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Old 02-21-2022, 10:01 PM   #21
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Bakersfield, CA
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I've been backing trailers over 55 years. Each one is a little different and has a certain learning curve of their own.

Our new TT has a rear-view camera and I love having its help. We have a campground we love to go to up in the Serra's. Love it with one exception, they use big rocks to delineate the campsites. Backing into or over one of these rocks could ruin my day, but the camera helps prevent that. It also helps when I'm backing into our spot at the storage yard. Keeps me from getting too close to that new Rockwood someone bought shortly after we got ours that is backed up to us.

As others have stated, it's the practice that makes the difference. It can get overwhelming, but keep taking deep breaths, take a break and walk around for a few minutes. Even those of us that have been backing trailers for years get one every so often that we wonder if we're always going to be fighting, but it comes together and then you'll be backing like a pro and folks will be envious of you!!!

Happy RVing!!

Paul & Sherida Hodel and Coco Chanel, the Chocolate Cockapoo and the family's prized possession!
New TT: 2021 Rockwood Ultra Lite 2608BS, 570 watts of solar + 300 AH of Battle Borne lithium batteries.
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Old 02-21-2022, 10:01 PM   #22
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I have not used a backup camera with a trailer. I have one on my motorhome and it simplifies getting into a camp site.

The biggest thing about backing up is practice and take your time. As others have said a good spotter is more help than a camera. My wife has many talents, but spotting is not one of them, so I would get out and inspect the spot, back in 1/4 way, get out and look and repeat 3-5 times until I was well parked.

I did a few multiple week trips in the same summer and could back up the trailer in a single shot into a tight spot. Next year, back to the 1/4 the way, look and repeat.

So don't worry about how long it takes, take your time backing in and you will get better at it. If you have a spotter google hand signals to use, it helps a lot.

Once I get the motorhome in a spot for the night, I bring out a comfy chair and poor myself a glass of wine.
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Old 02-21-2022, 10:50 PM   #23
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My simple answer is yes, it is helpful. But it will not replace practice/skill in backing up nor will it replace a good human spotter.
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Old 02-21-2022, 10:53 PM   #24
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Our 5er has a rear camera, second one. First camera was on our prior TT and after getting installed and connected thought this would be great! But it's not great, its just another tool in the tool box, it does help but not cure all I thought it would be. Actually when backing into a really tight spot I don't even look at it. Best option is still the DW and walkies-talkies. As other have stated cell phone's don't always work but two way radios do. Next is both spotter and driver have a common language, left/right is to subjective to me so it is Passenger side or Driver side. Lastly, as has been stated previously get out and walk the site, it helps me visualize where I'm going and how to get their.

Finally, practice, practice, practice.

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Old 02-21-2022, 10:54 PM   #25
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I've not found mine to be very useful.
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Old 02-21-2022, 10:57 PM   #26
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I'm with the majority, a bu camera is of minimal help.
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Old 02-22-2022, 12:36 AM   #27
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In my case, the backup camera only helps me know how far I can back up before hitting something. I don't use it as an aid to help with backing into a spot. I use the mirrors to line up the site. It is very intimidating when first learning how to do it. A LOT of practice is needed to get comfortable doing it especially if you have no experience in doing this.

One thing I didn't see mentioned was that it's seems most helpful for me is to be in motion when trying any turns. Turning the steering wheel while stopped and then starting to back tends to cause erratic results. It's easier to make corrections while moving. And like others have mentioned use smaller steering inputs. It's easier to control and make corrections that way. It also helps to pull past the site maybe about half the trailer length before staring to back up. Stopping immediately after the site and trying to immediately make the trailer turn 90⁰ into the spot just doesn't work out very well. What also seems to work for me is to be in center of road or slightly towards the side of road where site is on. If site is on drivers side, I try being just left of center before backing. If site on passenger side, stay just right of center. It seems to give me a little more wiggle room with the front of the tow vehicle when finishing up backing into the site.
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Old 02-22-2022, 01:10 AM   #28
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There's plenty of good and seasoned advice on here. I'm just a one season RVer with my input.

