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Old 02-11-2024, 02:14 PM   #41
Garfman
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Pivot points

Your trailer pivots in the middles of its axles. Try to pivot around objects by coming as close as possible/comfortable.
Someone commented earlier: GOAL
Get
Out
And
Look
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:03 AM   #42
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Find yourself a large deserted parking lot. Some of the older malls or grocery stores will have plenty of room to work with. Even some schools have great room for practicing. Set up some cones or even some five gallon buckets to define your boundaries. Then just practice. And above all, don't get intimidated or rattled. Take your time. Do not rush.
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:05 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
To use a "trucker's mantra" for a moment:

The GOAL is to safely back into the space. To achieve the GOAL, you must "follow the GOAL"... (GOAL = Get Out And Look)

I don't think any "pro trucker" will tell you (or even hint) that it's "beneath a pro" to GOAL. Maybe it seems "extreme" but a pro will GOAL as often as needed, sometimes every few feet if that's what it takes....

Just as it's the mantra of many of us that "You don't know what you don't know"... You simply don't know what's behind your trailer unless you "GOAL"...

So, if the GOAL is to safely park a trailer, then "The GOAL is GOAL"....
As a UPS Man for 34 years, this always part of our backing routine.
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:12 AM   #44
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UPS Rules:

Visually Check The Area
Back Immediately
Back To The Driver's Side (If You Can't Back Straight)
Use Mirrors And If Equipped, Backup Camera (only as an aid to mirrors)
Use Horn (UPS Rule Only to let those around you, that you are backing)
Any Doubt, Stop And Get Out (GOAL)

UPS used to spy on us to make sure we did these things, EVERY single time.
After a while it becomes a habit and gets easier every time.
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Old 02-12-2024, 06:44 AM   #45
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I have a class A license for driving tractor trailers and that is what helped me be confident in backing our camper. With that said- I still get a little bit of anxiety when I haven't driven it in awhile (I no longer drive tractor trailers)

Driving tips-
-Do a complete walk around before you go so you are confident in what you are driving.
Look for-
-all parts of your hitch make sure you have your electric, break away, pins in, jump on hitch if you can
-check all welds for cracks
-look underneath for anything dragging
-check wheels and tires no cracks bulges dents, no welds, PSI, no large rocks in tread
- check leaf springs, look for any shiny metal in the U brackets (indicate stress and stretching) gaps between leaf springs, cracks etc
- check all your lights, check your brakes
-plates/inspection stickers

Feeling confident in your rig will relieve the stress of driving a bit. then you just need to remember to not follow closely, leave plenty of room to brake and take your turns wide. constantly check your mirrors.



Some good tips to remember when backing-

-Get out and look
-Use your mirrors. Even if you have a back up camera- knowing and relying on your mirrors is important
-Put your hand at the bottom of your steering wheel. Then where you want the trailer to go will correspond to how you move the wheel.
-If you are trying to straight back- if you see more trailer in one mirror than the other steer towards the danger (aka move your wheel towards the side where you're seeing more trailer) small increments. like ten degrees at a time.
-There's nothing wrong with pulling forward and trying again.

If you need to bring some cones to a big empty parking lot and practice there is no shame in that, do it.

Happy trails!
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Old 02-12-2024, 08:10 AM   #46
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Recommendations to find a shopping center or a food store parking lot to practice are good places to look for as a place to practice. Another is a church parking lot during the week. Usually church parking lots are not used except on Sunday and when the church is having a function (funeral, wedding, etc).

Most are "totally uninhabited during the week".....
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:46 AM   #47
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I would avoid traveling to a new campground after dark. I used to drive as many hours as i could trying to maximize my vacation time at a destination….i only focused on the destination and not the trip as a whole.

I picked up some advice on the forum and now i look at the whole trip as an adventure with many legs and stops along the way

We typically travel no more than 5 hours a day..sometimes a little more some a little less…we try and leave earlier from last place and arrive early at our overnight destination and then have time to look around town and get something to eat or just relax at the campground and get some restful sleep.
for instance going to the Keys from MD we stop in NC,Georgia right at Fl line then stop halfway down the coast for another night….then off to the keys the next morning…3 nights where i use to just drive straight thru

Found we are seeing more of the country then we ever would have with our old method of travel….more relaxed …less grumpiness…like to check out antiques and bookstores in different cities and cool little local places to eat….
Feel like we are actually traveling the country instead of Hot shotting it from one place to to another with blinders on

Nothing like trying to get to sleep after driving 10-12 hours and arriving after dark stressed out

if i had to travel in the dark i think id choose to drive in the early morning…if i had to back into a dark campground id maybe plug a light into the pedastel and shine on any obstacles…also Marshalls idea but with string lights for night would work also
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Old 02-12-2024, 07:41 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by jasin1 View Post
I would avoid traveling to a new campground after dark. I used to drive as many hours as i could trying to maximize my vacation time at a destination….i only focused on the destination and not the trip as a whole.

