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Old 07-19-2007, 04:47 PM   #1
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Post Backing Setup Maneuver

Backing a trailer onto a campsite is seldom fun. I learned this backing setup maneuver years ago from a tractor trailer driver. It takes little practice and it will help make you a much happier camper. It takes less than five seconds to complete and, obviously, works best on straight roads of reasonable width. You will need to determine one spot (*) on you tow vehicle or trailer; I will explain as we proceed.

Step One: Always approach your campsite with the campsite on the driver’s side of your tow vehicle. This way you can look out the window or in your mirror to see where you are going while backing up. If you approach from the passenger side you are going to have visibility problems.

Step Two: As you approach your campsite, pull over as close as possible to the edge of the left side of the road. By the time you get to the near corner of the campsite your whole rig should be in a straight line behind you, parallel to the side of the road. (Yes, I am well aware that you will be on the wrong side of the road.)

Step Three: As the selected spot (*) on your tow vehicle comes even with the far corner of the lot, turn your wheels quickly and sharply to the right. Almost immediately, before you reach the other side of the road, turn your wheels quickly and sharply to the left so your tow vehicle ends up parallel to the passenger side of the road. Stop immediately – do not try to straighten out the trailer.

* This is the spot on your vehicle or trailer at which you initiate the above maneuver in order to end up in the best possible position to back in. This spot remains “constant” once determined. (You will soon get the hang of making minor adjustments automatically, much at you do when pulling into someone else’s driveway with your car). The exact position of this spot will vary according to the “geometry” of your setup. (The turning circle of the truck, the distance between the front and rear wheels, the distance between the truck axle and the ball, the distance between the ball and the pivot point on the trailer - all will vary from truck to truck and trailer to trailer.) I generally find it to be near the middle of my driver’s door, but that is just for my setup. It can vary quite a bit, according to the parameters outlined above. Don’t worry, it is almost intuitive for most people and, if needed, can be learned very quickly with a couple of traffic cones and an empty parking lot.

Step Four: Look out your window. During the maneuver, your trailer angled across the road and the rear end is now pointed into the lot at something like a 45 degree angle. (I told you not to try to straighten it out. J) You can even see the whole driver’s side of the trailer by sticking your head out the window. Get out and look around. At this point it will be obvious to you if you initiated the right turn (Step Three) too soon or too late. Adjust the spot (*) accordingly.

Step Five: Notice that your tow vehicle and your trailer now form an arc, pointing back into the campsite. (The position should be similar to the one you would be in if you had just pulled the trailer off of the lot to the left and had stopped when the wheels of the trailer had just cleared the lot.)

Part Six: The rest of what you need to do is obvious. The good news is that you are now set up to execute your final backing maneuver. (Placing your spotter at the rear corner of the trailer will allow you to always have them in view and for them to see everything that is behind you.)
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:42 PM   #2
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Took me a minute to visualize all of that...but it seems like it would work. I guess you could do it from the left side IF you really trusted your spotter.

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Old 04-13-2009, 09:22 PM   #3
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DH and I understand steps 1 and 2. We got lost on step 3.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:28 AM   #4
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The only way I learn how to back up was to go to a large parking lot like Lowe's after hours and practice using one of the islands in the parking lot as a guide to my left side. When you are in the drivers seat it is alot different then watching some from the out side of the tow vehicle. From the out side you can see the entire picture, but from the in side your sight is limited. It will come to you.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:01 AM   #5
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Looks like a good plan except for number 1. A lot of the CG's we stay at have one way streets and campsites on both sides. Just switch laft for right and it should work the same.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:27 PM   #6
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Too much thinking. I just back the trailer up where it needs to go.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #7
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I've been backing my whole life, an I'm good at it.
I guess that's why I haven't progressed.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:40 PM   #8
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I also learned this from a truck driving school,visualize a hockey stick,tv is the blade and the tt is the handle. As soon as you reverse your tt is turning onto your site.This works great on narrow roads.try this using parking lot lines at your nearest wal mart you will be surprised how easy and accurrate this is.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:05 AM   #9
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I also learned this from a truck driving school,visualize a hockey stick,tv is the blade and the tt is the handle. As soon as you reverse your tt is turning onto your site.This works great on narrow roads.try this using parking lot lines at your nearest wal mart you will be surprised how easy and accurrate this is.
True...I drove a truck for 6 years. Backing is easy for me, but can be a pain for others. Big thing is always get out and look if your not sure.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:30 AM   #10
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I also learned this from a truck driving school,visualize a hockey stick,tv is the blade and the tt is the handle. As soon as you reverse your tt is turning onto your site.This works great on narrow roads.try this using parking lot lines at your nearest wal mart you will be surprised how easy and accurrate this is.