When I got my RV last year about 1,200 mi. from home, asked where a parking lot was to practice backing up and that was my first stop after leaving the dealer. It sucked. Never pulled a trailer before.

Had a place to spend the night so I could get familiar with the RV and prep for my trip back home. It took a while to back into this yuge space (see below) by myself but I did it.

The first time we went out as a family, we got into the site at dusk with rain, the spouse on the radio, and things weren't looking good with plenty of trees on either side. We had a great observant neighbor and asked to assist via radio. We made it thanks to him. Would have shared some wine with him but state parks are a dry place here and had his hands full with his family. Many thanks, dude!

We did better on subsequent trips and about the 5th one, I was solo and able to return to storage all alone. After giving her the news, she almost felt like she was no longer needed. We did team afterwards but also had to show her that daddy was getting it.

I think I got a camera after the second trip but not really for backing up, but for being able to see who was behind me while driving. I wanted to see if I was too slow for anyone behind me, while passing, so I could keep right. I really didn't use the camera for backing up and relied on the mirros and spouse when needed. About the only time I used the camera was to see how close I could get to trees without hitting them (also below.)

Practice and good luck, it will come.

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Old 02-22-2022, 02:28 AM   #29
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Here is how I learned to back up a Trailer in the Army. My Team Chief would stand next to the drivers door. And tell me which way to turn the wheel. How far to turn the wheel and when I needed to start and stop. He actually backed up the truck. I simply turned the wheel. And applied the gas and brakes. He did this once a day for about 2 weeks. That's all it took. When I became a Team Chief I used the same method to teach my Team.

Get a good backer upper to do the same for you. Take you to a parking lot and tell you how to turn the wheel. You learn by doing it successfully. No triaI by error. I have seen it work dozens of times.

Good Luck
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Old 02-22-2022, 06:52 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by jkelly66 View Post
I’m hoping to get some general input on whether experienced RVer’s find the backup cameras truly helpful. I’m new to RV’s having bought a 26-foot Palomino Solaire about 6 months ago. I am struggling - really, really badly - with backing this thing up. The camper has a factory Furrion mount for a camera system. I don’t mind spending the $400-600. I just need to know if it is going to be a complete game-changer for the better if I install one of these. Parking this thing is absolutely the single most stressful part of any camping trip we go on, me getting this thing parked at the campground, and then parked again back at home. Three times I have a had to let another (gracious) RV-er help me out and back it up where I could not. I have taken it out several times to parking lots to try and teach myself how to do it, and it’s not getting much better. I just can’t SEE anything behind me. I’ve tried the old trick of putting my hand at the bottom of the steering wheel, yada yada, and that seems to help, but again I just can’t SEE anything behind me. a backup camera going to help me? Thanks for any input
As others have already said, a rear view camera will not increase your backing skills, but it does give you peace of mind being able to see behind your rig. I did not spend a lot of money for the camera I purchased. Tadi Brothers offers this unit that will adapt to the camera setup that is probably already installed on the back of your unit. It is and plug and play with very easy installation. Also, when you go on their web site there are money off offers to save you a few more bucks. I have had mine for over a year and have been satisfied with the unit.
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Old 02-22-2022, 07:16 AM   #31
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You have to pick out the answer that suits you best. Hereís my input.
I get out and assess every campsite we go to before backing, noting where I want the trailer to end up and what obstructions to be aware of. My wife stands behind the trailer, far enough that I donít run over her. We use cell phones on speaker. Just remember thereís a 1/4 second lag in hearing each other.
Hereís my key point. She tells me which way the back of the trailer needs to go. I figure out how to get it there. We NEVER use the words left and right. When backing at home she says house side or Covington Street side. She says driverís side and passengerís side when we donít have other obvious landmarks at campgrounds. This also works when pulling forward.
Speaking of forward, I find backing into a site far easier than pulling in forward. Not to worry, though. Neither is easy. Just take your time. Be patient. Thereís NO SHAME in pulling forward and starting again. (Even if your spouse gets frustrated with you.)
Oh, to answer your original question, I have no idea. Iíve never used a backup camera.
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Old 02-22-2022, 07:24 AM   #32
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Not really certain what problems you have backing but a camera will help.
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Old 02-22-2022, 08:12 AM   #33
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Yes, it will help, especially the rear view when you are driving down the road. The one rule that will make your life easier is "GOAL"--Get Out And Look! "Braille backing is not the way to go!"
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Old 02-22-2022, 09:59 AM   #34
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When I arrive at my campsite, I will make sure my trailer is completely passed it, stop, get out, and survey the scene. Then I make sure that I am far enough beyond the entrance to the site that I can begin a gradual turn of the steering wheel and have better control over the tail-end of the trailer. The mirrors are the key elements to begin the back up. My back up camera comes into play once the trailer begins to enter the site to let me see what is on my blind-side mirror's side of the trailer and also to tell me how deep into the site I am. The camera also comes in handy when passing a car or truck to know with assurance that I am truly in front of that vehicle and it is safe to move back over into the right lane.
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Old 02-22-2022, 10:00 AM   #35
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Will backup camera really help me?