I picked up some advice on the forum and now i look at the whole trip as an adventure with many legs and stops along the way

We typically travel no more than 5 hours a day..sometimes a little more some a little less…we try and leave earlier from last place and arrive early at our overnight destination and then have time to look around town and get something to eat or just relax at the campground and get some restful sleep.
for instance going to the Keys from MD we stop in NC,Georgia right at Fl line then stop halfway down the coast for another night….then off to the keys the next morning…3 nights where i use to just drive straight thru

Found we are seeing more of the country then we ever would have with our old method of travel….more relaxed …less grumpiness…like to check out antiques and bookstores in different cities and cool little local places to eat….
Feel like we are actually traveling the country instead of Hot shotting it from one place to to another with blinders on

Nothing like trying to get to sleep after driving 10-12 hours and arriving after dark stressed out

if i had to travel in the dark i think id choose to drive in the early morning…if i had to back into a dark campground id maybe plug a light into the pedastel and shine on any obstacles…also Marshalls idea but with string lights for night would work also

I spent most of my life with the "destination" being the goal. Like you, drove straight through, ignored every single interesting spot to get to the "destination". My work and my brain just had me programmed to "GO". It's a shame but I was 60 years old before I found out that most of the fun was in the trip vs the destination. I still have a "little guy" in there somewhere pushing me to "go" but I've learned to ignore him most of the time and enjoy the things we see and go by as we travel. And yes, I think a 5-6 hour day is perfect and 7 makes my tail end hurt.
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Old 02-13-2024, 02:26 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
I spent most of my life with the "destination" being the goal. Like you, drove straight through, ignored every single interesting spot to get to the "destination". My work and my brain just had me programmed to "GO". It's a shame but I was 60 years old before I found out that most of the fun was in the trip vs the destination. I still have a "little guy" in there somewhere pushing me to "go" but I've learned to ignore him most of the time and enjoy the things we see and go by as we travel. And yes, I think a 5-6 hour day is perfect and 7 makes my tail end hurt.

Laughing reading this....I've only been doing this for 2.5 years now and originally I thought 7-8 hours was fine, then we cut it to 5-6 hours and now I just went through our trip and reduced the driving to <5 hours per leg. Like you I've always been lets get to the next spot but I've found throwing in a Harvest Host spot we have stayed at some awesome places just for a night and met some wonderful people and can take 'scenic breaks' a bit more relaxed.
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Old 02-16-2024, 08:09 AM   #50
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Leaving for our new site today and am completely terrified since backing into this site I hit a water line and bust it. It's like I have this block in me that is keeping me from being comfortable driving anymore. I keep having panic attacks thinking about getting the RV out of this site without hitting something or backing into the new site.

Please kind comments only, I don't need the extra stress of someone being negative.
Man don't be so hard on yourself. There are like 2-3 liars on here that will claim they were "god behind the wheel" from the second they entered the world. But the truth is 99% of us got comfortable by being uncomfortable.

FUN FACT: EVERY SINGLE SEMI-TRUCK DRIVER YOU SEE ON THE ROAD AT SOME POINT HAD NEVER DROVE A SEMI-TRUCK BEFORE

I will say. If you ever get the chance, going to an open field or parking lot and practicing in an environment where you don't feel like you have eyes on you can be insanely helpful.
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Old 02-16-2024, 08:11 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
Recommendations to find a shopping center or a food store parking lot to practice are good places to look for as a place to practice. Another is a church parking lot during the week. Usually church parking lots are not used except on Sunday and when the church is having a function (funeral, wedding, etc).

Most are "totally uninhabited during the week".....
This. 20 billion percent.

You need to learn how your rig moves. It's like dancing, you can't be good at it with your partner if you don't practice.

Fun fact: I can't dance. I can park my RV now though (2 years to be "pro").
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