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Old 02-17-2015, 10:37 AM   #15
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Front receiver may not be necessary but is a great backup plan to have "just in case". It might not be the answer for vertical clearance but I have a difficult horizontal approach into my backyard and front hitch is the only way.

The big advantage is not vision, as you would expect, but the fact that you can turn much sharper without jack knifing and, most of all, that the TV follows the trailer path without swinging wide. This is a huge advantage for threading tight turns with obstacles.

Funny thing is that I must pull back out conventionally (which is also easy). If you "back up" with front hitch the geometry again becomes unworkable. But "pushing" the trailer in and "pulling" it out is an absolute cake walk.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:43 AM   #16
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Another thought ...

Have a wireless camera system installed on your trailer and you will be able to see where the trailer is going. Eliminates blind backing.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:44 AM   #17
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I agree with front mounted hitch.. not a large cost but can make the backing of a trailer less troublesome and save a transmission.

A lot of boat yards use front mounted balls to move boats around as it easier for a tractor to push and the ability to see is better by far. same for RV dealerships.

Only thing i would not like would be having to relocated the fog lights on my 03 f-250 SD lariat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
A front receiver mount is relatively inexpensive (under $150) compared to the cost of your AS ... it makes the job much, much easier and -from my perspective- much safer, too. Once the AS starts the actual turning, you can directly see down the whole length of the trailer on the inside of the turn and make those minor adjustments to the arc before they are problematic. Better view is provided of what is going on and no neck aches from straining to see both in the mirror and actual direct vision of the AS while your TV is in reverse. As you have no doubt already concluded, the turns for proper positioning must start many feet in advance. The front connection to the TV provides a much faster acting and more precise adjustment to the trailer tracking.

With your 3/4 T rating, the front suspension should be able to handle the TW for short stints of parking ... not sure that I would recommend the front receiver for AS of heavy TW and TVs without very HD suspension however. It has worked well for us on the last three TV / AS combos. YMMV
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:11 AM   #18
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Scooter, HA. I'd hate to tell you the equipment we had when I majored in Meteorology, nothing like today and although the accuracy is better, nothing much beyond 72 hours is accurate, if that long. So you can ask, I can give you a forecast, but no guarantee, especially in upstate. We used to be called by our professor at 2:00AM in the morning if a Lake Effect was building on Lake Ontario and we would assemble, then some would stay on campus and others would trek over to the Tug Hill Plateau to measure winds, snow fall etc. No fancy Doppler for us, no sir, hand held instruments only. But we all loved it.
Paiceman,

There's a saying in Texas as well as up here in NY: If you don't like the weather, wait a minute.

Forecasters get the blame for Mother Natureís fickle ways--unimaginably hard to predict even with new tech, much less for students tramping in the snow with hand held instruments!! so many variables. It's amazing it's as accurate as it is, especially outside the 72 hr window.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
A front receiver mount is relatively inexpensive (under $150) compared to the cost of your AS ... it makes the job much, much easier and -from my perspective- much safer, too. Once the AS starts the actual turning, you can directly see down the whole length of the trailer on the inside of the turn and make those minor adjustments to the arc before they are problematic. Better view is provided of what is going on and no neck aches from straining to see both in the mirror and actual direct vision of the AS while your TV is in reverse. As you have no doubt already concluded, the turns for proper positioning must start many feet in advance. The front connection to the TV provides a much faster acting and more precise adjustment to the trailer tracking.

With your 3/4 T rating, the front suspension should be able to handle the TW for short stints of parking ... not sure that I would recommend the front receiver for AS of heavy TW and TVs without very HD suspension however. It has worked well for us on the last three TV / AS combos. YMMV
I like the idea of a front receiver even though I've never used one. How about pushing the trailer up a slight incline? The apron is on an incline as would be the curb ramp stacked 2X8s.

Is it terribly time consuming to unhook and then rehook w/the trailer out in the street? My neighbors are somewhat used to my jockeying around, but a procedure that takes too long might try their patience too much!
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
I agree with front mounted hitch.. not a large cost but can make the backing of a trailer less troublesome and save a transmission.

A lot of boat yards use front mounted balls to move boats around as it easier for a tractor to push and the ability to see is better by far. same for RV dealerships.

Only thing i would not like would be having to relocated the fog lights on my 03 f-250 SD lariat.
Good point. My TV also has fog lights....uh oh.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter241 View Post
I like the idea of a front receiver even though I've never used one. How about pushing the trailer up a slight incline? The apron is on an incline as would be the curb ramp stacked 2X8s.



Is it terribly time consuming to unhook and then rehook w/the trailer out in the street? My neighbors are somewhat used to my jockeying around, but a procedure that takes too long might try their patience too much!

Slight incline should not be a problem but a couple of things I have noted. 1) it is difficult to use with 4wd (locked axles) on asphalt because the weight on the front axles increase turning resistance. 2) the front end will sag a good bit under the tongue weight (and no load distribution) With a 3/4 ton pickup I don't expect this to be excessive but if you have a tight vertical clearance you might drag at the hitch.

Unhooking and re-hooking is pretty easy. Unhooking is same as anywhere. Re-hooking at the front is actually easier because you can see. I use these and it makes it very easy. Hitchin Rod https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00030LM54..._te44ub0HJJH6X
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00030LM54..._te44ub0HJJH6X

Also, there is no need to hook safety chains, lights, or load bars. If you have a difficult "traditional" approach that requires back and forth maneuvering, I expect you will save time with the front hitch. After once or twice it really is easy because you can recover quickly from small mistakes. You have to misjudge pretty badly to actually need to "back-up" to get things straightened out.

