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Backing a Trailer

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Backing a Trailer

My Mother, who has backed many trailer told me the first step it to successfully backing a trailer is to forget everything you know about backing a ethical.

Note: These instructions refer to standard hitched trailers. Fifth wheel campers attach differently to the tow vehical.and while similar will handle directly.

Backing a Trailer is defiantly a skill you need to learn. The important thing to remember about backing a trailer is that it’s a two step process.

First: you start the turn by backing up while turning the tow vehicle in the opposite direction of where you want the trailer to go. This cants the trailer and initiates the turn. This only takes a few feet of backing if you have turned the front wheels very much at all.

Caution Be extremely careful at this stage as it’s easy to go too far and damage the vehicle and trailer by pinching them against each other. Depending on where your hitch ball connects, the trailer tow bar can be the first thing to hit the bumper.

Second: After the turn is initiated, you have to maintain the turn. At this point you reverse your front wheels and keep the trailer in the turn. Depending on how much you’ve canted the trailer, you can easily run out of steering to maintain or reverse the turn. In this case, just stop, straighten the wheels slightly and pull forward to lessen the cant.

Practice Practice Practice: One thing that can help you learn this is to get some Ertl farm toys or similar die cast metal toys and practice backing them up. After you’ve got that down, take your trailer and tow vehicle to a large empty parking lot and practice. Put some soft objects down (cones or empty boxes) and practice backing around them. Some High Schools that offer Drivers Ed have cones.


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