Caravan Manoeuvres (reversing !!)

Aug 31, 2005
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I confess that I cannot really wait until next Spring before I take the CC course on manoeuvring a caravan and I need some help asap. I have watched the CC DVD a few times but it's fine to watch but I need some practical help.

The issue is that I need to reverse in a smooth arc for perhaps 10 metres, tighten up the turn, then straighten the 'van up and then reverse back down 12 metres to the hardstanding. Probably pretty easy for experienced people, but I confess I find this pretty challenging and ended up in pools of perspiration and rather agitated when I tried it for the first time at the weekend. (Using my driveway which I have just had built and the new KIA Sorento).

What I am looking for, is an experienced caravanner who would be willing to spend a few hours in planning my optimum approach and then showing me; and then allowing me to practice a number of time.

I live on a quiet cul-de sac with plenty of road width, no parked cars, in fact ideal conditions really. However, whilst I can reverse to get the caravan at 90 degrees from the car (almost jack-knifed) to enter a designated pitch, I am less capable at following through and need to know and understand the points at which I need to change from full lock (pushing the caravan into the turn) to following through (having got the caravan at the required angle).

It you are experienced and enthusiastic to help, then I would like to hear from you. Of course I do not expect this to be offered gratis and would happily pay a reasonable rate for such 'driving lessons'. Just to give you an idea of location, I am near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

I cannot be the only one who has faced this difficulty. It's gets so bad that it starts to ruin my day if I think I have to make a reversing manoeuvre at some point ...

Thanks! John
 
Mar 14, 2005
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As the pygmy said as he jumped up and down to see over the tall grass "wheretheellareu"

Or to put it more politely in which part of the UK do you reside
 
Aug 31, 2005
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As the pygmy said as he jumped up and down to see over the tall grass "wheretheellareu"

Or to put it more politely in which part of the UK do you reside
:)To quote my original post "Just to give you an idea of location, I am near Tunbridge Wells in Kent." :) I can offer precise loactions to thsoe who may be able to help but not a good idea on this (open) web site. Thanks
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi John

It's a pity you did not live in the midlands as I would be more than willing to teach you, this is a practical undertaking and as such it is not very easy to learn by by reading or watching dvd's

What I would suggest is that you find a trading estate that is empty on a sunday and practice, there is no rule that say's that you need to reverse onto a pitch in one go. that dose take a lot of practice.

Jim M
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi John it takes a bit more than what i will offer you but for starters

when reversing wind down you window and stick your head out,until you gain experience

you steer in the oposite direction to going forward,so a simple rule is if you dont want your trailer to go e.g. to the left steer towards it

to keep on track whatever you put on,several seconds later take it off.that is if you turn the wheel to the left watch your van start to to change direction and then turn you wheel to the right

one suggestion is buy yourself a model car & van and practise with that,but think how you would be turning the wheel in your car to turn the van also it dont matter what other people think or how long it takes as long as you do it,if you have a non 24hr supermarket with a decent car park take your rig along and practice after closing time or at this time of year very early am

good luck
 
Aug 31, 2005
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Thank you Paul and Jim for your comments and suggestions. However, if anyone lives in KENT / East Sussex and would be willing to instruct me directly, I should be obliged (greatly!)

Yes the option of practising in an industrial estate on a Sunday is a good idea. I'll do that as well. But my mission is to find the correct way of reversing my caravan in an arc (driver's side); straightening up teh caran and then following through (and starightening up) the towcar.

I have a photo of the outfit in the road outside my house for those who might wish to see what I am talking about. emails to john.stephen@10glebelands.com

Thanks John
 
Jul 12, 2005
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John

I am not local enough to help but I do have some comments that will assist

First, put the car in low range, this will increase control a lot. second, if possible always reverse to the right so you can see the van wheels on your side of the car. get somone to watch the other side.

And last, dont rush. take it easy and do not get worked up. Our van storage area is tight and I used to use the mover to get it into the space. Now I just take my time and get the van into a very tight spot with no problem. Practice is the key and slow it down as much as possible.

Steve
 
Aug 31, 2005
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John

I am not local enough to help but I do have some comments that will assist

First, put the car in low range, this will increase control a lot. second, if possible always reverse to the right so you can see the van wheels on your side of the car. get somone to watch the other side.

And last, dont rush. take it easy and do not get worked up. Our van storage area is tight and I used to use the mover to get it into the space. Now I just take my time and get the van into a very tight spot with no problem. Practice is the key and slow it down as much as possible.

Steve
Steve :

Thanks, sound advice. Yes, I agree about using Lo-Range and about taking my time. I also feel that I need to have an agreed plan. That's where I was hoping to find someone who was able to meet me. However, your advice is valuable.

