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Dig_Dug's avatar

Do you know how to back up a trailer like if you were towing a boat?

Asked by Dig_Dug (4249points) April 1st, 2023

I see so many people have trouble doing that.

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28 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do not. But my son and husband are sheer pros at it.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I can because my dad taught me when I was 13.

Acrylic's avatar

Of course. Keep your eyes on both mirrors and listen to your spot.

NoMore's avatar

Half way yeah.

filmfann's avatar

Yes. I had lots of practice at work, where I owed trailers and light boards.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Uh yeah, try backing up two trailers at once, I got rather good at it one time I had to back two trailer into a repair shop over a pit I did it in 2 tries .
Another time I was backing into a loading ramp had to get the unit within 6inches did that in the first try, another driver saw me do it and come over to say he was impressed I took that as a huge compliment.

JLeslie's avatar

I never do it, my husband is always driving when we are towing, but yes, I know the basic concept. It’s counterintuitive and not easy if you rarely do it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s not counter-intuitive..

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ok, I’ll bite. What term would you use? Pretty much anyone who has never backed up a trailer or has never watched others do it, is going to screw it up, because left is right and right is left.

@SQUEEKY2 I forgot to say that is impressive.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. I need to do it often when moving around lawn and garden equipment like : my log splitter, fertilizer spreader, lawn roller, aerator, power sprayer, garden trailer, ....
Ugh! This reminds me, Spring is coming!

chyna's avatar

No, I do not know how. But when I see others doing it, I’m very impressed.

gondwanalon's avatar

I don’t have to know how to back up a trailer or boat. My 2017 Ford F-150 pickup has “backup assist”. I take my hands off the steering wheel and the truck keeps the boat or trailer straight.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Now that’s just cheatin’ @gondwanalon!

Dig_Dug's avatar

@gondwanalon That would be a life saver!

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Yes, do it regularly. It’s honestly easier with bigger trailers. Small ones are challenging.

jca2's avatar

I don’t know how. I’ve never towed anything and I haven’t had the need to, as of yet.

@JLeslie I know what you mean because I can see the way they steer. I think “counter-intuitive” is a decent explanation.

Forever_Free's avatar

Yes I do. Boat , Snowmobile, Motorcycle flatbed. Also quite often on the Tractor.

gondwanalon's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes backup assist takes all the fun out of backing up boats & trailers. HA!

kritiper's avatar

I do alright. I’ve backed up 40’ trailers into the insides of buildings before. Hanging your head out the window/door helps.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

You don’t just use your mirrors @kritiper ?

JLeslie's avatar

Video of how to back up a trailer. Fast forward to minute 2:00 to bypass some unnecessary commentary.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I can drive anything with at least two wheels. I used to be good, diving recklessly fast. There’s nothing like the thrill of pushing a vehicle to it’s limits!

Then. There’s backing up trailers. When I back up my little canoe trailer, it’s a spectacle. Boat owners laugh, and point at me. After getting my canoe tied to a pier or dock, I have to go park my vehicle and trailer. Then I catch more looks doing the walk of shame to my boat. Sometimes I just can’t stop laughing at myself. I prefer secluded, landings, or river access places designed for kayaks/canoes/SUPs…
I often will just park near the water, and drag my canoe wherever.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Watch the video. Maybe it will help. My husband doesn’t use the trick in the video, but I know people who do.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^My biggest problem is that I have a custom made trailer. I built it from a abandoned trash trailer. It was a small trailer. Only four feet wide, and eight feet long. It’s so thin and low, I can’t see it. I do use the bottom of the wheel. It doesn’t help that I always had a 5 speed/manual. Tricky using the clutch, breaks, accelerator, all together together. I put some flags on little poles to be able to see the trailer. But the way I designed the trailer, it’s hard to tell where the longest part is. I sold that vehicle, a couple of years ago, when I was first diagnosed with my failing liver. Now. I’ve been saving up for a new vehicle, and it’ll probably be automatic. There aren’t many manual transmission vehicles anymore.
That will be less fun, but better for trailer stuff. I’m constructing a new trailer now. In the meanwhile, I’m borrowing a truck and only taking it half a mile to the nearest lake access. There are plenty of tiny water ways around here. So. I don’t have to go far. Practice makes perfect. That’s what I need now.

JLeslie's avatar

^^When we first started doing the trailer thing we almost bought an SUV that was a manual, but then I was really glad we bought an automatic since initially we were not good at the whole trailer thing. It would have been one more thing to deal with even though my husband and I can both drive a stick well.

We once got stuck in a parking lot that had a lot of trees, and curbs and some cars and we need to back up and it was horrible. Lol. My husband and I were screaming at each other. So much better now, but those first few times were tough.

Honestly, I hate it. I’m so stressed when we are pulling a trailer. I want him to go slower around curves than he does. I feel like so much can go wrong. I have a lot of respect for truck drivers, it’s truly a skill.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Uh. Yes ma’am. Those big rig drivers are no joke. I don’t see how the new computer driven ones will be able to do the same job.

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