Reversing with trailer

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by kennygd, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. kennygd

    kennygd Read Only Funster

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    :Blush: Good grief, will I ever get things right, had the 28ft tag axle 7 weeks, already done the nearside wheel arch in trying to get out of a narrow gateway on a campsite, had no choice but to buy a smart car and trailer because wife was taken to Hospital after a seizure and now can't walk, towing is okay but trying to reverse on to a different pump at the garage I nearly took the pump out, tried to reverse with the reversing camera, fat lot of use that was, the picture first showed the trailer on the left and immediately showed it on the right so I did not know where it was, driving forward done the spare wheel carrier in completely and ended up putting the spare wheel in the motorhome, if anyone can tell me how to reverse a single axle trailer with a large motorhome when you can't see the trailer will be my friend for life:Doh:
    kennygd
    Ken
     
  2. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    basically its not really possible . thats why artics use short units long trailers. best is use a twin axle trailer and unhook it and dont reverse . twin axle is easier to hook up. sorry but you will probably never be happy with you set up. after driving 40ft artic trailers for years your problem is still my problem ,if you cant see it you cant control it. bad news sorry .cheers alan.
     
  3. The Wallace

    The Wallace Read Only Funster

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    Ken, a lot will depend on how good you are at reversing a trailer with a car.
    Very few people are born with the ability to reverse a trailer!! It is important to do the 'walk before you run bit'.
    Having reversed things like a boat hoist carrying £500,000 boats using a JCB or army recovery lorry as the tug I was glad that I started on an open field, when 15, with a Fergie tractor and a trailer whose wheels were waaay back.
    At least you have identified a problem - take some lessons such as the caravan (spit) clubs training days.
    One of the benefits of an 'A' frame is that you can't reverse any distance so that you get out and drive the toad back then reverse the van.

    Sorry, I don't think there is an immediate solution to your problem, just practice.
     
  4. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Coblers Alan its totally possible, all it needs is training and practice! I can reverse my 7 metre Iveco with a 2 metre single axle trailer 50 metres and through 90 degrees into my workshop. Book yourself a towing course with the Caravan Club.

    If you tow you really need to master reversing, just consider how you would manage if you were in a narrow country lane and met an ambulance coming the other way with blues and twos going, you've got to get out of the way quickly and the only way could be backwards. Pratting about unhitching and manually pushing a trailer with a car on it, perhaps uphill and then manouvering the motorhome back too could cost someone their life!

    If you tow then learn to reverse your outfit, if that means paying for professional training then so be it!

    D.
     
  5. daveyboy

    daveyboy Read Only Funster

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    ive been driving artics for 20 years and tend to agree that anyone towing should be able to reverse the outfit they are driving. it comes with patience and practice. having a big outfit and a small trailer you cannot see is a problem though. extended mirrors and a training course would be my first plan of action.
    reversing cameras are great when you want to back up as close as possible to a wall etc but can give a false sense of security when trying to reverse around corners.
     
  6. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    of course its possible with lots of practice . just very difficult in a hurry . i do reverse many small trailers and a frames as well as artics but small behind large is very hard to do . i prefer to recomend aframe to trailers for use behind campers as you can fit a jockey wheel and unhook then reverse it gently for miles. going on a course is the answer ,as do most hgv drivers .if you arent used to driving large vehicles even a 28ft tag is enough to cope with. the op. is not alone in having trouble reversing his type of set up. lets hope he gets the hang of it soon . cheers alan.
     
  7. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Practice is the answer in the interim.

    First identify somewhere where you can prctice - a large car park that isn't used on a weekend is ideal. Then get your rig set up and go and practice. It's better if you have something to reverse round/past or between as you can mark out the car park like road junctions, garage forecourts etc - you could use cones but they're not that easy to come by and can cause damage!!!! Some paper plates with a bit of sand on top, or stones to hold them down, is a quick and easy way to mark out. Then practice, practice, practice. That's how I taught myself to reverse a car/caravan combination (never having done it before except playing with a toy car transporter as a kid ... nicked off my nephew!:Blush: ).
     
  8. highwayman

    highwayman Funster Life Member

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    Hi Ken
    Firstly there are no secrets just things you don't know.
    Firstly, the slower you go = the slower things happen and the more time you'll have to react.
    Secondly, once you see the trailer in your mirror, steer towards that mirror. It'll straighten things up abit then once the trailer appears in the other mirror steer towards it again.
    The faster you spin the steering wheel the more control you'll have, you will go backwards in a snakelike fashion but provided you have the room that shouldn't be a problem.
    Part of my job in the past was to teach people how to reverse trailers as they were costing the council a fortune in rear light lenses, if you want to come down to herne bay i'll have you confidently reversing in a morning. :thumb:
    Honestly practise does make perfect.

    cheers...nige
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    problem you have with your reversing camera is .......its been properly installed.

    when you select reverse the camera switches and gives you a view as if you were looking over your shoulder.....but you aint, you are looking forward at a monitor.....instant confusion !!!!!

    i NEVER look backwards when reversing, always using my mirrors both in the van and my pickup, and the camera becomes a second, and far superior, interior mirror.

    on mine, if the toad/trailer swings left in the monitor it is actually swinging left....yours will show it swing right when the toad is actually swinging left.

    instant confusion again....until you get used to it.

    you'll see what i mean if you stop at the roadside, select reverse, and see which side of the van cars pass you on.
    it'll be on the left in the monitor !

    mine was an easy fix.....cut the wire to the reverse light switch which changes the view to 'reverse mode', job done !

    trace the wire, temp disconnect from the rev switch, and try it then, you'll be surprised how much easier it makes it.
     
  10. neilmac

    neilmac Read Only Funster

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    Reversing a short trailer behind a large vehicle is the hardest possible combination. In order to succeed you need to be able to keep tabs on the movements of the trailer. As you have a rexersing camera you will need to practice A LOT using that to monitor what's going on behind you.

    When I say a lot, I mean a lot! Find yourself an empty car park and practice, practice and practice again. You will need to spend hours doing it before you get the hang of it, the slightest movement with your steering wheel will have a magnified effect on the movements of the trailer - the opposite, as has been said, of reversing an artic with a long trailer behind a short vehicle. Reversing an artic is hard enough when you are learning!

    Persevere though and you will get it, but it will take loads of practice where you can't hit anything - just be careful that you don't allow the trailer to jack-knife and clout the rear of your van :Eek!:

    Best of luck.
     
  11. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    No one will be able to teach you to reverse a trailer that you cant see....simply becouse it cannot be done.
    If you cannot see it,you cannot reverse it.
    The easiest way is to put some poles or extended lights on the trailer,so that you CAN see it.
    I tow a 30ft boat behind a 33ft RV and have no problem reversing it anywhere but how do you expect to reverse somthing you cannot see????.
    My toad is a Fiat Panda,and I cant see that in the mirrors so have put an orange flag on a magnet on top of it,makes life much easier.
     
  12. geoff587

    geoff587 Read Only Funster

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    I have reversed this trailer into every camping space allocated, when I can,t see it I know its in line with the motorhome and going straight, when I see it in my mirrors I know its turning to the left or the right .
     

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  13. Ant&Debs

    Ant&Debs Read Only Funster

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    Lots and lots of pratice. I used to drive double decker 12 metre coach with small trailer on the back. you cab buy rubber marker lights which can be fitted to trailer does help. we also had a tow ball made up that could be fitted to font of vehicle and pushing is better that pulling into tight spots is good.

    Ant&debs:Smile::Smile:
     
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