Driving in reverse with a trailer isn't as difficult as it seems, especially after you've had some practice.
Step 1. Keep in mind that you need to know in advance where you want to go with the trailer
The route must already be planned, you must know the direction in which the trailer is going to move, which way to steer the car, the position of nearby objects, etc.
Step 2. Never place one hand on the handlebars or turn your body and head to look behind
Instead, use your rear-view and side mirrors, and keep both hands on the wheel.
Step 3. Turn the steering wheel to the right to turn the trailer to the left
You can also see it this way: the underside of the steering wheel moves in the same direction as the trailer. Looking back can help you get a good feel for the steering direction.
Step 4. Turn the trailer around the corner by (as described above) turning the trailer in the direction of the corner, then you need to steer a little in the opposite direction to keep the same angle
Step 5. The most common way to reverse is to turn the trailer to the left
If possible, turn the trailer to the driver's side as the other side is harder to see. Follow these instructions:
Step 6. When you approach the place you want to turn into, drive past it first
Steer slightly to the right, toward the center of the road, then steer your car sharply to the right, making an angle with the trailer (less than 180 degrees to the left, as if you were making a left turn ahead).
Step 7. Place your hands on the underside of the handlebars and steer in the correct direction while backing up
Step 8. Make sure that the car and trailer do not 'scissors', make sure that the angle is not too large
Ideally, you can park the trailer in one smooth movement. But usually at some point you have to stop, drive forward again and try again.
Step 9. Repeat going back and forth until you are properly parked
Step 10. Relax
It is often more difficult when people are watching. Try to stay calm and drive backwards calmly.
- Don't be afraid to stop, get out and see how far you are. It's better to keep checking where you are than driving damage.
- Never steer too suddenly in any direction.
- Try it with a long trailer first, then a smaller one. The shorter, the harder.
- Practice in an empty parking lot. Set up some cones so others can see what you're doing.
- It is easier to reverse in a straight line, with minor corrections. Avoid making a right angle. First put your nose on the other side of the road so that you don't have to make a sharp turn backwards.
- Take it slow! If something unexpected happens, stop the car and calmly try to figure out what to do to fix it.
- Remember to also look up. Your attention is often focused on obstacles on the ground, but you should also look higher to check for tree branches and wires. Also watch out for overhanging trees.
- An extra pair of eyes can be very helpful. Someone who pays attention behind the trailer and gives directions within sight of your mirrors can be of great help.
- Buy some walkie talkies. Then you don't have to yell at the person watching at the back.
- You can also think of it this way: your rear wheels are actually the steering wheels for the trailer (pretend that the trailer has four wheels, the front steering wheels are actually the rear wheels of the car. So to get the trailer in the right direction you have to adjust the angle between the trailer wheels and the rear wheels of the car are correct.
- Stop the car if the trailer scissors. Go forward and try again.
- Stop the car if the trailer turns the wrong way. Go forward and try again.
- Check that the coupling of the trailer is tight and check that the safety cable is installed correctly. After plugging in, check that all lights are working properly.