Reversing the trailer - why cant I do it first time!!

NooNoo59

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3 December 2011
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kent
Anyone else have issues with reversing a trailer? I understand the theory but I struggle to put it into practice, took ponio to the vets today and it took me ages to get the trailer parked back up afterwards even though its quite a straight forward reverse, I always seemed to get too much angle or the wrong angle etc etc.
I need to be able to do this as I quite often go out on my own and this bothers me that I am not confident doing this. I have a nice trailer on loan and a meaty truck to pull it with but this makes me hesitate and consider where I am going to compete.
Glass of red for all helpful tips!
 

hellspells

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15 April 2008
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Biggest tips I have is never over steer it. Be gentle, and if you want the trailer to go the Left you'll see it more in your left mirror so you put you left hand down on the steering wheel. Same the other way, you want more trailer in your right mirror, right hand down on steering wheel.

It's really not that bad! Honest. Can you take it somewhere and practice to make you more confident?
 

dornrose

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26 February 2009
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Biggest tips I have is never over steer it. Be gentle, and if you want the trailer to go the Left you'll see it more in your left mirror so you put you left hand down on the steering wheel. Same the other way, you want more trailer in your right mirror, right hand down on steering wheel.

It's really not that bad! Honest. Can you take it somewhere and practice to make you more confident?

This is fantastic advice, but also take a deep breath and tbh it really doesn't matter if you need to pull forwards to put it right.
 

Bay TB

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Derbyshire
Biggest tips I have is never over steer it. Be gentle, and if you want the trailer to go the Left you'll see it more in your left mirror so you put you left hand down on the steering wheel. Same the other way, you want more trailer in your right mirror, right hand down on steering wheel.QUOTE]

I like this! This will be my first summer going it alone with my trailer and I seem to have a mental block about reversing too! I am going to keep this as my mantra whilst I'm out and about, thank you!
 

maresmaid

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28 April 2011
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539
When I first started towing my trailer I always used to avoid reversing, I once missed a turning and had to drive for miles until I found a pub car park to turn round in by driving in a big circle, and I realised then how ridiculous it was not to reverse. A friend told me that it doesn't matter how many times you go backwards and forwards so long as you don't hit anything, and end up roughly where you want to be in the end. It was this advice that made me relax and just get on with it. Practice makes perfect, and sometimes it's well worth taking yourself and the trailer off into a big space and just practising going backwards and forwards all by yourself. , and next time you go to a competition just look round at all those other perfectly ordinary people towing trailers and tell yourself that if they can do it, you can do it!
 

Joandripple

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Essex
When I first started towing my trailer I always used to avoid reversing, I once missed a turning and had to drive for miles until I found a pub car park to turn round in by driving in a big circle, and I realised then how ridiculous it was not to reverse. A friend told me that it doesn't matter how many times you go backwards and forwards so long as you don't hit anything, and end up roughly where you want to be in the end. It was this advice that made me relax and just get on with it. Practice makes perfect, and sometimes it's well worth taking yourself and the trailer off into a big space and just practising going backwards and forwards all by yourself. , and next time you go to a competition just look round at all those other perfectly ordinary people towing trailers and tell yourself that if they can do it, you can do it!

I totally agree. I, too, borrow a trailer and used to worry constantly about having to reverse. But the trailer is kept in a barn so I have had to reverse it back in to put it away. It does not matter how much u go back and forth as long as you don't hit anything or damage the trailer or car - who cares.

It used to take me for ever to put the trailer away and I used to allow myself at least half hour but now a year on it takes me about five minutes and that includes un hitching and locking up!

Good luck.....and practice, practice.
 

