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twiceblessed....nacole

Fitting in...

47 posts in this topic

I can't even back in my little pop-up. I'm too embarrassed to ever even try, so DH always does it. 

I wish I had somewhere I could go practice, in an open area. We have 8 acres, but it's all wooded except a small clearing for our house. 

Don't feel bad. It is harder to back up a short trailer like a pop up than a 36 foot trailer. I've been driving and backing trailers since I was 10 years old and the most difficult time I had was a little Uhaul trailer.

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13 hours ago, keith_h said:

Find a large parking lot like a grocery store or Walmart. If you want more privacy there is always school parking lots on the weekend and church parking lots during the week. The lines can also be helpful in providing a reference point for backing and to judge how you did.

I didn't have to do this, with our bumper pull (for that, it just took practice at the campsites)...but if we get a 5th wheel, this is definitely my plan.

 

14 hours ago, Roberta said:

I can't even back in my little pop-up. I'm too embarrassed to ever even try, so DH always does it. 

I wish I had somewhere I could go practice, in an open area. We have 8 acres, but it's all wooded except a small clearing for our house. 

Keith had a great suggestion with the parking lot.  Outside of that... I say just do it.  Tell your husband to be patient in backing you in (my husband and I use cell phones on speaker...some use two way radios...other just yell, haha).  Be patient and go a little at a time and don't worry about what others watching may think (they've ALL been there).  I've had a few fellow campers watch and laugh as I've backed up.  Of course, I'm usually laughing with them because some attempts I've been SO far off :lol:   You'll get it.  

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23 hours ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

  We have an awesome hitch with our bumper pull, so our stability is pretty strong however... on cement highways, we get some of that push/pull tug that I'm guessing might go away with a 5'er. 

You can still get a little bit of an annoying rocking\chicking with a 5th wheel. Once 475 merges back with 75 south of Macon the new road is spaced just right for our camper to ride terrible. We have a constant rocking\chicking back and forth that will not go away no matter what speed we run. I guess its just the pavement is spaced perfect for our truck and trailer to get in a rhythm and cant get out of it. It's funny for about 10 minutes but after that it loses its humor. 

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DaveInTn is 100% correct, the longer the rig the easier it is to back.  The inputs from the driver are not as abrupt on a long rig vs a short one.

X2 on the parking lot.  Get some cones and go forward and around corners as well as backing.  Don't forget to use your mirrors, they are invaluable whenever and where

ever you drive.

Don't feel bad as there are a lot of CDL drivers that can't back their rigs either.  Had to take command of many trucks making deliveries at our farm when the guys simply could not make it.

 

 

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On 12/30/2016 at 1:28 PM, Helmsey......Todd said:

You can still get a little bit of an annoying rocking\chicking with a 5th wheel. Once 475 merges back with 75 south of Macon the new road is spaced just right for our camper to ride terrible. We have a constant rocking\chicking back and forth that will not go away no matter what speed we run. I guess its just the pavement is spaced perfect for our truck and trailer to get in a rhythm and cant get out of it. It's funny for about 10 minutes but after that it loses its humor. 

That's a bummer to hear... I was hoping there would be a difference there.  Thanks for the feedback though; if we make a change and still have that tug/pull, I'd be concerned.

12 hours ago, GGC said:

The inputs from the driver are not as abrupt on a long rig vs a short one.

What do you mean by that?

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What is being said is while backing the shorter the trailer will be more responsive to changes in direction made from the driver. A short trailer will move more and faster for the same amount of turn in the steering wheel with a long trailer. This is due to the length between the hitch and trailer wheels. The further away the trailer tires are from the hitch the more movement you need from the tow vehicle to change the direction.

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18 minutes ago, keith_h said:

What is being said is while backing the shorter the trailer will be more responsive to changes in direction made from the driver. A short trailer will move more and faster for the same amount of turn in the steering wheel with a long trailer. This is due to the length between the hitch and trailer wheels. The further away the trailer tires are from the hitch the more movement you need from the tow vehicle to change the direction.

Gotcha.  Thanks.

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We currently have a 42' 5th wheel and I greatly prefer how it tows and how it responds while backing. Our previous camper was a 34' travel trailer. My tow vehicle for both of these was a large pickup truck, a f350 crew cab long bed. When towing the TT it seemed to cause much bouncing and front-to-back rocking when going over bumps in the road vs the 5er. Also I found the 5er has more ground clearance vs the TT when crossing speed humps and especially when crossing the transition from say a gas station to a main road.

A big difference I noted when turning is 5ers vs TT is the 5er "cuts corners" much tighter so you will need to swing wider to avoid curbing the trailer tires. So when at a red light you will pull straight forward much further than before prior to turning the the wheel.

The biggest difference between the two is parking at a campground in a back in site. The 5er can make a much tighter turn into a site because you can nearly jackknife while turning but it takes practice. I can get mine to about an 80 degree angle between my truck and trailer. It really helps if you have a spotter (or two) with a cell or radio.

