Originally Posted by zinger60
We purchased our first TT in January. Got it out of storage in April and first thing took it to a empty parking lot for my husband to practice backing up. We set saw horses on each side of a parking space and I was the one trying to help him back in. I had no idea where to stand, what to tell him as far as directing him, etc. We just purchased walkie-talkies so he can hear me but I have no idea what directions to give him. When we were practicing, he had me stand on the door side of the camper but if I stand on one side of the unit, how am I going to see how things are going on the other side of the camper? We need help soon because our first camping trip is coming up next week. Would love any tips we can get on how to do it right.
Stand on the door side, that is his blind side. He can see the driver's side with his mirror and by turning his head.
Basically I just need my husband or son to tell me if I'm going to hit something, and tell me when I'm good and can stop backing in. Other than that I do these things that help me back in with little trouble:
1)Get towing mirrors that allow you to see where your trailer tires touch the pavement (AT LEAST on the drivers side, on passenger side if able).
2)Pull well past the site you are backing into. Dont be tempted to stay real close to one side or the other on the pavement. Just normally drive past the site until your trailer tires are a few feet past the entrance to the spot. You'll need those few feet to begin executing a turn in reverse.
3)Put your hand on the BOTTOM of the steering wheel and turn it in the direction you want the trailer to go. If my hand is on the bottom of the steering wheel and I turn it toward my drivers side door, the trailer will move toward my left. FYI sites on the left side of the road are a bit easier to back into as a beginner than those on the right because the driver's "good side" is the side that can be seen when angled to back in.
4)I watch my trailer tires, and keep them following the pavement as I back in. If my trailer tires are following closely the pavement on my side, it's unlikely i'm about to hit something on the other side, but still I have a spotter to be sure a tree didn't jump up and move when I began backing in.
5)Spotter says whoa with voice and a hand signal I can see in my mirrors when I should stop backing. Their job is to make sure my power and water connections are in reach of the sources, and my slide will clear any obstacles.
Sometimes my husband gets a wild hair and starts to tell me "more left, more right" etc. To that I wonder "who's left? what? huh? Am I gonna hit something? It's confusing. If he points in one direction I'll comply and steer the trailer in that direction, but other than that, my job is "back in without hitting anything where our power, water, slide, and awning will all work within reason". I don't care if I'm a little crooked on the site. This is often fixed when I pull forward onto leveling blocks anyway. I simply need my spotter to yell STOP if I"m gonna hit something. That's pretty much it.
It will take a few trips to get the feel of when the trailer begins to react to changes at the steering wheel. Each trailer is different. it might begin turning in 2 feet, or 4, or 8. Once you know how much space you need for the trailer to obey steering input, it gets much easier.