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Old 06-19-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
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5th wheel noob

Still looking for a few tips and tricks for backing into the site and set up! Thanks guys
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums from Huntsville, AL!

Here are a few tips from my 5er backing files
  • Turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction that you want the trailer to go. Some folks like to place a hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and move it in the direction they want the trailer to turn towards.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! There is no substitute for it. To learn how your particular truck and rig move together you have to get out there and do it. This way you will develop a feel for how the rig reacts.
  • Take your time. Get out and survey the situation. Plan how you want to back the trailer in. Look for obstacles and move anything that is in the way. Donít forget to look up. Tree branches can ruin your day.
  • Have a good spotter. My wife spots me and we have a simple but very clear set of hand signals. We discuss our tactics so both know how we want to perform the backing maneuvers. Also if I canít see her I donít back up.
  • Have clean and properly adjusted mirrors and use them. Make sure you can see your spotter in your mirrors and monitor them every few seconds.
  • Pay attention to the front. Itís very easy to get all caught up in backing and forget what is right in front of the truck. While the trailer turns into the RV site your truck front end will be heading away from it at the same time until you pass the middle point in the turn.
  • Ignore all the helpful bystanders they will usually only cause confusion. Have one spotter you can trust. Folks are very well meaning but too many cooks ruin the meal.
  • Try to always back into spots on the driverís side. Backing into a spot on the passenger side is called a blind back in and is more difficult, due to limited visibility with the trailer blocking your vision.
  • Push the fifth wheel. I find it helpful to think about backing the trailer as pushing it with the truck. Like taking a fully loaded shopping cart and pushing it around from the front end.
  • Write this down and stick it on the dash Ė (GOAL) It stands for Get Out And Look and is used by professional truck drivers. Never keep backing up if youíre unsure about something. I sometimes stop 3 or 4 times to look if itís a difficult spot or a blind side back in.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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goal--I like that very much.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:25 PM   #4
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Hey BamaBob,

Not to hijack the post, but what is the Revolution 1" mod? I have the F150 Ecoboost and reese revolution as well. Actually just got it.
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice our first back in will be 4th of July weekend!
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Old 06-20-2014, 07:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JabbaLB View Post
Thanks for the advice our first back in will be 4th of July weekend!
If you have the chance take your rig to an empty parking lot and lay out a campsite using clothesline and practice backing in. Church parking lots are usually empty except for Sundays.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:26 AM   #7
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A new trick I started to do is to use our cell phones with the spotter. My truck has Bluetooth hook up that gives me hand free talking to the spotter. OR just walkie talkies when they are in a blind spot.
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:58 AM   #8
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If you have the chance take your rig to an empty parking lot and lay out a campsite using clothesline and practice backing in. Church parking lots are usually empty except for Sundays.
You can also use red solo cups filled with water for a little better visibility. Cheap and don't cost much of anything when you run over a few.


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A new trick I started to do is to use our cell phones with the spotter. My truck has Bluetooth hook up that gives me hand free talking to the spotter. OR just walkie talkies when they are in a blind spot.
Agreed- wife and I use cell phones. The nice side effect is that the men who would previously come over to help (ironically, friends and family were the worst with this) get the point that I'm only hearing and listening to her without us having to say anything. If they still stick around, they get put at strategic points and are told to shout if I'm going to hit something. That's the only input I take from anyone but my wife when backing in.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:28 PM   #9
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As you are practicing, also pay attention to the distance between the trailer and cab of your truck. If you have a short bed this is even more critical. You will want to know how tight of a turn you can make without damaging the TV.
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Old 06-23-2014, 01:36 PM   #10
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All good advice. Especially Bama Bob's comment on watching where your truck is. I was once so focused on where my trailer was going that I failed to see a tree until I noticed it was about two inches from my drivers-side mirror. Didn't hit it, but learned a lesson about backing. My spotter, with walkie-talkie, was also focused on the trailer and not the truck.
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