Published by Sarah Racheter-Loftin · 26 August 2022
Trailer Tips - Backing Up
When my family reads this - they will laugh. I am the only person in my immediate family that does not have a CDL (my little sis just got her million miles jacket!).
That being said, they grab the popcorn when I attempt to back my trailer and I get lots of helpful tips (then there is yelling and there have been tears and then suggestions where they can park the trailer).
Anyway.... Here are few things I have learned along the way!
Just like in riding, our bodies tend to go where we are looking. This applies to backing a trailer as well. If we are trying to avoid hitting something and that is all we look at, guess where the trailer is going? Instead, look where you want the trailer to go and keep the obstacle in your peripheral (you better believe I used text to talk to spell that word out!). I have found that by doing this, I have a better chance of the trailer going where I need it to go.
A friend of mine gave me this suggestion and it has helped so much! There are lots of illustrations out there showing how to have your hands on the steering wheel that never helped me. His suggestion is to use your pointer finger at the bottom of your steering wheel. If you want your trailer to go back and to the Right, you would lay your left hand at the bottom of the steering wheel with your left pointer finger pointing right and of course you switch your hands to go back and left. This puts your hands on the steering wheel in a more natural position. Try it!
New Rule. There is no yelling when someone is backing a trailer unless something is about to get hit. You should be talking to each other the entire time and the guide person should be telling the driver when an obstacle is coming up. If you are working as a team, you all need to speak to each other like a parent would talk to a child who is learning to walk.
Next Rule. Give yourself some leeway. No one comes out of the womb with all the knowledge preprogrammed. We all have to learn how to do the things we want today.
Know your limits. While we need and want to learn how to do everything ourselves - know your limits. If you are a frazzled mess - don't try to back into a camping spot that you have never backed into before. Ask for help (you're allowed to, I promised). Let someone else back your rig in or unload and take 20, 30, 60 minutes to calm down. Pick Your Battles.
Horseback riding is suppose to be fun and relaxing - right? Down spike your blood pressure, know your limits and bite your tongue so you're not apologizing to anyone while you were backing your trailer.