February 2024 Newsletter
February 1st, 2024
How To Back Up A Trailer The Easy Way
The Ultimate Guide to Towing RV Camping Information You Need To Know It’s inevitable. At some point, you’re going to have to back up a trailer. Whether you’re hauling a little cargo or a camper, knowing how to back up a trailer is essential. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of backing up a trailer and share some tips that will make the process simple.
How To Back Up A Trailer
Use The Bottom Of Your Steering Wheel - Your hands are now aligned with turning the wheel in the same direction you want the trailer to go. This is much easier than turning from the top of the steering wheel, which frustrates many drivers who are new to towing a trailer.
Put Your Flashers On - Always engage your 4-way flashers or hazard lights while maneuvering a trailer. Use Your Mirrors - Adjust your mirrors to give you a good field of view.
Choose 3 Reference Points When Backing Up Straight - Line up a point of reference on your vehicle and on your trailer, such as the fenders on each. Choose your target as the third point of reference, and line these up as you back up your trailer in a straight line.
Keep An Eye On Your Surroundings - Whether you’re backing up in a straight line or around a corner, always be aware of what’s around, behind, and in front of your tow vehicle and trailer.
Look Over Your Left Shoulder For Left Turns - If you are backing up a trailer with a left hand turn, look over your left shoulder. Focus on your trailer wheel’s placement until you have it lined up with your target. Once your trailer wheel is in place, straighten everything up and back the trailer in.
Look Over Your Right Shoulder For Right Turns - If you are backing up into a right hand turn, look over your right shoulder and out of the rear window of your vehicle. Focus on the right rear corner of your trailer and maneuver the trailer until it’s lined up with your target. Once the trailer is lined up, you can straighten everything out and back the trailer up.
Make Wide Turns Initially - Some people new to towing suffer from turning their tow vehicle too little, resulting in a lot of correction throughout the trailer backup process. Start with wider turns and take things slow, and you can make smaller adjustments as needed.
Finish Up In A Straight Line - You won’t always have the opportunity to back up directly to your target. If you find yourself in a tight spot or backing around a corner, get your trailer in position and then pull your vehicle forward if possible to straighten things out. Then you can proceed with backing up the rest of the way in a straight line.
Use A Helper If Possible - Have a helper stand near (but not behind) the trailer where you can see them from your side mirror. It’s important that they can see you from where they’re standing as well. Agree on some hand signals they’ll use to guide you on whether the trailer needs to back up, turn left, or turn right while you are backing up.
Take Your Time - It can be stressful if others are waiting on you, but rushing things will only cause problems and take more time to correct if errors are made. Take your time and go slow to nail it on the first try.
Practice Makes Perfect - Backing up trailers is a skill that’s built through repetition. Practice ahead of time in an empty parking lot or in your driveway at home to get familiar with the dimensions of your trailer and tow vehicle to save yourself frustration.