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 > Backing Tips to save your marriage

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CincyGus

Cincinnati

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Joined: 02/26/2012

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I, like many of you, have a spouse that does not understand the art of communication through mirrors or windows. When we got our first camper (a popup), I needed no help because I could see over it and around it. After years of backing up to stock trailers and 2 horse trailers, I was pretty good at centering on the inside of the tailgate and judging distance from the camper to get close to the ball.

Last Feb, we upgraded to a TT and the sight issues caused by the taller camper along with it being brand new, made me ask for guidance when backing, just as a precaution.

I quickly learned that my wife is very good at arm flailing, walking out of sight of the mirrors and continues to do the same thing she does in the house which is talk to me from a distance or looking in a direction that I have no chance of hearing her or reading her lips.

I tried explaining to her that if she can not see my eyes in the large mirrors on our truck, I can not see her. That didn't help nor did it stop her from walking behind the trailer and flailing.

So I told her to help her remember to stay within my sight, I would stop if I could no longer see her. That worked......for a while. I then discovered that my lovely wife was born with alligator arms. Meaning that they can go from completely wide open, stretched to each side, slightly waving her hands only at the wrist, to SNAPPING closed like a 10' gator in the swamps of La. All while I'm riding the break at idle speed. Damn Chevy is just too fast in reverse ;-)

Luckily, besides being lovely, my DW gave me the best present in my life, my lovely DD. She, luckily for me, understands the concept of maintaining visual contact, looks at me when speaking so if I can not hear her, I have a chance to read lips and was born with human arms. A backing, hitching team was born!

So, for those of you that struggle with backing, my tips are as follows:

1) Find a plastic construction cone and go practice in a parking lot. By yourself. If that doesn't work move to step 2.

2) Ask your spouse to join you in the parking lot and explain visual contact, facing the driver's mirror when speaking and that adjustments and hand signals should be made gradually and far enough in advance to not require a 2' correction in the last 3" of backing. If not successful, move to step 3.

Bring a Son, Daughter, sign up for big brothers or sisters and take them camping or bother the guy sitting in his lawn chair at the campground drinking his beer and smirking at you while your spouse is inventing new words to call you.

The truth of the matter is, it's not hard to back with a little practice and anyone that sees it as stressful, needs to be removed from the equation. The other party should just take their time and do it nice and slow and it will get done, even if it means getting in and out of the vehicle a few extra times.

Hope you enjoyed my little story and are not living it.
Good camping (and backing) to all.


2011 Silverado Crewcab 4x4
2012 Passport 238ML

Hope your travels are safe and the friendships made camping are lasting.


abc40kids

Dale City,Virginia

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do it myself if I have to get out of the truck 5 times or more.... She will help if I ask but if its just a matter of getting a little closer to the back of the site or moving back and forth to level I let her drive and I tell when to stop and go.


Jeff,Julie,Amber,Brandon,and Casey,Dexter(Golden),Bruno(Pug)
Forest River Cardinal 362bhs 2006
2005 Chevy duramax dually 4x4 crew cab,Ultra Goliath wheels with Nitto Dura Grapplers and Banks exhaust.

Dtaylor

South Carolina

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good info.
I do have the wife spot me when backing. One thing we did from the very start was make sure she stands where she can see the mirror and we are VERY CLEAR on hand signals. No waving or flaying around. You would think we are landing a 747. There is NO shouting or yelling! I saw a guy have his wife in tears because they could not communicate and they were using radios.


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PapPappy

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The other option for backing up to the trailer, would be one of those little cameras.
They do have their limitations, but for hitch to ball, they are pretty good.

For backing into a camp site, that is another can of worms, and I'm glad that I've got a MH, instead of a trailer

I highly recommend getting out and walking the site......and if you want, you can get some wooden dowels (brightly painted helps) and put them in the ground so that you can see them out the driver's mirror. Back up along them, and stop at the rear one. If you have problems with judging distances, staple a cardboard "flag" on it, and then hit the flag with the rear of the trailer. (no harm no foal).
Just remember to look all around the parking site, and that includes UP.....you don't want to damage the A/C unit with some low branch. Remind DW (if you are using an assistant) to be watching UP too.

It is also best to explain to DW or any other assistant, that while you may be considered a PITA during this parking experience.....it's gotta be a whole lot more enjoyable than if you were to damage the RV because they weren't listening or doing their job


Bill & Claudia / DD Jenn / DS Chris / GS MJ
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RIP: Cookie, Foxy & Gidget @ Rainbow Bridge.
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edsland

naperville,illinois

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1/2 the time I'm by myself and I have a $20 set of telescoping poles with yellow balls on top and a magnet base. Line the balls up as you back one on the ball of the hitch, the other on the trailer receiver. When they touch its done, easy and cheap.

Bucky Badger

Madison, WI

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wife walks the dogs while I back up


Fred & Jodie, dogs, Mika, Keiko and Emma

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TucsonJim

Tucson, AZ, USA

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd comment, but my DW might be reading this forum.


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wildwest450

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never realized how many tt owners can't hook up or back their rig up.

azdryheat

Tucson, AZ

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wife and I use walkie-talkies to back our 5r. No visual signaling required.


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phillyg

SWFL

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Posted: 08/12/13 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We go through the same thing, no matter how many times I've reminded my DW I can neither see her or hear her when she's not seeing my eyes in the mirrors. In my case I've determined it's best to just do it myself or there's going to be angst.


2002 Keystone Cougar 286, 8,400lbs loaded, pulled with a 2004 F150 Supercrew, 5.4, 3.73 gears. Retired and enjoying life

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