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Old 08-19-2016, 12:03 PM   #15
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
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My instruction to my helpers when I back up, whether I put them there or they are unsolicited volunteers goes something like this.

"All I need is for you to stay visible in my mirror and yell really loud if I am going to hit something".

Gradiens super tenui glacie.

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 08-19-2016, 12:23 PM   #16
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
Eastern , Washington
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Posts: 12,542
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A few years ago I made up some scoring paddles that resemble the ones used by Olympic diving judges and handed them out to my camping buddies. Every once an a while they get pulled out by early arrivers at rallies to egg on those with tight sites.

just in case you feel the need...

1. Cut in half
2. Spiral bind top
3. Attach to pingpong paddle

Wear running shoes...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf score_complete.pdf (102.2 KB, 52 views)

1964 Overlander | '08 Touareg V6
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

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Old 08-19-2016, 01:51 PM   #17
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2014 27' FB International
Green Cove Springs , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
"All I need is for you to stay visible in my mirror and yell really loud if I am going to hit something".
That's where the reflective vests mentioned earlier come in handy. If the driver sees them start jumping around and yelling, it's probably time to "Get Out And Look."
Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 08-19-2016, 02:01 PM   #18
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1978 31' Excella 500
Barrie , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 186
I usually have no problem backing into a spot, I once got a $45 spot for $22.50 because it was a blind side back in, and was the only one left . The longer your trailer the easier it is to back up.I travel solo so have to depend on my self .
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:40 PM   #19
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 63
I can do it...really.

Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
I know people are trying to be helpful, but I can get into my spot just fine. You know what I mean?
I'm tickled that a man brought this a 5'4" blonde woman, I had leaned toward blaming sexism for the multitude of "help" offers as I back in to a new site. The funniest occurred in an ancient park on Florida's East Coast: I pulled up and before I could even get out of my Jeep to check the space, I had 4 men--all clearly at least in their 8th decade--gathered around contradicting each other in giving me "essential advice". I thanked them, said I could manage...but they were not to be deterred. Two more mosied up, and all six were at my windows loudly giving conflicting advice. I so wished I could have videotaped the scene. In the end I rolled up all my windows and slid in smoothly. Show over, my helpers ambled away in disappointment.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:13 PM   #20
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2008 31' Classic
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Lenoir City , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 221
As a couple we have developed our own hand signals and buzz words. Have no idea if they are standard but they work for us. We quit going to a certain campground because the owner insisted that he be the one to guide campers into backup sites. Within a minute he had my husband totally confused and my husband told him "you either let my wife direct me or we're leaving with a refund." When a second visit was a repeat of the first we left never to return.
Kelly & Matt
WBCCI - #4335
2005 Diesel Excursion
2008 31' Custom Classic "Moonshine"
2016 Interstate "BugOut"
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:31 PM   #21
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1984 31' Excella
Abernathy , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 849
I back 160 ft up a "T" alley through a 10 ft gate into my backyard where I have full hookups to my trailer.
The neighbors are occasional watchers as I put it back to bed when returning from a trip out.

A few have offered to help me miss the dumpster which is on the blind side, and I just tell them I know where it is and how to miss it, so please keep their hands in their pockets and mouths closed until the ride is over.

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Old 08-19-2016, 04:47 PM   #22
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,328
Last time somebody insisted on helping me back in, I told him to stand behind that tree over there, and wave if I was about to hit something.
He said, "but you can't see me there!"
I responded, "Exactly!"
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:50 PM   #23
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
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I don't trust anyone but my wife and adult kids to direct me when backing up, and even then I usually get out and look several times. I once had a campground manager direct me into a site while my wife was registering at the office. He only watched the street side of the trailer assuming there was enough space on the other side. It was only after I had stopped and walked back for a look that we noticed that the curb side of the trailer was just an inch from the roof of a picnic shelter and the awning arm was just touching the end of the shelter. Another inch and there would have been damage.
Grant Davidson
Milton, ON

1946 Spartan Manor
1954 Va-Ka-Shun-Ette
1964 Overlander
1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:09 PM   #24
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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There are times when I could use some help. When I do I will ask for it. Recently I have after trying to be nice about it had to run some people off when parking or trying to get packed and hooked up to go. My multi-tasking days are just about over. I need to concentrate when doing just about any kind of detailed task. I have procedures that work for me. Mistakes caused by not paying close attention to details can lead to some very bad results.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:29 PM   #25
Don't forget your cat nap
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Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: May 2009
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Question Whats wrong with us

I don't know which of the following is the cause:

We are ugly.
We look mean.
We look like we will run over someone.
We get into spot before crowds starts to form.
One of us always get out to guide.

However, in 23 years of backing trailers into sites, we never gathered a crowd or even a single helpful person.

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Old 08-19-2016, 07:24 PM   #26
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
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I had my worst ever experience with this sort of thing last winter at Fort DeSoto Park in Florida.

As anyone who has been there will know, the campsites are accessed by a very narrow one way sandy loop road.

