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Old 06-18-2012, 12:27 AM
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Default utility trailer :(

well i bought a small utility trailer today and found out that well its a total b!tch to back up lol. I have never towed a trailer before and dont want to continue to be the jack @$$ on the street getting out and lifting the thing into place. please help me and tell me some tips to get better at this.... i will take it to practice on my day off but i have come dang close to jacknifeing the f'in thing.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:12 AM
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The smaller the trailer, the more difficult it is to back up. What makes it even worse is some of the small utility trailers you can't even see the trailer in your mirrors until they have turned almost too far to recover from.

If you can see the trailer in the mirrors, then drive forward in a straight line, come to a complete stop and study your mirrors for awhile to get a very good perspective of what the trailer looks like when it's perfectly straight behind you. Then, driving forward, make a sharp turn to almost the steering lock and stop and study. When your backing up, if you get to this point, you likely cannot back your way out of it.

After that, spend a lot of time in an empty parking lot with lines and create challenges for yourself. Start real simple like drive from one parking stall to another in a straight line, then back up to where you started. There is no substitute for practicing.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:12 AM
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Try two of those orange markers like the ones on snow plows on the back corners.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:27 AM
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when backing, place your hand at the bottom/ center of the steering wheel, then turn the wheel (pushing your hand) in the direction that you wish to turn.....

with a lot of practice it can be done

good luck

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:58 PM
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What I found to help me as I could not see the trailer other than the back gate was to install a rear camera. It really makes it easier. Like everyone says practice helps alot. The more you use it the better you will get. So for now don't park where you have to back up.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:16 PM
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I saw some magnetic poles with what looks like tennis balls on top to help you line up the trailer with the hitch at an auto parts store. Pep Boys where I live. After you connect you can move them to the rear corners of the trailer. They also had a small camera that attaches to the license plate that could either help or make it worse. SLOW is the name of the game. I have a small cargo and it takes me a while to back up with it and I try to always park so I can drive straight out just to make it easy(lazy).
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:25 PM
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I rarely tow a trailer, and can't back up using the mirrors(probably could if I practiced and did it often) but whenever I do tow I can backup with a trailer just fine if I turn around and look out the back window. My mind just can't function quick enough using the mirrors.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:24 PM
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When I started pulling a trailer, I had to back up around the block and keep the trailer moving in a "straight" line with as few corrections as possible. This also meant keeping it in my lane as the road was being utilized by regular traffic as well. It was a mile per side of my "block" and took me a couple attempts before I could do it accurately. There was a lot of time practicing around the corn field and in the yard.

Another important lesson was "don't back up any further than absolutely necessary".

It takes practice, and a lot of it to get proficient with backing trailers.

Since I don't have a rear window (topper with solid rear door), I do all my backing by mirror, so I'm used to it. Smaller utility trailers really suck if you cannot see them in the mirrors; as mentioned above. The magnetic alignment balls mentioned above are great additions, as are reflectors on pole, or anything that is at the rear of the trailer so you can see it in your mirrors. You really want to be able to see the rearmost section of the trailer in your mirror to know where it is at.

Another tip, always start in a straight line, not half turned as this will screw you up and get you closer to a jack knife.

One final tip; don't blind side your trailer. By this, I mean always try to start your backing experience with turning the trailer towards the drivers side of the vehicle. You have a different style mirror on the passenger side and the perception is considerably different, it is more likely to jack knife on you when turning towards the passenger side than on the drivers. I know that this is not always possible or efficient, but provides a safer backing experience.

Good luck and be careful out there.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:43 AM
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thanks everyone for the tips
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:41 AM
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I think you are referring to hooking up the trailer.

I know of two simple ways that worked pretty effective for me. There are some yellow reflective poles that you can buy they are about 3-4 ft tall and are magnetic. They stick to the ball and the hitch. Once you line up, the poles get knocked off.
http://www.cabelas.com/rv-travel-tra...:referralID=NA - Link for reference.
Or when your out and just need to do it quick grab some white tape marker or something visible and tape a spot on top of your tailgate so you have a reference where exactly the ball is at.

As far as backing. Most of its practice. If there turn is execptionally difficult I take the time to line my mirrors out further to where I am going to place the trailer.

Experience - tow 2-6 horse trailers (often cant see the back of the trailer because its takes forever. and its all estimating how close I am to buidling/cars etc..)

and I think its harder to back up a smaller trailer but easier to correct.

But nothing beats that ooo S$#t moment when you hauling a fully loaded truck and trailer and you need to stop on a dime and you know its not going to happen.
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Last edited by Crobber; 06-21-2012 at 04:08 AM.
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