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Old 09-10-2012, 08:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
SUN #1212
montim is an unknown quantity at this point
training for backing up a travel trailer

Hello, we have a small travel trailer (about 6 feet long) We live in a house that has a very narrow driveway with small trees bordering our yard and our neighbor's yard. This means that we will need to be very skilled in backing up our travel trailer. We live on a busy road and do not have the luxury of taking time to back it up into our driveway.

Does anyone have any suggestions for finding a certified travel trailer instructor who can teach how to back up a travel trailer in tight spots. We don't want to pay for someone who knows how to back one up but can not teach. Any suggestions are welcome!

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Old 09-11-2012, 07:16 AM   #2
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Location: Virginia
Posts: 638
SUN #987
Originally Posted by montim View Post
We live on a busy road and do not have the luxury of taking time to back it up into our driveway. Any suggestions are welcome!
Suggestion: Get a can of bright-colored, spray paint. As you pull forward into the street, have someone follow the trailer and paint a series of lines tracing the path of the right trailer wheel. When backing in, follow the path using your right-side mirror.
My "Ah-ha!" moment came while learning to back my pop up in a tight alley to a space next to my garage. I realized that for the pop up to be in the right spot after backing, it would have to follow the same path as when I pulled it out. Simple revelation that changed my technique.


__________________ Ellis and Penny Sedgley
'10 Tundra 4X4
SOB -'14 Rockwood 2604WS (Rocky)
"Life is a cruel teacher. She gives the test first; the lesson then follows."
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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Location: Florida
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SUN #1830
Jim-Bev-2363 is an unknown quantity at this point
My suggestions:
1- Get on-the-job training. Pulling the camper forward, using the mirrors, feeling more confident about where the camper is during forward turns will help during backing. Pay attention to how far the camper swings, where the tires follow and where your vehicle needs to be to keep from hitting things outside of your lane. The same positions going forward are similar to going backward.

2- Find a BIG parking lot to play in. After driving forward find a place to park the camper. Use parking lot lines or get plastic 5 gallon buckets to mark of a parking space. Pretend your backing into your driveway when the street traffic is light. With more experience you can pretend it is rush hour.

3- Have someone help by watching the back of the camper and yell at you if you are going to hit anything. Have them stand where you can see them in your rear view mirrors. You might even invest in a pair of walkie talkies or family service radios to communicate. Pay no attention to the frustration in the voice on the other end.

4- DO NOT WORRY ABOUT OTHER TRAFFIC!, unless your going to hit them. If you have committed to backing either let the traffic go around by sitting still while they do so, or let them wait. You will have your hands full with the task of parking so put them out of your mind. You do have a right to use the road as well as they. You cannot do two things at one time so either park the camper or worry about the traffic. Treat them as if they are just more trees to miss.

I remember the old joke about the lady sitting at the stop light but her car would not go. When the light turned green the car behind her blew their horn. She calmly got out, walked back to them and told them to drive her car and she'd sit there and blow the horn. You can smile, be patient and know that your going to do better as time goes by. The rude drivers will always be rude drivers so their actions are all about them, not you.

Hope you have many miles and enjoyment with your camper.
Beverly & Jim
Sebring, Florida
1991 T-2363 Solaris
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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SUN #4353
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I have a front mounted reciever so I can "push" her in to a tight spot!

Jim is dead on.
PS. hold the wheel at the bottom and turn the way you what the trailer to go, small turns with a small unit, they jack knife quick. just pull ahead a little and try try again!
Wayne & Sandy
1981 19.5 SB Sunline
1987 C 851 Sunline
1997 E-150 4.2 v6
1976 F-150 4.9 I6
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