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Old 01-01-2013, 06:04 PM   #1
Kattabba
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Backing in newbie

ok - Hubby is driving down from NJ with our "new" 1999 Prowler. It is a 32" and he is towing with a f250 diesel. He has towed the horse trailer before - but nothing like this. We pick up the camper in July and drive down for a 2 week trip in August. (Job hazard of working as a teacher)

Anyway - anyone recommend loops easier to back in with this type of hook up? Are cast members available to 'guide' as he backs in?

I'm flying down with our 4-Year-old to alleviate the number of "are we there yets". My uncle is driving with my husband but has Down's syndrome - so he is not going to be a great " backing up the trailer" helper.

We have stayed many times at the Fort - but tenting it and hanging out with my Dad and his camper - owning a travel trailer is a first for us
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
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We've stayed in several loops over the years. To us, all the sites seem to be a bit tricky to back into. There always seems to be posts, lights and recycle containers just where we need to "inch" it a bit. We've never seen CMs assist with backing in but our first time, a gracious camper from Maryland came out in a monsoon rain and helped us back in.

It's like most campgrounds in that there is always someone willing to help another camper out.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
2goofycampers
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You can ask for help at check-in. Also any CM or close by camper can lend a hand.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:12 PM   #4
sirenia88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattabba View Post
ok - Hubby is driving down from NJ with our "new" 1999 Prowler. It is a 32" and he is towing with a f250 diesel. He has towed the horse trailer before - but nothing like this. We pick up the camper in July and drive down for a 2 week trip in August. (Job hazard of working as a teacher)
Congrats on the "new" TT. I personally would recommend a few overnight runs before the big trip. Since you should like new RV owners, understanding the systems beforehand will allow a better response to issues like a CO detector going off. Trailer set up. Backing up I will always admit I'm not the best in that department. I'm happy when I get where I want to be within 2 shots.

During trail runs, you get to go out and camp overnight at different places plus it will allow your husband to understand the feel of the trailer going down the road. It will feel different than let's say a horse trailer with a live animal weighing 1200 pounds. I towed construction equipment before owning my TT, I felt there was a difference in handling. Think of the TT as a 30 plus foot sail


Quote:
Anyway - anyone recommend loops easier to back in with this type of hook up? Are cast members available to 'guide' as he backs in?
Back in October 2012, we stayed in the 500 loop. It was nice but it seemed to be a little tight when getting the trailer into our assigned spot. I did noticed some of the other loops like 700 or 800. The loop was larger and in some parts the roadway were "more friendly" towards an unaided backing in procedure. You might be able to find a security staff member to give your husband a hand getting into the spot. As for a fellow RVer, I don't know. There were people around but many just come and go to the parks or other fort activities. During the day, the loop felt like a ghost town especially during the week day. However, you are going during August so there will probably be more people around.

Quote:
I'm flying down with our 4-Year-old to alleviate the number of "are we there yets". My uncle is driving with my husband but has Down's syndrome - so he is not going to be a great " backing up the trailer" helper.

We have stayed many times at the Fort - but tenting it and hanging out with my Dad and his camper - owning a travel trailer is a first for us
Flying in? Really? My DD was 4 when we drove down. We made sure we had stop points built in. Today, we have in vehicle entertainment such as a DVD player. When we went, my parents followed us down and had my daughter. She had disney DVDs to watch, a walkie talkie to talk to us in the truck, a DGP to talk to, etc. We choose 2 KOAs going down and in the morning, there was some time to do the playground and ride a bike for 20 minutes. It's real bonding time with your child. As for your uncle, I understand the concern.

Speaking of the 4 yo, as a trial run, Knoebel's is not to far out from your neck of the woods. They have on site camping and a great amusement park. I am sure your child would have a blast there. I know my DD looks forwards to Knoebel's every year. Plus the husband gets some backing up time

Good luck with your trip planning, traveling (driving and flying) and staying at the fort.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:14 PM   #5
Kattabba
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Sirenia - Thank u so much for the reply!! Growing up we spent many a weekend at Knoebles - good plan just have to figure out how much time ( and $$) we have to "play" before the big trip. We know we have to get out and practice a little bit ( ok a lot )

The TT is a first for us - so we need to learn all about CO detectors, fixing flat tires, water hoses, etc. Needless to say I'll be lurking to figure out what kind of things we need to learn!! Wonder if anyone wrote a book "Travel Trailers for Dummies"

Worst case the Walmart parking lot after hours will be a fun place to visit! I could charge admission - it should be a fun time for all! At least it will bring back memories of the torture of learning to parallel park.

We drove to the Fort last year with said 4 yo in tow. It was manageable - got some GREAT pointers from fellow Disers - but with Uncle and kiddo - we don't want to burn out before we get there. Still debating about the return trip - we may just do 1 way tickets.

Again thanks!!

Holly
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:21 PM   #6
Kattabba
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Sherri - one reason I enjoy camping - it's a different bunch of folks travel in campers and I happen to think they have a tendency to be just a tad more helpful (and resourceful!)

Denise - so does that mean 'yes' okay to ask a CM?.

