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Old 12-31-2014, 03:08 PM   #15
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1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
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I have been backing trailers and farm wagons for 70 yrs.. I always use power mirrors, helps when on blind side. When I put AS away for winter I have 10 ft. wide door backing to dark inside have person stand & watch side clearance, if I can't see them I stop, same as for campground. If I need help I tell them to stand at left rear corner of where will be spotted, if they go out of site I stop.... This is old truckers trick to be spot on especly at construction sites. Most state parks laid out to back in psgr. side, I go wrong way for driver side, but some times I do blind side to maybe show off a little.

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Old 01-02-2015, 07:44 AM   #16
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Swoop Troubles - Experience and suggestions here have been a big help but I'm still having a problem with the "swoop" move. I can't seem to get the rear of my AS (25' Flying Cloud) in the right position to start with. How far away from the target site should you be when you head your TV into it (driver side) to start the swoop and how much of a hard turn back out (to the right) should you make to get the trailer positioned correctly to back up (if I'm making myself clear)? Also, when I make the first "jack knife" move to back the AS up into the site, I find it tough to correct as i continue to back into the site...maybe I just need a lot more practice. Thoughts? Thanks.

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Old 01-02-2015, 07:47 AM   #17
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I mean the "Scoop" move - maybe that's my problem - LOL!
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:52 AM   #18
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I start when the front of the tow vehicle is a couple of feet from the site. My problem was not going far enough past the site with the tow vehicle after doing the swoop. I now shoot for the trailer axle to be at the far edge of the site I am backing into when I stop the swoop.

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Old 01-02-2015, 07:53 AM   #19
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I wish I could give you specifics - sadly, we're still figuring it out empirically by doing it, walking around the trailer, as we go, and backing slowly it into position. Best thing, probably, is to practice in a big empty parking lot from time to time until it all comes a bit more naturally.

Oh, and on the turns as you back in, easy does it. Small adjustments in steering are usually more helpful than sharp dramatic turns. Again, with practice this should become a bit more clear.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:06 AM   #20
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Thanks, C and SM, I will keep practicing.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:14 AM   #21
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A 100' length of ⅜" yellow propalene rope can be laid out on the ground as a tracking tool for the inboard wheels the first few parking exercises.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:26 AM   #22
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Three of years of trailer ownership and I am still a source of entertainment when attempting to back into a tight spot. I am not too proud to except quality assistance. I say quality assistance because some helpfull neighbors seem to have less skill than I do.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:37 AM   #23
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I don't worry over it. If it takes me numerous tries then so be it. On some days I get in the first time. On others, not so.

Backing is the main source of damage to a truck trailer combination in that industry. For us I'd say that great mirrors, clean glass and not being tired from a long day are all priorities.

Walk it off beforehand.

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Old 01-02-2015, 10:34 AM   #24
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No doubt about it.....backing an Airstream into a site anywhere other than at a rally brings out all the lookers. They expect a perfect show. After all, we are the elite fleet

Even on your best day, at an ideal site, things can go heywire.

As Slowmover said, don't sweat it. Take your time, as much as you need.

Soon you will kicked back, 3 clicks in your reclining chair, sipping a cool one, admiring your pretty work.

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Old 01-02-2015, 10:45 AM   #25
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Wow. I'm taking a lot of comfort in this thread. It's good to know that I'm not alone (and when I'm backing in I usually am).

Had a backup camera installed this week, hoping that relieves some of the anxiety.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:07 PM   #26
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When you "jack-knife" your rig, you have to learn to anticipate a little ahead of time on when to begin correcting. Otherwise you'll lock up and haffta pull forward. I'd guess don't go further than about 45 ( ____/ ) degrees before starting to correct. (Yeah, I know that's more than 45*, but I'm limited to what I have to work with here)
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:49 PM   #27
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Backing into a spot

Oh, and if there are two of you: We have found we're the most successful at parking when my spouse is the driver and I am the walker-arounder / signaller. Even so, at some points in the process it works best when she climbs out and we walk it together before she hops back in the cab. Until you experiment, you won't know which arrangement of people works the best for you, and the results may surprise you.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:57 PM   #28
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An admission:

I watched all of the yoloho videos before picking up our AS 11/2013 and I was aware of "the scoop"...but my own experience so far with my 30 foot trailer at most campgrounds so far is that it does not benefit me.

The roads around campgrounds in state parks are often very narrow, so there is no where really to scoop in the first place, but even if there was, I doubt it would be all that much help when the sites are situated at 45 (ish) degree angles to the road?

In their youtube video they depict the maneuver when backing into a spot 90 degrees to your plane of travel like in a walmart parking lot (or like most anyway) - in that case the swoop sets you up with a better starting angle it seems?

I had backed my bass boat for years before the 30 foot AS, and somehow that AS backing has just been far far more predictable and easy, albeit a tad more intimidating.

I think knowing when to correct the "jack-knife" take a while, I messed that up with my boat many times before I got the with my 30 foot AS, even if I miss the timing a bit, it did not move much when I go to correct it, so its great...but with my boat if you missed it, you had to pull up every time.

The thing I am still trying to learn about tricky backing in the AS that I never really learned or had to learn with the smaller trailer is what my brother some months back was showing me and it had to do with making corrections when pulling seems very counter intuitive to me, but I am starting to get it...if you are at an angle between TV and AS, and want to make a correction and you have little room, he started to show me how at times depending on the scenario, you often benefit from pulling up just a bit and turning the other way that is not intuitive and you use the tail end of the truck to swing the trailer in the direction you want it to start off as you back up again....hmm...not sure that made sense...surely there is a youtube video about this, as when I saw it in action I was impressed..I may be saying it all wrong and someone can explain it better...alls I know is that I have used it 5-6 times now and it helped.

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