Do you have mirror extensions on your tow vehicle? They do help on the road to help you see what's coming up from behind you. They also help getting into camp sites too!
I grew up on a farm and backing up trailers became second nature. Try backing up a hay trailer with fixed rear wheels and pivoting front axle into a barn with maybe 2 feet clearance on each side. You learn real fast! Its totally different than a camping trailer with fixed axles.
Like everyone has said, it just takes practice! You will figure it out, but just take it slow and easy!!!
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Old 02-22-2022, 10:01 AM   #36
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Plano Tx
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Spotter is better than camera

I totally rely on my DW as my spotter. We have worked out the different hand signals that work best and we use cellphones when there is a good connection. I did not like using a backup camera.
In my work life I insisted that my fleet of delivery box truck drivers used ground spotters and failure to do so could result in discipline up to termination if they collided with anything.
As others report, practice is crucial !
I am always better at backing when I return from a trip than when I start out
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Old 02-22-2022, 10:25 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by djemgoss View Post
Do you have mirror extensions on your tow vehicle? They do help on the road to help you see what's coming up from behind you. They also help getting into camp sites too!
I grew up on a farm and backing up trailers became second nature. Try backing up a hay trailer with fixed rear wheels and pivoting front axle into a barn with maybe 2 feet clearance on each side. You learn real fast! Its totally different than a camping trailer with fixed axles.
Like everyone has said, it just takes practice! You will figure it out, but just take it slow and easy!!!
I do not have extensions at the present time. But when looking back via a mirror on either side, it is hard for me to tell with any precision how far back the other vehicle is relative to the tail-end of the trailer (until I am VERY clear of the other vehicle...).
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Old 02-22-2022, 10:31 AM   #38
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If you have cell phone service, get your helper on speaker phone mode to "talk" you into place.

Another trick I have is that I cut a scrap pieces of white PVS pipe about 3 inches longer than my widest slide-out. That way I can spot how close I am to obstacles like power stand, water hook-up, trees, etc...

Have fun and Happy Camping.
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Old 02-22-2022, 10:50 AM   #39
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As others have suggested, there are two camera types.

First is a backup camera. This comes on only when the TV is in reverse. We have one on each of our tow vehicles. I have painted the front of the hitch on the trailer white in contrast to the black frame. When connecting, the white stands our at a distance and aligning using the camera is very easy. A backup camera on a trailer serves very little purpose. It is an aid in seeing obstructions in the blind spot, especially when coming close to an obstruction, but nothing close to slow deliberate backing, a spotter, and getting out to check for yourself.

Second is the rear vision camera. With the Furrion mount, the camera is powered off the running light circuit. I consider this a must on anything with a significant blind spot. And, a TT certainly falls into that category. This system tells you when there are vehicles in your blind spot and their intentions to overtake. The wide lens angle of a 140 degrees or more, helps when making lane changes. If you can see the full front bumper of the vehicle in an adjoining, you have cleared that vehicle for a lane change. When backing, it has the same limitations as the backup camera.
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Old 02-22-2022, 12:16 PM   #40
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I got my rear observation camera for being able to see who is behind me, when driving. But it does help seeing the wife's hand signals when backing up.
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