ROG

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Stop just before the place you want to reverse and work how you can drive forwards to set up an easier angle before you start the reversing - the more setting up you can do forwards means the less you need to do going backwards

I never understand why some driving instructors get a trainee on a car test to start the reverse into a bay from a 90 degree angle when they could easily angle the car going forwards so the reversing angle is perhaps set up at 45 degrees
 

Vodkagirly

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2 August 2010
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Practice and do it regularly.
I was dreadful when I started and it would take me ages to put the trailer away as I had to reverse along a long stretch. Stress levels were through the roof.
Eventually its came together, if I go wrong, I breathe think about what I did and do less next time. I find it easier if I do it regularly so I can remember how much turn I need to give it, brill excuse for more outings :)
 

ROMANY 1959

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I totally understand where you are coming from!!
I've just had 2 nd tow lesson and I am towing a caravan with my 3-5 ton lorry!
Today I managed to do two 3 point turns( in huge car park that was empty)
But reversing into my parking spot was not so easy. My instructor said just practice. I don't need to do the test but I do need to practice... And more.. Good luck, it will come.. Don't over stear was what I was told..
 

blitznbobs

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My advice is move it a small amount at the time and only watch the trailer not your car... if it starts to go the wrong way turn the wheel the other way... little by little you'll get there... oh and never listen to others advice as you are reversing...
 

dornrose

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26 February 2009
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I never understand why some driving instructors get a trainee on a car test to start the reverse into a bay from a 90 degree angle when they could easily angle the car going forwards so the reversing angle is perhaps set up at 45 degrees


Because generally this is how they have to do it on test, so easier to teach them this as it's the hardest way to do it.
 

maccachic

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New Zealand
I found it easiest to learn by myself, my father tried directing me and it made it worse.

Slow and small corrections practice practice practice and do this when there isn't any pressure on you - ie no people around etc
 

splashgirl45

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my other half tried to teach me and it was a disaster, so i went off on my own to a large area and practiced and learnt by my mistakes...one thing which i found was to always reverse slowly because as soon as i thought i had got the hang of it and went a bit faster it all went wrong....so SLOW, SLOW, SLOW and you will be fine...good luck
 

Honey08

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No time limit and no audience works best for me! I used to send any passengers off to do a job round the corner for me while I faffed about.
 

DiggoryVenn

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17 January 2014
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I can reverse and get the trailer to turn in the direction I want but I cannot straighten up again. can anyone help please?
 

Mike007

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Practice practice practice . The moment it looks like it is going pear shaped ,pull forward a bit to take the angle out of the configuration and try again.
 

Dry Rot

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I borrowed a toy car and trailer off my kid brother and played with on the table top. Once I had got it in my mind how it worked, it was a lot easier.
 

wellwisher

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16 February 2008
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Devon
Most useful bit of advice I had was to always try and reverse towards the drivers side (left hand down) so you can actually see where the trailer is - a lot of the time the trailer is in a "blind" spot if trying to reverse to the passengers side. Basic but helps me and I have gone from total scared and incompetent novice to relatively happy trailer driver in very short time. Oh - and trial and error!!!
 

Mince Pie

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13 June 2011
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When reversing left and right is backwards, write a big L on the back of your right hand, and a big R on the back of your left hand! Apart from that, as the others have said, take things slowly and don't turn the wheel so much :)
 

ROG

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I can reverse and get the trailer to turn in the direction I want but I cannot straighten up again. can anyone help please?

Which ever side mirror has the most trailer in it then turn the steering wheel towards that mirror whilst reversing

When both mirrors show the same amount of trailer then its straight
 

peaceandquiet1

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16 May 2010
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I thought I was ok at reversing but at a show at the weekend I was asked to move my trailer and when I did the woman said Oh you would never pass your test-I had angled it as ROG says to make it easier to get out again!!!!
 

weebarney

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29 January 2009
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England
Do everything super slowly, don't let anyone else shout 'right hand down , left hand down', it's massively annoying, distracting and usually wrong !
Use your mirrors to see how much trailer you can see in each one, this will tell you which way your trailer is heading.
 

dornrose

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26 February 2009
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375
Incorrect according to many ADIs - the candidate can do it as they like as long as it is safe and relatively accurate

Not in this neck of the woods, Chertsey test centre and Burgess Hill you have to do it at 90 degrees, Guildford and Crawley you can to it at 45 degrees, hence much better to teach them the harder way so they can do both.
 
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