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Old 01-02-2015, 04:41 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
An admission:

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 forward...it 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.
Other than my early attempts, I've not had too much trouble backing up. As I said in an earlier post, that scoop thing will only really work when your access road has a bit of width and, as you say Pharm, that's a luxury you don't always have. The pulling forward and getting the rear of the TV at the right angle for the next rearward move is something you get with a bit of practice. I don't think anyone showed me, but watching what happened to the rear of the trailer as I made steering inputs kind of sorted things out for me. It's a bit like the practice of turning the front wheels of your car the in the opposite direction over the last couple of feet of a solo back-up move; you're just getting ready for the next part of the process and giving yourself a few extra feet in the forward turn.
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:03 PM   #30
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Scoop yes.

Weird thing for me - I STILL confuse myself backing in but I went camping with a friend and was his spotter on a cell phone standing behind his trailer talking him in to the site. I was 100% correct with my instructions (turn the wheel hard left, straighten out, etc). 100%!! I thought to myself - what do I have to remember in my truck when I'm doing this....I still get confused :-(

Taking my time is crucial. I'm lucky sometimes. Other times the neighbors have a blast watching me futz with it. I've been known to take a bow once in a while :-)
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:37 PM   #31
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Other times the neighbors have a blast watching me futz with it. I've been known to take a bow once in a while :-)
That's the way. If you're going to mess up at all, make it memorable! Effortless perfection is a goal to shoot for, but it's boring as the Dickens to watch. Impressive and enviable, but boring.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:49 PM   #32
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We never make reservations or call ahead to a camp ground while on a trip, we just wing it.
Stopped a Lebanon Hills campground in Ohio this summer to try to get a site. They said they were full up except for one site they don't like to rent . I ask why and they said it was to hard to back into, on a hill and a curve. I said I would take it and see if I could manage to get in it.
One of the counter personnel said they would come down and help me. Drove to the site, a little apprehensive on the way, they made it sound pretty bad. Got to the site, looked at it from the truck, pulled up and back in the first try.
Got out to unhook and a fellow across the road said great job, I've some pretty bad things happen at that site. Guy from the office showed up and said who helped you do that, I said nobody just experience.
Wonderful campground, close to what we wanted to see and friendly people to boot.
Lots of experience from being raised on a farm and still farming today.
Practice makes perfect. That's not the only time we have gotten a site because it was a difficult site to get into.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:37 PM   #33
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I'm nervous as can be to back up my airstream.

For me, with some experience backing up my bass boat, starting position is something I still don't quite grasp, especially with the long wheel base of the truck.

We've learned to chase it pretty good, but sometimes we still overshoot the ball so that the front end begins to careen to the side that is beyond straight.

Where I park my boat is a slip with walls that are, literally, like 6 inches wider than the boat trailer on each side, PLUS there is a fence opposite the door. There is no way to start straight AND there is a corner of a fence that the nose of the truck has to get past before you can crank it.

I've found that the only way to do it is to back at roughly a 45 degree angle to the door, start to turn it as the back of the trailer enters super tight on the right, and once the trailer is absolutely straight on the storage, and about 1/4 to 1/2 of the way in when that occurs.... the only thing I can do is unhook the truck, and wiggle it in the space between the boat and the fence ahead and re-attached to finish pushing straight in.

This ever happen to anyone? Thing is not matter what, by the time the boat is straight on the unit, the truck is not straight and any more reversing would simply overshoot the front of the boat and ram the left side.

It seems to me that on a campsite, with no walls 1 inch off your trailer, you would have more wiggle room?
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:58 PM   #34
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That is fine, in the real world most old campsites were for 24 footers, narrow road, and you aren't susposed to be on the grass......
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:13 PM   #35
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That is fine, in the real world most old campsites were for 24 footers, narrow road, and you aren't susposed to be on the grass......
Agreed. Campsites aren't boat ramps, and if you're lined up a little crooked no one will care. The main things to remember are: don't run over the service pedestal and sewer hookup (if there is one), and follow the advice of George of the Jungle: "Watch out for that tree!"
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:05 PM   #36
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I learned using a bass boat - in contrast my 30 foot airstream is much easier to get into campsites - much easier




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Old 05-22-2015, 08:58 PM   #37
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Good advice!

More ideas:

Maybe go to a big empty parking lot, put out some cones and practice parking in an imaginary spot until you get the feel of it.

Remember to look up for branches above the trailer that may be lower than expected.

A rear view camera on the back of the trailer is often helpful, though for us that by itself is not enough.

Experiment to see which of you is better suited to backing the trailer while the other advises from outside. We've found that for us the DW is the best person for parking the trailer while I, the DH, advise from the outside.

If a 3rd party offers to help coach, feel free to consider their advice but remember they have nothing at stake except a little embarrassment if they put you on a rock or in the ditch.

Go slowly. Don't give any thought to the show you're providing your new camping neighbors, just take your time and work your way into the spot.

Everyone will have great ideas for the best communication methods while parking. We do the following: roll down all the windows in the truck so the driver can hear immediately if the adviser starts yelling, and use good old fashioned radios so we don't have to shout while going through routine parking maneuvers. (For us, hand signals alone just aren't enough.) We've still got a lot to learn, but we improved significantly over the course of recent our x-country trip.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:02 PM   #38
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I painfully watched a guy try to back in his utility trailer tonight. I really wanted to go help him. I asked my husband what he thought ( my husband can not backup at all, I do all backing) . He said don't go.,i replied that back when i first started a few nice men helped me, and I thought I would return favor. At that point the poor guy was jack knifing and another man ran to help. I felt so bad for the guy. I did notknow if my being an old grey lady helping a younger guy would have been an issue.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:29 PM   #39
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I watched a couple at Henderson state park last month struggle - and those spots are as easy as they come

Wife was hollering at the husband driving



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Old 05-22-2015, 09:34 PM   #40
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And two more bits of advice if I may be so presumptuous…

1 - There's no shame in aborting the attempt, pulling back out, and starting over. If you start to get into trouble and you don't immediately know how to fix it, continuing what you're already doing is more likely to make it worse than it is to make it better.

2 - Even if you have someone giving directions, it's still a good idea to stop, get out, and look for yourself. There is no substitute for seeing the space with your own eyes.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:08 PM   #41
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If you find yourselves hollering at each other, it's clearly time to take a break. This is camping. It's supposed to be fun.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:16 PM   #42
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We usually will both get out and look the site over and I will point out about where I want the trailer to be and any obstructions that need to be watched. We use radios so there is no hollering. Nothing worse than having people backing in and the hollering starts.
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