Backing a fifth wheeler

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by DCNKY, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. DCNKY

    DCNKY New Member

    I have a 35ft fifth wheel rv and I must admit that I am a rookie at backing it up. Any advice from you gurus??? :cool:
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    RE: Backing a fifth wheeler

    the only thing i can offer is this ,, find a empty parking lot somewhere ,, and if u can get some cones ,,or anything else ,, and set them up in kind of a tight arrangment ,, like parking in a campground spot ,, and go for it ,, the more u practice ,, the better u will get ,, u will get the hang of it ,, IMO :) :approve: ;) but i know others will put thier 2cents in on this ,, which is what this place is all about ,, learning ,, :approve: I forgot one other thing ,, Welcome to the forums ,, stick around ,, we do kinda know what we are talking about from time to time :laugh: :laugh: ;)
  3. CharlieS

    CharlieS New Member

    RE: Backing a fifth wheeler

    I have a travel trailer - not a 5th wheel, but I think the basics are the same.

    Put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and move it in the direction you want the towed vehicle to turn. Watch the wheels of the towed vehicle in your side mirrors. Have a second person watching from behind and use hand held radios to communicate - this will eliminate any confusion caused by hand signals.

    And as 730 said - practice.
  4. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Backing a fifth wheeler

    remember your 5th wheel or any other tow vehicle will go in the opposite direction you turn your steering wheel. AND like Rod said practice practice practice and you will get the hang of it. Good luck :laugh:
  5. JimE

    JimE Senior Member

    RE: Backing a fifth wheeler

    Like Charlie said, whichever way the bottom of your steering wheel goes the trailer will go. This is a great tip to first timers. Dont worry before long you'll be whipping that thing in and out of tight spots like a pro.
  6. DCNKY

    DCNKY New Member

    RE: Backing a fifth wheeler

    Thanks guys......I'm heading for a parking lot as soon as I can get some cones! :)
  7. sandie

    sandie New Member

    RE: Backing a fifth wheeler

    Ok, like others have said that the trailer turns in opposite of way truck would if no trailer so you take the wheel with both hands at the bottom, if you want the back of the trailer to turn to the left you bring the left hand up while holding the steering wheel and do it slowly and as the trailer starts turning the way you want it to go then bring the hand down a little at a time called following it in so that you are not at a severe angle. It does take a little practice but each time you get better at it but remember both hands at the bottom of the steeriing wheel and when you want it to go to the right then right hand comes up from 6 oclock to 3 oclock or more if necessary and then bring it back down as the trailer heands in the direction you want it to but slowly and then drive back out straighter and then back in againg til you have it where you want it. Make sure if you have a short box on pickup that you have a sliding hitch and if you are in a tight spot then stop and pull the trailer back on truck bed hitch so you do not punch out the back window of the truck.
    Good luck and it does get easier.
  8. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Backing a fifth wheeler

    Remember to keep the volume down on your hand held radio's so when you start yelling at the wife for your mistakes, the whole camp ground will not hear you. :laugh: ;) :eek: :clown:
  9. USMC

    USMC Member

    RE: Backing a fifth wheeler

    You can always pretend that the fifth wheel is connected to the front of your truck in your mind and you are pushing it in, it will give you a better visual, when I get ready to back into a place as long as there are no obstacles behind the trailer such as trees and no low hanging limbs and there is nothing on the side such as picnic tables I just put the pedal to the metal and back in and it is a plus if you back in so you can see the utility hook ups from drivers side that way all you have to remember is go for it as there is nothing that you can hit and just concentrate on backing in so as you have enough room between the utility post so as to get your slide out and are square on the patio if that is what you are striving for.

    What I notice most when I see other campers backing there rig in, is that they never pull forward for enough to allow the RV to start turning early enough and they always get to far to there left or right and have a tendency to get into other RV'ers camp site.

    It is like playing poker look at your hand once and lay it down and don't look at it again the same goes with backing a trailer in look at it once to see where you are backing and trust your vision and don't question what you know is there.

    If you talk to a truck driver that backs in between two other tractor trailer rigs he will tell you I know I have enough room to back between those rigs so all I have to do is gauge my distance from the drivers side of my trailer to the side of the truck that I can see if I stay close to my predetermed distance from the truck on my side I know I'm alright on the passenger side even if I can't see the truck and trailer on that side.
  10. brodavid

    brodavid Senior Member

    Re: Backing a fifth wheeler

    and Triple E , bring a ice pack if you do yell to loud, you may need it after wifey quits hitting you, :) :eek: :laugh: :blackeye:


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