Good places around Chilliwack for a neophyte to practice maneuvering a 17A - Page 3 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-13-2016, 09:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Steven M View Post
... I have a question as to how one takes turns going forward with there trailer. My hope to to go all in and get a 21. Thanks for any information you have.
The trailer will always follow a tighter line around the corner than the tug, so you need to stay wider from the curb (or whatever else you need to clear on the inside of the turn) than you would with the tug alone. This is in addition to the extra width of the trailer compared to your tug, which of course you have to keep in mind even when going straight.

One approach, which works for both trailers and long-wheelbase single vehicles (big trucks, motorhomes, buses) is to not even start turning the steering wheel until you're further into the intersection than you would without the trailer, since the trailer is essentially cutting the corner.

The key is mostly practice, to get accustomed to where the trailer is going to go. I think it's interesting to see city buses (which are huge, and now wide-body) turning corners downtown - those drivers do this hundreds of times a day, and soon learn to routinely place the rear tires within a few centimetres (inches) of the curb. They're not driving geniuses - they're just practiced and professional.

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Originally Posted by bisonbill View Post
I suggest going down to UHaul and renting an enclosed trailer some afternoon. Take it out to an empty parking lot, bring some cones, and practice backing up and driving in tight quarters for a few hours. You won't be able to see behind the enclosed trailer without using the mirrors
I agree... but get the biggest trailer you can find, because even the biggest U-Haul (the 6'x12') is smaller (both shorter and narrower) than an Escape 17'. At least the bigger U-Hauls are all tandem-axle, so you can get accustomed to that. They work with a 2" ball (like an Escape) and need a ball height about the same as an Escape 21', as well.
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:46 AM   #22
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Check out these RX driving videos: http://longlonghoneymoon.com
....we watched a bunch...we pick-up in May and are going to rent a u-haul and take a lesson in Seattle before we tow the "real" thang....What an adventure!!
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:45 AM   #23
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Smile Trailer backing

We started with a 36 ft Bounder; easy, it doesn't bend in the middle! Downsize to current 27 ft travel trailer; hands on the bottom of the steering wheel. Driver stops, and accompanied by Navigator/wife, walks and looks parking spot over, check for obstructions high and low. Then Nav calls the TV (with hands off cell capability), Nav provides hand and voice signals on where the back of trailer should go.

If the "approach" lane is wide enough, swing in toward the parking spot as you approach and then out again as TV passes spot. By the time you get the trailer past your parking spot, you should have maybe a 45 degree turn to begin your back-in instead of a 90 degree turn.

Stay calm and cool, go slow. If things don't look good, start over!

The number of people casually "watching" automatically increases with the difficulty of the parking task. I don't know if I could do the "bow" like Donna does, but it would make a nice finishing touch!
-Ethan & Jacki waiting for our 5.0 TA in August '16
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:29 AM   #24
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Hints on backing a trailer

When practicing in a large open area, lay down a guide rope or hose that you want the trailer tires to follow. When backing up, let the trailer tires follow the guide rope right into your parking spot.

Another important point to practice is your communication with your helper. Avoid words like "left" and "right". These are confusing. Instead tell the driver to "Jack it harder" or "Straighten" the unit.

How you start the backing process is extremely important. Pull in close to your parking spot and then at the last minute, swing out into the street and finish with your TV and trailer kinked. Starting with the TV and trailer kinked the correct way, allows your helper to give simple commands to jack it harder or straighten up!

Always try to back into a parking spot where you can see it from the driver's side. This allows you to follow your guide rope, or another set of tire tracks similar to how you practiced. Backing into a spot on the passenger's side is very difficult, because your mirror is farther away and it's harder to follow your guide.
HTH!
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:33 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by crnelson View Post
Check out these RX driving videos: Long Long Honeymoon | #Loloho
....we watched a bunch...we pick-up in May and are going to rent a u-haul and take a lesson in Seattle before we tow the "real" thang....What an adventure!!

Can you post where you are getting the lesson from? Thanks
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:39 AM   #26
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Thanks to everyone so far with your tips and clues. Steve M
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:45 AM   #27
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I wonder if towing a 5th wheel will be any different than a pull behind bumper trailer?
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:13 PM   #28
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towing

Jim never having a 5th wheel but plenty of friends with them .It seems most trailers have a 40-50degree angle to work with(very optimistic) as the 5th wheel can go to almost 90 degrees or more .That's why we keep going back and forth 19,21 or 5.0TA. I think it's going to be the 5.0TA even though we will have to buy a Truck.Much easier to maneuver the 5th wheel .Isn't that why you are buying the 5.0TA? April 1st can't come soon enough . We lost out on at least 3 Escape's (not checking internet every day ) We found we can sell our Snoozy almost any Time Great resale like the Escape's .So that's not a problem .Now to search for the right Truck .Jim W (jennykatz)
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:26 PM   #29
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Can you post where you are getting the lesson from? Thanks
I haven't really read this thread too close as I don't want to get things confused in my mind if I remember it incorrectly. Not that that's ever happened before. HA!

I'm going to sign up for a driving lesson from the truck driving school that's just down the road from Escape. Yeah, I know I have to drive it back across the border after getting it in Sumas, but that's okay. Others on the forum have used these guys:

Driving Lessons | Burnaby & Vancouver | Valley Driving School
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:57 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I wonder if towing a 5th wheel will be any different than a pull behind bumper trailer?
The difference is the location of the pivot point (at the hitch), and the effect of having that point further forward is that the trailer (for the same length from hitch to trailer axle) will cut tighter on turns, and react to changes in tug direction less. Also, as Jim W. mentioned, the turn angle can be tighter - A-frame conventional trailers are limited to 65 degrees each way, and due to the overhanging propane tanks (and various weight distribution hardware in many cases) most can turn even less than that.

I've towed a conventional trailer with a tractor, which puts the hitch between the rear wheels (very little overhang from the axle), and found it easier than with a conventional vehicle. In both position of the pivot point and visibility of the hitch this is close to the fifth-wheel situation.

One effect of the lack of overhang to the hitch position is that the truck must be turned more to change the trailer angle a given amount, so you'll sometimes see trucks backing fifth-wheels swinging radically from side to side - that's okay, as long as you watch that you don't swing the front of the truck into something.
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