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Old 04-12-2004, 08:48 AM   #1
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Reversing travel trailor

Watched our neigbhor effortlessly reverse his travel trailor down a winding and narrow driveway, and amazingly staying within inches of the driveway edge. Tip of the day, he removed his sway bars to allow more ease on the hair pin turns. We had difficulty reversing our AS into our driveway after picking it up from the dealer, gave up and pulled it into our driveway straight in.

Good luck to all on reversing, we are going to try our neighbors advice.

Cheerios,
Gail
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:15 AM   #2
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gail

practice practice practice!

my neighbors are always amazed when i back our excella into our driveway. go out to a large empty parking lot and try backing into unoccupied stalls.

you will get the hang of it after a while!

also, go to a sporting goods store or radio shack and pick up a pair of inexpensive 2 way frs radios. it really helps to have a spotter watching the rear of the trailer when backing in tight spots. very helpful when the rear of the trailer is out of sight in your mirrors.

last i checked the radios run around 30 bucks, sure lot cheaper than a dent in the rear of the trailer! and you can avoid lots of embarassment at the campground when you run over the water spigot or the electrical pedistal!

john
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titu & Gail Ahmed
We had difficulty reversing our AS into our driveway after picking it up from the dealer, gave up and pulled it into our driveway straight in.
Here is what I would try. Find an empty parking lot. Using a couple of orange plastic pails I would use them as obstacles and attempt to back into the gap/slot. This works to allow you try it without damaging the trailer or your landscaping. You can also use the lines in the lot to get it placed properly. This kind of practice will pay off when you have to back into a narrow slot in a state park or campground.
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:41 AM   #4
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John & Brett

Do either of you guys remove your sway bars before reversing into a tight spot? According to my neighbor it gives you more control and flexibility by removing the sway bars. He was given this advice when he purchased his travel trailor recently by the dealer.

Cheerios,
Gail
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Old 04-12-2004, 10:32 AM   #5
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I would loosen or remove the sway control only to avoid the possibility of damaging the sway control. Having it off will allow the trailer to pivot faster and makes it easier to back into a tight spot. But once in a while I would forget to remove it and I could not tell the difference.
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Old 04-12-2004, 11:45 AM   #6
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same same

gail

i have had the experience as brett. i do remove my load bars just to give the rear end more ground clearance, avoiding dragging the trailer. the street in front of my house has quite a crown in it.

i have backed it many tight spots and never really noticed a big difference with or without.

john
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:30 PM   #7
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Go slow and hands at bottom of steering wheel, turn wheel the direction you want the trailer to back. Practice with orange safety cones as you can run over them and they pop back into shape and will not harm trailer. They also help guide you backing if you are solo and don't have a spotter.

Only took off the sway bar when I backed up and could be very accurate after practice.
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:31 PM   #8
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Reversing travel trailor

Greetings Gail!

There is an option available for a number of truck-based tow vehicles that can make getting into tight spaces a bit easier. My Airstream dealer offered to install a front receiver on my Suburban when I first moved to my current residence near the Quad Cities - - my driveway is bounded on one side by a utility pole and by a street sign on the other - - I had visions of not being able to hit the narrow window between the obstacles while avoiding traffic on the street which is the main approach route to our county hospital's emergency room. The idea is that by switching the ball mount to the front that it is easier to push the trailer into position rather than backing the trailer into position. As it turned out, I didn't find the positioning to be as difficult to maneuver as anticipated so didn't opt for the front receiver.

This isn't a solution to every problem, but is one that was recommended to me when taking into consideration that I am a Free Wheeler and I needed to be able to clear the street beside my house as quickly and efficiently as possible. One of the reasons that I went to the Reese Dual Cam Sway control (that is part of the Reese Straight Line Hitch) is that it did away with the constant headache of adjusting and removing/replacing the friction sway control - - the trailers both back with full and easy control with the hitch setup for its regular towing routine.

Good luck with your parking considerations!

Kevin
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dee
Go slow and hands at bottom of steering wheel, turn wheel the direction you want the trailer to back. Practice with orange safety cones as you can run over them and they pop back into shape and will not harm trailer. They also help guide you backing if you are solo and don't have a spotter.

Only took off the sway bar when I backed up and could be very accurate after practice.
This is sound advise. It's the system I use, and it works well. I also recommend removing the weight distribution/sway control bars prior to any severe-angle backing. Aside from the benefits as described, they are MUCH easier to remove when the TV and trailer are straight. If you're backing into a spot where the TV ends up at an angle to the trailer, it can be a real challenge to get the WD bars disengaged, particularly on the Reese hitches.

Roger
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Old 04-13-2004, 09:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
There is an option available for a number of truck-based tow vehicles that can make getting into tight spaces a bit easier. My Airstream dealer offered to install a front receiver on my Suburban
I had a front front receiver installed on my old truck just for this reason. I started to worry about the weight on the front axle as I was lowering the trailer onto the receiver the first time. I didn't think it was designed for that weight because it was making scary noises and kept lowering so I stopped. It would probably ok for a lighter trailer than my 25' Safari. I never did need it as I became very accurate backing up.
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Old 04-13-2004, 11:17 AM   #11
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Thanks

Thanks to all for the reversing advice. We plan to practice, practice, practice. Registered our TT today and got our plate, so now we can put her on the road.

Thanks again to all,
Gail
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Old 04-13-2004, 03:19 PM   #12
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Gail, when doing your practice, bear in mind the possible damage to the transmission of the tow vehicle. If your tow vehicle has auto trans, a transmission fluid temperature gauge is a sound investment, particularly if fitted to the hot output line between the tranny and the cooler. When repeatedly manouvering a trailer at slow speeds, the slippage in the torque converter will rapidly heat the fluid to over 200 degrees, and then you're asking for trouble. With a gauge, you know when it's time to put the trans into neutral for a few minutes to allow the fluid to cool down. With a manual trans, you'll know by the smell of burning clutch lining! Have fun! Nick.
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