Helps for hitching up alone

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by penny, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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    I do have a backup camera, I rarely use it. practice is you're best friend. back straight up, center the pup in the side view mirrors, backup close to the pup, get out and look where you're at and adjust from there. side to side is easy to get use to, front to back may take more to get use to. I can only see mine in my side view mirrors as the pup sits several inches below my tailgate
     
  2. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I started out using the balls on stalks from Harbor Freight. They worked OK, but not great. If you moved your head to a different position while looking the angle would change, messing up your perception of where the alignment was.

    My current TV has a backup camera which has mad a huge difference. Most of the time I can back straight onto the ball with minimal effort, even while doing so at an angle.

    I recently bought a little gopro clone camera kit from Amazon. It has wifi and will stream to your phone with an app. I bought it mainly to mount on the rear of the trailer so I could see what was behind it while backing it up into a spot, but it would do just as well mounted to the back of a car for hitching up. They make inexpensive magnetic mounts for them - I paid about $35 for the camera on Amazon, and a magnetic mount will be $10 or so. Bonus my son can use it like a gopro on hiking trips, etc.
     
  3. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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  4. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Like many others, I have gotten pretty good at backing alone. I just back up slowly, lining up the center of the tailgate with the center of the trailer and then stop and take a look. Once I get the alignment going in a straight line, it's a simple thing to estimate the distance left and then reference a blade of grass or a rock on the ground when I back up. It's pretty easy once you've done it several times.

    I agree that a backup camera is the cat's meow. I don't have one on my pickup, but I borrowed my Dad's Expedition once and got spoiled with the camera. Good news for us all, jmkay1; after May 2018, all new automobiles sold in the US are required to have a backup camera in order to reduce back-over accidents (mostly involving young children). I'm all for saving the children's lives, but that camera's going to be the shizzle for hooking up! :)
     
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  5. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

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    I use a combination of what others have already said. Rely on the picture in the rearview, "spot on ground", "in and out, in and out" and the occasional authoritative shove with a foot. It really does get easier the more you do it. Like anything else, you just learn what it looks like when its "right" and you get there faster. The way a tradesman can finish something just by feel and make it look easy, and then when you try you just fumble around with both hands and a blindfold. Watch how easily a busy butcher can grab handful after handful of burger meat and they all weigh almost exactly a pound..

    If you dont want to spring for a camera system, the tennis balls on a stick are maybe $10 at HF and will assist until you learn how to gauge it entirely by eye. Or spring for the iBall and never look back, literally.
     
  6. leftfootmoe

    leftfootmoe New Member

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    Backup camera to get close then, move the trailer with my hands to align.
     
  7. mrkrag

    mrkrag Active Member

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    I just ran into a buddy of mine who mentioned this weekend in addition to finally mounting his solar panels on his TT, he intended to "figure out my remote control hitch". I was unsure what he meant so we got to talking for a minute and he has one of the Purple Line trailer movers. They engage against the wheels directly and you have a remote control with directionals on it and can basically drive the trailer around with it. Sort of like remote control trolling motors on boats.
    Sounds pretty cool, if you have an extra thousand dollars to throw at it.
     
  8. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I love all the help! I will keep practicing. we do have a back up camera and I noticed the other day that it has a little black line in the image from the ball to where the hitch would be! wow! I didn't notice it before, but I bet it will help. thanks again! So far, my husband wants to go when I say I'm going camping, but I do want to know how to hitch up myself, so practice, practice.
     
  9. Turfit

    Turfit New Member

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    If you don't have dents in your license plate, you're not trying hard enough!!!! :p
     
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  10. threebeachboys

    threebeachboys Active Member

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    Much like backing up, it is practice. I use the "get out a hundred times to check" supplemented with the "spot on the ground" method.
     
  11. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

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    Haha, that's true if you start looking at some pickup license plates. I only have one dent and I wasn't happy about it.
     
  12. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    It's TRUE!
     
  13. Wakita46

    Wakita46 Active Member

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    I almost always camp without a helper and I've been across the U.S. 3 times (19 National Parks plus other goodies - see hoffsalinertravel.net.)
    I use a Never Miss Hitch. I get it on the first try.
     
  14. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    Well, I have been practicing. And you all are right, it is just a matter of practice. I do use the back up camera, and that helps a lot. putting something bright on it helps too. like foil. I practice backing the trailer up too. and it is getting much easier also. I do like that V shaped metal guide thing. where can you get them?
     
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  15. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t bought one, but found them on Amazon, I’m sure RV sources have them, maybe etrailer.
     
  16. Bowman3d

    Bowman3d Well-Known Member

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    That one I posted was from Northern Tools but I’m sure you can get them in other places.. I just googled hitch aids. I think it’s called couple mate
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  17. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    yes, just found them on amazon. I will also be on the lookout for them in town. thanks!
     
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  18. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    way past time for an update. I practiced, I can hitch up alone. the tennis balls work best for me. since I now have 2 trailers, I can compare. the pop up is actually harder to back up! the new 14" trailer is still short, but much easier to go straight while backing up.
    Y'all are right, hitching up alone is not problem!
     
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  19. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Adda girl!!
     
  20. gardenbliss

    gardenbliss Well-Known Member

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    14"?, Wow, you did go small, jk
     
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