Reversing Tips Needed!

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by NJDrummer, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. NJDrummer

    NJDrummer Member

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Hi, Portal Friends --

    It's been a while since I posted, but I lurk and read all the time! However, I find myself in need and you all have been so helpful in the past so here i am again!

    We are going to the gray side and picking up a NTU Jayco X17Z pulled by a 2012 Toyota Highlander on Wednesday (yay!) and while I am adept at backing up having pulled small trailers since I got my license many moons ago, I am struggling in one area.

    We live on a narrow, one-way street and our house is on the right. There is parking allowed on the right only, and because of that my side of the street is always full of cars both before and after my narrow driveway. I tried a few times to back my pop-up into the driveway from that side (reversing and turning to the passenger side) but was not successful. So instead, I pull in car-first, unhook the camper, get the car out (over part of the lawn, sadly), put the camper on a trailer dolly (that works great, btw), and push it up in the driveway to where it lives next to the garage.

    This new camper will be about 500 lbs heavier than the pop up, and almost a foot wider. And of course, it's 9' high as opposed to 4' high...And while I'd like to have the door on the inside of the driveway, I also want to learn how to back it up on a very narrow space with very little swing room (the street is about as wide as two cars side-by-side) so as to avoid the shenanigans we currently do to park.

    Googling nets me little other than a few UK/drive on-the-left videos so that has not been as helpful as Google usually is. I don't really have the width on my street to do the scoop method, plus if there are cars near my driveway it's impossible.

    If I am backing up and turning to the driver's side, I can get the trailer into the tightest of spots. Ask me to go the other way and...nope. Help!

    Are there any tricks? Or should I keep doing my front-it-in-and-push method?

    Thanks!! Happy camping!!

    Leslie
     
  2. hayyward

    hayyward Active Member

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    That's a pickle. I'm better out the driver's window too. How about you buy your neighbor's house, tear it down to expand your driveway? No? :) Could you drive the wrong way on the one-way street for the 1/2 block or so to your driveway? Would a back-up camera help? A couple of cones and an empty parking lot to practice, practice, practice?

    We love the Jayco 17xfd. If we find a NTU, we'll be very tempted to cross over to the gray side too. Happy camping!
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    How friendly are you with your neighbors and how often you move your camper? I ask because if you don't move it often (most of us don't) and your neighbors are friendly maybe you could plan ahead and have some safety cones placed in the street (curb) before you come home by a neighbor. This maybe asking a lot of them ......... but if you don't ..... you will never get anything.
    The second option I can think of is pick up a old garden tractor and use that to turn the camper around. I worry about moving it by hand ....you could get hurt or the camper could roll away.
    I am lucky no one parks on the street and I have a 90 foot frontage. I can scoop to my driveway or drive in on the lawn at the other end a scoop across the lawn. This puts my camper straight in the driveway to back it up in the corner of the drive way.
     
  4. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Just to add when backing up. I have better luck watching the trailer wheels than the trailer body. Seems if I watch the trailer body its to late I have already over corrected. And if you ever want help backup up and my wife is around ....DON"T ask her for help. You will wind up backing up on the moon surface. LOL
     
  5. NJDrummer

    NJDrummer Member

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    Oct 3, 2013
    We have considered going the wrong way but it's a fairly busy street. Yeah, we may have to go practice at the mall...

    (And we have considered buying the house next door but only to tear it down and put in a pool!)
     
    Redbird234 likes this.
  6. NJDrummer

    NJDrummer Member

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    Yeah, we're worried about trying to move so big a thing by hand, too. My neighbors are very friendly and I am sure I can get them to move their trucks if necessary (the people across the street have two grown sons and their wives living there. All three men own pick up trucks and all three women own small cars and there are days when the driveway is empty and ALL SIX vehicles are on the street. It's frustrating at times!)

    We camp about 6-8 times a year, so it's not often, but it's often enough. I may try the mall and cones. Ugh.
     
  7. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    I would talk to them and if you are lucky and they help .......... maybe a nice Thank You afterwards they will do it again.
     
    NJDrummer likes this.
  8. Bowman3d

    Bowman3d Active Member

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    LaLa land
    Anyway to have cars( yours or a friendly neighbors) parked on either side of your driveway so that they give you a little extra room. Set up before you leave.
     
    hayyward likes this.
  9. hayyward

    hayyward Active Member

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    This is a good idea, at least on your blind side. Park your own car there before you leave.
     
  10. NJDrummer

    NJDrummer Member

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    Yes, that's a GREAT idea! I never thought of that!
     
    Raycfe likes this.
  11. LjohnSaw

    LjohnSaw So many fish, so little time...

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    You didn't mention, does there happen to be a driveway across from you, even or just past your driveway? IF so, pull in there to help get you aligned with your driveway.
     
    Redbird234 likes this.
  12. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

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    A similar dilemma led one of our camping friends to store their trailer at a storage yard about 20 minutes from home. Fenced, video monitored lot, with fresh water and dump station, 24 hour access, located just off main highway. $35/month.
     
  13. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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  14. erond

    erond Member

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    Worst case, maybe get a motorized trailer dolly/jack? They aren't cheap, but that may be the "easiest" solution.

    Keep in mind that different trailers back differently, sometimes significantly, depending on distance between the coupler and the trailer axles. Backing up a small utility trailer can be a nightmare. Backing a 25' TT with rear-biased axle can be a breeze.

    The best thing to do is practice, if possible. Get some traffic cones and a friendly empty lot and learn how this particular trailer behaves. Tilt the side-view mirrors down a little so you can get a better view of what the trailer is doing. Go *slow* and easy on the steering wheel. It's really easy to over-correct. Once you know how the specific combination of TV and trailer work together, you may be surprised at how easy it gets.
     
    NJDrummer likes this.
  15. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    When cars were parked in front of our house in the city I couldn't back in because of a tree on the opposite side. I would have the DW use her car to block the road so I could go the wrong way.
     
    NJDrummer likes this.
  16. NJDrummer

    NJDrummer Member

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    Oct 3, 2013
    No, just curb. Unfortunately!
     
  17. Thox Spuddy

    Thox Spuddy Member

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    Backing up properly when other people are watching is nearly impossible. Send your wife away. The way I learned was on an empty school parking lot. I also have to discipline myself to only use mirrors, no looking backwards. One or the other, I choose mirrors. Also a pole marker in the boulevard might help.
     
    NJDrummer likes this.
  18. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    This. Have the cars positioned so there is just about 1/2 a car length from their bumper to your driveway. Enough to give you some manuevering room, but not enough for them to cram in behind and block up more space.

    With that bit of room on either side, you might be able to get a bit of a scoop going. Also, if any neighbor across the street has an empty driveway, you can use that to help manuever into position - even if it's not directly across from your driveway, it can help you get the right angle to back in easier.

    Practice in a lot with backing up from the wrong direction. With practice on that in an open space, you can get familiar with the different view, angle, etc.
     
    NJDrummer likes this.

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