it? Extending the lines further out may work, though.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 12:21 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Notasulga, Alabama
Trailer: 2010 EggCamper (#083); 2017 Escape 21 (#053); 2016 F-150 5.0L FX4
Posts: 1,741
I think it may have been someone over on the FiberglassRV forum that pulled their tow vehicle and camper straight forward, then placed an adhesive dot on his tow vehicle's rear window and another on the front of his camper in perfect alignment when looking through his interior rear view mirror (maybe a small dot on the mirror too). When backing, he'd get things lined up straight with the dots aligned, then while backing, as long as he kept the dots aligned, he knew he was backing straight back. Or something like that....
War Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 05:34 AM   #10
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,865
How about a trailer dolly? a couple folks use the self powered ones. Something like this one. https://parkit360.ca/
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 07:02 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Burlington, Vermont
Trailer: 2014 17b/RAV4 (sold) 2012 Chevy Colorado
Posts: 616
Is your driveway flat? Could you buy a wheel for the front jack and push it the last 5 feet manually? I did that once with our 17. It was difficult but possible so the lighter 15 should be easier. However, if you do this you should be very diligent in blocking the primary trailer wheels before unhooking as the front end will be less stable with that wheel.
yardsale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 08:04 AM   #12
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,664
one word PRACTICE....mine is not always straight, I painted lines about 18" long for my rear tires to follow, and you are right, the slightest turn and the whole trailer is a little askew. But as long as you do not hit the side walls, who cares?
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 08:30 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,218
Practice, for sure. Pretty much the only way to do it.

However, with any bumper pull Escape, especially a 15, just get it close, use a hitch wheel and push it to wherever you want.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 09:59 AM   #14
Member
 
civi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Hellertown, Pennsylvania
Trailer: Scamp 16, TV Rav4 V6
Posts: 99
I still do not know what I am doing, but I manage to get the trailer where it needs to be. Every time I get in the car to back up camper, I say now what do I do. Carl
civi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 10:29 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Hilola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Tehachapi, California
Trailer: none
Posts: 515
Just an observation: I don't have a lot of trailer backing experience and I struggle with backing one straight as well but I've found it easier to back a larger trailer than a smaller one. My 8' landscape trailer gave me fits compared to the 24' HiLo I had.

As others said, keep practicing and remember "GOAL" (get out and look).
__________________
Greg
Formerly owned a 2007 24' HiLo/ 2003 Tahoe combo. Interested in the 5.0TA
Hilola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 10:43 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
Just an observation: I don't have a lot of trailer backing experience and I struggle with backing one straight as well but I've found it easier to back a larger trailer than a smaller one. My 8' landscape trailer gave me fits compared to the 24' HiLo I had.

As others said, keep practicing and remember "GOAL" (get out and look).
Very true, the longer the distance of the axle(s) from the pivot of the hitch, the slower it is to react. I have driven tractor trailer fifth wheel combos where you can manoeuvre the truck a lot, yet the rear end of the long trailer moves very little. I have also towed a few shorter trailer where reversing is way trickier, where if you can easily get jackknifed in a heartbeat.

The getting out to assess your positioning and where you wish to be, I do it all the time. I like the GOAL acronym.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 11:33 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
I think it may have been someone over on the FiberglassRV forum that pulled their tow vehicle and camper straight forward, then placed an adhesive dot on his tow vehicle's rear window and another on the front of his camper in perfect alignment when looking through his interior rear view mirror (maybe a small dot on the mirror too). When backing, he'd get things lined up straight with the dots aligned, then while backing, as long as he kept the dots aligned, he knew he was backing straight back. Or something like that....
I can line up the car and trailer- but what might work is two dots, one still just says the trailer is behind the car, but if I had two lined up it says it is in a straight line behind the car. Hmm, might be something I can do with that.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 11:38 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
How about a trailer dolly? a couple folks use the self powered ones. Something like this one. https://parkit360.ca/
My neighbor has one- but he wasn't home yesterday. That would help once I'm in the garage as his isn't powered but I don't think I could push the trailer in with the unpowered one (slight lip at the garage door- I couldn't even push the Campster over it by myself). Alas, he is selling his house! But maybe I'll get a chance to try his before he sells- it might help me position the trailer in the garage now. I think I might be able to move it on the wheel jack, but it's hard to manipulate that way.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 11:46 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
one word PRACTICE....mine is not always straight, I painted lines about 18" long for my rear tires to follow, and you are right, the slightest turn and the whole trailer is a little askew. But as long as you do not hit the side walls, who cares?
Once in there I have a little more room but I want to be able to get into the trailer in the garage- which means leaving space on one side to open the door. It doesn't take much to lose that space if the trailer goes in at an angle.

Practice, yep, I'll have to plan a few camping trips so that I have to back into the garage again!
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2018, 02:02 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Comox, British Columbia
Trailer: 5.0 TA #9
Posts: 136
Similar to Tractors pipe method, I lay down a long rope. It is lined up parallel to the garage inside walls and positioned where I want the tires to be.
I still start and stop a bit, get out look, and try again.

I like the Tractors idea of using a Garage Door 'beam' to tell me, if I'm backed in as far as I can go. I do take off the spare tire to gain a few extra inches, this being helpful in walking around the front of trailer, while the garage door is closed.

But like all things, it's Practice, Practice, Practice
__________________

sleepy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×