Holly
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:53 AM   #7
2goofycampers
Sounds like something a camping trip could cure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattabba View Post
Denise - so does that mean 'yes' okay to ask a CM?.
Absolutely! I've seen many a CM help.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:22 AM   #8
double r
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If you try Knoebles I would suggest you get a site at their other campground Lake Glory, they have full hook ups and not as tight to get into the site. It is a short ride to the park from there plus they have a shuttle bus also.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
Bearikens
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I was just thinking that a beginning practice run to learn backing the new trailer might be to take it to an empty mall parking lot. Pick a couple of empty parking spaces to use as a simulated camping site and make a couple of attempts trying to improve the efficiency each time. Of course pick some spaces that are away from light poles and cart returns. I tow a popup and have towed a much longer boat trailer and have learned what my brother (a truck driver) used to tell me...the longer the trailer, the less it will swing from side to side when backing and thus easier to control. I've struggled backing up the popup into some of the sites at the Fort from time to time (usually trying to get the popup as close to the utility pedestal as possible to maximize our awning area) adjusting the camper to the optimal position.

Neighbors with trailers are probably the best source for help as they have been in the same situation at one time or another. Just ask and maybe have an adult beverage to offer in exchange for their assistance doesn't hurt either.

Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth to help out.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:21 AM   #10
4daubers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattabba View Post
Sherri - one reason I enjoy camping - it's a different bunch of folks travel in campers and I happen to think they have a tendency to be just a tad more helpful (and resourceful!)

Holly
I agree. We were helped so much by experienced campers in the beginning and still now! There's always a new trick or strategy to learn. We've met some interesting camping characters along the way that we would never have met if we weren't in a campground.

My husband and I used to laugh that the only times we argued was putting lights on our Christmas tree (showing my age a bit) and when backing the RV into a site. Backing in did not come easy for my DH and I felt the need to direct him....me with no experience. We now havea pre-lit tree and DH can now back an RV with the best of them.

Silly that we never thought to ask a CM to help us.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
TheRustyScupper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kattabba View Post
. . . Are cast members available to 'guide' as he backs in? . . .
1) Usually, there will be someone available.
2) Ask at the front desk during check-in.
3) If, not print this post and paste it on the windshieild for hubby.

************************************************** **

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BACKING INTO FW CAMPSITES:
. . . Pull ahead, past driveway/pad.
. . . Check both mirrors for obstructions/pedestrians/traffic.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight.
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight
. . . Stop, pull forward.
. . . Adjust steering.
. . . Back-up while slightly turning.
. . . Straighten wheel.
. . . Back-up straight
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:05 AM   #12
jbrostek
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Practice makes perfect. Find a nice big empty lot, setup some cones to mark "the spot" and then a few extra to create various obsticles and angles to work around. A few practice runs like that (plus backing into the driveway) will go a long way even for the trip when he finds out that not all gas stations are easy to get in and out of.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #13
4daubers
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Good one RustyScupper.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:47 PM   #14
sirenia88
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Kattabba, Instead of Walmart, try across the street by the Sears Hardware. The lot is much bigger and "less" traffic as well. The Newton Walmart has a small lot. I know since I'm from the area As some suggested, bring some cones to simulate a camp site and so forth.

Another thing, you are picking up the trailer in July 2013? Is this from a dealer? If so, a reputable dealer should have a first timer program. When I bought my trailer, I had to take the dealership's mandatory "first timer" course since I had never technically owned a trailer. However, I am second generation RVer. I was given an abbreviated course but I digress.

As for backing up, spotters are good to have. A good practice to have is making sure the spotter can see the tow vehicle's mirrors. I try to make sure my spotter is on the driver's side of the trailer and in view. If possible, have the TV's windows down so the driver can be spoken too. When backing up, turn the steering wheel the other direction and with little input. I.E. backing up to the right. Turn the wheel Left. One thing I found helpful with my trailer is taking the weight distribution equipment off before backing in. This will allow for easier and more responsive tracking when backing up. If all else fails, Rusty scooper hit it on the nose with trailer backing in.

Jbrostek adds an excellent observation. I found while driving down, most of my fuel stops where not exactly trailer friendly. I would have to cut the truck to the pump. Once instance, I did have to back up for about 4 feet to clear the pump when leaving. I went to one Pilot in South Carolina, that had RV friendly pumps. I-95 Exit 77 I think. Nice straight pull thrus. Easy to get too. Being the TV is a Diesel, chances are you may be able to hit up the truck pumps in the back of these places.

As for burn out before you get there? That's why if you can plan a slower drive down. 2 nights instead of 1 or none. We drove down 81 and came back up via 95 then crossing over to 81 in Maryland. The 81 trip was definitely worth the view and I didn't think the trip wasn't bad overall. It was pretty fun. Giving kiddo and the uncle some down time during the day with some quick roadside stop. Getting to a campground early for some pool time is really part of the adventure especially with a 2 week time frame

Kattabba, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or anything inbetween, just ask.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:49 PM   #15
my3princes
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Disney did have a very limited number of pull through sites. We arrived a night early years ago and were placed in one overnight. Wouldn't hurt to ask.
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