Any Tips on Backing Into Campsites?

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Any Tips on Backing Into Campsites?

Postby mcspin50 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:40 pm

Hello ladies and gents,
The bad news....I'm not done building my teardrop. :(
The good news...I bought an '84 Scamp to use until I get my teardrop built. And, gosh, it's cute! (see pic below in sig line) :)

The good news...I'm going to take it camping for the second time this weekend at Crow Wing State Park.
The bad news...This state park doesn't have any pull-through sites. I'm going to have to back it into a campsite. :baby: :? :scratchthinking:

Do you have any tips on how I can become an competent backer-upper in 3 days? I have some blaze orange construction pylon thingies that I can use to mimic a campsite. Just have to find a secluded spot to set them up so I don't embarrass myself with an audience. :oops:

All hints and advice greatfully appreciated!
Last edited by mcspin50 on Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby eaglesdare » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:50 pm

start backing slowly, grab the wheel at the bottom and turn the wheel the direction you want to turn the trailer.
if you grab the wheel from the top, you have to turn the wheel the opposite direction you want to turn.

go slow and you will get the hang of it, you also might have to pull forward and straighten out and try again. just be patient and you will get it.
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Hold the wheel at the bottom

Postby Alfred » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:17 pm

As Louella said above, best advice I was given was to hold the wheel at the bottom and turn in the direction you want the camper to go.

Enjoy the camping!

AL :thumbsup:
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How we built a 5x8 camper for a family of 5, using a utility trailer with an incorporated bunk bed for the kids.
From plain trailer to campground!

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Postby TheBizMan » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:27 pm

As stated....go slow. If the trailer isn't going the way you want or is going too far, then pull forward and try again. Just takes practice and even the best ones mess up sometimes. DON'T give up. You CAN do it.
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Postby GuitarPhotog » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:06 pm

I spent a Sunday afternoon in a deserted office complex parking lot practicing both backing into a parking spot, but also just backing in a straight line.

As everyone advises, go slow and if it's not going where you want, pull up and try again, slowly.

It takes practice, but after a few trips you'll be putting it in the narrowest slots you can find, just because you can :)

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Postby Gaelen » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:10 pm

Agree with GuitarPhotog - find a well-lit deserted parking lot and bring along your orange pylons and just practice, practice, practice.
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Postby mcspin50 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:10 pm

Thanks all! I knew I'd read something about hand at the bottom of the wheel, but couldn't remember the rest.

So, just to help me and my dyslexic brain, if I have my right hand on the bottom and want the trailer to go right, I move my hand towards the right, right? :D
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Postby slowcowboy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:19 pm

ladys here is how us truckers do it.

we use only our side mirrors. we don't hold the steering wheel to long in one place and we try to miminize out movements on the steer wheel.

we use the palm of our hand pressed against the steer wheel to turn it like a big nob attached to it. and we are used to getting with it on a steering wheel by spinning it fast if we have to.

what it takes more than any thing is just lots and lots of practice.

and the best way to do this is with NO ONE arround!

highly important. you don't need pressure when your learning to back up.

and a bad place to learn is a camp ground with lots of people watching and wanting you to hurry up and get out of there way.

but you can' t substute practice or backing a trailer on a normal basis.

heres another suggestion. the teardrop is so light its easy to move by hand.

get a rubber tired castor wheel on the end of the trailer jack and unhitch the teardrop it wieghs about nothing.

let the trailer tongue sit or rest on the rubber tired castor wheel.

then get your hubby to help you push the trailer into your camp site.

it should not be that hard to move unless the ground is full of large holes.

backing takes time to learn and it takes a lot of practice in a NON stress situation.

stress makes it a lot worse.

its not a good idea after dark to learn to back a trailer.

if you do have to back in after dark to a camp site.

back up lights on the back end of your teardrops are a very handy tool


It beats wify back there waving a flashlight around.

slow.
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Postby slowcowboy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:29 pm

another idea is the driving course. its how a trucker gets a commericla driving licences and its the main part of the test.

you can substute cones with anything. buckets flower pots whatever.

lay them out like your camp site in a empty feild or lot. any where you can get some space with no one to distract you.

spend some days out there practicing backing into your campsite.

lots of these campsites are layed out so you have to back in on a 90 degrea angle and this is one of the hardest backing manuvers in a trucking world or any trailer situtaions.

the only way to do this is practice.

get a commerical drivers study manaul from your drives licensce place and just study the backing parts of it on the back pages.

