Is driving or backing in the RV/Trailer a shared job?

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by mdcamping, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. RLM

    RLM
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    Those couple who are experienced RVers normally have a "system" worked out for putting a rig in a site. So this is for those that haven't gotten to that point.

    Maneuvering a 5W was more difficult because of the hidden mirror thing so we used two radios to communicate directions. Only six words were every spoken. The first five were Straight, Right, Left, Forward, and Back with "slightly" occasionally thrown in for minor corrections. The fifth was Stop after which we communicated face to face before continuing with the task. Now that I am in a MH where the mirrors are more effective we use aviation type hand signals, but have the radio for that one very important word..Stop.

    After all said and done, the next words are "Honey, get me a beer, please" Gotta throw in that please unless you want the beer thrown at you. :)
     
  2. Texasrvers

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    We have a little bit different take on your words. Our words are: "Honey, please hold my beer while I back up." Just kidding!!! And the walkie talkies are a good idea. That is what we use.
     
  3. NYDutch

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    Both my wife and I rarely ask the other to spot while backing in the coach, but when we do, we have a well practiced set of hand signals that we use, including the crossed arms tarmac stop signal. Our cardinal rule is the common, "If you can't see me, I can't see you."
     
  4. BankShot

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    We have used a set of walkie-talkies since day one and it makes backing up, etc. a breeze. I can concentrate on what I'm doing and not have to keep lookout for where my co-pilot is at all times so I can see her. I just listen to her over the talkie and follow her directions. I do that all the time anyway so what else is new, right............:p
     
  5. NYDutch

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    Twice in my life I've seen out of sight spotters trip and fall while spotting trailers backing in to a loading dock. One incident resulted in non-life threatening injuries, the other incident was fatal. Both spotters were using business band walkie-talkies, but were unable to use them in time. I can't recommend highly enough that your spotter be kept in sight at all times...
     
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  6. BankShot

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    Point well taken NYDutch - Whenever I am backing into a space she will go all the way to the back of the space and get herself situated where she can see both sides of the coach and with a couple of steps in either direction, is able to see down each side of the coach as I am backing in, etc. Usually I can see her in either of the rear view mirrors or the backup camera but with the talkies I can listen to her voice as she tells me how I am doing. We have our own language we use during backing up and it works. She knows I take things slowly and she also knows not to move to an area where she could get trapped between the coach and a shed or wall, etc. I don't take this lightly even tho we are having a bit of fun with it. When we are backing up a large and very heavy vehicle such as an RV we have to pay full attention to everything going on and be aware of where our spotter is at all times. Thanks for bringing up the message about not losing sight of our spotters. We all need be aware of that..............

    Regards, BankShot..........(aka Terry)
     
  7. Russ60

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    I think that situations where our wives are spotting for us truly bring out the test of a relationship and highlight the differences between the sexes. Women speak there mind, are animated and call it like it is -sometimes loudly. For the many of us, we would rather quietly crunch into a tree than bring attention to us ---- or, along with the same line, ask for directions.
     
  8. RickB

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    My wife and I use our cell phones. Our tow vehicle has bluetooth I so can respond to her less helpful backing instructions "appropriately" without taking my hands off the wheel.
    Actually, she really does a great job of communicating. We are learning together through trial and occasional error how to park a new 5th wheel that is taller than our previous trailer, has an additional slide-out, slightly different utility connections, etc and she has to look for and judge obstructions that weren't a concern a couple months ago.
     
  9. Tom

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    Wife has towed our camper only a couple times, during long trips on the highway. She has no idea how to backup, or maneuver in town or (especially) at a gas station.

    She helps when I am backing up, mostly just to stop me if and when I am about to hit something. I tow equipment trailers all the time, so I don't really "need" help all that much.

    Big hint about helping people back up a trailer? Spotter should tell the driver where they want the rear of the trailer to go... NOT tell the driver which way to turn the wheels of the truck! Driver needs to learn by experience how to turn a trailer while backing, and concentrate on towing / backing. Spotter needs to concentrate on, well, spotting!

    I definitely agree with spotters needing to be within sight of the driver whenever possible. When my wife needs to move around the back of the trailer, I come to a complete stop, and don't start again until I can see her. Larger trailers or those with a different setup may need to do something different, but be careful.

    Wife helps more with setup now (leveling, chocking, stabilizers, awning, etc) -- when the kids camped with us all the time she would be watching the kids and/or had more to do to setup the inside of the camper.

    Our setup and breakdown now is pretty quick, compared to when the kids camped with us. I miss the kids being with us all the time, but is also nice to be able to just sit and relax with my better half...
     
  10. John S.

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    My wife can drive buts prefers not too. I would not either if I had a recliner and all the toys and stuff. She takes care of the nside and I do the outside. She brings in the slides as I unhook and then will drive the jeep up so I can hook it up. We have covered 360k miles this way and it works pretty well. I get drinks and food while driving too. The new coach will be different though and less movement and much smaller.
     
  11. Jack B

    Jack B
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    Walkie-Talkies are a very necessary extra, but not just for backing.
    On our way to our Winter refuge in Texas our towing gear failed in Kansas.
    I was so tempted to flag down a pipeline-guy with a Lincoln or Miller Welder on his flatbed.
    Instead we drove on to Texas with my wife behind driving our tow, and communicating with
    our Walkie-Talkies. They were invaluable.
     
  12. Florida Native

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    I drive and my wife is always the spotter. She makes up different hand signals each time to keep things interesting,
     
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