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Old 09-10-2013, 05:23 PM   #113
Capt W
2013 31' Classic
Jefferson , Massachusetts
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We "discovered" the I-Ball Backup Camera.

Previously we used magnetic telescoping antennae. But, the Mary Joan III has Hensley and it requires much more accurate alignment. The I-Ball works perfectly. It is inexpensive and requires no permanent installation. I even works fairly well when backing up the trailer, but my side kick is great at giving me signals.

Here is a link to a supplier for the I-Ball, although I paid much less, I think there was a coupon in a Good Sam magazine.
I-Ball IBallBackup Camera, Trailer hitch camera

Wayne and Sarah

Welcome aboard, Mary Joan, the Tin Wheeler
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:41 PM   #114
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2006 19' International CCD
Denville , New Jersey
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In and out of car anywhere from 4 times to 46 times to check. My packed car prevents me from seeing out the back, and I do not have cameras. I look at it as a huge lesson in patience and sometimes just start laughing at how long it takes. I really do not mind except those times the car rolls just that tiny bit to throw me off. I hitch and unhitch about 60 times a season.

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For some perfection takes a little longer...
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:16 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Sbb View Post
In and out of car anywhere from 4 times to 46 times to check. My packed car prevents me from seeing out the back, and I do not have cameras. I look at it as a huge lesson in patience and sometimes just start laughing at how long it takes. I really do not mind except those times the car rolls just that tiny bit to throw me off. I hitch and unhitch about 60 times a season.
Love that you can laugh about it!! :-)

I'd be lost without the camera and the "rope trick" from Pahaska here in the forums. I can connect to my ProPride solo, first attempt in less than 5 minutes - I do get out once to be sure the height is perfect.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:29 PM   #116
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2004 28' Classic
Fresno , California
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I have an 08 Tundra with factory back up. Most of the time I can hit the mark the first time.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:46 PM   #117
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I have no idea how I'd manage without my camera. I painted a white stripe on the Hensley's stinger and receiver and usually hit it first or second time round.

Useful, as my wife is usually busy keeping the kids out of harm's way.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:26 PM   #118
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Fort Myers , Florida
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This thread is a three years old but I'll add my method to the mix as well.

First, I will state that I have a visual "issue" with backing the Airstream. It is difficult for me to judge or square off with the rounded corners for some reason. So, aside from hitched up and backing, Hitching/unhitching is easy with good equipment.

When I purchased the AS it came with a hitch that required attaching the weight bars and using a bar to tighten the chains. Backing was simply matching the ball up to the trailer receiver. There was some room for error as the tongue would slide on the ball in a minor adjustment. The work began after raising and lowering the trailer. Now it is different. The propride stinger is less forgiving.

Attach stinger assembly to truck
Attach Swift Hitch Camera to center top of truck rear
Measure height of propride trailer receiver center to center of truck stinger square and adjust height with trailer power jack.
Back truck stinger into propride receiver watching camera
Use bar tool to attach locks and pins to stinger/trailer propride assembly
Use jack to lift truck to set weight bars with power driver and socket on jacks
Lower truck and disengage jack- raise it all the way
Attach safety chain, breakaway and light plug
Remove Camera

***If anyone has pointers for judging straight backing with a rounded side camper let me know. I am not horrible just slow. The storage garage door width is only 8" wider than the stream (4"each side) and it always is a challenge to get it going straight in with no angle. I cannot look at the top of the door/corner of coach to square off so straight in is tuff. One thing that makes it difficult is the space needed to get the truck/trailer straight enough to see using the mirrors. I have to take them off once the truck gets to the door (well, one of them anyway).
2015 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast 3.55 Lariat
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:05 PM   #119
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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Backing the aerodynamic trailer is easier for me with these steps:
1. Look for something straight- edge of the driveway, fence line, building, etc.
2. Line the length of the trailer up with the straight reference down low, like tire and black bottom of trailer trim line-
3. Back the trailer in lining up the bottom with the reference point.
In campgrounds I like to be all the way to the edge of the pad on the Driver's side allowing more room where the entry door and steps are.
A straight edged camp site is easier to back into.
If the edge of the camp,site is wavy or crooked I have trouble.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:09 AM   #120
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I have light-colored and a dark colored ropes that I use to beck into my ProPride hitch. There is a magnet on one end and a weight on the other end. I use a rope to back into my storage space because the huge motorhome next door blocks my view of the posts until I am committed.

