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Old 01-23-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
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Backing into a spot

Came across this older video today on the longlonghoneymoon youtube videos about backing into ninety degree spots (why, oh why, dont RV parks angle the sites??? So much easier!)

What do you guys think? Is the the way to do it? I must admit I have not done this before and plan to give it a try. Maybe I'm the only one that doesn't do it??!!

Once, when parking in a very tight spot off a narrow access road in a mobile home park in Apache Junction, I was told at the office to wait for "The Sergeant" who would come and help me back in.

I did, and he turned out a gruff old guy who - with a good sense of humour - who told me to just forget about doing what I thought I should do, but just to precisely follow his instructions!

He had me go through a whole series of ....hard lock one way, back up a bit, hard lock the other way, pull forward, hard lock the other way again, back up a bit, repeat, repeat, repeat.

I was amazed with the results, the "Sarge" got me into a spot that I really dont think I would have gotten into by myself!

Any one have any thought on the above methods or ay other good tips I can try out on our trip south next month if I encounter tight back in spots that are ninety degrees to the road?!

(Yes, I do know about grabbing the bottom of the wheel and moving it in the direction I want the back of the trailer to go!)


Brian & Connie Mitchell

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2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:54 PM   #2
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Scoop plus 1

Hey Brian, we do the scoop plus as we come out of the scoop steer the tv back the opposite way so it throws the tail end of the trailer towards the site entrance. It automatically starts the trailer in the right direction.

Did I say that right???


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Old 01-23-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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That is basically what I do. I think most people figure this out eventually - the hard way.

Sometimes there is not enough room to do that. It does allows for easier use of the driver side mirror in his example. Works if coming in the other way too using the passenger mirror. It does not completely eliminate the blind side swing problem he illustrated, but helps a lot.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:04 PM   #4
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Without using that name, that's the way our CDL instructor taught us. Practice practice practice. And remember, it's not a race. Before maneuvering, get out and look (GOAL). Take your time. It's camping after all! :-)
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:07 PM   #5
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Also helps if possible when you're backing in on the driver's side (so scoop toward a site on your left and then back in). For some reason, backing in on the passenger side is weird :-)

Still - no matter which way - take your time. Have fun. And if you have a crowd watching you - no matter the result, take a bow when you get out of your vehicle :-)
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:35 PM   #6
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Just make sure you don't cut too close to the parked trailers when doing "the scoop".
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:57 PM   #7
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Yes, it does work. None the less practice makes perfect.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:55 AM   #8
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Doesn't work for me!

Hi, I tried this a few times and it made my parking harder to do. I pull past the site, on an angle away from the site, turn tow vehicle opposite of the site, and straighten out as you enter the site.

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Old 01-24-2014, 06:11 AM   #9
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The Scoop only works if you have a reasonably wide access road running at right angles to your camp site; backing onto my driveway at home is easy as there's plenty of scoop space. Narrow roads, though, mean that you need to watch the front of the TV, too, and it may take a couple of back and forths to get positioned correctly. Practice makes perfect, as does taking your time.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:02 AM   #10
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Every little bit of "scoop" helps more than you think. My dad taught me this when I had my learners' permit at age 15. I always have used it...and derivatives of it, depending on the site layout.

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Old 12-31-2014, 12:03 PM   #11
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Good points with the "scoop". That little maneuver will solve 90% of most people's backing problems. I would add a couple other helpful hints, tho. First, always address your spot from the driver's side so that you're using the mirror closest to you to keep the hook-up pedestal in view at all times. Even if you must go the wrong way on a one way street. If you've "scoped out" your site, you have a mental image and you already know that the "curb side" of the site has adequate clearance so you judge your position by the proximity to the pedestal. This also keeps you from having to use the infernal right-side, wide-angle mirror. They're useless! The other thing.......if you have remote control mirrors, swing the driver's mirror out to the left as you jack-knife the rig so that you keep a visual on the rear corner of the trailer. Oh! And LEARN TO USE YOUR MIRRORS!! I'm a farmboy. Been backing trailers and wagons (wagons are like backing two trailers hook together) into tight spots ever since I could climb up onto a tractor. Also, once you get onto it, try to just tune out the obligatory "camp helper". His hand signals and coaching will only confuse you. Happy backing!
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:38 PM   #12
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Even with the Scoop maneuver, the most important thing in my book is— Get out and look! At the campgrounds I've been to, the perople who have the most problems backing in seem to be the ones that don't climb out of the tow vehicle to look for themselves what they're going to be backing into. People who actually get out and walk along the path their trailer will take seem to do a better job of it.

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that when you get out and look, you're seeing the campsite right-way around, not reflected in a mirror, and that gives your brain a better handle on what you're seeing. Better depth perception and spatial awareness.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:54 PM   #13
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Yep, that's what we do. Didn't know there was a catchy name for the maneuver. Real fun with a 34' Avion in a tight spot!

Take your time, and get out and LOOK where you are going (survey the site).
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:27 PM   #14
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Half of backing is getting into the right position to begin backing in the first place. Kind of like making a good shot in a game of pool. Envision the shot and lay the angles out in your mind and back that baby in! I will not begrudge the idea of a helper but 9 times out of 10 a helper caused me more trouble than not
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:08 PM   #15
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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, 08:44 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, 08:47 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, 08:52 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, 08:53 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, 10:06 AM   #20
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Thanks, C and SM, I will keep practicing.

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