OK, I'm new to this... what is "tv" and what is "tt".

I know it can't be hard just not familar with the abreveations
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:40 AM   #11
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I'm new to I think tv = Tow Vehicle and tt = Travel Trailer.
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:01 AM   #12
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I'm new to I think tv = Tow Vehicle and tt = Travel Trailer.
AHHH! Makes sense!

Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmgar View Post

OK, I'm new to this... what is "tv" and what is "tt".

I know it can't be hard just not familar with the abreveations
TV = Tow Vehicle

TT = Traveltrailer

tv = television
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:38 PM   #14
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A few more RV Abbreviations, Acronyms & Initialisms
4X2 = 2 Wheel Drive

4X4 = 4 Wheel Drive

4WD = 4 Wheel Drive

5er = Fifth Wheel

5ver = Fifth Wheel

AC = Air Conditioning or Alternating Current as in 120VAC

AMP = Amperes

ATF = Automatic Transmission Fluid

BC = Brake Controller

BLM or BOLM = Bureau Of Land Management

BTW = By The Way

CAPS = Capital Letters. Using all CAPS is considered SCREAMING

CC = Crew Cab of a TV (4 Door)

CCC = Cargo Carrying Capacity

CF = Camp Fire

CG = Camp Ground

COE = Corp of Engineers (US Army)

CRS = Can't Remember Shi... Dang CSR, I forgot the next letter

CW = Camping World

D/A = Duramax/Alison (Chevrolet or GMC)

DC = Direct Current as in 12VDC

DH = Darling Hubby or Husband, Dear Hubby, Da%& Hubby, Designated Hitter (baseball)

Dinghy = See Toad

DRW = Dual Rear Wheels

Dooley = Dual Rear Wheels

DS = Dump Station

DSL = Digital Subscriber Line

Dually = Dual Rear Wheels

DP = Diesel Pusher as used in an MH

DW = Dear Wife, Darling Wife, Da%& Wife, Dim Wit, Dish Washer (same as Dear Wife), Darryl Waltrip (NASCAR)

EC = Extended Cab of a TV

EPDM = Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (Rubber Roofing)

ERS = Emergency Road Service

ESP = Extended Service Plan

FAQ or FAQs = Frequently Asked Questions

FHU = Full Hook Up

FIVER = 5th Wheel

FT = Full Time

Furry Kids = Pets

FW = Fifth Wheel

FWIW = For What It's Worth

FYI = For Your Information

G8R = Gator

GPS = Global Positioning System or Satellite

GAWR or GAW = Gross Axle Weight Rating

GCVW or GCW = Gross Combined Vehicle Weight

GCWR = Gross Combination Weight Rating

GTWR = Gross Trailer Weight Rating

GVW or GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

GOB = Good ol' Boy

HD = Heavy Duty

HH = Happy Hour

HTT = Hybrid Travel Trailer

IBSRV = International Brotherhood/Sisterhood of RVers

IMO = In My Opinion

IMHO = In My Humble Opinion

IP = Internet Provider

ISP = Internet Service Provider (sometimes written DISP = Da$& Internet Service Provider)

HWH = Hot Water Heater (Why would you heat hot water?)

