Pazahora

Backing up 26' motorhome without a spotter

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Pazahora   

I am a solo traveler and fairly new being a full-time RVer. Some campgrounds have back-in sites only, or the back-in sites are more in my price range. Sometimes there is no spotter available to assist me in backing into a site. I want to know what techniques others have used to safely back -in. I have considered using an orange cone at the corner of the site (where a spotter might stand), and a reflective triangle or flag positioned outside of the motorhome to mark where I should start the turn out. I do not know how to attach the item to the outside of the motorhome so no water leaks start, and can be removed when driving. Any other ideas?

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Pazahora,

The first thing I would do would be to get out and really look the site over. Checking for Tables, trash cans, tree limbs, fire pits & Stands. Know the site before you try to maneuver into it. 

Several cones would work for me. Place them in several location in the site. Not knowing your coach it would be hard to say how to secure anything to it. One thing you might do would be to put some sort of tube in the wheel well just behind the wheel. There you could insert a flag or brightly colored stick or rod and place a cone where you would like to stop. That away when the flag touches the cone , you are there.

But my best advice would be "To know the site before you try to park". 

Good luck,

Herman

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I can honestly say, I don't think I've ever been in a campground where there wasn't someone available to be a spotter. Now if you come in late, that can be an issue. 

Two things I will never do is back up without a spotter or backup when I can't see the spotter in my outside mirror(s).

With all that being said, a 26ft motorhome is almost like backing a Suburban. I suggest finding an empty parking lot, (church, school, shopping center,etc) and practice your backing. Use your cones or whatever you have available to simulate a parking space and practice backing in to it. 

Practice, practice, practice. Good luck.

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ISPJS   

A short RV such as yours should be extremely easy to back almost anywhere.  You just need to do some practice to gain confidence.  Get out and make sure nothing is in the way on the site you are backing into.  It is always easier to back in from driver's side, but you will still have to get used to using both side mirrors.  If you get half way in and are not sure how close something is on your blind side, then secure in place, get out and look.  There is no huge hurry when trying to safely back into a camp site.

You need to manage your backing skills as quickly as possible IMHO if full timing.  There could be situations during the day while traveling that you will need to backup without 2 or 3 folks out there helping you.

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manholt   

Are you in a Class A, B or C?  Do you have a back up camera?  You do need to practice and the more you do, the better you get.  At this point I have Linda to help me, but for 26 years I was on my own.  Sometimes, a fellow camper would help, but most times it was just me!  Herman is right, you  have got to get a clear picture in your mind as to where everything is!  The markers that I use is the Table and any trees, look for low branches and same that may overlap part of parking space.

Joe S. and Jim S. Is right also.  Back stop and look around, is probably your best option, until you get used to backing in!  Above all else, DO NOT GET IN A HURRY!!!

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1 hour ago, ISPJS said:

A short RV such as yours should be extremely easy to back almost anywhere.  You just need to do some practice to gain confidence.  Get out and make sure nothing is in the way on the site you are backing into.  It is always easier to back in from driver's side, but you will still have to get used to using both side mirrors.  If you get half way in and are not sure how close something is on your blind side, then secure in place, get out and look.  There is no huge hurry when trying to safely back into a camp site.

You need to manage your backing skills as quickly as possible IMHO if full timing.  There could be situations during the day while traveling that you will need to backup without 2 or 3 folks out there helping you.

All good suggestions, I would not attach anything to my coach, learning the mirror technique and possibly how to properly use a backup camera if you have one. Collapsible cones are available, or simply make some markers that are very visible, and place them where you would like to stop can be helpful. Here is a pretty good youtube video describing backing an rv.

 

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All very good suggestions and your original info was also usable.

I don't use the eight foot mark as described in the video.  When we pull up and unhook, I check the surroundings and where I want to back into and I will use the "lazy S" method.  I adjust my mirrors and pull forward until my rear wheels are at the edge of the site. then I start the turn away from the site and in the middle of the road I start my turn forward.  Now just start cutting the wheel and backing in.

Remember:

G.O.A.L  -  Get Out And Look
Never back up unless you have to
Use your mirrors.
Just before backing use your horn (You cannot see directly behind you)

I'll bet there are a lot of other good ideas out there.  Search for some videos on backing up an RV.

Best thing is to use a spotter.

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Wayne, you mention the horn, the Newmar has that blankety blank beeper that will wake the dead whenever I shift in to reverse. Thankfully, I rarely if ever arrive in a campground late or I would have to pull in or risk getting shot. 

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ISPJS   
7 hours ago, wayne77590 said:

Yep! Heard them once in a while.

Glad my rig doesn't have that.

No way I'm getting rid of my backup alarm!!!!!  The U.S. Army put me in my first diesel tractor trailer when I was 17 years old and taught me to drive it and maintain it.  Now almost 50 years later I'm getting the opportunity to have another diesel that makes noise.  I get goose bumps when my back up alarm is going off or air is being released from the brakes!!!!!  If my DW would let me I would put a set of twin exhaust stacks on the rear of the coach.

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Well, I just figure that the 450 horses are producing enough noise that anyone walking buy would be aware of 47000+ pounds coming at them.

HOWEVER: here is a scenario. Child riding a bike comes in on your blind side, stops behind the MH to tie a shoe or whatever. Consequences of backing up could have life effects. Please, Heaven forbid.

Always great to have a spotter or a darn good back-up camera.

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This is the best advice I can give you, When backing up YOU ONLY move as fast as you can afford to hit something. 

Now if you keep that in mind, you will learn to creep and take your time - Look 3 times and then one more. 

Some folk are looking to make sure they dont run over the DW, others are looking to try to run her over depending on their relationship. ME, i am looking to make sure I go the exact opposite she is telling me cause usually its into a tree or sign post or something that cost money. 

26 aint bad, its the size of a big Uhaul truck but even that can me a challenge for a newbie ... Im a Rookie to so trust me I have had the same questions. 

USE your Cameras and if you dont have one GET ONE! 

Lastly, tell the camp ground that you need help OR if a state park of sorts find a ranger. They can be a huge help as they got to fix what you break 90% of the time. Good luck and happy Camping my friend. 

PS ... My DW is beautiful and I lubs her and it would be nice if she didnt find out how valuable her help is. 

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