Back-in sites at RV parks

In the process of looking at some camping websites I saw an article that was written about backing trailers into the back-in sites at campgrounds. The essence of the article was the difficulty of backing a trailer without the assistance of a spotter, usually your spouse.

This brought to mind several things. One is that we have a very good article on “Basic Trailer Handling” written by Warren Petkovsek. The other is that I thought again of some of the events that we have had backing into sites and of witnessing others do the same.

We are all neophytes in the beginning. The only way to learn to pull and back a trailer is to get out and do it. When I bought my first trailer it was a 36 foot 5th wheel. The only experience I had pulling a trailer was my boat trailer. I looked at the 5th wheel and was very intimidated by the size and the thought of getting out on the highway. Fortunately, there was a person at the dealership who offered to give me a lesson in pulling the trailer. After the lesson was over, I didn’t feel much more confident than before I started the lesson.

Pulling the trailer in a forward direction is a piece of cake but backing that thing up and making it go where you want it to go is a different story. With that in mind, there should be a rule in the camping world that says a campground can only have pull through sites. But alas, that isn’t to be so we will always be faced from time to time with having to back the trailer into a site.

So how many of you out there have witnessed the comedy of the new guys pulling into the campground and backing the trailer into a site? I have been on both ends of the stick. I have watched with amusement as new couples back their campers into sites and I have been the butt of the amusement as I have made multiple attempts at putting my camper in the correct position in the site.

One of my most memorable events was when we went to Creede, CO. We had a back-in site at Mountain Views at Rivers Edge RV Park. There was a wooden split rail type fence on the other side of the road from the RV site. This was probably only my third time to back in to a site. For some reason I had a devil of a time backing into that site. Every time I’d get the trailer pointed in the right direction, I’d find the front of the truck against the fence and I’d be out of maneuvering room. After what seemed like a very long time, I realized that I had drawn a small crowd of spectators. They were watching with interest but no one offered assistance. That was okay with me for my pride was already destroyed and it would only have added insult to injury. After what seemed like an eternity, I managed to wrestle the trailer into the position I wanted it in.

This is why I can smile as I watch newbies struggle to back into a site. Been there done that! I also know that as they make mistakes and learn from them that they will get better and better.  One thing that I have learned is not to be afraid to ask someone to move something that is in my way when I’m maneuvering the trailer. I’ve also learned to ask for a pull through site and back in as a last resort.



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