L8R = Later

L8R G8R = Later Gator

LMAO = Laughing My A__ Off

LB = Long Box or Bed of a Tow Vehicle

LOL = Laughing Out Loud , Lots Of Luck, Lots Of Love

LT = Light Truck tires(as in LT245 tires)

MDT = Medium Duty Truck

MOC = Montana Owners Club

MH = Motor Home

MTCW = My Two Cents Worth

NCC = Net Carrying Capacity

NOE - NO L

NPS = National Park Service

OALAEHO = Opinions Are Like A__holes, Everybody Has One

OEM = Original Equipement by the Manufacturer

PDI = Pre-Delivery Inspection

PSD = Power Stroke Diesel (Ford}

PU = Pop Up

PW = Pressure Washer

Qs = Question(s)

RGV = Rio Grande Valley

ROTFLOL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing Out Loud

ROTFLMAO = Rolling On The Floor Laughing My A__ Off

RV = Recreational Vehicle

SB = Short Box or Bed of a Tow Vehicle

SCWR = Sleeping Capacity Weight Rating

SKP = Escapee

SOB = Some Other Brand

SP = State Park

SRW = Single Rear Wheels

ST = Trailer tires (as in ST225)

TC = Truck camper

TH = Toy Tauler

TMI = Too Much Information

TOAD = A vehicle towed behind a MH

TP = Toilet Paper

Trlr = Trailer

TT = Travel Trailer

TV = Tow Vehicle and on a rare occasion TeleVision

TWR/TLR/VLR = Tongue Weight, Tongue Load, Vertical Load Rating

VIN = Vehicle Identification Number (Serial Number)

URL = Uniform Resource Locator (WWW Address)

UVW or UVWR = Unloaded Vehicle Weight Rating

WallyWorld = Wal*Mart

WD or W/D = Washer/Dryer

WD = Weight Distribution (hitch)

WES = Water/Electric/Sewer

Wi-Fi or WiFi = Wireless Fidelity

WWW = World Wide Web (the Internet) And Finally....

HTH = Hope This Helps
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:04 PM   #15
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Here's another tip:

Put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. If you want your trailer to go to your left, move your hand to the left. Work great to the right side also
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:32 AM   #16
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i supppose tv = tow vehicle and tt = travel trailer
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:54 PM   #17
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Here's one tip that I learned when trying to back up a tiller fire truck. Grip the bottom of the steeringwheel at the bottom with both hands palms up with your thumbs sticking out to either side. Which ever way you want the trailer to go, push the steering wheel in the direction the corresponding thumb is pointing. It's the same as the post above, it's just easier for us firemen.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:04 PM   #18
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Thanks! Great method. I especially like the spot * tip.
May I never crunch a trailer fender again! (Oops, did I just admit something?)
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimurrrw View Post
As the selected spot (*) on your tow vehicle comes even with the far corner of the lot, turn your wheels quickly and sharply to the right. Almost immediately, before you reach the other side of the road, turn your wheels quickly and sharply to the left so your tow vehicle ends up parallel to the passenger side of the road. Stop immediately – do not try to straighten out the trailer.
Say what? If the spot i selected on my tow vehicle is even with the far corner of the lot and I start my turn, aren't I going to end up on someone elses lot? Glad I don't have any problems backing my trailer. Used to drive a semi and currently trailer a boat as well as a very short ATV trailer.

Steering wheel grip? I use one hand on top dead center and when I see more trailer than I want in a mirror, I turn that way to straighten up.

As far as that list of abbreviations goes... you forgot one:
PITA = neighbor with a dog that won't shut up.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:17 PM   #20
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OK, I'm new to this... what is "tv" and what is "tt".

I know it can't be hard just not familar with the abreveations
Tow Vehicle -Tractor Trailer probably.

P/S I drove TT 48 States and Canada 43 years reckon I can can still backup
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