Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby eamarquardt » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:10 pm

Back the trailer not the vehicle. Pay attention to the front of the vehicle and the angle of the trailer.

Cheers,

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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby catinmoon » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:16 am

thanks again to everyone for the replies. I hope to get out and practice this weekend. In the meantime, I've been thinking about the suggestions as I back up my station wagon, in anticipation.

BEst,
Stephanie
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby Corwin C » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:09 pm

#1 best suggestion of all ...

Find a safe place with no audience/distractions/hazards and PRACTICE. It really isn't hard, just takes time to figure out how moving the steering wheel makes the trailer move. Go slowly both in speed and moving the steering wheel. Use ALL of your mirrors. These short-coupled trailers don't take much to make them swing to one side or the other, some will react immediately, others might take a few feet. Also, don't be intimidated or frustrated if you have to pull ahead and straighten things out or even start over. Every TV/trailer/driver combination is a little different. If one is available, learning with a long trailer seems to be easier for most people. Use what works for you. I had a friend that was having difficulties push a shopping cart backwards for a while to teach him how moving the "tongue" (front of the cart) makes the "trailer" (back of the cart) move. Backing significant distances, around corners, among obstacles, and into narrow spaces is definitely possible if you are willing to take the time to practice and learn.
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby Wolffarmer » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:48 pm

Two things I have not noticed any one mentioned. Not that I have read every thing with a fine tooth comb.

First. before you start backing up know what land marks should be on your left and on your right. Sounds straight forward but if you only have one land mark, you might just get it on the wrong side.

Two. Every correction needs to be canceled at some time. I have found that they almost always need to be canceled before you think they should be.

You should see the rigs I drive at work. Old beat to crap over the road trucks made into manure hauling trucks. And I often pull a trailer when we go to and from jobs. Just did that today. Pulled a car hauler with a pickup on it so we can get back home. Sometimes I drive a Semi and trailer. Mostly in harvest. In beet harvest often have to back up to a pillar in the dark with lights shinning in your eyes. It is great joy after driving about 10-12 hours.

Randy
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby DMcCam » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:04 am

Great thread! One more thing to add, keep in mind your tow vehicle's nose. A friend of mine was backing in his trailer into a narrow space with his daughter spotting. They were so focused on the trailer that they forgot about the nose of the TV and crunch, the fender scrapped an obstacle. I can't wait to be one of you who are practicing backing in your trailers.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby Nick Taylor » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:36 pm

I always tell people to go to an empty parking lot and practice but you have to emphasize that you need one without bump stops and to stay away from curbs. The water bottle trick is a great one I'll have to remember.

Just remember, a teardrop meet is not the best place to back up a trailer for the first time unless you really like a lot of attention.
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby asianflava » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:03 pm

Nick Taylor wrote:Just remember, a teardrop meet is not the best place to back up a trailer for the first time unless you really like a lot of attention.


Ira did several years ago, had to get someone else to back it into his slot.
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:37 pm

What worked for me was to " follow the trailer" to go straight. Short trailers like TDs are less forgiving than long trailers, they respond faster, and jackknife easier. I was a master with a 20 foot flatbed I had. I fight with the 8. Foot. TD
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby eggsalad » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:52 pm

Hints:

1] Simply avoid backing your trailer if at all possible.
B] If you find yourself in a situation where you MUST back your trailer, follow the ideas given by all the folks in this thread.
III] If you get frustrated and need to do a short reverse (campsite or driveway), do what I do: just un-hitch the trailer and PUSH! A small tear often has a tongue weight under 100 lb. If you have a tongue jack with a wheel, it becomes even easier.

I move my trailer from the garage to the side yard by hand all the time.
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby citylights » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:47 pm

eggsalad wrote:Hints:

1] Simply avoid backing your trailer if at all possible.
B] If you find yourself in a situation where you MUST back your trailer, follow the ideas given by all the folks in this thread.
III] If you get frustrated and need to do a short reverse (campsite or driveway), do what I do: just un-hitch the trailer and PUSH! A small tear often has a tongue weight under 100 lb. If you have a tongue jack with a wheel, it becomes even easier.

I move my trailer from the garage to the side yard by hand all the time.


I was just thinking how nice that would be. Just unhitch and push. I was thinking that as I was building mine until I got to the day where it was really-really hard to push.

Oh, I can still push it around on the hard, flat, concrete garage... But anything other than that? (Remember, my teardrop pushed me down the driveway and out into the street a few weeks ago.)

Thanks for posting this reminder. I have backed up a few trailers in my time, but as I recall, just about every campsite will be a back up affair. ;)
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby eggsalad » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:55 am

John, I took a look at your build, and I can see what you're talking about! I think your trailer and floor alone weigh more than my whole camper! :lol:

Maybe we'll meet some day at an event around town, and I can show you what real minimalism looks like!

-eggsalad
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby PaulS » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:39 am

The wife and I use a couple of those family radio walkytalkies. They help take all of the yelling out of the situation :thumbsup:
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Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby GerryS » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:37 am

Nick Taylor wrote:Just remember, a teardrop meet is not the best place to back up a trailer for the first time unless you really like a lot of attention.


This is the truth! I am a pilot and the worst place to land are at fly-ins. Because there's always an audience. I keep waiting to see - group of guys with score cards at the end of the runway....even if you grease 70% of the time! know the in those conditions you will bounce 3 times and be 5 feet off center....

I can parallel park with a trailer, I've done it. But some of the camp sites are a challenge even for a seasoned veteran. Speaking for myself, There are sites that are easy then there are the other 98%. The roads are often narrow, there's that one tree right where the bumper needs to swing....and the guy behind you trying to get past. Keep your sense of humor. Getting angry really just makes matters far worse. Never rush. The guy behind you can wait....or just go around and try again.

Now, once you are settled in, open a beverage of your choice and open a lawn chair and wait.....that 5th wheel that just rolled off the sales lot 3 hours ago will be here any minute. If you think you got troubles brother, just wait!
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby citylights » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:27 am

eggsalad wrote:John, I took a look at your build, and I can see what you're talking about! I think your trailer and floor alone weigh more than my whole camper! :lol:

Maybe we'll meet some day at an event around town, and I can show you what real minimalism looks like!

-eggsalad


I learned my lesson. If I ever build another, there will be NO 2x4 or 3/4 plywood involved. I would use sandwich 1/8th inch ply skins and 1 inch foam core walls. The end result would probably be 1/4 the weight of my current tear.

I still need to take my tear in for a weighing. I may have to change out my axel, springs, and tires for heavier rated ones! :cry:
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby bobhenry » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:39 am

I laugh my butt of every time I watch this little video cartoon on backing using the SCOOP method.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLtfrBWzNCw
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