to navigate this essential part of trailer
Backing through a turn
Now let’s increase the difficulty by practicing backing your trailer through a turn. The principles are the same as backing in a straight line; it just takes patience, concentration, and a bit of practice.
1. Set up some cones to simulate the entrance to a driveway or
launch ramp that requires you to back the trailer in a 90-degree
turn to the right.
2. Just as you did in the basic exercise above, pull your trailer
up so you have enough room to maneuver it, straighten the
wheels, and ensure that the vehicle and trailer are in alignment. The amount of space needed to get the trailer between
the cones depends on many factors, including the length of the
vehicle and trailer and the location of curbs and other obstacles. Give yourself plenty of room to maneuver.
3. Grasp the wheel at 6 o’clock, shift the vehicle into reverse, look
around for any obstacles, and then keep your eye on the right side
mirror. Gently put your foot on the gas, then move your hand on the
steering wheel to the right (counterclockwise) to move the trailer to
the right. You’ll see the trailer turning to the right in the mirror.
4. Once the trailer begins to arc through the turn, bring the
vehicle’s wheels back to center while still keeping your foot gently on the gas. This should start to bring the vehicle around to
follow the direction of the trailer while the trailer continues to
move backward in an arc.
5. Progressing through the turn, occasionally check the front
and back of the vehicle and also glance at the left side mirror
a couple of times. Front tires turned hard to one side can run
right into, or over, a deflating situation. While you probably
won’t run into anything today in this big, empty lot, get used to
doing it for when there are obstacles nearby.
6. Once the trailer and vehicle are in alignment, continue to
back up in a straight line until the trailer is between the cones.
NOTE: If you oversteer and the trailer passes a 90-degree
angle before you get it between the cones, stop, shift into drive,
straighten out by driving forward, then start the backing process again. There’s no shame in multiple attempts, and in some
tight situations, multiple switches from reverse to forward and
back again may be required.
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