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Old 07-27-2011, 09:01 AM   #43
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One thing to remember is - No matter how bad you do backing up you will never look as stupid as the people at a boat ramp trying to get their boat in the water.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:09 AM   #44
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Some good advice....Hang in there! You'll get it.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:24 AM   #45
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Greetings DougZ!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougZ View Post
One thing to remember is - No matter how bad you do backing up you will never look as stupid as the people at a boat ramp trying to get their boat in the water.
I am sure that I gave a few boaters a good laugh several years ago when I had a "Wrong-Way-Corrigan" moment and had to turn around using a boat launch at Crab Orchard Lake near Carterville, Illinois. I had taken the wrong road ending up on a dead end road that dead ended at the boat launch. In turning my Suburban/Overlander combination around, it looked like I was trying to launch the Overlander as I had to back down the ramp far enough that the rear bumper of the Overlander was in the water. . . . . .

Kevin
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:49 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by SilverCottage View Post
A good friend and fellow Airstreamer told us the story of his parents backing up with walkie-talkies.

It was the end of a long day traveling, everyone was tired and patience was short. The wife was behind the trailer giving corrective directions on the walkie-talkie. The husband was doing his best to squeeze the trailer into the tight spot. After a long pause with no directions from his wife, he wondered where she was. His next comment into the walkie-talkie was "Audry, please say anything, even if it is just goodbye".

We still laugh at that story when facing a particularly challenging campsite.
We sometimes use those little FRS or GMRS radios. For quite a while I had a problem with them in that there seemed to be quite a lag between the time you pushed the talk button and the time you could actually talk - as a result, our dialogue often missed the first sentence or so.

Someone then explained to me that I needed to shut off the "privacy code" feature that all these radios use. ie Istead of using something like

ch7 - privacy7, just use ch7 with no privacy code set.

Transmission is then instantaneous - works much ,much better.

The other thing that I always tell me wife, even when we use the radios, is to always stay in a location where she can see one of my side mirrors, and if something nasty is about to happen, don't just rely on the radio - make wild hand signals!

Apart from possible radio failure leading to an expensive problem, my wife has a bad habit of talking without pushing the talk button properly, and ths is my safeguard!

Used properly, these little radios can be quite useful IMHO.

Brian.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:22 AM   #47
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Probably been mentioned, but a trick in backing a trailer up. Look at the bottom of your steering wheel. Move it in the direction you want the trailer to move. If you want the rear of the trailer to go to your right, move the the steering wheel, where the bottom moves right. Usually with a bunch of thinking is going on rote behavior takes over and what will happen, a person will move the steering wheel as if they are backing the vehicle up only, which is opposite of what is needed. It then takes a little time and practice to determine how much turning and how long of the steering wheel to make the maneuver. The trick is look at the bottom of the steering wheel,

Old habits are not your friend in this situation.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:23 PM   #48
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One thing to remember is - No matter how bad you do backing up you will never look as stupid as the people at a boat ramp trying to get their boat in the water.
I resemble that remark...
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:16 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougZ
One thing to remember is - No matter how bad you do backing up you will never look as stupid as the people at a boat ramp trying to get their boat in the water.
...Or getting the SUV out of the lake after everything rolls in! :-)
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:15 PM   #50
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It is never too early to learn how to back a trailer. My father, who spent half his life, (he claimed) waiting for people to get their boat in the water, decided I would never have that problem. He put a trailer on my tricycle when I was about three. After I conquered forward motion I enjoyed the challenge of reverse.
To this day I have no problem backing a trailer. And, as mentioned earlier, a shorter trailer is harder to back. It will react quicker to any correction.
If you cannot back a trailer, at least get your children to adapt quickly to the challenge.
They will thank you.
Sam
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:18 AM   #51
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It is never too early to learn how to back a trailer. My father, who spent half his life, (he claimed) waiting for people to get their boat in the water, decided I would never have that problem. He put a trailer on my tricycle when I was about three. After I conquered forward motion I enjoyed the challenge of reverse.
To this day I have no problem backing a trailer. And, as mentioned earlier, a shorter trailer is harder to back. It will react quicker to any correction.
If you cannot back a trailer, at least get your children to adapt quickly to the challenge.
They will thank you.
Sam

That's surely true about shorter trailers being worse to back up. I'd sooner back up our Airstream any day compared to the little luggage trailer I sometimes pull behind our motorcycle - even though the bike has reverse gear!

Initialy I found it so tough that I would just unhook the trailer and deal with it manually - but now I have found a technique that seems to help me back it almost in a straight line.

The problem is that it jacknifes so quickly, and once it does, there is no option but to pull ahead and try again.

What I do now is to weave the bike slightly left and right as I back up, sort of like a sine wave!

As soon as I see the back of the trailer moving off a straight line, I weave the bike the other way - seems to help!

Brian
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:20 AM   #52
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Get a small open trailer that you can see all of through your rear window and learn how to back it up. It just requires practice, but once you get it , you'll be able to back up any trailer.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:48 AM   #53
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A spotter helps and a radio can be useful, but there's nothing like getting out from time to time and look at what's happening.

Gene
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:14 PM   #54
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Quote:
If you have a long tow vehicle (like our F250 Crew Cab or even worse, an long bed F350 Crew Cab), there _are_ indeed limits as the the places you can back into, because the turning radius of your truck is too large. It is in these cases that a front hitch can be invaluable, because with the steering wheels in the middle the overall rig will do a much tighter turn. This is a last resort, though; it's a pain to chock, unhitch, swap towbar locations, re-hitch, un-chock, etc.... but it is indeed sometimes the only way. I have backed very unwieldy trailers into very tight spots with the front hitch.
Yes, we have a F350 long bed Crew Cab and the turning radius (even without the trailer) does suck. We do have two front hitches, but they are on either side, not the middle, so problematical for hitching. We will keep practicing. It might be that the aisleway we have to turn in is simply too narrow to ever park the Airstream correctly. We might have to look for another parking space.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:25 PM   #55
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Pull-thrus are nice !!!!! ; )
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:37 PM   #56
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Pull-thrus are nice !!!!! ; )
Yes. My ability to back into a space is directly related to how long I've been driving that day and how much sleep I got the night before.

My wife often calls ahead when we are traveling and asks for a pull thru so neither of us have to sweat parking. It saves time, especially during 10 hour driving days when the sun is going down, or is down.

This does not solve the issue of parking at a storage facility. Sometime you have to learn and the sooner the better. I've told my wife that for 4 years and she still wants me to do it.

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