it has great inforamton on backing a trailer.

don't wory about the rest of it or becoming a trucker just read the information giving on help on backing a trailer.

the rest is just days of practice and getting fustrated and mad.

it takes time and experance and the best way is just to practice and get used to doing it.

not everyone grows up backing a trailer and a little practice on a homemade cources helps a lot.

you will also over the course of camping years get more practice when you back into your campgrounds.

run a few flower pots over on the practice home made feild and get out and look at it.

laugh at yourself and go try again.

try backing up inch by inch. Hope you have a automtic in your tow vehcile as Yes this does get hard on clutches.

back up in the lowest creep gear you can get.

a lot of us farmers and ranchers put our four wheel drive pickups in four low in the four wheel drive ranges to get the lowest backup gear we can creep back in to back up a horse trailer.

if you have 4 wheel put it in 4 low and use the creepest geear you can inch back with.

it makes a heck of a diffrence.

on a semi this is low range.
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
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Postby mcspin50 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:47 pm

slowcowboy wrote:heres another suggestion. the teardrop is so light its easy to move by hand.

get a rubber tired castor wheel on the end of the trailer jack and unhitch the teardrop it wieghs about nothing.

let the trailer tongue sit or rest on the rubber tired castor wheel.

then get your hubby to help you push the trailer into your camp site.
slow.


Wouldn't that be like cheating?? :lol: :lol:

Thanks for all your good suggestions, slow.
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Postby CliffinGA » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:15 pm

Lil + what they all said, but I have 2 things I used to teach my wife when learning to back up. First like they said instead of finding a secluded area just go to nearest Wal-mart or mall and do it at night! Reason is if you learn at night to back into a parking space then day time in a campsite is easy plus less people out to bug you at night. 2 like slow said get iy close and you can push it in place, with some tears and tt the tongue is short so it makes it a pain to back in, it jack knifes like crazy when you try to back in. My wife learned in 1 night and has done it twice since then so she could make sure she had it she said :lol:. Good luck :thumbsup:

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Postby madjack » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:42 pm

...as the others said, hand on bottom of wheel...move hand in direction you want trailer to go...go slow...make all adjustments in SMALL increments...move hand a little, as soon as trailer starts moving in wanted direction, move hand back to center...go slow...short trailers move fast so, make small movements of hand and return...go slow...slow movements of hand...go slow...as trailer starts going in wanted direction, correct the other way soon...go slow, small corrections and adjustments, don't wait too long to get vehicle back in line with trailer...go slow...small adjustments and did I say to go slowly...an empty WalMart parking lot is an excellent spot to start your training...and make small adjustments and GO SLOW!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Miriam C. » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:59 pm

:thumbsup: What they said but a small trick:
Turn your mirror, the one on the inside curve, so you can see the end of the trailer and the drive. Pick a line and have the camper corner follow it! Crank the steering wheel hard and let off as the camper comes around. Slow!!!!!!!! If you want the corner to go right, with your hand on the bottom, take it to the right......

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Postby canned o minimum » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:17 pm

Well.. "I" have a couple a ideas fer ya...the first has already been stated.. Put a wheel on the tongue jack !! Cheating ?? NO WAY ! It'll keep the corners of yer trailer AND yer TV straight( no dents)

"I" have one a them "suicide" knobs on ALL of my vehicles JUS FER backin up trailers !!! Jus hand on the KNOB to turn the steering wheel...


"I" have been drivin trucks and trailers fer 34 years so it's second nature fer me !

That Scamp is very lite.. jus put a wheel on that tongue jack and push that thang if ya hafta...Whatever is SAFEST fer YOU !

That doesn't mean ya can't practice the backing up in a parkin lot tho...

Jus remember, the KEY word is SLOW !!!
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Postby canned o minimum » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:18 pm

Well.. "I" have a couple a ideas fer ya...the first has already been stated.. Put a wheel on the tongue jack !! Cheating ?? NO WAY ! It'll keep the corners of yer trailer AND yer TV straight( no dents)

"I" have one a them "suicide" knobs on ALL of my vehicles JUS FER backin up trailers !!! Jus hand on the KNOB to turn the steering wheel...


"I" have been drivin trucks and trailers fer 34 years so it's second nature fer me !

That Scamp is very lite.. jus put a wheel on that tongue jack and push that thang if ya hafta...Whatever is SAFEST fer YOU !

That doesn't mean ya can't practice the backing up in a parkin lot tho...

Jus remember, the KEY word is SLOW !!!
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