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Old 09-25-2013, 07:45 PM   #21
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One thing you'll find is campground folks are mostly nice. If you do need help getting lined up, someone should be available. Of course the camera is a great plan too. When I hook up solo I get out about 20 times to look so a camera is on my list for Santa second year running.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:41 AM   #22
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Here are a couple low tech cheaper hitch assist devices.

http://http://accessories.etrailer.com/search?p=Q&lbc=etrailer&uid=494329412&ts=v2&w=Hitc h%20Assist&af=pstyle:hitchaligner%20dep:hitchacces sories%20&nf=&isort=score&method=and&view=list

See this page for more detail on the ball/rod version.

Two-Balls-and-Sticks Hitch Aligner Reese Hitch Accessories 53410

This could work but it's not perfect. If the rod is not straight for any reason
the device won't be telling the truth about hitch/ball proximity.
Still I think it could be better than nothing.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:50 AM   #23
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Here's what I used on all our tongue trailers. Works great. Painting the top of the hitch socket white and the hitch head white sure helps also.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:05 AM   #24
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OldCoot -- I love the mirror! Did you make that or did you buy it somewhere? Painting the connecting points white is also a great idea.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:12 AM   #25
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OldCoot -- I love the mirror! Did you make that or did you buy it somewhere? Painting the connecting points white is also a great idea.
Naturally, I made it. lol Used a convex mirror used by semi's mounted on an pipe and secured to the tongue with a bracket on the jack and a round plate bolted to the top of the tongue where the jack mounted. Could use straps with holes in them to attach to the jack tube and mirror pipe.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:20 AM   #26
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You should see me back the trailer into a single garage door opening. I back a little, get out and check, back a little, check again. It takes a while. I only have 9" on each side and I'd rather go slow than tear up the trailer or the garage. I'm sure all you experienced people would get a good laugh out of watching me.
9" on each side!!!! I only wish I had that kind of space for the truck to fit!

A big tip is to get some mirrors that allow you to see down the side of the trailer when everything is straight. next best tip I have is to TRUST those mirrors.

I remember my turning point for the mirrors was at work. We had a 40" high deck goose neck trailer we need in the shop for repairs and to thaw out ( had been below freezing for over a week) I don't recall the exact measurements but I know clear as day that I had less than 2" on each side of the overhead I was backing into... Get the rig straightened out with the door and go nice and easy straight back.... I had the advantage of being able to see straight down the side of the trailer here in the mirrors...

The picture wasn't from the story I mentioned but more recently one of my vendors wouldn't bring a lift outside to load me and said there was no way I had room to back up inside... I always love a challenge!
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:18 AM   #27
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When I had a jet ski I could roll that all over the place so there never was a need to learn how to back up to it. That one has come back to bite me.

And yes -- my little Rockwood A128S rolls pretty easily on level ground, but it's still big enough it could hurt me if it got out of control so I will keep in mind all the safety suggestions.

You should see me back the trailer into a single garage door opening. I back a little, get out and check, back a little, check again. It takes a while. I only have 9" on each side and I'd rather go slow than tear up the trailer or the garage. I'm sure all you experienced people would get a good laugh out of watching me.

Hello Gale, My Apologies for my suggests and going way off of the thread topic in my other posts.

I really don't think people would or should laugh at what you are describing. You are doing exactly what (so-called) experienced people do. You have been shown several different aids in getting the job done that you are trying to do. They are very very good suggestions to be looked into (and I am making a list to look into some for myself). But I, as (cough) an 'experienced' (bad things can happen to the most experienced of anyone that is why I coughed) person whose has done 'this' many more years than not, still, can not and will not 'trust' these 'aids' completely. 'We' all have tunnel vision in looking at the narrow task at hand and block out for short periods of time the 'whole picture'. (Forgive me for putting so many words in " " and stuff, it is a habit that I have had for too many years and is not directed to you) So, what you are doing is what everyone should be doing. Survey that area, know where you want to go and make sure all is clear, move the tv a short distance, get out and survey the area.... wash, rinse, repeat.... you are experienced at getting the job done safely and correctly...

(I wish I had 9 inches on each side of my garage doors..... backed out my F-250 and was looking to the right when I should have looked a little closer to the left ripped off my driver mirror.... not a pretty sight. )

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Old 09-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #28
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I think you will find after some practice that it's not that hard to backup with reasonable precision. Even with a plate. You can usually bump it +\- an inch or so to get the tongue on the ball.

As to towing, you want to tow with the plate not a caster... The electric lifts do not provide as much clearance so a wheel is going to usually hang down too far for towing.

I don't think there's any problem with using a wheel otherwise, jut that you may find it's not needed after a bit of practice and now you have a wheel you don't need.

Cheers.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #29
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I opted to remove the power jack and replace with the manual jack with caster wheel. I remove the wheel when traveling. Its not hard, just pull the pin. When I arrive at my destination, I put the wheel back on and take of the truck. I chock the trailer tires & swivel the jack wheel sideways (addtl preventive against trailer roll).

DH has easily moved the trailer in the shop by hand to move it forward or back, wherever needed. As others have said, Im good when hooking up if within half inch or so...and altho I use the magnetic telescoping yellow balls to help line me up, I still get out and check a zilloon times to be sure - it drives my spouse crazy to witness, but I can get it done. What takes him a few minites takes me 3x as long. I dont mind, I tell him I am off work and not in any kind of hurry...stressing oit at the beginning of a road trip is never a good start. LOL
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:49 PM   #30
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When I had a jet ski I could roll that all over the place so there never was a need to learn how to back up to it. That one has come back to bite me.

And yes -- my little Rockwood A128S rolls pretty easily on level ground, but it's still big enough it could hurt me if it got out of control so I will keep in mind all the safety suggestions.

You should see me back the trailer into a single garage door opening. I back a little, get out and check, back a little, check again. It takes a while. I only have 9" on each side and I'd rather go slow than tear up the trailer or the garage. I'm sure all you experienced people would get a good laugh out of watching me.
In a weird twist of events, I completely agree with OldCoot. Anyone who laughs at you should be throat punched (my words, not his!).

My first trailer experience was a kayak trailer. We would move it once per week and none of us had much experience with trailers at all. Our standard procedure was to get the van close to the trailer (many times hitting it if our spotter wasn't in view) and then moving the kayak trailer into position. Backing it into its parking spot was usually a matter of failing 3 or 4 times and then just pushing it into position. Sadly, there were 8-10 of us on staff and we all sucked at it.

GOAL is a concept that is taught to professional drivers - Get Out And Look. You're doing the right thing! Heck, a recent parking of my camper over Labor Day- I had 2 friendly neighbors come over to spot me and I still GOAL'd more than I would have had it been my wife as the spotter.

Keep it up, you're doing great!
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