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Old 02-24-2022, 08:11 PM   #41
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Right Half the Time

I can never remember the proper method for getting the trailer to go backward (other than putting the vehicle in reverse) in the direction you want it to go. So I turn the steering wheel one way and start to back up. I figure I have a 50% chance of getting it right. If I'm wrong all I have to do is turn the wheel the other way! I'm right about half the time. Do-overs are always an option.
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Old 02-25-2022, 08:06 AM   #42
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Backing up

I am really enjoying this thread and the tips. Like the OP, I found that “scoop method” video a couple years ago, and had success with our 19’.
Being a visual person, and following the method in the video, I backed up the 19’ with ease.

However for some reason, the 21’ has given us problems. We just can’t seem to match up the position of the tires with the direction of the rear of the trailer. It seems to change on us as we are backing up.

The “hand on the bottom of the steering wheel” approach doesn’t seem to work mid-backing up. The rear of the trailer keeps going wherever it wants.

So, my DH is still having difficulty.

I’d like to try the scoop method with this one, but my DH won’t let me try.
I wonder why? Lol
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Old 02-25-2022, 08:51 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Artlady View Post
I am really enjoying this thread and the tips. Like the OP, I found that “scoop method” video a couple years ago, and had success with our 19’.
Being a visual person, and following the method in the video, I backed up the 19’ with ease.

However for some reason, the 21’ has given us problems. We just can’t seem to match up the position of the tires with the direction of the rear of the trailer. It seems to change on us as we are backing up.

The “hand on the bottom of the steering wheel” approach doesn’t seem to work mid-backing up. The rear of the trailer keeps going wherever it wants.

So, my DH is still having difficulty.

I’d like to try the scoop method with this one, but my DH won’t let me try.
I wonder why? Lol

I have a 8 foot and also a 12 foot utility trailer, they each respond differently. 18 wheelers have a rear axle slide on them to accommodate whatever situation they may find themselves in. You will have to forget what the 19 needed and work on getting the feel of your 21. Practice with cones on an empty lot is the best way, no pressure.
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Old 02-25-2022, 08:51 AM   #44
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I remember having a couple of issues when going from a E19 to a E21 in trailer placement, the E19 seems to be a bit easier to maneuver........just my opinion.
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Old 02-25-2022, 08:52 AM   #45
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My preference and practice in reversing with a trailer is to do it myself. Works best for me.

There are a few situations where I have used a spotter, when backing into a curved tree lined entrance or when safety could be an issue.

I do almost always first check out the site for where I would like to drop to trailer, and again to see if I might like to move a bit.

But, we all just do what works best for us.
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Old 02-25-2022, 09:59 AM   #46
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Longer trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ooshkaboo View Post
I have a 8 foot and also a 12 foot utility trailer, they each respond differently. 18 wheelers have a rear axle slide on them to accommodate whatever situation they may find themselves in. You will have to forget what the 19 needed and work on getting the feel of your 21. Practice with cones on an empty lot is the best way, no pressure.
Good advice. That’s just what I told DH. More practice in a parking lot.

There’s an excellent long video giving pointers about all aspects of backing into a site. In going through that, I discovered that we are not adequately “chasing “ the trailer once we are part way into the site.

That’s more impactful with the longer trailer vs. the 19’. Length matters!

Here is the vid I think was the most helpful:

https://youtu.be/pUe-Sl9lUh0
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Old 02-25-2022, 03:59 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by ghosthunter View Post
I am confident on my backing. But when I can not see behind the trailer I worry.

So I get out and walk the site. I place my wife where I want the bumper of the trailer. I tell her not to give me instructions except to stop. If I am about to hit something. Sometimes we use a radio as I have one installed in my truck. She will change sides depending on if she can see me in the mirrors. I have a traffic cone where I want the trailer bumper in my driveway, so when we get home it’s all me and my wife is getting the house opened up.

Works for us and I stay out of the dog house.

