Any Tips on Backing Into Campsites?

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Postby bdosborn » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:21 pm

I was really struggling till I realized I wasn't going far enough past where I wanted to back into. I had to really jackknife the trailer to get even close to where I wanted to be. I started pulling a a couple of trailer lengths past the drive and then it was a much gentler turn to back in.

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Postby S. Heisley » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:28 pm

I'm still learning; but, one tip that my neighbor gave me was, if you tend to over-steer(I do), put just one hand on the steering wheel when you turn it and rest the other hand/arm on the TV door/open window. That does seem to help.
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Postby Maureenm » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:47 pm

I learned with the trial by fire method. On the way to a recent gathering, I missed the turn into the camping area. We were out in the country and I looked for a large spot to turn around and about 2 miles past my missed turn I spotted what I thought was a parking lot that wrapped around the little post office, so I pulled in. It didn't go through, so I had to figure it out then and there. What seemed like a 27 point turn later, I was back on the road. The upside was that I now had enough confidence to try backing into my driveway when I got home. Had a little trouble hitting the sweet spot between the wall of bamboo and a giant rock, but I made it. It's kinda like a bike, once you get the feel of it.....So, keep trying!
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Postby Stealth TDI » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:53 pm

If you have a choice and can control where you park, choose a side that'll let you back the trailer in the direction of the driver's side. In other words, pass the site along your left, then back it in. It's easier to watch the back of the trailer that way. But practice both ways so you're not caught off guard at the site. I learned to back my trailer in a high school parking lot after hours. No cones needed. I used the painted stripes.

Even after 13 years of experience with the same TV/trailer combo, I still find myself needing to pull forward and try again from time to time. Short trailers do cross-up quickly and sometimes just need a couple of adjustments, especially when doing some real "stunt parking" (see here and here). So, as stated, go slow.

Good Luck!
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Postby Maureenm » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:53 pm

Very impressive! :applause:
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Postby Gary and Cheri » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:44 am

Lil,

Congrats on the new to you trailer. Cheri and I love those Scamps and always point them out to each other. Really looking forward to seeing your new toy.

When we get to our camp site we always get out and walk it. Not every site is flat and some have dips and other areas that can make placement of the trailer difficult. After we decide where the trailer should be Cheri usually stands where we want the driver side wheel of the trailer. I find having a target to referance is very helpful. It also helps when she yells "Stop".

Without a helper I often place an object on the ground, usually a stone or branch, etc.

See you in the spring, Lil.

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Last edited by Gary and Cheri on Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby b.bodemer » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:04 pm

Learn the Scoop!

http://longlonghoneymoon.com/2010/03/vi ... -up-an-rv/

Fun video to watch.
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Postby CAJUN LADY » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:22 pm

Take Your Time! It's not that hard - just take your time and make small turns with the steering wheel. I bought some mirror extenders from Camping World to help see vehicles behind the camper and it helped me see better when backing up. Don't sweat it if you have to pull forward several times...practice makes perfect! ;)
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:36 pm

I especially like the results of the first attempt.

Of course it had to be a woman driver :lol: :lol: :lol:

Truce just kiddin' :peace:
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Postby mcspin50 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:08 pm

Got home from work, hitched up the Scamp, drove over to my friend's house to show it off. She used to be a DNR enforcement officer, so was really good at backing up a trailer to get her boat in and out of lakes. She had her grandkids over, so couldn't get away to help me practice. :(

I drove all over town (pop. 1,250) to both schools and the churches. Forgot that Wednesday night is church night. Every parking lot had people and cars.
Drove home and left the trailer hitched to my van. Will take it to Perham tomorrow ('cause that's where my shop is) and practice there. They have more and bigger parking lots.

Thanks to all of you for your input! :applause: Love that Swoop (oops...s/b Scoop) video!
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Postby mcspin50 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:14 pm

Found a church parking lot and picked a spot to back into. That Scoop video had me thinking this'd be a piece of cake...NOT! I found it incredibly easy to jackknife the Scamp.
So then I thought I'll just try to back up straight. Going slo-o-w-wly, it took many tries to keep it straight more than 5-10 feet. Made it halfway across the parking lot finally once. The trailer seemed to want to go left very easily (it has a short tongue), then when I'd steer right it would just keep going left. Maybe I'm getting the trailer and the car mixed up, you know, thinking right for the car instead of the trailer.
I know, practice, practice, slow, practice, slow, practice. There's always tomorrow night.
Or, if the campground isn't very busy, I'll just park in the road and bring a REALLY long extension cord. :twisted: :lol:
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Postby CAJUN LADY » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:03 am

Don't you worry, you will get the hang of it, I promise you. I've been towing boats, campers and trailers since I was young. I was taught as a teen to back the boat in the water, ride the boat on the trailer and bring it out. It just takes practice, practice, practice. But that doesn't mean I don't have to pull forward, back up, pull forward, turn, pull forward (again!), back up....but I take my time and it works out.

My mirror extenders have helped big time. I can see more on the sides and vehicles directly behind my camper when towing. You just have to gain Confidence. Just be Confident and stayCool! :thumbsup:
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Postby mcspin50 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:51 am

Thanks, Becca. I know it'll just take time and...yes, practice to get this down. I teach people to spin wool fiber into yarn and I'm always telling them the same thing...it just takes practice. Keep patient and I like what you say about confidence.
BTW I do have mirror extenders that I just mounted on the minivan, and they do help with seeing cars behind and beside.
Thanks again...
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Postby slowcowboy » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:35 am

who cares how many times you have to pull ahead. you on your own time.
and no one is testing you to see if you can get backed into the camp ground spot.

its way normal to pull up to straighten out and if you do it for 15 to 20 minutes to get in there and you make it in there with out a wreck or smashing the camper.

no one will grade you on it.

feel free to take as many pull ups as you need.

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Postby eaglesdare » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:56 am

well at least you are trying. as said above with practice you will get it.

but i must say that i gave a chuckle from your description. sort of reminded me of my first time backing here in my own yard. i finally told my hubby that at least i got it into the back yard, now putting it where you want it is up to you.
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