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Old 02-07-2013, 08:08 PM   #1
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Ocean Springs , Mississippi
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Backing up tip

After the usual yelling, hand signals, starts and stops, flared tempers, etc. during the normal course of backing up my 25' FC, my wife said why don't I just call your cell from my cell and we can discuss your backing up over the bluetooth. No need to get walkie talkies, your hands free system in your truck works great! A real marriage saver for us.

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Old 02-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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Oh, gosh. And we had just perfected our yelling and screaming!

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Old 02-08-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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Very, very good idea and I'm going to try it next time.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:34 PM   #4
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If you use the cell phones out of state, you may be charged roam charges??? Certainly out of country would apply.

The hand held wakie talkie's work for many things, including shopping in the big box stores. That way you can shop separately and then meet at the till when ready to go. No wasted time in the shoe department when you could have been in the hardware.

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Old 02-09-2013, 03:34 AM   #5
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We've tried both. Prefer the cell phones. The walkie talkies have a couple of second delay when moving from receive to transmit. Phone is instant.

The good news is after over a year of backing into various campsites I am getting much better at reading DW's hand signals and she is doing a better job of staying visible in the one of the two outside mirrors. Plus I'm much more skillful maneuvering so there is much less likelihood of drama! However, I have noticed whenever she is making calls to campgrounds the first thing she asks is, "Do you have pull through sites available?"
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:35 AM   #6
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We tried walky talkys but found the best solution to be hand signals. Facing backward, her right is my left and is confusing.
Hand signals are especially helpfull backing in the tow vehicle to the hitch when inches count.
Like any somewhat complex motor activity, skill greatly improves with practice. Tell her you need the practice when she suggests a pull through.
Our challange comes at night when there are no outside lights. It is hard to interpret the waving flashlight (it is going both ways) and I don't have any visual clues about where the AS is relative to the site. Walky talkys might be helpful then but we try to get in before dark.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:48 AM   #7
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We've been through the yelling, hand signals, and walkie talkies. We stared using the cell phones a couple of years ago, and found this method to be head and shoulders above the others. The cell phones also work great in the supermarket. We don't have any roaming fee on our plan, therefore, location doesn't matter.

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:04 AM   #8
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If you go the cell phone route, I would suggest that you also use hand signals at the same time. Technology can be a wonderful thing, but it can also fail at the worst times. Campgrounds are sometimes located on the edge of a cell tower signal and as you back into a site one of the phones could fail to work. Not hearing the word STOP could be disastrous.


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Old 02-09-2013, 08:21 AM   #9
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Don't you use Facetime? Have her stand in the spot and point her phone at the trailer.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SeymourAC View Post
After the usual yelling, hand signals, starts and stops, flared tempers, etc. during the normal course of backing up my 25' FC, my wife said why don't I just call your cell from my cell and we can discuss your backing up over the bluetooth. No need to get walkie talkies, your hands free system in your truck works great! A real marriage saver for us.
Always back up to the left.

Always use hand signals, no voices needed.

Make sure the guide and the driver are on the same page, regarding what hand signals mean what.

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Old 02-09-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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I avoid all that, travel alone most of the time. For hitching up I can get it correct as easy as four times in and out of my car (and everytime, I turn car off, take keys and put brake on) or my and out of car 24 times to center the ball. Somedays you have it, some days....well you get a lot of exercise. As for backing in...same method, always check out where I am going first and then look for possible things to hit. sbb
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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Our walkie-talkies have instant response. They weren't terribly expensive either.

I don't completely trust the cell solution, either - we've camped in a couple places were there was no cell coverage. For some people on here, that's the entire point - to go where there is no cell coverage!

Hand signals are great until she simply HAS TO stand in a spot where I can't see her. Like backing in at our house, a fairly common activity. This is what caused us to switch to the walkie-talkies in the first place.

With her being ~50 feet away, over the diesel engine, there's no way I can hear her voice without the radio.

I'm mostly getting "left," "right," and "back" instructions - usually, I can see well enough, but there was one time in the dark, pouring rain when I needed a "start to straighten out now" instruction. I'm not sure how to train someone to know that, but my mom and dad do it as second nature after decades of camping.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #13
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:25 PM   #14
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We use "Glow Sticks" like these

It's a small version of what they use to park airplanes. They are less than $10 and two of them end any confusion as to what direction your guide wants you to go. They really show up after dark. Here is their web site. Glow Sticks - Emergency LED Glow Stick With Flash Light - Life+Gear

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