Ha Ha, Ghosthunter! Your procedure and result is identical to ours! Through experience, we have learned this works best!
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Old 02-25-2022, 05:37 PM   #48
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Go slow, go solo

I much prefer backing up by myself, a task learned through experience. Be cautious of onlookers and helpers, and I've learned to wave them off.

The deal is, everything,...directions, hand signals, verbal and visual can be backwards, looking through mirrors, camera screens if you have, steering wheel movements, etc. Images are backwards. I have used a spotter to shout, no, scream, if I am about to whack into something, but other than that, in a tight or difficult back-up, I take it slow, get out of the vehicle very frequently to assess and proceed. Slow. Very slow.

It took a while to come to this method; a helper seems intuitive to be helpful, but it usually hasn't worked that way for me. And a helper seems to cause a lot of inter-personal distress.

Go slow, go solo. Look high, Look low.

YMMV
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Old 02-26-2022, 06:59 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by HABBERDABBER View Post
I much prefer backing up by myself, a task learned through experience. Be cautious of onlookers and helpers, and I've learned to wave them off.

The deal is, everything,...directions, hand signals, verbal and visual can be backwards, looking through mirrors, camera screens if you have, steering wheel movements, etc. Images are backwards. I have used a spotter to shout, no, scream, if I am about to whack into something, but other than that, in a tight or difficult back-up, I take it slow, get out of the vehicle very frequently to assess and proceed. Slow. Very slow.

It took a while to come to this method; a helper seems intuitive to be helpful, but it usually hasn't worked that way for me. And a helper seems to cause a lot of inter-personal distress.

Go slow, go solo. Look high, Look low.

YMMV
That sounds like the advice I gave to my kids when teaching them to drive. Passengers may tell you “it’s all clear,” that’s nice, but you are the one responsible for all outcomes and need to see with your own eyes.
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Old 02-26-2022, 07:46 AM   #50
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My uncle advised me many years ago to lay a rope or clothesline on the ground that would approximate where the driver side wheels of the trailer need to track. This is a great learning tool! Eventually with practice, you won't need the rope, but at first it gives you immediate feed back that you're on the right track!

I'll also repeat other advise in this thread.
1. G.O.A.L. - Get out and look!
2. Use the scoop method to set up the initial turn. Give yourself plenty of space to start backing up.
3. Keep communications simple between you and your spotter. You only need three commands. 1. Turn Harder, 2. Straighten and 3. STOP.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-26-2022, 07:55 AM   #51
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Hey Peter
Reminds me of an old joke from the beatnik days.
Guy picks up a hitchhiker.
Shortly comes to stop sign
Asks the beatnik if it’s clear to go
Beatnik says “only a dog man, only a dog.
Driver pulls out and WHAM, terrible accident
Later in the hospital the driver looks over at the beatnik in the next bed and says I thought you said there was just a dog.
Beatnik answers Greyhound man, Greyhound
60+ years back for that one.
Have a great weekend wherever you may be.
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Old 03-02-2022, 11:45 AM   #52
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I don't know what search term you used but, here's a link to a YouTube page with LOTS of tips for backing your RV:

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ack+up+your+rv
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Old 03-02-2022, 12:09 PM   #53
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Oh, and if you’re at a KOA in Arkansas and the staff offers to help you back in just decline the help. Really, you are better off without that kind of help.
Reminds me of an after dark arrival at a COE campground a couple of years ago at a downhill treed site that was incorrectly listed as a “pull-throu”:

After several attempts, the guy in the campsight next door came out and offered to help guide me into the site. He returned with two lanterns, positioned them in the back of the site and said “that should help”. It (sort of) did until I could only see one lantern. As I started to over-correct, he ran up to my window and it was obvious what had happened: he was holding one of the lanterns!! I then gratefully accepted his offer to let him back my rig into the sight. After sleeping “sideways uphill”, the next morning, I successfully got my rig where it needed to be.

