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

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

Postby GerryS » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:29 pm

There's one of our score card holders now! Hi Bob! I'll be there in a minute :)
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby catinmoon » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:42 pm

Ha, the scoop is great. I can't recall ever being in that situation (ie the backin campsites all in a row) but the principle will likely come in handy. And I love the car they are towing their trailer with.

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

Postby Jim91303 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:09 pm

Shorter the trailer ... Turn in small increments and go slow
Hand on bottom of steering wheel and use mirrors
If you look back out the window move hand to top of steering wheel.

Practice in large open areas .....
1) just back straight
2) once ok at keeping it straight , start wide circles in reverse ... Both directions
3) once you can do 2 controlled circles in each direction .... Do a long ~~~~~ wave pattern
At this point you should have good control ..... Now set up some plastic trash cans to act as other cars... Trees what ever and back into your set up
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby joer1142 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:20 pm

Put your hand palm down on the bottom of your steering wheel, looking over your right shoulder start backing up. whichever direction you want your trailer to go point your hand on the wheel that direction. his will turn your front wheel in the opposite direction and in turn move the trailer in the correct direction as to where you want it to go.

catinmoon wrote:HI Folks,
Newbie here. I am the new proud owner of a hand built teardrop (not built by me). My boyfriend and I towed it from it's birthplace in Nebraska back here to So. Cal. I am fine to drive and turn but... it has been MANY YEARS since I towed a trailer (U haul type 5x8) and even though I had the hang then of backing the trailer, I don't seem to remember how to ride the bike, so to speak.

Do you have hints, rules of thumb, suggestions for me about backing a trailer of this size? I would love to hear your suggestions. I live in a fairly rural place so I can find wide open spaces to practice, but I'm the type who wants to have some fallback concepts so I can reason out what I am doing rather than just go and start driving backwards and hope I don't do the dreaded "jack knife".

I am pulling the trailer with a 2004 Toyota Tacoma (the smaller version than the current model) with an extra cab, so the truck while not enormous is a bit long compared to the trailer.

Thanks for any ideas.
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby mikeschn » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:23 pm

What joer1142 said! :thumbsup:

The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby katiehallsmith » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:03 pm

I have to back my trailer up by myself with no spotter, since my kids are pretty young. The "hand at the bottom of the steering wheel" trick NEVER worked for me. For whatever reason, it just didn't click. What does work for me is to not use my mirrors, but to roll the window down and look back over my shoulder at the actual trailer. Practice a lot and it will get to be second nature. Remember that small movements with your steering wheel translate to larger movements back on the trailer. Never be ashamed to get out and eyeball things. I sometimes have to get in and out 20 times, especially when hitching.

good luck!
Single mom to two adventurous kids, planning to build a teardrop trailer to head west to the national parks!
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby Sierraguy » Mon May 12, 2014 8:59 pm

Like katie I do better with looking over my shoulder, forget the mirrors and take lots of time. Eventually I get it done but my neck is jacked up by the time I finish.
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Re: Backing a Trailer 101 -- do you have hints for me?

Postby MtnDon » Mon May 12, 2014 9:27 pm

TD's by their design can more difficult to back up than longer trailers. If their length from ball to trailer axle axle is significantly less than the wheelbase of the TV they can quickly quickly veer too far off to one side to recover without running out of space. Don't know if that knowledge helps anyone or not, but maybe knowing a TD is more difficult than a trailer 2x as long might make you feel better. A longer ball to trailer axle distance also makes the trailer easier to see in side mirrors. And I love my mirrors; couldn't reverse nearly as well w/o them.
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