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Old 03-31-2017, 07:46 AM   #1
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Ford's Pro Trailer Backup Assist

I have just been reviewing information on Ford's new Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature. It appears to be promising for aiding in the backing of our Aistreams. The only question is how it would perform when a hitch system like a Hensley or ProPride is in the picture.

I'm throwing this out for discussion as this could be a significant aid to our Airstreaming.

Brian
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:02 AM   #2
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Interesting question. I don't see any reason for the hitch type making a difference in the use of this option. Could the Assist "overpower" certain WD hitches, and damage them? I don't know enough about them.

Will be interested to hear the opinions. Somehow I feel that one more important driving skill is going to be reduced to a new gadget's solution, thereby lessening overall driver abilities to adapt to odd-ball backing situations. By the driver focusing on the video screen, he or she will NOT be using the regular side mirrors. What about items that are out-of-view from the Backup Assist's "peripheral vision?" Clunk -- whoops -- sorry! ???

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Old 03-31-2017, 10:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I have just been reviewing information on Ford's new Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature. It appears to be promising for aiding in the backing of our Aistreams. The only question is how it would perform when a hitch system like a Hensley or ProPride is in the picture.

I'm throwing this out for discussion as this could be a significant aid to our Airstreaming.

Brian
You may want to try pinging Papa Smurf. This is a quote from a post of his from last year... Post was in the "The unofficial pp users guide..." thread.


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I have a 2016 f150 with the pro trailer back up assist. Before I bought my propride I emailed Sean who confirmed that one of is customer was using this feature whitout problem. I had Can Am Rv do the installation of the hitch on my new Airstream and they also installed the sticker that is used in conjonction with the pro trailer back up assist so I do not know exactly what distance they entered. It is a tight fit on my 27fb international , in fact a part of the sticker is under the propane cover but it works great. Before we left Can Am,Andy did a test drive to make sure everything was set up perfectly and even tried this feature. I think he was surprised it worked so well even if he tought it might have some limitations. For someone like me who did not have any previous towing experience it is a great tool but I am sure many of you with years of experience do not need it.
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:59 AM   #4
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I have been using a 2016 Ford F150 with Trailer Assist and a Blue Ox SwayPro for about a year. Airstream is 23FB International Signature. I was new at towing and backing up a trailer and Trailer Assist made it pretty easy. The set up requires a few measurements and applying the checkerboard stickers to the Airstream but it's all pretty easy, instructions are clear. If you jackknife too far during backing up, Trailer Assist sometimes can't find the stickers and gets stubborn until you straighten out a bit.
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:16 PM   #5
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By the driver focusing on the video screen, he or she will NOT be using the regular side mirrors. What about items that are out-of-view from the Backup Assist's "peripheral vision?" Clunk -- whoops -- sorry! ???


Actually the video screen is not used by the driver when backing with Backup Assist. The video shows only a view of the front of the trailer. The system uses the backup camera on the tailgate to monitor the position of the checkered sticker pre-placed on the trailer frame. The driver still uses mirrors as usual, but steers with the knob on the dash. Joe
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Interesting question. I don't see any reason for the hitch type making a difference in the use of this option. Could the Assist "overpower" certain WD hitches, and damage them? I don't know enough about them.

Will be interested to hear the opinions. Somehow I feel that one more important driving skill is going to be reduced to a new gadget's solution, thereby lessening overall driver abilities to adapt to odd-ball backing situations. By the driver focusing on the video screen, he or she will NOT be using the regular side mirrors. What about items that are out-of-view from the Backup Assist's "peripheral vision?" Clunk -- whoops -- sorry! ???

[click on title to open a new frame with more viewing options]


Search results for earlier threads here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ford...=airforums.com
First, you still look through the mirrors, not a screen. Second, You still have to apply gas or brakes as needed. Think of the knob as a small steering wheel for the trailer not the truck. This is not like the parking assist you see in commercials for some cars. To recap, you are steering the trailer with a knob while the truck figures out how to turn its steering wheel to accomplish what you want the trailer to do.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:22 AM   #7
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I recently purchased a 2017 FC 25 FB and a 2017 F350 diesel + a ProPride hitch....I ordered the backup camera for the truck but found out it can't be activated at highway speed....however the Airstream optional backup camera can.....great for lane changes in addition to backing up. I'm running solo so I need all the advantages I can get. So now I have two back up systems but only utilizing the Airstream factory installed system for now. I pick the trailer up at Colonial on Friday and head initially to central VA......I'll post first impressions .
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Old 04-01-2017, 12:39 PM   #8
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So...My long awaited F-150 just arrived yesterday and my AS is still in the barn for the winter. We just got 6" of heavy wet snow yesterday here in VT so I am still waiting to see if Pro Trailer BackUp Assist is as good as everyone says. Interesting comment by jayseejay about having a great view of the front of the AS and having to use the mirrors to see what's really going on back there. That has been one of my concerns too. In another month I'll probably be able to give better feedback on Pro Trailer Backup Assist but only steering the trailer and NOT the truck sounds good to me. I've been backing up boats for years but the visibility is MUCH better backing up a boat. That's why I have a Voyager Backup/Observation Cam on order. I want to be able to do this singlehanded if needed.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
.... Somehow I feel that one more important driving skill is going to be reduced to a new gadget's solution, thereby lessening overall driver abilities to adapt to odd-ball backing situations. By the driver focusing on the video screen, he or she will NOT be using the regular side mirrors. What about items that are out-of-view from the Backup Assist's "peripheral vision?" Clunk -- whoops -- sorry! ???...]

