I handhold the hose about 18" from the side of the AI and move it back and forth as it retracts. Just the same action as a level-wind on a fishing reel. I have no problem getting the full length of the hose to retract.
When the valve on the end is about a foot out, I tuck the end in and slowly take up the slack. There is no problem getting it to stow.
I would hate to have a 4' shorter hose. It is a close call to reach the sewer at a lot of sites as it is.
John W. Irwin
2018 Interstate GT, "Sabre-Dog V"