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Old 05-09-2013, 10:24 AM   #11
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 109
Thanks All for your response. Someone had said something to me about push and chase. Placing my hands at the bottom of the wheel and push in the direction I wanted the 5er to go. Small steps at first the chase it. I'm glad they have the new front caps on the unit giving a larger turn radius.

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 109
Push and chase info


  1. Straight-Shot Backing

    • 1 Align the vehicle and the trailer to the parking space. The rear of the trailer should be pointing into the parking area, and the nose of the tow vehicle should be pointing directly away from the parking area. Straighten the tow vehicle's wheels as though you were going to drive straight ahead (You can do this while not moving).

    • 2 Put your foot on the brake, place the vehicle in reverse, and place the palm of your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel with your fingers pointed up (open handed).

    • 3 Slowly back the vehicle, monitoring the mirrors (extended mirrors give better visibility). The trailer should be evenly distributed in both mirrors. If drift occurs, you will note the trailer is decreasing in visibility in one mirror and increasing in the other. The mirror the trailer is increasing in visibility in indicates which direction the rear of the trailer is drifting.

    • 4 Correct the drift by moving the palm of your hand in the direction you wish the trailer to go. If you need the rear of the trailer to correct to your right (over your right shoulder), then push the palm of your hand to the right, making sure your hand is pushing from the lower part of the steering wheel. The tow vehicle's wheels will turn the direction required to correct the trailer drift. Once the trailer is nearly drifted back, swing your palm and steering wheel back to the bottom and slightly beyond. The goal is to allow your tow vehicle to chase the trailer, not correct the trailer constantly (resulting from overcorrection). Small corrections will yield necessary changes over distance. Do not attempt to correct in a short distance, if possible, as it will lead to overcorrection.

    • 5 Using a friend backing system or by getting out of the vehicle, monitor the back end of the trailer until you can see when the trailer is fully in the parking place.

    Angled Backing

    • 6 Stage the trailer to be backed into position by driving the tow vehicle and trailer past the point of entry. If you are driving perpendicular to the point of entry, turn the tow vehicle away from the entry point as you pass and drive forward just far enough to allow the trailer to be angled toward the entry point rather than remaining at a right angle.

    • 7 Put your foot on the brake, place the vehicle in reverse and place the palm of your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel with your fingers pointed up (open handed).

    • 8 Push the palm of your hand in the direction the rear of the trailer should point to enter the parking space. Using your palm, continuing turning the steering wheel for some distance (once or twice around). Begin slowly backing the vehicle.

    • 9 Monitor your edges. Your tow vehicle will swing in front of the trailer while the trailer jacks into the direction required. Be sure you will not hit obstacles with either the tow vehicle or trailer. Getting out often or having helpers is crucial.

    • 10 Using your mirrors, monitor the entry of the rear of the trailer into the parking space. If your trailer is not turning sharply enough and you cannot turn the steering wheel further, stop the vehicle, straighten the wheel and pull forward a few feet to align the tow vehicle and the trailer, and repeat steps 3 and 4.

    • 11 Chase your trailer into the parking spot. Just as a trailer follows a tow vehicle around a corner, you should have the goal of chasing your trailer into the parking spot (or whereever your are backing). By using the chase method, you will overcorrect less. As you chase the trailer while backing, allow the tow vehicle to eventually straighten as you reverse.


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Old 05-09-2013, 10:39 AM   #13
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
I sort of had the opposite issue...we had never had a camper, and everyone said to go with a 5th wheel and a diesel. Disaster on both issues.

I know lots of folks love diesels but it was my daily driver and just too much to deal with....I changed the oil with an 8 quart pan, and emptied 12 quarts all over the floor....uck!

I could never back up the 5 th wheel....tried practicing at parking lots, watched videos, etc. Twice I had to drop the trailer and re-route the truck to the trailer because I was jacked up so bad....people laughed at me at every campground. I always hated the front in the trailer right in the bed behind the rear window.

So, we parked it at a campground year around, and all was well...haha.

We retired now, and want to travel....sold the 5th wheel and bought a travel trailer bumper pull....I have no idea why, but I have no trouble backing it up around trees, around obstacles, etc. I guess I had a mental block with the 5th wheel that I do not have with the bumper pull....i dunno
2014 Ram 1500 Quad Cab
4x4, 5.7 Hemi, 3.92, 8 Speed
2013 Forrest River Flagstaff
30' "V" Lite, 7300#
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Jefferson County, MO
Posts: 4,687
One of the tricks to backing a fifth wheel into a campsite is to do it very slowly...the slower the better.

Bob and Joyce
2013 CC Silverback 29RL
2010 Ford F250 XL Crew Cab 6.4 liter diesel
ATU Local 788
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:18 AM   #15
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
Posts: 622
Originally Posted by brw549 View Post
I know many of you started with a TT and moved up to a fifth wheel. What was the learning curve for you on backing and maneuvering the unit through traffic vs the TT?

"Moved up" ?????????

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Old 05-09-2013, 12:20 PM   #16
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 109
you know how the song goes...well were movin on up, movin on up, to the fifth wheel, to a deluxe bedroom above the cab...well were movin on up to the 50 amp spaces in the park...LOL
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #17
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Concord, NC
Posts: 23,875
Originally Posted by VTX Al View Post
"Moved up" ?????????

Don't understand that either, to me we just moved from a tt to a 5er, no up or down to it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:42 PM   #18
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Lords Valley, PA
Posts: 57
I tow either a 30 foot bumper pull enclosed trailer, 30 5er, or a 40 goose and don't have any issues and really don't have to think. Check my mirrors on turns and just back up slow. I will pull the 5er or goose any day verse the burner pull. Hate the WDH and the noise and the sway sometimes. Don't have any issues.

2008 Rockwood 8281ss
2006 Dodge Ram Mega Cab Hemi
Reese 15k Slider
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