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Any words of wisdom out there on backing a 36' 5th wheel into a camp site? Weve done fairly well backing to the right, but were practicing at park last week (it was almost empty so a good time to just practice) we both tried for about 2 hour to get the dang thing into a left back in space and never could get it. I know our problem is the pivit point, at what point do you start the turn? We both almost got it, but could not get it to straighten out without getting to close to the grass, and don't want to damage anything. Also how far from the road edge do you start? Middle, closs to the edgeyou are cacking into or the other side of road.
I know it will come with lots of practice, but we were sure frustrated that day. We just pray for a pull through, and that won't get us the practice we need.
Thanks for any words of wisdom, Ann
Life is a Journey
Hank & Ann
Maggie and Weezie
2005 36 CK3 Mobile Suites 5th Wheel
2012 Ford F350 DRW 4x4 Lariat
1998 ...24'Safari Trek pathfinder class A (Pint size)
My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)
We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!
First, just want to say we are not in any way perfect in doing this. We have a 40 foot 5th wheel and have been doing full timeing since August 4, 2012. So we are newbies too.
We went to the Harrisburg Oregon RV-Dreams Rally last September and Linda Pain gave me a simple tip. She said it would change my life and it did. We were just 6 weeks on the road but had stayed in around 20 camp grounds and traveled 2200 miles. We had never had an RV before let alone a 40 foot 5th wheel. The back in was to my left (doesn't matter for this) and I did my usual and pulled just past the back in all the way to the oposit side of the road. Linda came to my window and told me to trust her and pull as close to the side of the raod as the back in was. Also, pull till the end of the 5th wheel was just past the entrance to the back in site was, then start my back in routine. The back in routine still takes practice and I am still working on fine tuning it. This tip however moved me forward by light years. The basic idea is that this gives you the most mobility with the truck. I am no longer afraid of back ins!
Hope this helps and good luck!
Mark and Patty
Full Time Since August 4, 2012
2008 F-450 King Ranch 4x4 crew cab DRW
2013 Sanibel 3500 5er
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
Mark & Patty
Our Blog: http://markandpattyrv.blogspot.com/
Ray and Anne
Ray's Travel Blog
Anne's Photography Blog
1994 Ford F350 DRW / 2011 Keystone 276 Cougar Fifthwheel
Some good tips here and Linda is correct.... stay close to the edge to start your initial setup.
If I may offer what helps me and just realize each driver is different. As you slowly pass your site, watch the rear axle of the trailer, as it reaches the center of the spot crank hard right (assuming site is on left), as the trailer tail end is beginning to point at your spot, crank a short left and try to end up as straight with the spot as possible. As you back slowly, don't over steer. Follow the trailer in and if you have a partner.....use that partner, and get your signals down before hand.
I heard of a single guy that uses a length of rope in the camp spot to use as a guide for his trailer edge to line up with. Haven't tried it but it sounds as if it would work. Be careful, don't get frustrated, have fun.
Good luck hope this helps
RKM's "wheel guide" is a good idea. Where we are parked now, to make things work best, I need to be able to back our fifth wheel as close as possible to the same spot. Towards that end, I have a strip of barn stall matt about 6' long that I roll the driver's side wheels up on and it puts me right in there. So, I can see how the stretched-out rope would serve as a guide while backing.
Another thought for when practicing driving and backing, look for a large church parking lot and ask the folks there if you could use the lot for practice. For the most part, those places won't be busy except on Sundays.
Terry and Jo2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB32008 Ford F450 2010 Ford F150 as Tag-along or Scout Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:Our photos on PhotobucketIgnoring the Barking Dogs - Terry's Blog
Terry, is the church lot for forgiveness of some of the backing up language...
Oh my gosh, we were there too, but Linda must have been holding out on us, cuz we never heard that tip! : )
We just used our glasses, cell phone and remote control to practice and it makes so much sense!! Eye glass ear pieces laid on table was parking space, cell was truck and remote was trailer - worked every time!
Cant wait to try it in real life!