HTH
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:32 PM   #22
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Practice does make perfect.
I have to back a large boat into a tight slip in a crowded marina. Sometimes there is a crosswind which moves the boat when you are docking it. Now that I have done it a hundred or so times I don't even think about it.
My suggestion is to paint a mark on the street where to place your curbside rear wheel when you start your maneuver. Like piloting a boat, where you line up when starting to back makes all the difference.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FollySteve View Post
Front receiver may not be necessary but is a great backup plan to have "just in case". It might not be the answer for vertical clearance but I have a difficult horizontal approach into my backyard and front hitch is the only way.

The big advantage is not vision, as you would expect, but the fact that you can turn much sharper without jack knifing and, most of all, that the TV follows the trailer path without swinging wide. This is a huge advantage for threading tight turns with obstacles.

Funny thing is that I must pull back out conventionally (which is also easy). If you "back up" with front hitch the geometry again becomes unworkable. But "pushing" the trailer in and "pulling" it out is an absolute cake walk.
The extra bucks might be worth having the option...! Thanks for the details.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:46 PM   #24
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Hi Glenritas,

Blind backing is my nemesis!! Dear Partner and I signal and wave, but the results feel somewhat random compared to being able to SEE for myself.
I've followed the posts about rear trailer cameras with great interest. I do have a swift hitch which has served me well when hitching. I never thought of using it at the rear of the trailer.

When it comes to considering an installed camera system, the debate about wireless vs wired has given me pause. But I'm really interested.

Thanks for the idea about a rear camera for backing. Just for fun, I'll try my swift hitch on the rear of the trailer. I recall a post about securing it high on the rear window for this purpose. Success would have the benefit of no extra $ investment at present, which is always a good thing!
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:05 PM   #25
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Hi FollySteve,

Item to add to my gratitude list today:
I'm grateful that I'm not at the mercy of crosswinds and current when backing into my driveway! That must have been very challenging to learn to deal with. Makes my concerns pale by comparison!

Great suggestion to lay out markers. We each use different approaches and mental markers now; it works, but too random for my taste.

I like the idea of actually laying out markers. When the students are out of town and the streets are deserted we will do just that. I'll rank by space available on the street:
Just Go for It (easy),
Take Your Time (medium) and
Worth a Try (hard)

Maybe I'll eventually regard of the parked cars and traffic as easy; crosswinds and current! Something to aspire to.
Thanks for the support and good idea!
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:28 PM   #26
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Hi Glenritas,

Blind backing is my nemesis!! Dear Partner and I signal and wave, but the results feel somewhat random compared to being able to SEE for myself.
I've followed the posts about rear trailer cameras with great interest. I do have a swift hitch which has served me well when hitching. I never thought of using it at the rear of the trailer.

When it comes to considering an installed camera system, the debate about wireless vs wired has given me pause. But I'm really interested.

Thanks for the idea about a rear camera for backing. Just for fun, I'll try my swift hitch on the rear of the trailer. I recall a post about securing it high on the rear window for this purpose. Success would have the benefit of no extra $ investment at present, which is always a good thing!
Scooter

We had a rear camera on a 37' motorhome, worked well. Instead of my wife standing behind me giving signals she invents rather than those we worked out we decided years ago to use hand held walkie talkies. She talks I listen. If there is a lapse in her communication I simply stop, we use the 10 second rule, no talk for about 10 seconds I stop. Of course I usually get "why did you stop", my response "getting tired and needed a break". This system works for us and has for years. I tried a head mounted mic for me, but gave it up, not sure why. After years of moving trailers around I can pretty much guess where it is, but often times the right side on a tight turn is totally blind so her talking me through it works. We do also use hand signals, mainly mine and of the single finger variety, but only when I know she is not looking.

We try to keep it relaxed and fun, even in the tightest situations with traffic waiting. It usually only takes a minute or two and many people get their days amusement out of it.

Have fun, enjoy.

Bud
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:49 AM   #27
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Bud,



So it's not just me muttering to myself and counting to ten?!! Not to mention my hand gestures ranging from the discreet to the desperate. Don't misunderstand; my partner is very good with directions; I'm just terrible at following them. Unfortunately, she is better at backing than I am and totally ignores my perfect hand signals!

After the first couple of outings, we dispensed with yelling over the sound of the truck. Now we talk when it's necessary, especially when a tree has moved into the spot I was aiming for. Backing a 37 foot motorhome (it doesnít even bend in the middle!!!) is way impressive. Youíre entitled to any gestures you want to make, in my opinion. For your sake, though, do be discreet!

We must have improved a bit in the last year or so. Thereís less yelling and more victory dances. The neighbors still gather round to watch and give advice, but nowadays I see less money changing hands. Though when we drive up with the new Classic, my guess is the lawn chairs will come out again. Part of the journey!

Thanks for making me snort into my coffee while laughing over your post. Iíll keep your tips in mind when Iím inventing new sign languages.
See you down the road,
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:45 AM   #28
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We have put quite a few front receivers on long tow vehicles. We usually install it on the right frame rail usually in place of a tow hook. This way when you are backing up in a straight line you can see down the door side of the Airstream from the drivers seat. You can only turn sharp to the right but that is usually not a problem. You can turn 90 degrees on the right side.

I hope this helps.

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