On the flip side, my street is a single “fire lane” with on street parking on the other side of the street. Unfortunately the scoop method is not much use as the result is usually a jack-knife situation. My neighbor across the street whose driveway is almost exactly opposite mine has agreed to let me to pull into her drive so that I can back straight-on into my driveway. :-)
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Old 03-02-2022, 12:45 PM   #54
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The thing that works best for me is that once I start to back in I go slow and move the steering wheel in very small increments, sometimes 1/4 of an inch. Then if things are not lined up as I wish, I slowly pull forward until truck and trailer are in a straight line to each other, just as they are when towing down the road. After that, make sure your front wheels (on the truck) are straight and start backing again. turning the steering wheel as needed. It takes a few tries this way, but doing this and getting out as often as I want to check has worked for me. It's also easier to do this before sundown.
If you are lucky and the campsite opposite to yours has enough space, you might be able to pull in to that one and back relatively straight to yours. I politely decline help and tell people who like to stand and stare at my process, that spectators ruin my work.

Be aware that small trailers (e.g. Boler 1300) are VERY sensitive to changes in the steering. Persevere, you'll be adept at backing soon.
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Old 03-02-2022, 02:29 PM   #55
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For me if I have a hard time, it's always because that didn't pull forward, far enough past the back-in target. I need a long backup run to make the tiny corrections and get everything lined up for the hard turn.
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Old 03-02-2022, 03:53 PM   #56
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Best Advice Received

The best advice that I ever received was to get your trailer going into the site and then steer the tow vehicle so that it follows the path of the trailer. Obviously there are times when corrections are needed, pull forward a bit or change trailer angle a bit, but it really helped prevent me from making a lot of overcorrections while backing.
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Old 03-02-2022, 04:23 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by MrLynn View Post
The system in my 2013 Ford Expedition tells me to put the tranny in neutral before changing from 2-wheel to 4-wheel modes. Do you have to stop and switch before and after making a turn? Would seem to defeat the point of having 4x4.
You should only use 4X4 when there is some sort of contamination on the paved road (at least wet) or on dirt roads. The wheels need to be able to slip slightly on the driving surface while turning to relieve stresses built up in the system.

At couple years back at Yosemite there was a group of guys from Europe that had rented a Ford Explorer and since they were on the windy mountain roads of Yosemite they decided they should be using 4 wheel drive. Since the roads were clean and dry this was the worse time to use it. The vehicle was spewing fluid and smoke and they couldn't figure out why, and the rental company wouldn't authorize a tow out of the park since it was still 'drivable'. They asked me if I could drive it a bit and let them know what I thought the problem was. I didn't drive it more than 50 feet in the parking lot when I felt the scuff scuff of 4 wheel drive while turning on dry pavement in the parking lot. Sure enough it was in 4 wheel drive. I shifted it out, explained to them that was not for use on dry paved roads and they went on their way. Adding it to my list of reasons not to buy a former rental car.
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Old 03-02-2022, 04:28 PM   #58
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The best advice that I ever received was to get your trailer going into the site and then steer the tow vehicle so that it follows the path of the trailer.
This is along the line of what I advise folks to do. I say to first determine where you want the trailer to go, then figure out which direction to move the hitch in order to get the trailer to move as you wish. For some folks this helped them a lot.
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Old 03-02-2022, 05:41 PM   #59
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Boat ramp

I grew up near a boat ramp on the ocean. Fairly steep and long at low tide. The older boaters, campers, and commercial fishermen would gather around the the ramp at various times to BS, kibitz the ramp users, and generally rate them. No pressure what so ever..
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Old 03-02-2022, 07:06 PM   #60
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First get out and see where things are and roughly where you want to line up.

Then yes, the hand on bottom of steering wheel, turn in direction you want the back of the trailer to go is all you need to know. Move slowly and don't oversteer, if you do, you have to pull forward and start again. I make almost every site the first time using this technique.

My wife and I use the cell phone. She gives me tweaks like "a little more on driver's side". That way she doesn't have to yell to me. Simple.
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