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Old 02-10-2017, 03:48 PM   #1
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Audience while backing up

This would be me now. Hopefully not next month after my driving and backing up lessons with the trailer.

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Old 02-10-2017, 04:02 PM   #2
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This would be me now. Hopefully not next month after my driving and backing up lessons with the trailer.

Laura I have only had to put up with that at home trying to get trailer in . Pat
The best one was when I first brought trailer home and a seal went on the transmission . Dumped , in the pouring rain , transmission fluid and one of my daughters just had this look on her face Oh S... just got the whole trans rebuilt . I have to push trailer up a hill , turn into driveway without hitting gate and walls , push it up driveway on a incline . It is better now . Practice makes it easier . Pat
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:21 PM   #3
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A trick someone told me once was place your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and whatever way your hand goes the trailer goes. Of course I'm used to backing up boats and utility trailers so I'm looking back over my shoulder with hand on the top of the wheel. So I'm used to the opposite. If you are using mirrors and/or a back up camera the bottom of the steering wheel tip might be a good one to remember.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:37 PM   #4
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A trick someone told me once was place your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and whatever way your hand goes the trailer goes. Of course I'm used to backing up boats and utility trailers so I'm looking back over my shoulder with hand on the top of the wheel. So I'm used to the opposite. If you are using mirrors and/or a back up camera the bottom of the steering wheel tip might be a good one to remember.
Thankyou Rubicon . A neighbor tells me the same thing . Basically I watch and backup slowly ,watching from driver's side , looking in that mirror. Linda is watching behind me . I have the backup camera but for this job don't seem to use it . After I get trailer in driveway , I usually have to pull forward to straighten everything out . I use the concrete cut in driveway as a line to line up with . It might take a few times but it eventually works . Of course when we get home ,get the Subaru out of the driveway . It is getting a little better . The truck and trailer is 39 ft . The length of the street width is 40 ft . My neighbor across the street from me will make sure nothing is parked in front when I let him know when I am coming home . I tried to use the scoop method but maybe because I am on a hill it doesn't seem to work . Then I have to go around the block and start over . Wish I could get lesson's , I am sure for my situation there are some tricks that would help . Pat
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Old 02-10-2017, 05:53 PM   #5
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A trick someone told me once was place your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and whatever way your hand goes the trailer goes. Of course I'm used to backing up boats and utility trailers so I'm looking back over my shoulder with hand on the top of the wheel. So I'm used to the opposite. If you are using mirrors and/or a back up camera the bottom of the steering wheel tip might be a good one to remember.
Hands at the bottom of the steering wheel seems to work for many people. But if you do a lot backing up with a trailer and want to get really good and fast at it put your hand at the top of the wheel. Once you get use to it, it really improves your skill level.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:01 PM   #6
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Once you get use to it, it really improves your skill level.
How does it do that?
I think, in your case, it's how you learned, it's what you've always done and you have years of practice.
I have to start learning from scratch every spring on the first trip. Bottom of the wheel, palm facing up, works for me because it is simple and direct. Move the hand left and the trailer moves left. I don't have to think, if I move my hand this way, my tow vehicle will move that way, and the trailer will move this way.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:11 PM   #7
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Hands at the bottom of the steering wheel seems to work for many people. But if you do a lot backing up with a trailer and want to get really good and fast at it put your hand at the top of the wheel. Once you get use to it, it really improves your skill level.
I a willing to try all method's . I think I learned to go slow and turn wheel one way and if trailer moves the wrong way , I turn it the other . I think my hand is at the bottom Pat
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:17 PM   #8
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How does it do that?
I think, in your case, it's how you learned, it's what you've always done and you have years of practice.
I have to start learning from scratch every spring on the first trip. Bottom of the wheel, palm facing up, works for me because it is simple and direct. Move the hand left and the trailer moves left. I don't have to think, if I move my hand this way, my tow vehicle will move that way, and the trailer will move this way.
You're just hangin' that bait out for Bennett -- I'm gonna start my countdown.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:30 PM   #9
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You're just hangin' that bait out for Bennett -- I'm gonna start my countdown.
Me too. Me too.
Actually, he has an Android device, so it may take a while.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:59 PM   #10
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I look straight ahead at the mirrors, use my innate God given ability and back up till I hear glass. Then I declare, " Honey we're home." I have a great boat trailer story but too long to tell here. 75 Johnson, Electric Choke.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:13 PM   #11
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Nope, my ability at reversing sucks. Don't know what I'm doing. Just ask around here.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:22 PM   #12
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Laura - just curious where you are going for driving lessons?
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:16 PM   #13
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How does it do that?
I think, in your case, it's how you learned, it's what you've always done and you have years of practice.
I have to start learning from scratch every spring on the first trip. Bottom of the wheel, palm facing up, works for me because it is simple and direct. Move the hand left and the trailer moves left. I don't have to think, if I move my hand this way, my tow vehicle will move that way, and the trailer will move this way.
When I watch drivers back up with their hand on the bottom of the wheel they are usually holding it with their palm facing down and gripping the wheel with their fingers. As they turn the wheel left or right it twists their arms until it reaches the top of the wheel and then they have to let go and reposition their hand,usually to the bottom again. When you start at the top you don't need to grip with your fingers. You just apply enough pressure with the palm of your hand to turn the wheel. And as you turn the wheel your hand is able to stay in a more natural position. This gives you more freedom to quickly respond to necessary corrections. I know it feels counterintuitive when you first start but with practice it works.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:43 PM   #14
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As they turn the wheel left or right it twists their arms until it reaches the top of the wheel and then they have to let go and reposition their hand,usually to the bottom again.
I use the palm-down-at-the-bottom method (using the mirrors!) and have never had a situation where my arm gets twisted all the way to the top. Maybe it's because I'm always backing so slowly that I don't have to react quickly to any situation. It's a little adjustment here and a little adjustment there and--voila--I'm good. No panic reactions or contorted arms for me.

