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Old 02-07-2019, 08:15 AM   #1
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Backing Up Trailer

Admittedly, backing up is certainly not my strong suit but I'm getting better.. Problem is my DW is the excitable type... You know, the type that tends to over react to everything... You get a cut your going to "BLEED TO DEATH" or if it's a little cold you'll "FREEZE TO DEATH", you get the picture.....

As if backing up isn't hard enough she tends to make it a little harder and more nerve racking then it should be....

Here's the typical drill...

- We get to the site, get out of the truck and scope out where we want to trailer to rest.

- After negotiating with her for what seems like an hour on the best spot, I go back in the truck and get things lined up and she goes to the back of the trailer to guide me in... .

- As I make the approach and start backing up she starts motioning which way I should turn the wheel as if she was sitting in the driver seat. These aren't subtle hand moves, she's flailing her arms in big circles so hard her arms practically come out of the shoulder sockets.....

- As usual I'm not lined up right and she's running around the back of the trailer like a chicken with her head cut off continuing to flail her arms and winds up in a spot where I can't see her in the mirrors...

- I get out of the truck and calmly tell her she needs to be in a place I can see her and ask her not to tell me which way to turn the wheel since it's confusing, just point which way the back of the camper needs to go...

- I continue to back up, she continues to tell me which way to turn the wheel so I get back out of the truck and ask again...

- She says WELL YOUR TURNING THE WRONG WAY!! An argument follows that finally ends with me asking her if she'd like to back it in

- I explain once again all I need you to do is stay in a place where I can see you and point which way the back of the trailer needs to go...

- She finally obliges and we get the camper where we negotiated it should be

- I start to unhitch and level the trailer and she decides the trailer should be at a different spot on the site

It seems like every time we set up it's like Ground Hog Day.... Am I the only one with these issues :confused

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Old 02-07-2019, 08:26 AM   #2
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Backing Up Trailer

I’m usually on my own, and generally manage to get into sites with little difficulty. However, when I get home, my hubby feels the need to help me get into our driveway. Which is wider than many sites and essentially free of obstructions
It used to turn into a screaming match and he’d end up stomping off and saying “fine, do it yourself”, which was a relief! It used to make me nuts that he’d say “turn left” or “turn right” but would go back and forth between meaning the steering wheel and meaning the actual trailer! We’ve now reached an understanding. I won’t get cranked up at him if he ONLY describes the motion of the steering wheel and nothing else.
I still, however, prefer to park it when he’s not home

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Old 02-07-2019, 08:28 AM   #3
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I have a wonderful marriage, but at these moments things got tense. Can't see her in mirror, flailing arms, yada yada. Picked up a couple walkie talkies last year and it's a much smoother and calmer operation now.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:35 AM   #4
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I am sort of in the same hell!

Mine is particularly brilliant. However, she cannot do a map.

Has severe issues telling me which way to turn. No help. Lots of waving.

So I let her steer. Yep, steer. Clueless. Robotic.

I tell her every move to make. Can’t say straighten up. When she thinks and acts on her own she turns the wrong way 80% of the time. And when she thinks I am wrong she ignores me. Until I loudly say STOP. That pisses her off.

Doing this is hard.

I guess I need to practice backing up myself, a lot.

I feel your pain.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:46 AM   #5
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I am lucky 75% of the time we are close to home and bring two vehicles and go back and forth to work from the campground. So I leave early and get set up and then my wife comes out. Works well for me to be alone.

25% of the time when we are together we have come close to divorce over the backing up/set up process. Your wife must not be on the web site if you are brave enough to put all that in writing.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:50 AM   #6
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You just need to get a common language, and in my opinion, since you are the driver, you should pick the language you understand so you dont need to "translate". Once you get the language decided upon, stick with it. And have her stay as still as possible unless there is an emergency situation.

For us, we use walkie talkies (some will use cell phones because of the hands free abilities of new vehicles). We dont use "left" or "right", we use "driver" and "passenger". She doesnt tell me what to do, she just tells me which direction the trailer needs to go and then I take it from there. I just found it was too confusing for left and right, and even worse when she is telling me how to steer. Her just telling me where the rear of the trailer needs to go has been the easiest for me to understand.

Also, the best advice I found (maybe you have heard this), is to put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel when backing up. If you need the trailer to go toward the passenger side, move your hand toward the passenger side. As long as your hand is at the bottom, you can move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go. Simplest way to do it in my opinion

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Old 02-07-2019, 09:03 AM   #7
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Location: Winona, MN
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My wife and I had this problem when we first started camping with our trailer. but since we were both invested in the idea of camping, we both decided to come up with a plan to make it work. we use hand signals and she knows that i need to see her when backing up. if i cant see her, im not moving, period.

what can really help is having her learn to tow and backup your rig. it creates a completely new understanding of how things really work. My wife does not jump for joy when its time to tow and its her turn, but she understands how important it really is to know how to do it and what the primary driver goes through.

find an empty parking lot and practice together, be constructive and level headed. stop and talk about what is happening. even if she decides that she will never ever back up your rig, practice your signals and forms of communication. encourage each other. then take her out for lunch and discuss.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:08 AM   #8
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LOL, I got a good chuckle reading through this! All I could think about is every time my wife is yelling at me to "turn straight" as I back in.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:10 AM   #9
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I already knew I was a lucky man. My wife only uses 3 hand signals: 👈,👉,✋. 3 keys that work for me:
1. She's always telling which direction she wants the BACK of the traler to go.
2. I only use my mirrors, I do not turn to look back.
3. I keep my hand at the BOTTOM of the wheel. That way, left is left, right is right.
We use walkie talkies but very little.

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Old 02-07-2019, 09:16 AM   #10
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My wife is disabled and cannot help me. She either waits in the truck or at the site's picnic table and watches. Quite often, my neighbors see me backing up solo and offer to guide me. Otherwise, I will repeatedly get out of my truck to see gauge I'm doing. I find it quite helpful to mark the ground some way at where I want my tires to end up.


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