I have also used my ropes to back into parking spots. I got this idea at a rally where the parkers would lay out a rope to guide backing. Ropes are visible in the mirrors and it is real easy to tell where the trailer is headed. I can stick one of my magnets on the service pedestal and use my own ropes when I need guidance.
John W. Irwin
2005 Classic 28 "Sabre-Dog III"
2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:19 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by driftless View Post
I hitch up by myself a lot. Mostly I line the TV up with the trailer using the driver's side mirror. I know how much of the side I should see when it is following me down the road. When I think I'm within a foot, I hop out and check the remaining distance and allignment. If it is only a short distance, I leave the driver's door open and pick a reference point on the ground to measure the distance I have to back up. I can usually get there with only one or two visits to the back of the TV.
That's how I do it. Backing straight in it is not much of a problem, but if you have to go in at an angle it is more difficult.
Two tips: 1. Expect it to take more time than hitching with an assistant, you may have to get out and look several times before you get it right. 2. Put the tongue jack on a piece of wood. It is easier to muscle the trailer the last few inches, if the foot is resting on a piece of wood.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:41 AM   #122
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Somerset , New Jersey
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I recall seeing a small adjustable base to place the jack foot on. It had a threaded adjustment that allowed perhaps 2-3" travel left / right so you just had to get the ball aligned close. Only saw it one time and don't know where you'd find them but I thought it was a cleaver solution to a common issue that we all contend with.

ME, I just struggle with the old fashioned way but I've gotten pretty good with the straight line alignment. At an angle, now that's a different story.
Roger in NJ

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Old 01-27-2014, 10:37 AM   #123
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San Diego , California
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To rodsterninfl, I use my hitch camera, similar to your Swift Hitch, when I'm putting our AS back in the nest. I set the camera on the ground behind the stopping point for the driver side tires, and as I back up I watch in the monitor as the tire heads for the camera. The learning curve is understanding how the steering wheel affects the tire as seen in the camera.
John and Lynn,
Silvia ('06 25' Safari SE FB) and Silvester ('05 Chevy Express 3500)
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:39 PM   #124
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I suppose I've always had fairly good spacial orientation. Most of the time I could hitch with 2-5 attempts without a backup camera.

When I got the new Eddie Bauer and Ford Ecoboost - it came with a backup camera. And an "H" (Hard to Hitch Hensley). You don't know what "spoiled" means until you get your first backup camera. I didn't even find out that mine had 2 zoom settings until I'd had the truck for a couple of months. Putting matching paint stripes on the stringer and hitch helps too.

The last three times I got the Hensley hitched: 1 try, 2 tries, 1 try.

Oh How did I Ever survive without the backup camera?

SteveSueMac - spend the money for a backup camera - it'll cost FAR more to have the driver's seat reupholstered due to all of the excess wear - AND you'll get an extra half hour's head start on every trip. (46 Looks made me chuckle! Been there, done that... and it always happens on the coldest, rainiest most miserable days!) Not having to see the doctor for pnemonia - priceless!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:09 PM   #125
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I have a Roll N Lock bed cover on my truck that has a release knob in the center at the back. As I back up to the trailer, using my inside rear view mirror, I line up the knob with the tongue jack and stop at a safe distance. I then get out and see if I am lined up, and how far it is to the hitch. I then hang my left foot near the ground, note a spot on the ground and back up until I think I am in the right place. It is amazing how much of the time the ball ends up right under the hitch. If not, I make what ever adjustment is needed, using the foot near the ground method.
Works for me when my wife is not there to help.
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:13 PM   #126
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In both the Touareg, F-350 & 2500 that I now currently own, I've been lucky to utilize both a ProPride Hitch and OEM backup cameras as installed upon all three vehicles.

Zero drama hookups, even when the "little lady" is with me. What I do find helpful is when backing in and pulling out of a spot, the extra set of eyes of an outside observer keeps me in the cab.


John "JFScheck" Scheck
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Freightliner XCS Chassis with Cummins 6.7 ISB & Allison MH Transmission
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