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1 hour ago, JMSisko said:

We currently have a 42' 5th wheel and I greatly prefer how it tows and how it responds while backing. Our previous camper was a 34' travel trailer. My tow vehicle for both of these was a large pickup truck, a f350 crew cab long bed. When towing the TT it seemed to cause much bouncing and front-to-back rocking when going over bumps in the road vs the 5er. Also I found the 5er has more ground clearance vs the TT when crossing speed humps and especially when crossing the transition from say a gas station to a main road.

A big difference I noted when turning is 5ers vs TT is the 5er "cuts corners" much tighter so you will need to swing wider to avoid curbing the trailer tires. So when at a red light you will pull straight forward much further than before prior to turning the the wheel.

The biggest difference between the two is parking at a campground in a back in site. The 5er can make a much tighter turn into a site because you can nearly jackknife while turning but it takes practice. I can get mine to about an 80 degree angle between my truck and trailer. It really helps if you have a spotter (or two) with a cell or radio.

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 That's very helpful...thank you!

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 That's very helpful...thank you!

I failed to mention earlier, but when you're making sharp turns such as backing into a site you'll now need to watch for clearance between the nose of the camper and the truck cab (such as when jackknifed) and clearance between the pin box and top of the truck bed rails. It's usually not an issue, but you do need to be aware.

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24 minutes ago, JMSisko said:

I failed to mention earlier, but when you're making sharp turns such as backing into a site you'll now need to watch for clearance between the nose of the camper and the truck cab (such as when jackknifed) and clearance between the pin box and top of the truck bed rails. It's usually not an issue, but you do need to be aware.

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Just now, twiceblessed....nacole said:
25 minutes ago, JMSisko said:

I failed to mention earlier, but when you're making sharp turns such as backing into a site you'll now need to watch for clearance between the nose of the camper and the truck cab (such as when jackknifed) and clearance between the pin box and top of the truck bed rails. It's usually not an issue, but you do need to be aware.

Yes, thank you.  We had a friend take out the back on his cab, so we know to go slow and watch carefully :wacko:

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On 12/29/2016 at 6:12 PM, keith_h said:

Find a large parking lot like a grocery store or Walmart. If you want more privacy there is always school parking lots on the weekend and church parking lots during the week. The lines can also be helpful in providing a reference point for backing and to judge how you did.


Walmart here is definitely out. :rolleyes: It's always packed full of RVs traveling. It's right off the interstate just over 2 hours from WDW, so we are a popular stopover. I am going to go to some smaller towns and stake out a parking lot somewhere to use. 

 

 

On 12/29/2016 at 6:52 PM, DaveInTN said:

Don't feel bad. It is harder to back up a short trailer like a pop up than a 36 foot trailer. I've been driving and backing trailers since I was 10 years old and the most difficult time I had was a little Uhaul trailer.

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That does make me feel better. I always feel like I'm under so much pressure. And then I feel like I'm completely stupid and the only one on earth who can't do this. It's on my bucket list. I really, really want to learn. 

 

 

On 12/30/2016 at 7:22 AM, twiceblessed....nacole said:

I didn't have to do this, with our bumper pull (for that, it just took practice at the campsites)...but if we get a 5th wheel, this is definitely my plan.

 

Keith had a great suggestion with the parking lot.  Outside of that... I say just do it.  Tell your husband to be patient in backing you in (my husband and I use cell phones on speaker...some use two way radios...other just yell, haha).  Be patient and go a little at a time and don't worry about what others watching may think (they've ALL been there).  I've had a few fellow campers watch and laugh as I've backed up.  Of course, I'm usually laughing with them because some attempts I've been SO far off :lol:   You'll get it.  

My husband would be nice and patience with me if nobody else is around. If someone were waiting, he would get all up tight about it and want to take over. 

I can never tell if people waiting are laughing or angry. It would make me feel so much better to see them smile. These big trucks with big rigs usually have such highly tinted windshields, that you can't even see them in there. They just sit there, like that car, Christine, making me nervous.

I have so much anxiety about our Fort Trip. I need to start practicing now. Just ordered new tires. 

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Roberta, if I read right your in a pop up right? If so they are usually light enough and balanced that in a pinch both of you could just push it into your site, might be easier the trying to back it in, just watch the slope of the road to make sure it can not get away from you. Good luck

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17 hours ago, Roberta said:


Walmart here is definitely out. :rolleyes: It's always packed full of RVs traveling. It's right off the interstate just over 2 hours from WDW, so we are a popular stopover. I am going to go to some smaller towns and stake out a parking lot somewhere to use. 

 

 

 

That does make me feel better. I always feel like I'm under so much pressure. And then I feel like I'm completely stupid and the only one on earth who can't do this. It's on my bucket list. I really, really want to learn. 

 

 

My husband would be nice and patience with me if nobody else is around. If someone were waiting, he would get all up tight about it and want to take over. 

I can never tell if people waiting are laughing or angry. It would make me feel so much better to see them smile. These big trucks with big rigs usually have such highly tinted windshields, that you can't even see them in there. They just sit there, like that car, Christine, making me nervous.

