Great Backing Life Hack

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iplumum

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Joined
Jul 29, 2022
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9
Location
WA
I don’t know if other people have tried this, but when we’re backing up our 5th wheel, my wife stands way back where we want the trailer to end up, FaceTime calls me and then aims her phone so I can actually watch the tail end of the trailer as it rolls into place. If you have a bumper pull, it’ll probably be an easier way to see the hitch when you’re on the target. It’s all out the window if the phone reception is bad, but it’s worked out pretty well so far.
 

iplumum

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Posts
9
Location
WA
Ah.. Just a newbie here trying to keep the 5th wheel shiny and new. Some day I’ll have the 6th sense that the experienced guys do!
 

Jayflight

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Joined
Jan 22, 2021
Posts
819
Many DWs years ago would scream to high heavens when standing behind and watching to save an impact with tow behinds. But technology has moved a lot of folks away from this perfected method of guiding one into a space.

I would think this works great in general for the blind side of the camper. Of course from the operator at the wheel's position its hard for the observer without a camera phone at hand to know how you are steering when you are backing and what you are planning to doing when backing. I have to pull ahead a couple of times after getting the camper in part of a campsite in order to get the tow vehicle more square to the camper in tight places with little room across a road in forested regions. Back up cameras are a big help these days. Of course my backup trailer feature does little to avoid a collision when I am hooked up and backing on its own.

If you watch Keep Your Daydream you tube videos, they almost always used their cell phones to help guide their Airstream into campsites. So don't feel guilty when taking a few precautions to eliminate redesigning your exterior walls.
 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
12,026
When you back a trailer, drive it's wheels to where you want them to end up. Following the rear of the trailer will lead you astray as the long overhang makes the rear end swing back and forth as the trailer pivots above it's axles.

Pay enough attention to the rear end so you don't hit anything, but recognize it's the path the wheels take that will get the trailer to it's final position.
 

HappyWanderer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Posts
2,937
I still think the rope trick is the easiest. Put a piece of rope on the ground where you want the left trailer tire to track, then put a loop where you want the tire to stop.

Back in along the rope. There’s no way in the world to screw this up.
 

niget2002

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2022
Posts
154
Location
Josephine, TX
Only our second trip, but this time the wife stood behind the trailer in line of sight with the rear camera on the trailer.

Between the camera and my two mirrors, I pretty much had it going where I wanted. It was nice having a second set of eyes making sure I was on the right track.

Backing into our driveway takes more effort and help from her. There's a pole on the carport that is on the blindside.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
26,797
Location
Davison Michigan
I have read all the "Hints and Tricks" for backing up a trailer
Been doing it since I was about 12.. Back around an "S" curve. No problem
Put a trailer between two buildings so close you can not walk around the trailer on either side? Done it.
(Many times) (What to you think that trailer was designed to hold?)
Are you laughing at the last line (I so good).
 
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Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Posts
711
Location
Ferndale, Washington
When you back a trailer, drive it's wheels to where you want them to end up. Following the rear end will lead you astray as the long rear overhang makes the rear end swing back and forth as the trailer pivots above it's axles.

Pay enough attention to the rear of the trailer so you don't hit anything, but recognize it's the path the wheels follow that will get the trailer to it's final position.
I think this might be the advice I have been looking for...
Thanks!
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
20,049
Location
Farmington NH
I have my DW pretty well trained. If I don’t see her in either mirror I just stop and wait for her to realize I can’t see her then she moves in the line of sight. Holding both arms in the air with palms facing each other as I get closer to where I need to be she starts closing the gap of her hands until they touch then I know way beforehand how much more I need to go. Don’t get me wrong, we do have our days. It’s not always pretty
 

8Muddypaws

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Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Posts
3,638
Location
California
It just takes practice. But since I haven't practiced in 11 years I'm probably not good at it anymore.
 

Groo

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2022
Posts
89
Location
UP of MI
I like the idea of bringing in existing tech into play, but sometimes dedicated tech is worth the coin. Camera systems are fairly cheap these days compared to the rest of the equipment you are risking. You could do wireless, or just have the extension connections land near the hitch. Putting 1 camera at the back of the vehicle, 1 camera at the nose of the trailer, blind-side and 1 camera at the back of the trailer, probably cost far less than you guys are imagining. Maybe even a roof-top camera aimed forward, looking at some clearance sticks would be a quick way to check that your roof wont get sardine canned or AC go missing. Stepping up to a DVR system with a forward facing camera might save your bacon at some point as well. I bet the full system I laid out, could be had for under $1k without going crazy shopping for deals (DVR might push it over).
 

Patnsuzanne

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Joined
Aug 2, 2016
Posts
308
Location
North central Florida
Although we don’t FaceTime, DW has been spotting me into campsites with our phones for years. Her call comes into the trucks stereo via Bluetooth so I don’t even have to hold my phone. Infinitely easier that yelling back and forth or windmilling arms. And as Rene said, if I can’t see her in the mirrors, I stop until I can.
 

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