Edited: I think that this is one of those situations where there is no right or wrong way...just whatever is comfortable for the driver and works is good.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:58 PM   #15
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When I watch drivers back up with their hand on the bottom of the wheel they are usually holding it with their palm facing down and gripping the wheel with their fingers. As they turn the wheel left or right it twists their arms until it reaches the top of the wheel and then they have to let go and reposition their hand,usually to the bottom again. When you start at the top you don't need to grip with your fingers. You just apply enough pressure with the palm of your hand to turn the wheel. And as you turn the wheel your hand is able to stay in a more natural position. This gives you more freedom to quickly respond to necessary corrections. I know it feels counterintuitive when you first start but with practice it works.
I am going to give this a try next time with hand at the top of wheel . You are right about having to reposition your hand at least for me . Thankyou for another way . Pat
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:05 PM   #16
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I use the palm-down-at-the-bottom method (using the mirrors!) and have never had a situation where my arm gets twisted all the way to the top. Maybe it's because I'm always backing so slowly that I don't have to react quickly to any situation. It's a little adjustment here and a little adjustment there and--voila--I'm good. No panic reactions or contorted arms for me.
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I am going to give this a try next time with hand at the top of wheel . You are right about having to reposition your hand at least for me.
Definitely a few variables at play. Turning radius of tow vehicle and trailer length are obvious factors. A shorter, single axle 15' will react much quicker to steering inputs than a longer, tandem axle 19'. To have the same influence on the trailer Pat needs to cut his wheel harder.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:43 PM   #17
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Laura - just curious where you are going for driving lessons?
Thanks for asking. BTW, I'm not reading any of the instructions on how to back as I'm just waiting for the lessons to see what happens.

I'm taking them through RV Driving School. They offer two 4 hour lessons, one per day. They feel that works for not getting the lessonee (new word for the day, I think) overwhelmed. Plus, you can come back the second day and get more instruction, if you need it, on something from the first day.

I think they're out of Florida or some such, but they have instructors all over the country. Some are just for motorhomes, while others do 'em all. My instructor works out of Sequim, so I'm heading over there next month.

I did a bunch of research on the driving schools, as well as emailing them. There is a place in the Seattle area, but they don't offer them this time of year and I needed them before they started them again.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:20 PM   #18
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I have to back around a corner to tuck my 21 into a 14 ft wide storage bay in my shop. I lay down pvc pipes aligned with the side walls as a guide to get things lined up before I commit to backing into the space. Makes for an easier process in spite of having the rear view camera, which I do use once the rear end of the trailer has entered the bay - I have a target mounted on the rear wall of the shop to aim at with the camera once the trailer has made it through the doorway.
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:10 AM   #19
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Which ever way you reverse, take it slow. And when things start to go awry, stop, pull forward enough to straighten tow and trailer, and slowly begin again.
And, check around your front fenders for obstructions that you need to avoid as the tow vehicle turns.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:36 AM   #20
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I'm not reading any of the instructions on how to back as I'm just waiting for the lessons to see what happens.

I'm taking them through RV Driving School. They offer two 4 hour lessons, one per day. They feel that works for not getting the lessonee (new word for the day, I think) overwhelmed. Plus, you can come back the second day and get more instruction, if you need it, on something from the first day.
I think this is very wise. Much better than getting advise from many who themselves struggle with certain towing nuances.
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