I have so much anxiety about our Fort Trip. I need to start practicing now. Just ordered new tires. 

Most campers understand, we've all been there at one point or another. I'm fairly confident in my backing skills but there are times I get to over thinking it and end up looking like it's my first time backing up. Especially if there are a lot of people around. If you're having trouble or don't want to make people wait go around the loop and try again sometimes that's all it takes.  

 

Instead of Walmart maybe look for an old strip mall or chruch that has a large lot you could practice in. If a church I'd call and ask if you could use the lot and what days or times it would be empty. 

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17 hours ago, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

 I'm fairly confident in my backing skills but there are times I get to over thinking it and end up looking like it's my first time backing up. Especially if there are a lot of people around. If you're having trouble or don't want to make people wait go around the loop and try again sometimes that's all it takes.  

 

You should have seen me backing up last weekend... I've been fighting a head cold and was drugged up on DayQuil.  It took me 4 or 5 attempts to get it right.  Now, I wasn't too far off, but I was trying to get it "just right" and those 10 inches were more than my foggy brain could take :lol:  It was a close drive from our house, or I wouldn't have towed it in (I actually wasn't that bad, just the backing up required more concentration than I could muster)... I was laughing at myself the entire time I was trying to line it up.  I'm sure it was a sight :lol:

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Does anyone else use a camera on the rear of the trailer? We got one on our 5er and I feel like it really helps. Allows my spotter to focus on "the blind side" of the trailer. Depending on the model some can be on while traveling so they really help with lane changes on the highways.

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1 hour ago, JMSisko said:

Does anyone else use a camera on the rear of the trailer? We got one on our 5er and I feel like it really helps. Allows my spotter to focus on "the blind side" of the trailer. Depending on the model some can be on while traveling so they really help with lane changes on the highways.

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I would love to have one. Just haven't got around to getting one yet. A friend had a wireless one installed when he got his trailer have been waiting to see how that works out before buying one.

 

What brand do you have and do you ever have any problem with it loosing signal? 

 

Also looked into the 3 camera ones but that's a bit overkill for our trailer but would be nice to have.

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On 1/3/2017 at 3:54 PM, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

Most campers understand, we've all been there at one point or another. I'm fairly confident in my backing skills but there are times I get to over thinking it and end up looking like it's my first time backing up. Especially if there are a lot of people around. If you're having trouble or don't want to make people wait go around the loop and try again sometimes that's all it takes.  

 

Instead of Walmart maybe look for an old strip mall or chruch that has a large lot you could practice in. If a church I'd call and ask if you could use the lot and what days or times it would be empty. 

Yeah, that's what I would do if someone came behind me while I was trying to back into a camp site. I would just drive the loop. I am way to self conscience to even try in front of anyone yet. 

The church thing is a good idea. My mom works at the biggest church in town here, I think I could be permission to use their parking area during a weekday, when they don't use it. It's not paved, so will have to get some cones. 

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What brand do you have and do you ever have any problem with it loosing signal? 

I have the furrion "observation" camera. I chose furrion because my camper came with a mount and power wire factory installed. The reception is good, it occasionally will lose signal very briefly when wind and rain are really bad or passing under a relatively low bridge but by no means impacts the usability. I have a longer rig approx 42' 5th wheel towed with a f350 crew cab long bed. So my camera and receiver are at least 50' apart.

Note, furrion makes two versions of this camera. A backup and an observation version, I've heard of people having issues with the b/u version if left on for long periods of time. Also, typically camper stores are higher priced vs amazon, but I asked them if they could do better, and they gave me 20% off which easily beat any online pricing I could find.

Overall I really like having the camera especially on the highway for changing lanes and of backing. However, even with the discount I still felt it was very expensive, but it does work as advertised...

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On 1/5/2017 at 8:19 AM, JMSisko said:

I have the furrion "observation" camera. I chose furrion because my camper came with a mount and power wire factory installed. The reception is good, it occasionally will lose signal very briefly when wind and rain are really bad or passing under a relatively low bridge but by no means impacts the usability. I have a longer rig approx 42' 5th wheel towed with a f350 crew cab long bed. So my camera and receiver are at least 50' apart.

Note, furrion makes two versions of this camera. A backup and an observation version, I've heard of people having issues with the b/u version if left on for long periods of time. Also, typically camper stores are higher priced vs amazon, but I asked them if they could do better, and they gave me 20% off which easily beat any online pricing I could find.

Overall I really like having the camera especially on the highway for changing lanes and of backing. However, even with the discount I still felt it was very expensive, but it does work as advertised...

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We have the furrion observation camera as well. Really helps with backing up. Got a really good deal on ebay new in the box. Think I paid $250 for it. Our TT was also already wired for the camera. JMSisko is right that most stores that carry it charge a lot for it. More for the furrion than others if I remember correctly.

There are some differences with the backup vs observation. Biggest thing I remember Ryan being the angle of the camera. Observation will look a little further behind the trailer while the backup points more towards the ground. We have traveled from OH to FL and back as well as a few other long trips with it on the entire time and never saw a blip. Ours is on our 35' TT.

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