Thanks

John
 
Jul 25, 2005
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OOps must get the glasses cleaned
hehehe...especially if you are reversing?

My first attempt at reversing between two other vans went like a dream.I couldn't understand what everyone was on about ( going to take lessons etc)

Yes! You have guessed it! My second attempt was a disaster and that was in a straight line LOL Must be more difficult then?

Pop
 
Mar 14, 2005
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John,

I am in Horsham, W Sussex. About 1 hour away. Not free until Sunday 27th, but if you don't get a better offer in the meantime I'll be glad to come over.

E-mail MALXK@Tiscali.co.uk and I'll give you more details.
 
Nov 17, 2005
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John, If say so myself, i'm pretty good at reversing, having had boats/caravans and trailers over the years, i bought a caravan with a carver motor mover, which goes up hill and down dale with no trouble at all, it also scares the hell out of the locals when they see it coming off my drive, turn round, and go back on, what they don't see is me inside with the remote control, i know, i must get out more.

I now think every caravan should have one.

Good luck, and remember when your reversing, do it slowly.
 
Aug 31, 2005
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Retruning back from the Cotoswolds 9 days ago, I applied your good advice and the first thing I did was to stop and think (HARD) about what I needed the caravan to do. I was able to confir that :-

1. Do everything v slowly

2. Stopping and moving forward really does straighten up the whole outfit which is highly beneficial

3. Prepare to acheive your goal by two steps back and one step forward

It took only 5 minutes (possibly less) to cleably reverse the caravan into it's hardstanding space to the left of the house; teh final manouvres were done by hand. I am feeling more confident now!

Thanks to all

John
 
May 12, 2005
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John, I would recommend you have a motor mover fitted, theres been enough said about their pros and cons but it will take all the hasel out of manouvering,I move the van more than 22mtrs from the back of the house to the front every time I hook up.

good luck Tony A.
 
Aug 31, 2005
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Thansk Tony; I will consider a motor mover; but perhaps not just yet as I have to shell out some more money to get the drive re-surfaced and then I want to fir a rear facing camera to provide a good view of my rear !!

cheers

John
 
Oct 17, 2005
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Thansk Tony; I will consider a motor mover; but perhaps not just yet as I have to shell out some more money to get the drive re-surfaced and then I want to fir a rear facing camera to provide a good view of my rear !!

cheers

John
I have been towing for a fair few years and grew up watching my dad for many years before that, I always try to reverse onto a pitch to the right so I can see out of my window as to where the wheels are heading, I feel also that, as my caravan is 25 foot long, it is easier to manouvre than my old 14 footer. the width makes towing straight back a problem but with well positioned mirrors and a slow pace its a lot easier, when I used to tow a car trailer on a transit it was even easier as the trailer was the same width and keeping a straight line was so easy I didnt have to try. If you can't reverse to the right and your car has electric mirrors, you can adjust the mirror on the nearside to watch the caravan wheel and edge backwards like that. Hope this has helped you as I find it quite easy now with this technique.

Regards,

Barry (oxford)
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi John,

Have caravanned for many years and the best investment we have ever made was to buy a motor-mover,we have seen people make such fools of themselves reversing, sometimes when we see people making a real hack up of reversing we just wonder if they are just attention seeking,take the easy way out we say and get a motor-mover.Jim
 
G

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I have driven big arctic lorry but when it come to caravan as already been suggested nothing can beat a motor mover.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Forget opposite locks.. it justs confuses. Just imagine the car is an extension of your body and use it to push the van in the direction you want it to go.It will suddenly click and you will not look back ( actually, you better had or you will be in trouble !). I'm sure Motor movers are fine for parking up in tight spots but if you can't reverse you are in big trouble if you drive past an entrance or need to turn around without unhitching the van.

Good luck, the soundest advice from all of the comments though, is take your time and don't be phased by those curtains rustling in the van on the next pitch !
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I just wonder if all those people who say reversing is not for them, are the same ones that criticise others for various things, like doing more than 50mph,only having one mirror fitted,etc, etc. What would happen if there is an incident on a major road and the traffic is turned round to go back the direction they have just travelled, " if you can give us a couple of minutes officer we can use our motor mover and we'll be on our way". No way, motor movers have a purpose, but the highway aint one of them. There's more to towing than just forward motion.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I agree with Dave and Geordie. I recently got caught in an unexpected road closure due to an accident and had to reverse the caravan about 3-400 yards to a spot where it was possible to turn the outfit around. As the police were trying to get everyone out of the way as quickly as possible, there was no way I could have separated car and caravan and moved one first, then the other.
 

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