It was the first time we had been, and I had reserved a back-in site on line that looked on line as though it should be ok to get into - well it was not!

Contributing factors included the fact that our 31ft trailer and 3/4 ton truck, plus the extra foot or so of the Hensley hitch can be a bit of a pig for tight sights, but also, this site was at a weird angle, and I was backing in angled to the passenger side and couldn't see a thing, plus palm trees were strategically placed in perfect spots to make it even more challenging, the front of my truck was knocking over all kinds of jungle foliage as I tried to back in, plus my wife on the walkie talkie, plus two well meaning fellow campers were all giving me contradictory directions!

To make matters worse - for some reason unknown to me - by nature, I have always been easily embarrassed, and also very concerned about causing inconvenience to others. I was obviously causing inconvenience in spades as no-one could get past me on the one way road whilst I was in my misery - although they were all waiting very patiently for me!

So no less than three times, I called my wife on the walkie-talkie to tell her that I would have to leave with the trailer, drive around the loop so as to let the waiting vehiles go by, then I would come around and try again!

Finally, somehow, I did get into our assigned site - I think mainly by ignoring everyone and repeatedly getting out of the truck to see first hand where the back of the trailer was, adjusting my approach, and repeating (all the while demolishing quite a bit of park foliage with the front of the truck!)

It would be an understatement to say that I was somewhat stressed by the time I finally got the trailer onto the site! Thank God we were there for two weeks!

I told my wife I would first sit down in the trailer with a drink to relax before unhooking teh trailer and connecting the services!

No sooner had I sat down on the sofa, beer in hand, (probably not permitted at Fort Desoto) but I started to get the classic "Visual aura" that precedes a migraine! I have had these since my youth ad knew all about them, but thankfully very few since I retired about 18 years ago.

When I do get them now, strangely I get the visual aura where my eyesight is totally useless for maybe twenty minutes, but the when it clears up, the terrible headache does not descend upon me, if anything I get a minor headache, and that is a blessing! May be an extra advantage of being retired or getting older - I recall my dad told me he experienced the same thing.

But this time something really weird happened!

I had a campground brochure in hand, and was trying to read it as my eyes started to clear up.

I found something I wanted to read to my wife, but for the life of me, although I could read it perfectly in my mind, I could not get the words out properly no matter how hard I tried!

Just one beer I swear!

My wife was in a panic thinking i was having a stroke or TIA and wanting to call an ambulance, but for some reason I just thought it was curious and sort of funny - although in hindsight I realised she could well have been right!

Again, in hindsight I don't doubt that getting checked out SAP would have been the smartest thing to do, but all I could think of at the time was that to do that, I would first have to call our medical insurance company back in Canada, and I strongly suspected that to protect their interests, they would probably insist we come home right away, and we had only just started our seven week winter trip and that wasn't something I wanted to do!

I immediately started doing a bit of internet research, and was happy to find that speech problems - though not common - could well be other symptoms of migraine along with the more common visual problems, although it was a first time ever for me.

SoI compromised wth my wife by saying that if it happened again while we were in Florida, we would go to a hospital right away, otherwise I promised to go see our doc as soon as we got home to Canada!

Luckily it did not happen again in Florida, and still now, 6 months later, it has not.

When we got home, I did see our doc though.

He agreed it could be just migraine-related but said that to be safe, I should be tested, so he put me on daily low dose aspirin right away, and since then I have worn a heart monitor 24/7 for a two weeks, had an MRI, an ECG, and a carotid ultrasound!

I was relieved to find that all test results were fine!

I'm thinking it must have all been down to stress and migraine brought on by my awful backing-up experience, made all the worse by the unwanted help of my well-meaning fellow RV'ers! Bless em!

Anyone have a worse anecdote?!


PS Usually I am reasonably decent at backing up the trailer ...... I think!
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:43 PM   #27
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2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
Join Date: Sep 2012
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I take our two trailers back to the storage unit alone after unloading the food and clothing at home, so have to back into the slots unassisted. The Classic has me looking in the street side mirror while the 23D has me working the curb side mirrors. Both units have a Voyager rear view camera which helps some. I have 2' x 4' plywood panels on the ground for the wheels to stop on top of but also serve as a target during the reverse process.

Once in awhile it is a perfect shot the first time, but I usually have to pull forward a ways to fine tune the trailer tires position. I get out to verify often that all looks well. I get more exercise parking the 23D into it's tighter space than I do with the Classic.

I guess backing the farm implements of different shapes,combinations and sizes over the years was useful training for the Airstream rigs today..
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:55 PM   #28
Don't forget your cat nap
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Port Orchard , Washington
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,464
Images: 1

What do your Ocular migraines look like? Mine look like tiny vertical prisms refracting the light.

I did have a TIA about 10 years ago. My wife called 911 and I thought she was crazy. About 2 mins later, I was totally fine and telling her to cancel the response. However, luckily for me, she refused and off I went to the hospital. A couple hours later, I found out my left carotid was 95% blocked, and found myself in surgery getting it cleaned out about an hour after that. Surprisingly, I learned to listen to Susan.


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