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Old 05-09-2015, 02:43 PM   #57
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Smile backing trailer

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Originally Posted by rocvern View Post
Something to remember is always have the site u want 2 back in2 2 b on ur drivers side as u go past the site. Then you'll start with ur mirrors and as the a/s starts turning in2 the spot u can look out ur window and watch the trailer go into the spot. If as u drive by the spot u want and it is on ur right side, that is called blind side backing, even truck drivers do not do blind side backing if there is any way they can come from the other way and have the site on their left side. slow and easy is the secret.

Vern
A good 18 wheel semi driver will back any where that he can see in mirrors. plus some can't see Big trucks have remote mirrors and drivers are not afraid to use this feature either side. I hae also seen my son backing into tite spot drivers side and almost jack knife to get in and have to stand on running boards to get in space, but he has driven 18s for 25 yrs. plus, so as stated exp. Counts. So if have remote mirrors use this feature, as I stated this many times over. If spot on blind side of one way road , just turn around go wrong way so no bilnd backing. I have done this many times and never called for doing it. I can back blind side but prefer to go wrong way unless obstacles prohibit backing. The so called experts that lay out spots whether feds state or private invaribly lay out sites back wards. There rhyme or reason for this I don't no or good common sense. Slo and easy does it.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:10 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by featherbedder View Post
A good 18 wheel semi driver will back any where that he can see in mirrors. plus some can't see Big trucks have remote mirrors and drivers are not afraid to use this feature either side. I hae also seen my son backing into tite spot drivers side and almost jack knife to get in and have to stand on running boards to get in space, but he has driven 18s for 25 yrs. plus, so as stated exp. Counts. So if have remote mirrors use this feature, as I stated this many times over. If spot on blind side of one way road , just turn around go wrong way so no bilnd backing. I have done this many times and never called for doing it. I can back blind side but prefer to go wrong way unless obstacles prohibit backing. The so called experts that lay out spots whether feds state or private invaribly lay out sites back wards. There rhyme or reason for this I don't no or good common sense. Slo and easy does it.
I agree 100%. But to give the devil his due, I would rather be backing in a 53 foot trailer with 6 inch clearance on the sides than any Airstream. Longer is easier. Sal
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:41 PM   #59
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Smile backing in

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Originally Posted by noreen&sal View Post
I agree 100%. But to give the devil his due, I would rather be backing in a 53 foot trailer with 6 inch clearance on the sides than any Airstream. Longer is easier. Sal
I totally agree, been there done that. My 4x8 flat bead bugger to back longer trailers no prob.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:57 PM   #60
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More backing stuff

So, here is where I back into at the end of each trip. On the far wall are four reflective tape spots (not seen in photo), so with my mirrors i can easily see exactly how I am doing.
Airstream_Garage_01.24.15 by Tommie Lauer, on Flickr

Maybe the "super secret" is to do the backing very very slowly, of course the hand on bottom of wheel, but it is also not anything to be ashamed about if you get too out of line and have to pull forward to get things straightened out.

After about 100 back-ins to spots between semis in various truck stops, three feet on each side I think, one does gain a bit of proficiency in this.
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Old 05-09-2015, 07:24 PM   #61
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How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Practice!
For anyone that can get to Jackson Center with their trailer on Memorial Day, I'll be there at that time, and can give tutorials and backing-up lessons for the reverse-directionally challenged. By the time we're done, while you may not be the smoothest backer in town, you should be able to at least get your trailer backed into a spot without mass destruction.
I'm also giving the first seminar of the event on Tuesday, it's supposed to be about maintenance, but I can be persuaded to give more backing lessons, or at least tips and tricks instead, if needed.

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Old 12-18-2015, 04:09 PM   #62
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jcanavara has a really good tip/process. I try to never back up with out a spotter (my wife & navigator) we use two radios and have established a procedure i.e., driver side, passenger side when backing. some have said we use our phones, most of the places we camp are out of cell range i.e. state parks & federal parks is why we use 2 ways, keep them in the passenger side pockets of the door.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:17 PM   #63
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Hi, these are my original and new home parking spaces.


Ahhh-------- LOVE the nice Garage, w/attached Houce

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Old 12-18-2015, 08:02 PM   #64
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I use the mirrors a lot and the method I learned is to steer towards where you don't want the trailer to go. If you see too much trailer in the right mirror then turn the TV to the right.If you want to see more trailer in the right mirror then turn left. My preference is to have my target landing spot on the left so I can see the side of the trailer in the mirror or by turning my head.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:18 PM   #65
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If you can brush your hair looking in the mirror, you can back up a trailer looking in the two side mirrors.

