7
   

Backing up a trailer - I just can't get it

 
 
PUNKEY
 
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 09:34 am
I bought a 5' x 8' utility trailer to haul light things around for my gardening business. I got the hitch on the car, and the whole bit and am ready to go.

I just can't get the hang of backing this trailer up into parking spots or back into my driveway. I know i'm supposed to think "opposite" but I can't get it.

My car is very small and the utility trailer is short, so it jack-knifes quickly.

Some people say turn around in the seat and hold your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel - others say use your mirrors.

Anyone have any suggestions?
 
roger
 
  4  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 09:40 am
Small car good; short trailer bad.

If all else fails, here's what to do. Put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. If you want the trailer to go to the left, move your hand to the left. Don't think about it, just move your hand at the bottom of the wheel to the left.

Don't over control the trailer.

Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 09:49 am
Ooof! I'm with ya sister! I hate backing up and parking. Ok.. that came out a wee bit strong, but I suck at it.
I have thirteen foot trailer with a big bulbubous egg on it and I haven't been able to get it to turn in the right direction once. Invariably, their is a cacophonous choir screeching "Turn it the other way".
As if I know what "it" they are referring too, the wheels, the steering wheel, the earth, the 6th freakin' dimension.
I know you're supposed to do the opposite of what you think you're supposed to do, and use the mirrors but with all the yelling and the massive protrusion inching it's way toward the garage door or other erratically parked vehicles, I'm easily frustrated.
So.. I'm gonna go sit in the corner and wait for the parking wizards to share their stuff. Don't mind me..
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 09:50 am
@roger,
That's it!! Seriously??
DrewDad
 
  4  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 09:56 am
@Ceili,
Generally, you have to lead it a little.

My suggestion: Go to a big, empty parking lot and practice backing up without any pressure of a narrow space or an audience.

Try a school parking lot in the evening.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 02:54 pm
@roger,
Listen to roger. One thing Id also do is . Go very slowly at first, as rog said about over controlling, once you get it you will be making very small adjustments to the steering wheel.


parados
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 03:27 pm
@farmerman,
Waiting until you actually see the trailer turning will probably mean you are over controlling.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 May, 2012 03:46 pm
Follow Roger's advice and don't think about it. We have two trailers - one's a long boat trailer and one's a shorter jetski trailer and I can back up either as long as I don't think about it. I use the look-over-the-shoulder method, too -- never use the rear-view or side mirrors.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 May, 2012 07:42 pm
Of course, once the trailer is going the way you want, the trailer is going, say, left and the car is going right. No problem; once it's (the trailer!) going the right way, use the steering wheel to just kind of follow the trailer.
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2012 09:07 am
@roger,
After reading this thread, I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to do it again Laughing
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2012 10:19 am
@Irishk,
sorry 'bout that
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2012 10:23 am
first, you gotta have good side mirrors. big enough to see what's happening.

if you go to get your commercial license, they don't let you turn around to back up...

instant fail.

and you'll get i crick in your neck.

I like drew's suggestion of practicing in a wide open space.

go get you some of those orange cone thingies. they are easy to find, somebody keeps leaving them all over the streets in town...
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2012 10:37 am
@Rockhead,
Sure. Sometimes those little orange cone thingies are even lined up in nice straight rows to make them easy to pick up.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 May, 2012 10:38 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

once it's (the trailer!) going the right way, use the steering wheel to just kind of follow the trailer.


It's directions like this that are crazy making to me. "use the steering wheel to follow the trailer"? what in the world does That mean?

Anyway, I've no experience with trailers, but I used to get sweaty palm just thinking about parallel parking.

Like drewdad said, I finally had the opportunity to practice myself in a wide open space, using cones I set up. No one there to offer "helpful advice" and figured out exactly where a specific part of my car was supposed to be by sight when I was supposed to crank the wheel to get into the space.

Now, I can parrallel park where my vehicle slips into the space like a glove.

0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 May, 2012 12:22 pm
OK - did a better job this time backing it into the driveway. Turned around in the seat and held my hand on the bottom of the steering wheel. This will take practice, I guess..
0 Replies
 
 

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