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Old 12-16-2019, 07:16 AM   #1
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Backing a new TT

I just got a new 30' TT and I am having a heck of a time backing that thing. This is the longest trailer I've ever had (20' before this). Can anyone suggest a good way to back that thing into a site? I went and did some practicing in a vacant parking lot and I noticed the backend doesn't respond as quickly as it did in my 20 footer. This is driving me nuts! HELP!
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:27 AM   #2
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Longer the trailer easier it is, she wont turn to quick on you. Small and slow changes helps as well as a spotter with walkie talkies. Its all in time, some get it right a way other takes years. Practice practice.
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:29 AM   #3
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I always underestimate how far I need to pull forward before backing in so found that going at least 5 yards, maybe even 10, further than I think I should go helps a lot.

Also, while still pulling forward, I swing the truck so the trailer is already starting in the right direction.

Both of those may help with what you refer to as slow response.

Finally, at least for me, putting my hand on top of the wheel and pushing the trailer out of the mirror works best for me. In other words, if the trailer is in the right mirror and I dont want it there, I steer right.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:33 AM   #4
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Practice practice. As you noted the longer trailer responds more slowly. This makes it easier to back up once you adjust (slower to jack knife, etc.) You will get suggestions to put your hands on the bottom of the steering wheel, etc., but I've found it best to just go slow and learn to back it in properly. Just remember the pivot point will be the trailer tires and these are now much further back. Pull forward further than you've been doing before beginning backing into a parking space.
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:25 AM   #5
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I like to back in from the left if I can, allows me to look out the drivers side window to watch the trailer. From the right it's not as easy
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:52 AM   #6
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Back to the left whenever possible. If you can visualize a line on the ground to follow to where you want to be helps as well. Put a cone, or other visible object, where you want the corner of the TT to be. Don't be afraid to get out and look as many times as it takes. I would rather look and have a mental image of where I'm going. Take your time. Stay relaxed! A few extra minutes is better than being frustrated and or a damaged truck or TT. You will get it!!
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:40 AM   #7
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A Spotter really helps and you need to agree on terminology. For example, the Spotter should refer to directions as Passenger side and Driver side instead of Left and Right. Your Left and Right may not match their Left and Right depending on which way you both are facing.
As noted, communicate with walker talkies or blue tooth into your TT system.

I learned to back the trailer’s rear end by using the Hand On The Bottom of the steering Wheel method. Put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel ,move to the left your trailer will go left. Move to the right your trailer will go right. Ya da!
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Old 12-16-2019, 12:31 PM   #8
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Here's a good video with a bunch of tips:

https://youtu.be/p1B5d_K2__4
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Old 12-16-2019, 01:11 PM   #9
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Remember, if you can't see your spotter, your spotter can't see you.

Practice is a good thing.

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Old 12-16-2019, 01:32 PM   #10
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Wax on; wax off...get a couple of cones and head to a parking lot and practice.
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Old 12-16-2019, 01:33 PM   #11
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Don't freak out ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by benatk View Post
I just got a new 30' TT and I am having a heck of a time backing that thing. This is the longest trailer I've ever had (20' before this). Can anyone suggest a good way to back that thing into a site? I went and did some practicing in a vacant parking lot and I noticed the backend doesn't respond as quickly as it did in my 20 footer. This is driving me nuts! HELP!

I got a 19 ft and was really concerned about backing it up. I was ready to commit to the possibility of committing suicide at some point if need be. I got into one jam and eventually got it parked AFTER I told myself that I would never be able to do it.


Here's the key. Do NOT freak out. Do NOT get in a rush. Take it one baby step at a time. Do NOT be quick to call for help or even run off and commit suicide. Like they say here, practice, practice, practice and don't rush things.



Tell yourself that if it takes two hrs when it should only take 2 mins, commit to two hrs.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:05 PM   #12
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Practice!
That's the key to anything and it will get easier the more you do.

Try to put out of your mind what the 'old' trailer did and concentrate on this one. If it backs differently, study that process.

I also learned a long time ago to visualize where the tires are supposed to go (and where they are going) and not so much the box of the trailer. I get out of the vehicle and access the site/spot and I let any spotters worry about limbs or such and I concentrate on where I want the tires. If no spotters, I determine if there are any higher obstacles that correspond where the tires are going to be. Visualize that arc or line and you'll hit it dead on every time.

Pull ahead farther than you'd think you need to, at first. That's always a tough one.

I tend to disagree that backing to the left is easier, especially on a l-o-n-g trailer. I find I can see that right side of the trailer out of the tow vehicle window(s) just fine.

I agree with Woody that you don't need to do the "hand on the bottom of the wheel" once you know how trailers react when backing. I tried that process once... never again in 50+ years of backing trailers.

Best of luck.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
I also learned a long time ago to visualize where the tires are supposed to go (and where they are going) and not so much the box of the trailer.
Let me add, backing in is the opposite to pulling out. You don't have any problems leaving a campsite, do you? Of course not.
Go back to your lot with your cones and pull forward as if you are leaving a site. Stop every 5 feet or so and note the path of your wheels. (I placed extra cones.) Once you are 90į to where you started, get out and look at the arc your wheels made. That's the same arc you'll need to make backing up. As Picker said, watch your wheels, not the trailer.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:32 PM   #14
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You think you have problems. I have two trucks, F150 Crew cab and a Ranger, and three trailers, my 25ft TT, and 12ft and 8 ft utility trailers. That's six possibilities and for some reason I end up doing them all, if only to maneuver around the house. And of course I have all three trailer hitch ball sizes.

I don't get a feel for the travel trailer until about 3 days out on the road.

The only thing that helps is starting farther away than I think, backing to the left(almost never your choice) and eyeballing those tires.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:46 PM   #15
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For some it comes easier, for others it takes longer.
You might want to install a rear observation camera also.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:57 PM   #16
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No soapbox but one of these posts twice mentioned committing suicide; certainly as a joke, but as one who has lost family and my closest friend to suicide...as well as the escalating rate among past and present service members, let's please think before connecting a national tragedy to humor.
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Old 12-16-2019, 03:04 PM   #17
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Thanks everyone for their advice. I'm going to have to get out and practice more with this "monster". Who'd thought that 10 extra feet would make that much difference.
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:05 PM   #18
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Backing Up

A long time ago, someone (a trucker) told me to always hold my hands AT THE BOTTOM of the steering wheel when backing. That way you turn the wheel in the direction you want to go. Also, going to a much longer trailer, set your mirrors so you can see the trailer tires, you tend to think of the tires where they used to be, nearer the rear of the trailer. They are much farther forward now. I went from a 28' to a 32' and had similar troubles for a few times, till I started watching the location of the trailer tires. ENJOY!
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake5er View Post
No soapbox but one of these posts twice mentioned committing suicide; certainly as a joke, but as one who has lost family and my closest friend to suicide...as well as the escalating rate among past and present service members, let's please think before connecting a national tragedy to humor.

Agree wholeheartedly. I cringe when folks casually mention suicide.
I am a loss survivor twenty years.
I know there is no malice or intentional insensitivity, they just donít know.
National statistics: someone completes a suicide every 16 minutes in the USA. For every one that succeeds 11 are attempt and fail Per CDC Statistics.
Itís on the rise with former military (PTSD) and certainly on the rise in our youth.
Cyber bullying etc
Thanks for raising awareness
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACJCF2 View Post
Remember, if you can't see your spotter, your spotter can't see you.
Jim
Lost my first wife that way. Lesson learned.

Go to the hardware store and buy 20 feet of yellow rope. Lay that along the side of your campsite as to where the trailer wheels should be lined up.
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