Sherry & Jesse
I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way. - Carl Segan
Our "Rolling Rest Home" Trilogy 3650RL dragged by a 2005 GMC Sierra 4x4 Diesel Dually, Kids: Paris (goes by Kitty) & Sadie
MarkS & Jackie
MSgt, USAF, Ret
2004 Volvo 780 625 HP Cummins 13 speed
2014 Trilogy 3650RE
I have found that backing in is all about taking your time, taking a deep breath and not over steering, over correcting or making moves too quickly. Whatever side we are backing into, the tip about getting as close to the side of the back in is right on the mark. I always have the back of the trailer start at the edge of the spot. Once you get the trailer/ truck to crack it's spine at the hitch the key is not to over steer or jack knife the trailer. When your trailer wheels start to enter the site as it turns you need to ge the truck to follow by turning the wheels in the same direction that the trailer is now turning. you may still need to turn opposite to force the trailer end over but you still have to have the truck to follow the trailer back. It is all practice and feel and will change with each campsite or whether you maybe going up hill or down hill. Make sure your navigator stays in your line of sight. Don't be embarrased to have to either get out of the truck to see where you are or to have to pull out and start again. The best pro truckers do the same knowing that they do not want to waste time trying to force a trailer into a spot that they cannot make.
Good Luck and keep up the practice!
Les and Sue
"CHARACTER is doing the right thing when no one is looking"
9/11 Never Forget!
GOD Bless America!
'09 International 4400 LP Customized by 2L Custom Trucks, Pooleville, TX
'11 Montana 3580RL Custom,'10 H-D Roadking Classic, '09 Honda Rebel
Some years back I was lead to the site by a campground staffer. He came up to the my window and said do everything I tell you and you'll be right in. I thought to myself "Yeah right. You and a million others have said that." He told me that he was going to say only four things which where related to the rear end of the rig. Left, right, stop turn, straight, and stop. After that it would be a number associated with how far straight back I should go. IE. 10 feet, 4 feet, etc. Worked like a charm and wife and I have been using it ever since.
When it comes to the hereafter, I want to be in the no smoking section.
We trust each others directions as they come in over the radio and go slow watching for tree limbs, road barriers and utilities as we back in. We are not embarrassed to pull up and straighten out a few times because many sites aren't even straight so you may need to adjust even when you did everything right. Our most exciting experience was getting on and off ferries in Alaska. You need to have some faith to follow directions of the ferrymen who put you as close to the wall and water as possible to get the most vehicles on board. The parking lot practice helped a lot with the radios we learned what communication was necesary. Move to the right doesn't help. Our frame of reference is always the back of the 5th wheel to the drivers side or the passenger side.
After some practice you almost always get in without to much problem but everyone runs into a hard place to park once in a while.
Larry and Jacki
Larry and Jacki-belle Linley with Taiga our minature dachsund - 2004 30 ft Cedar Creek towed by a 2004 Silverado 8.1 Allison.
A couple of thoughts on backing. First I don't like to listen to anyone else unless I ask for their help. If they misdirect you and you crunch a corner of your rig I am sure they are not going to help pay for the damage. If I think I can't see from the TV I get out and look maybe several times. Second, like someone else said, don't be afraid to pull up and get straight. Once you start see sawing back and forth you will never catch up, keep the trailer going the direction you want it to go. It is much easier to pull up a little to get the right angle than to fight the steering wheel. You will continue to get better the more you practice. Good luck and Happy Camping!
Mark and Catherine
2013 Lifestyle 36FW
Gonnabe March 2015
Laurie & George Owen
www.owensontheroad.blogspot.com 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Dually 2012 Keystone Montana 3700RL
Raytronx wrote:Too folks who use radios. one word of caution. Have a system in place that will avoid running over your partner. We prefer hand signals and seeing the other in the mirror before moving the trailer.With radios, you wouldn't want the person to trip over something and fall behind the trailer, losing the radio and then getting backed over.Ray
Too folks who use radios. one word of caution. Have a system in place that will avoid running over your partner. We prefer hand signals and seeing the other in the mirror before moving the trailer.With radios, you wouldn't want the person to trip over something and fall behind the trailer, losing the radio and then getting backed over.Ray
Thanks for the reminder of that. In the past, I've forced myself to stop because Jo got out of sight, even though I could hear her. Plus, I think the driver can react faster to a hand signaling to stop than what would happen for the guide to say stop and then the word to be reacted upon.
RVing probably not a reality any more.It was a good time while it lasted.
Jack & Danielle Mayerhttp://www.jackdanmayer.com,2009 Volvo 780 HDT, 2012 New Horizons 42' 5er, smart, Jeep Wrangler TJNew Horizons Ambassadors - Let us help you build your dream RV.....
laurly wrote:Racerguy - we always ask RVrs if they have their own system, if they do, we stand back and just supervise.
Racerguy - we always ask RVrs if they have their own system, if they do, we stand back and just supervise.
Good Idea......I didn't mind being told for whatever reason that they prefered me to put it in a certain place but liked it when good people like you let me do it my way.