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Old 09-27-2009, 06:11 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 9
SUN #930
Jack Bauer
1987 T1550

We went out to Ohio and Michigan on our maiden voyage with our camper.
(my husband calls them sea trials, retired Navy). Everything worked fine and it towed easily. Parking it can still be a challenge. Some teenagers went by and pointed and laughed, an older couple asked if they could look inside (they wanted to trade down from their motor home to something smaller) and one man offered to buy it at a gas station. We were usually the smallest, oldest, and least expensive item in the campground and that is fine with me.

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Old 09-27-2009, 07:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,025
SUN #292
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People try to buy my 1550 all the time. Mostly they are people who own large RVs who no longer want to travel and have come to recognize that they don't need a home size RV to travel.

Our little rig also tows very well and is inexpensive to tow definitely compared to our motorhome. We particularly like the ability to stop at Dunkin donuts or buy gas with out looking for a station where we fit.

Little rigs are tough to back in but it's simply a question of practice. After a couple of months we no longer draw a crowd of helpers. It just takes us a little longer than the pros.

Happy camping,


Norm and Ginny Milliard
1982 Sunline 15.5 SB
2004 Honda CRV 4 cyl, manual
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:57 AM   #3
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I'm glad you enjoyed your maiden voyage sea trial with the 'new to you' Sunny, welcome to the club.

A few things I try to pass on to people who have trouble backing in...

try to always start you back up when the trailer and tow vehicle are lined up straight. It's much easier to make small steering corrections from this point and return to straight if you get really 'out of whack.'

with one hand at 6:00 on the wheel, steering from that position to the left will take your trailer to the left and vice versa.

if you get too far 'out' backing up and are starting to jackknife the trailer/vehicle, pull back out and straighten up and try again, don't try to recover the alignment by continuing to back up.

use a spotter behind the camper to direct the driver around possible hazards with previewed hand signals you both agree upon, especially stop!

when you're in a tight area, don't be afraid to get out and actually look at your trailer placement and your side to side level indicators.(if equipped... if not I'd get a couple for your 'front to back' level and 'side to side' level) A hasty 'drop' and you'll find yourself with days of inconvenience of a non level camper. It's worth the comfort factor to get it done right on the 1st drop rather than hooking up on day 2 and moving the unit a few inches/feet to find the right spot.

Hope that helps a little to getting her backed in for some camping relaxation.

Take care,
2000 F350 Superduty 7.3L Turbo crewcab
2008 Lodeline custom truck camper
1992 Sunline T-2053
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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Location: New York
Posts: 1,846
SUN #264
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Jack, some other helpful hints about backing your trailer into a campsite or other parking space. If you can curl it into the parking space from the driver's side, it is far easier to visualize what is happening. Doing it from the passenger's side is always more difficult.

If you place your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel, you then move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go. Push left (clockwise) to steer the TT to the left (driver's side). Push right (counter clockwise) to move the TT to the right (passenger's side).

I know that the first time you try this, it will be a bit confusing as it is the opposite of what most of us are conditioned to do. The best thing to do is to take the trailer to an empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice.

Regarding leveling the trailer.... Carry some 2x6 boards cut to about 12" or so in length. (Store bought Lynx Levelers are good, too.) When you get the TT where you want it on the campsite, check ONLY the side-to-side level. If it is not dead level, drive forward (or back-up) just a foot or two, and place one of the boards where you want that low-side wheel to be. Drive back into position with the low-side wheel up on the board and then check your side-to-side level again. If necessary, repeat until the TT is level side-to-side. (I also have a couple of 1x4 boards that I can use to tweak the level if necessary.)

After you are happy with the side-to-side level, chock the wheels and disconnect from the TV. Then use your nose jack to level the TT front-to-rear. If you have crank-down stabilizers, crank them down until the TT is stable. Don't try to lift the TT with them, just take the wiggle out of it.

If you use jackstands, do this: After leveling front-to-rear with the nose jack, drop the nose about 3 or 4 turns. Place your rear jack stands under the TT, finger-tight to the frame. (Don't put them under the 4x4 bumper as it is not strong enough for this.) Crank the nose back to level. Then crank the nose 3 or 4 turns up and place your front jackstands. Crank back down to level and you're done.

I carry a small selection of 4x4's cut to about 11" and some 1x6's cut to about 5.5". This allows me to build up under one or more jackstands if the site is sloped. I prefer to keep the jackstands within an inch or two of minimum height so I tend to use these boards a lot. I feel that it gives a more stable base.)

Let us know how it goes!

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