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Old 12-23-2014, 10:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Belbein View Post
how to back my 22 Sport into my very narrow driveway, downhill, off a very narrow residential street, when I couldn't see the end of my trailer or the wheels. After taking all of your advice, and after much cursing, yelling at my long-suffering spouse, backing and filling, running up on the opposite curb, destroying two mail box posts, seriously injuring one telephone pole, and putting some very nice scratches in my shiny aluminum ...
... today I backed that sucker in, first time, shloooop!
While the guy in the video below does have the advantage of a fairly wide residential street, he also has the challenge of a very narrow driveway with an adjacent palm tree. The 7-minute video was a good reminder about small, slow adjustments... very impressive maneuvering:

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Old 12-23-2014, 12:17 PM   #16
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Sure. Go ahead and get a 25'. I can't imagine it would be any more difficult to back in than the 22".
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:36 PM   #17
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congratulations, backing is freaking hard

Many years ago, I was promoted from my job as silo builder to driver of a delivery semi. I had little experience with trucks, some small amount in the army deuce and a half's. The experienced driver was to train me for a few days, but didn't show up for work. They sent me out on my own, with another driver in the other semi and a cb radio so he could advise. Fortunately the first farm was a drive thru delivery. That night when we got back, we spent an hour in the shop yard with me learning backing. Semi's are easy, 23 ft Airstreams on a small vehicle much harder. After the first time of getting the trailer in our tight driveway, my spouse and I talked about signals and where the trailer pivots. We never went to a school parking lot to and learn, so it took several extended trips over the next year to learn the trailer and each other. Now I hit our narrow 23 ft. long driveway square within a couple of attempts and I credit her guidance having gotten much better and both understanding each other much better.
Advice, find a open parking lot (schools on weekends often work) take a couple of plastic garbage cans as markers and practice until comfortable. It is do-able, but takes practice. Makes that part of Airstreaming fun also-- kind of like target practice for backing.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:29 PM   #18
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To save both the driver and the guider (is that even a word), get a set of walky-talky's , the driver listens to the directions while the guide is free to give verbal directions. Works great when there is a campground full of looky-loos who just love to watch someone take several attempts to back into a tight spot.
I am pretty good at backing but I still rely on my wife to guide me back far enough and close enough without hitting anything.
I once backed up a 1/4 mile dirt twisting laneway when GPS lead us wrong. The lane was tree lined and had a birch tree leaning over the road, on the door side. With her help, I made it all the way out without hitting anything with either the trailer or the front of my truck ( although it was close)
Communications-- that's the key ( and Scotch after)
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:53 PM   #19
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Guider = spotter? Cell phones...
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:11 PM   #20
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I know of an old Airstream couple who took a novel approach to backing their huge motorhome: she was in the driver's seat watching her husband who was giving the instructions. She patiently applied his instructions and parked exactly where/how he told her.


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Old 12-23-2014, 02:35 PM   #21
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I coached a lady in a big 5th wheel and Ford 350 dually into a small campsite. At the end, all 4 stabilizers were on the pad, and there was a little more pavement on the side of the trailer with the entry door. This was on one attempt. It don't git no better 'n 'at.
Pull forward.
Cut left.
Cut right.
Cut right hard.
Straighten out, now.
Straight back.
You're in.
Put in park.
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:40 PM   #22
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Tight work!!
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:45 PM   #23
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As far as spotters go, I want them to do TWO things for me and ONLY TWO THINGS, they are to stay where I can see them, and yell.real loud if I am about to hit something.

Other than that I would rather get out and look for myself where I am, and where I am going.

It becomes too confusing otherwise.

(I.e. "I didn't mean for you to turn the wheel to the left, but to move the trailer to the left", etc. )



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Old 12-23-2014, 03:30 PM   #24
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Congratulations also ! But you probably could have shortened the learning curve if you left the wife out of it . After 34 years I'm still trying to teach mine that the shiny things on car doors are mirrors and that when you use them you don't hit things like gas islands.
Did you just go there? You didn't just go there. I know you didn't.

Oh. Maybe your wife doesn't read this site?
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ragin-cajun View Post
I know of an old Airstream couple who took a novel approach to backing their huge motorhome: she was in the driver's seat watching her husband who was giving the instructions. She patiently applied his instructions and parked exactly where/how he told her.


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Not buying it. There's just too much about this story I don't believe. (1) that they were an old couple, given the intra-spousal "instructions" it describes; (2) that the husband let her drive; (3) that she was watching her husband; (4) that he was giving instructions; and most of all: "that she applied his instructions and parked exactly where/how he told her." Nuh-uh. NFW.

Was her name "Nessie"? His, "Sasquatch"?
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:35 PM   #26
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It becomes too confusing otherwise.
"Not that left, the OTHER left. No, I mean, the OTHER OTHER left."
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:39 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ghatfield View Post
While the guy in the video below does have the advantage of a fairly wide residential street, he also has the challenge of a very narrow driveway with an adjacent palm tree. The 7-minute video was a good reminder about small, slow adjustments... very impressive maneuvering:

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Old 12-23-2014, 03:48 PM   #28
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I was quite upset at being cursed at
This has nothing to do with backing, but it does have to do with being cursed at. I was pulling into Costco one day, sans trailer. As I pulled by the entrance, I saw a friend of ours walking out. She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. I tooted at her, she came over to say hi, and then she proceeded to unload for about 1/2 hour, leaning in my window, about how bad her day was, with chemo and traffic and nausea and so forth. She really needed to vent, so, even though I was blocking a lane of traffic, I couldn't really move. I kept waiting for her to pause, so I could suggest we move. But she didn't even take a breath--on and on. So while she's in the middle of it, this woman in a BMW (no comment) behind me finally pulled around, rolled down her window, and yelled, "You're right in the middle of traffic. You a--hole." And she drove off. Which is to say, she found a parking space right in my eyesight, parked her car, and went into the store. The thing is, she was was right: I was being an a----le, sludging up traffic. But ... come on, what was more important, her getting her BMW parked or my friend having a little relief from her miserable day and possibly fatal disease. (I am happy to report that her car did not get keyed, her tires were not slashed, and I did not leave her a nasty note. Not because I am mature, but because my wife was with me, and she does not approve of self-help.)
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