Must have two good side mirrors.

Breathe deeply and regularly.

No fear.

Rest dominant driving hand on bottom of steering wheel.

Back up slowly and move hand in direction you want rear of trailer to go (using side mirrors only).

Stop if getting off course and pull forward a bit.

Repeat above.

Practice practice practice in large parking lot.

At some point backing up will become like riding a bicycle (try describing how to learn to do this in words only).

Actually much simpler than all the words here would seem to indicate.

Breathe -- no fear -- practice practice practice.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:35 AM   #66
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Safe practice backing

After some thought about this, it came to me a potentially safe way to practice backing up your trailer. Head to a toy store, purchase a toy car with a steering wheel and attach a trailer, practice to one's heart's content. And, after a short time one will master the concept of backing, being able to do so with no risk to life or limb.

The basics are to grasp the understanding of where the vehicles rotate, once learned, the process is more easily mastered in life size.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:18 AM   #67
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Get some cones,,, go to an empty parking lot,,,, and practice till you are at least semi proficient.....


Brevi tempore!
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:44 AM   #68
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I like the idea of renting a Uhaul. To me, those little trailers are tougher to maneuver. I was originally taught to put my hand at twelve o'clock and do the opposite thing. Then someone told me to do six o'clock and move the way you want the trailer to go. Also, your spotter needs to be on the same page. Left means the drivers left etc and stop means...



It will get better!

The spotter should say "drivers side" or "passenger side" into a two way radio. This avoids the left/right reversal of mirrors, and, the need to yell.

Pull forward if needed and as often as needed to correct your entry angle, to avoid trees, posts, boulders, or parked vehicles.

Just as you had to learn how the vehicle reacted to your movement of the steering wheel and your foot pressure on the pedals in driver education, you need repetition to get the feel of how the combo reacts. Empty parking lots, empty cardboard boxes, etc., allow to the practice and experience with very small chances for damage.

If you fail at first, take a deep breath, think over what you did and the degree of turning as well as direction of turn, straighten up, reset boxes if needed, and try again. If you have the attitude that you will succeed, then you will. If your mindset is you can't learn the skills, then you won't......


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Old 12-20-2015, 03:54 PM   #69
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"Breaking Up is Hard to Do"... with a trailer

Backing up is Hard to Do. It is not instinctive. The shorter the trailer, the more difficult. Those with a 16 foot Bambi... the best "backer uppers"!

Find someone with a riding lawn mower and a utility trailer. It might be 4 feet long from the attachment to the back of the trailer. Practice backing it up. It is very difficult, although you can see where the trailer is moving as you move the steering wheel. It is... frustrating for a novice AND someone who believes they can back up an Airstream Trailer!

You will be frustrated. You will hate that "jack knifing" short trailer. You WILL figure it out. It will make you better and realize that part time towing is relearned each and every time you attach your trailer and drive off. You will also learn to PICK from your choices of where to park your trailer.

Your LEFT side view is best option for backing into a spot to detach your trailer. Most trailers will be damaged on the RIGHT and REAR.

Pulling into and out of a gasoline station is probably MORE RISKY than backing up. It is not natural instinctive behavior when towing a trailer tracking behind and clearing obstacles to protect the pumps.

Many great posts. I taught a few new skiers over the years on the slopes of Colorado. It looks... easy. It is not as it is not a natural instinct to ski on snow, but learned by "trail" and mostly... error. Again... frustrating to the novice, but once you figure it out, once off the ski lift it becomes natural and instinctive.

Find your most comfortable place for your hand(s) on the steering wheel. Never vary once you are comfortable. Even myself... when beginning the year will need to get the "feel back". I can back up a tow vehicle with ease. Practice backing up with the tow vehicle... first. Then the riding lawn mower and utility trailer. Then... that 25 foot monster.

When you think you have it all figured out... then go Boondocking to add to your education. You will quickly forget what you learned from following some of these excellent examples from experienced Airstream owners. It is learned by doing it. You will perspire. You will think it impossible. When you do figure it out... it is time to park the trailer for the end of the season. Then start all over again...

If you are feeling incompetent... watch others backing up. You are not alone.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:29 PM   #70
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I found this video that is pretty instructive for 53' trailers - not sure how much is transferable to A/Ss. I have an A/S and have only backed it up once. As he explains in the later series videos, the position of the trailer wheels wrt the end of the trailer makes a big difference. In the second video he starts turning to the right at the midpoint between the rear trailer wheels and the rear tractor wheels and then angles to the left before backing up. It looks easy LOL.

Joel

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