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Old 01-12-2015, 06:53 PM   #31
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We had backing in with our previous travel trailer down pat...could hit almost any site with the DW doing all the directing from the back. After we got the 5th wheel, we struggled to figure it out and finally have found a method that works for us.

Now, when we arrive at our camp site, I use the swoop method to set the 5'ver up where I figure it needs to be to back it in and then the DW takes over the wheel from there.

I survey the camp site, decide on the desired location for the 5'ver and then stand by the TV window on the side we are backing to and give her right/left directions (each right/left I give is a 1/4 turn on the wheel by her). It seems I can better visualize the arcs the 5'ver needs to track along to get to the spot we want to be at. Occasionally, I have her stop the TV for a moment while I re-survey or walk to the opposite side to check that we are on track.

So good!

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Old 01-12-2015, 08:35 PM   #32
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I'm the new kid on the block so it's ALL good. The hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and getting in before dark and if you get in late those lanterns :-)
WEST Marine sells 'Lucy" lights. Little, solar powered, inflatable lanterns, they should work great. Search lucy lanterns | West Marine.
We hang them on the awning.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:10 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by kansas666 View Post
My only suggestion is at all costs avoid the loop of shame. That's where you completely botched it and have to drive around the loop and try again.
AH but this beats the old military view of
"keep going until it sounds expensive and then give it one more push"
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:57 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by MilCop4523 View Post
AH but this beats the old military view of
"keep going until it sounds expensive and then give it one more push"
I don't know when you were in but our motto in Naval Aviation was fix it till its broke.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:41 AM   #35
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My trick is this. Tell the wife to walk the dog. Then I get out and take a good look at the spot. When wife gets back I'm hooking up power. She's never any help. She once stood in the pitch black, behind the trailer, where it was obvious that I could not see her. I Slowly backed up waiting for a shout to "whoa!" Backed right into the eve of our carport. Her comment was, I was waving my hand for you to stop. Well at least she was keeping the mosquitoes from biting.
So now I do it alone. I can't get her to understand that if she can't see me in a mirror, then I can't see her. She thinks staring at the rear bumper will control the fiver. Kinda funny.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:23 AM   #36
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Oh good, now I need a dog :-)
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:34 AM   #37
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Our first trip in our first trailer- I backed in and wife gave directions!
It was UGLY. She would say things like watch out or move over....
WHICH WAY I would yell.... After 2 angry arrivals at different camping spots she said if I thought giving directions was so easy I should try it!

We swapped places and it's WONDERFUL! She drives and I walk around
and along side and tell her exactly which way to steer and when to stop or
move. It works great. She is like my own personal robot/remote control
behind the wheel. We get the hitch on the ball 1st time every time
and our arrivals are SO much less stressful.

We park in a shelter at home and in order to be able to open the trailer
door the other side has to be within 2 inches or less of the post. We make it every time and haven't so much as scuffed off the dirt!

It's worked great for us for the last 10 years.
Dan & Rita D
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:12 AM   #38
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Others have mentioned lanterns or glow sticks, i have found those little cheap multi-LED flashlights handy...the worst place I ever have to back my RV is my own driveway. At night, I throw one of those in the grass close to where I have to get the rear wheel to cut into the driveway. It's enough to light up the corner and give me a good visual of the mark. Worst case I'd run over it and bury the $3 flashlight. I've also considered clipping the LED gooseneck grill light I have to the rear fenderwell to illuminate the ground at the rear tire.

Like others have said, take your time. Don't wreck your rig trying to keep someone from having to wait on you for 60 seconds. If unsure of where you're at, hop out take a look.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:13 AM   #39
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The hardest part I have is when we return home and have to do several backing maneuvers to get camper under carport - very tight area with trees and garage to watch out for. The best advice I can give is to go very very very slow.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:50 AM   #40
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"very, very, very slow." Remind me of something I heard in a boat handling class many years ago. "pointy end goes forward and if you're going to hit something, do it slowly."
Have a great day.
Paul & Cindy

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