reversing a trailer

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reversing a trailer

Postby coyotte » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:28 pm

has been around 30 odd years since I last owned a trailer and at the time could reverse them o/k

but have just bought a 8 x 5 box trailer with a 5 ft tow bar (standard hitch ) --- planning to turn it into a very basic CP
and dammed if I can pick up the nack of reversing them again --- main problem is getting it to do a right angle turn from a road into a driveway .

suppose like anything practice makes perfect -- but any tips would be appreciated

thanks for any help

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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby Blue Bravo » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:09 pm

I find that I either get it first time or I end up unhitching and pushing the bloody thing :?
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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby Teabag » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:58 pm

A good tip for reversing.........

Put you hand on the steering wheel though at the 6 o'clock position (at the bottom) and the direction you move your hand is the direction the trailer will follow.....I hope that makes sense but pretty easy once you get the knack........
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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby cokebottle » Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:17 am

I knew a guy who could reverse up a driveway with a trailer only using his mirrors & at the same speed as if there was no trailer at all ::() I am no where near that good, but I find the longer the trailer the better.

I once had to reverse back down a steep gravel road (well actually we were more like dragged back down) with a car trailer loaded up with a mates Mini which had been through a flood & had a big layer of mud inside the floor, so it was quite heavey - after we could not get up the hill due to too much loss of traction (and too much clutch slipping under load)
, I did not have much choice over the reversing action as my brakes could not hold it on the hill & we were dragged to the bottom of the incline with me just trying to steer it ::() (ended up getting a mates dad to tow the trailer out with his 4wd ;) )

We have a 8x6 box trailer that we use for camping & I was starting to get the hang of reversing that with my work car (Holden Astra hatchback), which was quite small & I could see quite well out the back window, but I now have a new company car without a tow-bar, so the next time we take the trailer I will need to take my fiancees Magna, which has bad visibility when reversing, so I will have to retrain myself :roll:

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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby Redback » Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:46 am

Practice is the only way to get it, slow is the key to learning and use your mirrors, all 3 of them, but mostly your side mirrors, no looking over your shoulder, most cars these days have crap visability through the windows so looking over your shoulder just makes it harder.

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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby Gunna Do » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:14 am

Coyotte,

May not be any help for backing off the road into the drive, however, I was told by one very wise old grey nomad, that the trick when backing a trailer/caravan/camper is to try and alway set up your car and trailer so that you are backing around on your drivers side and not on your off side or passenger side, this way you can see exactly where the trailer is heading and where your wheels are placed.

A SWMBO with good directions is also an invalueable help during these backing times.
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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby Argle » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:55 am

There should be a requirement for being able to reverse a trailer attached to the driving test, it really is quite easy, the main things are
1 - Start with the trailer on your right hand side so you can see where it is all the time
2- USE YOUR MIRRORS!!! They are not just for decoration
3- GO SLOWLY too much pace and you will lose the trailer especially ones with short drawbars
4-Make small adjustments as you go - dont go wildly swinging the steering wheel around from lock to lock
5- Remember the trailer will go in the opposite direction to which you turn the wheel
6- PRACTICE- find a place to practice like an empty car park and go from there
7- GO SLOW, dont let other people rush you if you take your time and do it once it is quicker than doing it three or four times quickly! Check out any boat ramp on a busy summer day too see what I mean!

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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby HGMonaro » Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:30 am

all the above and don't forget to keep an eye on the front of your car as well!

I have 3 trailer devices and the 6x4 box trailer is easily the hardest to reverse. It has a mind of it's own and when on the back of our Prado, you can't see it until it's turning quite a bit.

Also, if you have someone 'helping' guide you, make sure they understand they need to be somewhere you can hear or see them.
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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby cokebottle » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:58 pm

Argle wrote: Check out any boat ramp on a busy summer day too see what I mean!


They should setup grandstands & charge admission to watch, great entertainment! some of the galah's I have seen trying to retrieve or launch their boats :*** also reckon you could setup a tyre shop & make a killing ;)

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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:15 pm

HGMonaro wrote:
Also, if you have someone 'helping' guide you, make sure they understand they need to be somewhere you can hear or see them.


A hand held UHF radio in conjunction with the one in the vehicle is quite useful in this application. Even a very cheap one will do the trick for this.
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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby coyotte » Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:20 pm

Thank you very much guys & gals

Arrived home today at around 7pm with a 15ft canoe loaded on this trailer.

parked on the opposite side of the road -- and thought if I cannot do this I'm in a lot of sh*t.

I have a very narrow single vechile driveway -- and thought I'll check out out this forum for any replies before attempting to bring the rig in.

Well low and behold after reading through the replies it all came flooding back .

As Michael pointed out for the next 15 min you could have charged for ringside seats .

BUT I done it !!!! -- perfectly

one point I think that has been overlooked , but would be old hat to to those that can -- but not to those that can't

Is that tow vechile and the trailer must both be aligned in a straight line (tow vechile wheels straight on " when the final move is made


thanking you all again
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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby Komodo » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:31 pm

Some trailers are just pigs.

I can reverse both our boats no dramas, the 7 x 9 no dramas. But the light weight 6x4. it drives me bonkers.
I've been reversing trailers since i was a young tacker so its neigh on second nature (much to the amazement of my neighbours who all came out to watch me try reverse into my driveway when we first moved in - they couldn't believe it when i did it no dramas first time.)

I find that provided I can see the rear of the trailer with ONE or more mirrors im fine - this is the problem with the 6x4 I cant always see it when its going straight as its too low to see out the rear veiw and too narrow to see out the side mirrors.

Slow and steady. no fast movements.

KNOW your draw bar. the number of people who reverse then drive forward cause they are scared of jack knifing - they have plenty of room. In my experiance its very unusual to see someone jack knife. I've done it once in my life and that was cause the trailer dropped down and lost momentum in relation to the vehicle.
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Re: reversing a trailer

Postby barnesy01 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:26 pm

I have a couple of trailers and a very steep driveway which i reverse down. The easiest way for me to see as you loose the vision of the trailer when the car is still on the road, i put a stick or broom handle in the midle of the trailer to use as a guide. I have a Boat trailer that i only have 4 inches either side to play with from the house to the 2 meter drop retaining wall. After a while you get the hang of it. Do it slow, small variations in the steering wheel, use mirrors. Practice, Practice and more Practice. Do it in a shooping centre carpark when no other cars are around.
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