Yep! Henry Ford sure started things on a down-hill slide when he took spark-advance and throttle off of the steering column and made them automatic and on-the-floor. Drivers have never done well since.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:42 PM   #10
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What do you mean you can't active the Ford Backup Assist at freeway speeds?
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I have just been reviewing information on Ford's new Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature. It appears to be promising for aiding in the backingfor a pair of our Aistreams. The only question is how it would perform when a hitch system like a Hensley or ProPride is in the picture.

I'm throwing this out for discussion as this could be a significant aid to our Airstreaming.

Brian
My 2 cents wort, its a waste of money and another gadget distraction.
I have a 2017 F-250 with the standard back up camera. It gives you all the help you need, it is positioned perfectly looking down on the hitch. To help with judging depth I use two fiberglass wand with a magnetic end I place on the ball, it gets knocked off you are on the ball :-) $ 35.00 for a pair.
Regardless what aid you use you will have to do the initial lineup visually through the mirrors. The more you do it the more proficient you get. I have been hooking up alone for 4 years and got better than 50/50 one shot average. Most of time when I miss I am too focused on the back up camera not on the rod.
Of course if gadgets are your thing go for it, have fun.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:11 PM   #12
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My 2 cents wort, its a waste of money and another gadget distraction.
I have a 2017 F-250 with the standard back up camera. It gives you all the help you need, it is positioned perfectly looking down on the hitch. To help with judging depth I use two fiberglass wand with a magnetic end I place on the ball, it gets knocked off you are on the ball :-) $ 35.00 for a pair.
Regardless what aid you use you will have to do the initial lineup visually through the mirrors. The more you do it the more proficient you get. I have been hooking up alone for 4 years and got better than 50/50 one shot average. Most of time when I miss I am too focused on the back up camera not on the rod.
Of course if gadgets are your thing go for it, have fun.
The backup camera helps you get hitched up like you mentioned, but the Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature is something else altogether. It helps you when you are backing up the trailer.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:49 PM   #13
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Yep! Henry Ford sure started things on a down-hill slide when he took spark-advance and throttle off of the steering column and made them automatic and on-the-floor. Drivers have never done well since.
I quite agree! I prefer to drive the vehicle myself, instead of some 'dough-head' in a cubby hole on the third floor of Ford, driving it for me.
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:51 AM   #14
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Backup Camera Not Needed

I don't have a backup camera on the Airstream. That's what spouses are for. A spouse with a walkie-talkie works great.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:09 AM   #15
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I don't have a backup camera on the Airstream. That's what spouses are for. A spouse with a walkie-talkie works great.
You can always tell if a marriage is going to last by sitting on the sidelines at a boat-ramp during boat-recovery on a windy day,.... or a back-in campsite with no BU camera. Adding walkie-talkies is a distinct advantage... FOR YOU THE OBSERVER can better hear the profanities shouted while viewing the wife's folded-arms and stomping feet.

The MAIN REASON I obtained a good-price buying my used Airstream was due to the POPO wife's refusal to participate ever again!

PO Defn": 1)PizzedOff 2)Previous Owner
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:55 AM   #16
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You can always tell if a marriage is going to last by sitting on the sidelines at a boat-ramp during boat-recovery on a windy day,.... or a back-in campsite with no BU camera. Adding walkie-talkies is a distinct advantage... FOR YOU THE OBSERVER can better hear the profanities shouted while viewing the wife's folded-arms and stomping feet.

The MAIN REASON I obtained a good-price buying my used Airstream was due to the POPO wife's refusal to participate ever again!

PO Defn": 1)PizzedOff 2)Previous Owner
I can't get my wife to sit on the roof of the AS with the walki-talki; how do you get yours up there? That being said, I notice the backup option comes with a few of the "packages" on the new 150, so may end up with it anyhow...with my S driveway, I have to go back and forth a few times to get my AS back next to my garage...wife thinks I don't know how to drive, so this will provide an "excuse" perhaps to get her off my back!
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:02 AM   #17
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The backup camera helps you get hitched up like you mentioned, but the Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature is something else altogether. It helps you when you are backing up the trailer.
I thought that is a skill the driver acquires.
In all the years I have been backing up Trailers and Semis the only assist I need was a well adjusted pair of mirrors.
Go figure,
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:35 PM   #18
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Not sure just how useful this is for turning into a small space. I expect it is the cat's meow if you ever get stuck going straight back for a longer distance. Just get the trailer pointed straight at your destination and let the truck keep it that way while you manage the gas and brakes.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:46 PM   #19
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We have a 2017 Ford F150 with the Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature and have found that it doesn't always work. It's fairly easy to set up, with a few measurements and the application of a "sticker" to the hitch. The problem is that the viewing sensor doesn't always spot the sticker when backing/turning at an angle. Perhaps it's just a problem with Airstream hitches. It works ok for just a straight back in. We are newbies at backing an Airstream (2017 28ft International), so what this has made us do is practice and not rely on the assist!
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:32 PM   #20
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It's fascinating in all these threads about the Ford back-up system that rarely those who criticize it are those who have actually utilized it.

If you're not interested in the technology, then don't avail yourself of it, but why jump into a thread and blast something that you haven't even used?
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